The Great Skin Experiment

The Problem

I have been struggling with finding a beauty regimen that works for me.  This is no secret.

I have fair, freckly skin that is highly sensitive to redness.  I do not see a dermatologist, nor do I indeed to.

Research

In a moment of desperation last week, I ordered Lauren Conrad’s Beauty.  I did find some useful tips in there, but I was disappointed that she didn’t suggest any products or natural beauty tips.  I understand that she felt any recommendations would be out of date by the time the book went to print.

A few helpful tips I picked up:

– Weekly facials are beneficial (even if they are not done at the spa)

– Due to my skin complexion she recommends tinted moisturizer (which I’m already doing), concealer, and mascara which I’ve added to my routine and has made a big difference in how I look at myself

A few reality checks:

– Keep trying until you find something that works; for a skin care regimen give it 2-4 weeks

– Everyone is different, and what works for one person in all likelihood will not work for someone else

I set to work to determine what my next attempt would be.  After all, it looks like I’ll just have to keep trying products until I find what works for me.  Most of the cleansing products I’ve tried in the past worked pretty well the first 2 weeks, but the results dwindled over time until I was unhappy with my red skin again.

The products that have not worked for me include: Philosophy, Murad, Clinique, and Yes To Grapefruit.

I went through my rolodex of bloggers to see what works for them.  I had pretty much decided to try either Yes To Tomatoes (because I do like other products of theirs) or Juice Beauty.

Then Bex, from bexlife.com, posted a question on Facebook.  Her daughter had stopped cleansing (not washing) her face, and it looked fantastic.  Who else is out there not cleansing their faces?

And it turned out quite a few satisfied ladies out there were not cleansing their faces.

At first, I was really hesitant probably because it’s such a novel idea.  We are brainwashed into thinking beauty is hard and expensive.  I thought my skin is too oily, sensitive, and I’ll break out like crazy.

The Experiment

Then I re-examined these gut reactions.  I love my hair right now.  It needs a trim (it’s been 6 months), but I still have even edges at the bottom!  While I do believe eating a very healthy diet has contributed to my new found love of my hair, I also am very satisfied with my hair care routine.

Finding a routine took untold trial and error cycles, but I finally found it!  I use Wen conditioner every time I shower (most every night).  Once a week I shampoo with high quality, sulfate free shampoo.

This is the same idea of cutting out the cleansing, right?

Once I factored in that this method would also be a more minimalist, cheaper way to deal with my skin, I thought why not?  I’m already unhappy with my skin.  Even if I get more displeased, I’ll just try something else.  This is the process required to finding something I love.

That was 4 days ago.

Preliminary Results

I won’t say it’s a slam dunk yet.  I am doing hot water washes twice a day (once in the shower if I shower), wiping my face thoroughly with a wash cloth, and then applying moisturizer.

The first 2 days, my skin was a tad oily around my high oil areas, nostrils, certain spots about my temples, under my bottom lip.  However, I’m coming to terms with the fact that my skin isn’t really oily anymore.  I was an oil machine as a teenager, but I’m turning 30 this year.  My skin, as far as dryness or oiliness is concerned, is normal to combination.

Yesterday I woke up, and my skin felt soft, supple, and firm.  It felt lovely.  The redness is down, but not out.  However, I am hopeful that the longer I abstain from harsh chemicals and abrasive cleansers that my uber sensitive skin will settle down.

I know this will not work for everyone.  Nothing does, but so far, I’m very encouraged to keep the experiment going.

Next, I’ll need to work on that dark spot that has crept up under my eye.  But I’ll give this experiment a little more time before I add anything new to the mix.

I can see where I will need to do a facial or mask every week (like I do my shampoo once a week) to draw out dirt and clogged pores.

Current At Home Facial

Right now I’m loving Tia and Tamera’s green tea facial.  I tried it for the first time last week after receiving Beauty in the mail.

It was super convenient, because I already had green tea bags in my cupboard.  I boiled 2-3 cups water in the microwave, poured it into a nice open bowl, placed a wash cloth over my face, and leaned over the bowl for about 5-10 minutes.

I was doubtful at first that I would feel anything through the wash cloth.  After a minute, I definately felt it, smelled it, and enjoyed the calming effects.  My goal is to try to do a home facial every Tuesday night, so that’s on my to do list tonight.

Today I am grateful for experiments and finding my own way.