Monday, January 16, 2012

Facing my face

As you all know, I'm a total make-up junkie. My heart actually skips a beat when I see giant palettes of eyeshadow at Costco, and I wonder to myself if I can somehow manage to hide it under all the stuff in my cart without alerting Jeremy or my penny-pinching conscience.

I have yet to succeed (mostly because Jeremy tells me I can get whatever I want, and then I feel guilty. It would be better if he just told me "no" and then I could play the whole deprived wife, or I could act out defiantly and put a whole flat of eyeshadow in our cart just to prove that nobody messes with me). But, there is always our next trip to Costco...

And I have struggled to find a good skin care routine that I actually like.

I have done the whole, "Blast your face with acid to burn the impurities off!" via Proactiv, Neutrogena (which I think I am actually allergic to), Biore, and just about every other over-the-counter product you can find at Wal-Mart.

This may work for you, or your sister, or your cousin, but it doesn't work for me. Because I have oily skin.

Now before you go, "EW! OILYYY!" it's not necessarily a bad thing. It means my skin will stay younger looking while everyone else's faces are doing pug impressions.
So, I count myself lucky, even though I hated it for years. I would actually get teary when people would talk about T-zones. 

The thing with oily skin, is you don't want to strip away the oils completely (or at all...) because that signals your body to make MORE oil, and if you don't like oil in the first place, you really won't like it when it increases in quantity.

It never made sense to me to use all those acidic cleansers, but I did it because I didn't know what else to do.

So, I did some research, and found that oily skin needs oil. So, I did something that gave me the jibblies.

I slathered olive oil on my face.


But I was still having break-out problems (well, not really break-outs, so much as clogged pores. Gross, I know, but let's be real here, and be grateful I'm not talking about something more disturbing, like toe fungus, or other unmentionable things I am too embarrassed to even list), so I ditched the olive oil regimen.

Everything remained the same, and it's been months since I tried anything more than just washing my face with soap. It's super annoying.

When I would use products with salicylic acid, I would dry out then break out. When I used olive oil (which absorbs nicely into your skin without leaving an oily residue. Don't be afraid of it...I had the nicest, softest hands when I was using it, and I am now cursing the fact that I stopped using it as a moisturizer on my hands because of all the splits I have from my hands being too dry because I wash them like a maniacal germaphobe on crack), there was no change in my skin, other than it was nicely hydrated.

What do I do next?

Something I forgot was super important: Exfoliate.

Nothing fancy, mind you (and I've done all sorts of harsh exfoliating contraptions, which, honestly, aren't necessary, and you can hurt your skin). Just a washcloth and some mild soap (I use Burt's Bees...I have a platonic love affair with all of Burt's products...sigh...). And the result? Nicely clearing up skin. Simple.

Stupid dead-skin cells.

Anyway, so I have been doing that for a few weeks (I should have picked up on this sooner. Mom has been doing this for years. Mom's so smart....). It happened that I went one day without wearing make-up (*gasp*), because I was sick. I figured nobody would see me except Jeremy and the kids, so I didn't need to paint myself beautiful, plus putting make-up on when you are sick is akin to self-flagellation.

After dinner, I was sitting at the table zoning, and Joshua stopped as he walked through the kitchen, and looked at me. He said, "Mom? Why are you red around here (making circling motions around his eyes)?" I don't recall what I said in return, but I believe I promptly went into the bathroom to see what he was talking about and/or face plant in my powder container. Indeed, my eyes were baggy and red. I guess my make-up skills have hid the fact that I am sleep deprived (yes, I stay up late...and it takes it toll on my face and my relationship with Jeremy, since we end up having asinine arguments at one in the morning about how many strings the hammers on a piano hit, and I end up storming out of our bedroom and tearing off the lid of my piano to prove to him that each hammer only hits one string, and then go to bed angry, because he is right...).

Days passed... and I noticed one morning that my skin was starting to look fresher, less aggravated (my skin doesn't like soap, but that's the only way I can get the many, many, many layers of make-up off), and I decided that I would go make-up free that day (with the caveat that I would put make-up around this section *circling motions around eyes* of my face to ward off any seven-year-old commentary. It actually was okay. That is probably the first time in YEARS I have voluntarily not put make-up on and went in public.

When Jeremy came home, I gave him my "I'm feeling sneaky, can you guess why?" face, and asked him if he noticed anything.

He blinked a few times.


"I'm not wearing any make-up!" I exclaimed. "Can you tell?"

He cocked his head, and analyzed my face.


"Really?" I was kind of disappointed. Had I been deceiving myself all these years thinking that make-up actually gave me a new face?

"Yeah, looks the same."

Now would be a good time to mention that Jeremy has super bad vision. Even with his glasses on (He, like everyone, is victim to the Eye-Doctor-Syndrome, where you think there is actually a correct answer to "One or two? Which one is better? Three or four?" and you end up guessing 99% of the time, and end up with one wacked-out prescription).

I might try being foundation-free again someday.



Tina said...

I'm right there with you about not wanting to go without make-up and having skin problems. I was lucky when I was a teenager but it's all catching up to me now and it's frustrating. I'm glad you've found something to help. Oh and Tyler doesn't notice when I'm make-up free either... Men...

Rebecca said...

i stopped wearing foundation years ago and have only used a light powder on my face. Most of my war paint is organic and I only wear it if I plan to leave the house. Otherwise, I do not wear any makeup. I have noticed that my skin is mostly clear and soft. I clean my face with oil of olay facial clothes. They don't irritate my skin with too much cleanser or too much exfoliation. You should try it...

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