Trying to love the skin I’m in

Skin. What an amazing thing! It is the outermost layer of us and yet we spend so much time covering it up… and in most cases, it isn’t even to protect it! I think so many of us (including myself) often try to find ways to disguise or change it. So in an effort to love my skin, and hopefully persuade you to love yours more to, here are some fun facts about it!

  • Skin accounts for about 15% of your body weight
  • The average adult has approximately 21 square feet of skin, which weighs 9 lbs and contains more than 11 miles of blood vessels
  • The skin renews itself every 28 days
  • Your skin is home to more than 1,000 species of bacteria
  • You start aging at 20

I found this info on various dermatology websites. Some of the info I knew, some was new. Ultimately, your skin is the largest organ of your body and it sure can change. I have experienced change in my skin over the last 6 months or so, and what a journey it has been. I am 31 and for the first time in my life, I am experiencing acne. I had the occasional blemish growing up, but really only around that time of the month. If and when I had blemishes, they were red but not painful and usually dissipated on their own. Now I am experiencing several red, cystic-like spots around the lower half of my face, and the odd time on my forehead. My complexion is quite fair, so the redness rages and stands out. Even typing about it makes me feel some type of way that isn’t ‘in-love’ with the whole thing! But I am writing about this experience in hopes that someone may benefit from some of the products I have been trialing to combat this adult acne.

I am by no means a skincare expert or dermatologist. I did work in cosmetics for about 5 years and learned a lot about skin and related products. I have used several name brand products over the years but an expensive brand doesn’t mean it’s better than a drugstore brand. I did a lot of research about-midway through this skin journey (realizing it wasn’t the mask wearing or temporary thing) and a few of these products kept hitting high on the lists for dermatologist recommendations.

When I would search for brands and products, I would be googling, for example, ‘face cleanser for dry skin with acne’. So many acne cleansing products are geared towards oily skin types. My skin is almost falling off during winter months, and yet I have many pimples. So what gives? Everything in moderation. Our bodies are miracle workers and they are constantly trying to regulate themselves to run like well-oiled machines (pun intended). So, if you are over-drying your skin, it will try to over-oil itself to compensate the difference. But! Skin in complicated. It can have issues that are led by hormone changes, gut imbalances, dehydration, sensitivities… name it, it can be the cause. For this reason alone, I am not going to elaborate further on all the possible reasons and seasons of issues for our skin. I can be certain to say that this combination of products each day has helped me be consistent with managing the skin I’m in. It hasn’t healed it or stopped it from doing what it’s doing, because my skin wants to be doing what it’s doing right now. We are programmed to tell ourselves that if it doesn’t look how we want it to, it needs to change. What if we looked at ourselves and realized that for some reason, our body needs to be this way to right itself?

Our skin often shows us a symptom of something else going on. Stress? Diet? What imbalance am I fighting? But it could just be your body. We have to do what we can to manage it all and feel good while we’re doing it. Everything takes time too. If a skin care routing isn’t effective, consider if you have given yourself at least a month of consistent use to prove that it has or hasn’t worked for you. So far the above products have helped me maintain consistency.

How I use them:

  • I use the Cleanser only at night because the salicylic acid is too drying for me to use for both day and night; I splash cold water on my skin in the morning and occasionally use as cotton pad with micellar water if needed
  • The Tea Tree oil is for spot treatment and disinfecting, which I apply at night after cleansing
  • I apply the Acne Clearing Gel at night — once the tea tree has dried — because it too has salicylic acid (BHA) as well as glycolic acid (AHA) which together both gently exfoliate the skin and loosen sebum sitting within it
  • The Rapid Clear Spot Treatment acts as a liquid band aid over a spot, and is great for the daytime and under makeup, like a layer of protection
  • The Clay Cleanser Mask is great 1-2 times a week to gently remove impurities without over-drying

DISCLAIMER* I do interchange with a few different oil-free moisturizers day and night because the Clearing Gel is not very hydrating and our skin needs to have moisture! I didn’t list any because they have to be chosen very specifically to your skin type. Also, I must address that the Acne Clearing Gel is very costly. There are several different types of products on the market that can replace this particular item; the key is to use an AHA/BHA based product to get the mild exfoliation. Truth be told… my husband knows the struggle I’ve had with my skin and gifted me this luxury product (thank you!); it is super nice!

I have allowed myself to struggle with feeling beautiful because of the skin I have right now. I have pushed myself to talk about this experience because I want to be okay with all of me. One day I will have more wrinkles, and I will eventually have sagging skin. At the same time I hope I will be able to be active, and healthy, and walk, and feel youthful even at an old age. I had several unidentifiable medicatal issues last year and it forced me to realize, what if I have to live with these struggles for the rest of my life? Will I just stay in bed and be upset? Even if I was diagnosed with something specific, would that make the pains go away? No. I would likely have a long road ahead with discomforts and hard times. Luckily, I journeyed through that whole experience over a year, and I am okay now. But it taught me something. How many things do we let hold us back? If we need to rest, we must. If we need to get well, we must. But there are so many things we consider minimal, but they hold us back. Acne or skin troubles are one of those. They are not life-threatening, but by how many means do we try to cover, change, and criticize ourselves before we affect our mental health?

I am practicing how I talk to myself and I encourage you to do the same. We need to see ourselves in the mirror and recognize the beautiful face that God gave us. We always need to try. We need to nourish and hydrate our bodies, exercise our physical self, but we can’t forget our mental wellness. Something as simple as using a sticky note on your mirror can make all the difference.

Love the skin you’re in

xox Fran


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