Having babies gave me drug addict skin.
Smearing oil on my face like a crackhead gave me baby-like skin.
I had barely had a pimple until my daughter was born. After her birth, my skin went Cray-Zay. I had painful underground volcanoes, little annoying whiteheads, big, nasty black heads…and I had no idea what to do about them. They were up and down my jawline, right in the middle of my cheeks, on the tip of my nose.
Worse than the acne alone, I am a picker. I can’t help myself…especially in stressful situations. Every day in the mirror, I spend time trying to get that shit OUT! It only makes it worse. Much worse. Rather than just a little red dot, after picking a blemish, it becomes a bleeding, scabby, red raw splotch. Not cute. Not grown up. Crackhead status.
When you start battling zits as a teen, I assume that you figure out something that works by your mid twenties. But when you start getting zits at 25, it is very hard to come to terms with them.
Things only got worse with my second pregnancy, and I began trying more than just face wash and moisturizer. I used retinol (itchy, dry, creepy), anti-bacterial wash (cleared it up for a bit, but then got worse), apricot scrub (too scrubby for my face), and finally settling on a mild face wash that didn’t help, but at least wasn’t making things worse. Moisturizer was no better and everything I tried seemed to either dry me out or give me an oil slick on my face.
I knew that my hormones had shifted and that I needed to see a dermatologist. They told me to go on birth control. No thanks. I’m not interested in more hormones in my body quite yet. The ones I have are giving me plenty of trouble as is.*
I began researching alternate skin care online, thinking that SOMETHING has got to give. I wasn’t finding anything that wowed me. I figured maybe I would have to go on birth control, and just maybe I would have to deal with weird bumpy skin for the rest of my adult life.
I swear to you, my skin now looks like a kajillion bucks more often than not. This is a fucking miracle.
I make a mixture of 30% Castor oil (Whole foods), 60% Jojoba Oil (I buy it at Trader Joe’s) and 10 % Grapeseed oil (also from TJs). I add about 10 drops of tee tree oil for scent and it’s antibacterial properties. You can use any essential oil you like.
Massage a silver dollar sized glob of the oil (I keep mine in a travel size bottle I bought at Target) into your pores for 2 or three minutes, really focusing on the bumpy areas and places you know clog up easily. I do some “Dirt elimination visualization” which sounds dumb, but isn’t.
Get a washcloth wet with hot water.
Wring out the washcloth and steam your face until the washcloth is cold. Wipe the oil off of your face. Don’t scrub. just wipe it normally.
Repeat this steam and wipe process 2 or 3 more times, until your face feels clean.
VERY IMPORTANT STEPS:
-Tone with Witch hazel to give your skin an extra bit of cleansing
-Use just a dab of the same oil to moisturize your face after cleansing. I tried using straight Jojoba oil this past week, and I started getting breakouts again. I think the tiny bit of extra Castor oil helps to keep my pores clear.
I only have to use this method every other day. On alternate days, I skip the oil, still steaming my face with a hot washcloth, toning with witch hazel and using the oil to moisturize. If I have a blemish appear, I dab straight tea tree oil on it for a few days and it goes away. It has been about 3 months and I am happy as a clam that I tried something new.
The science behind this is that oil dissolves oil and Castor oil sucks the nasty stuff right out of your pores. Play around with the ratios of each type of oil, and check out this link as well, as she explains the process in great detail.
I know this sounds hippie and strange and like it would never work for you. I only did it as a last resort. But it WILL work, and you will save money and you will feel so CLEVER and you will tell all your friends.
The best part for me, personally: I have stopped my incessant picking. Something about knowing that if I leave them alone, they will work themselves out, has really helped me to keep my hands away from my face. I still have the occasional relapse, but it is NOTHING like it was just 3 months ago.
Please let me know if you have any questions. Have you tried washing your face with oil? Any other slightly hippie beauty secrets?
*I know, people. The birth control MIGHT help. But my husband didn’t have a vasectomy so that I would have to pop a pill every day.)