Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Acne: Pick your battles?

I'm sorry for not picking up slack again. Ugh, more life drama. I keep getting ideas for new posts, but haven't found the motivation to put it to words.

So I am back with a batch of new posts that I will try to get up before I leave for Toronto on Friday. Bear with me. :)

I've been an active reader of beauty blogs for the past two years and blogger for the last few months. Something I've noticed from beauty blogs is when it comes to acne, everyone brings out the big guns.

Remedies range from cheapie DIY aspirin masks to the more expensive varieties that claim miracles, everyone is looking for something that will give them flawless skin forever. Obviously, I'm not against this. Why else would I blog and devote so much of my time to skincare? But when it comes to those oily buggers, I have a wait-and-see approach.

I consider myself to have combination skin, with an oily t-zone, and occasional acne on my jawline. I also get acne in weird places, mostly where I have facial hair, my eyebrows, upper lip (I have a light 'stache if I don't keep on top of grooming :P), hairline. I tend to get acne in the days before my menstrual cycle, which helps me keep track, haha.

I have a different approach for each type of zit. If I have a red bump that's fairly new, I'll likely leave it alone. I figure if I just keep the area clean and untouched, it'll dry up on its own, which it tends to do. Sometimes I might use a clay mask to facilitate the drying, but I'm usually too lazy, lol.

For whiteheads, I'll launch a full assault. A few months ago, I bought a nifty tool at Ross for $9.99.

It's pretty awesome, it has a bent loop to press out blackheads and a flat loop to extract the white goo out of your whiteheads. I bought some rubbing alcohol to sterilize the tool after each use, which is an absolute must, unless you want your extracted yuck to seed more pimples. FYI, don't ever leave rubbing alcohol on wood, it will dissolve the wood finish (learned it the hard way. Twice!) After I push out the sebum, I sanitize the area with some hydrogen peroxide to kill bacteria that might take advantage of my exposed skin.

I used to use a sewing needle per my mother's advice (PSA: don't ever do that!) parallel to my face to slowly lift up the skin and sebum, but an extractor is far more efficient and I will never risk accidentally poking a needle in my face!

As for blackheads, I just curse my genes. Sure I have nose strips like everyone else, but their effects are only temporary. I tried using the blackhead loop on the extractor, and while it works, it leaves my nose red and sore and inflamed. Not happy. I deal with them by accepting I have them. Maybe when I'm older, they'll disappear like the aggressive acne I had as a teenager. Fingers crossed. Unless they turn into whiteheads, I let them stay put.

I've tried many things to keep my face acne-free: many generic dupes of Proactiv, zinc tablets, bean cleansers and countless others, none of which made a difference in my skin, though thankfully didn't aggravate it.

But I have found that for myself keeping my face clean (washing and not touching it so often) and moisturized and daily exfoliation keeps my face from having crazy breakouts. I don't think there will ever be a product that will keep my face acne free permanently (especially my hormonal acne), so I've resolved to stop looking.

Of course, I only have light acne and most days of the month, my skin is clear. I don't blame others for continuing on this hunt, especially if the acne is aggressive. How do you deal with despicable minions?

Am I the only one who thinks they look like pimples? ADORABLE pimples! Image from www.earthsmightiest.com


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