Oh wow! I've discovered something new. It's called moderation Yeah.. wait moder- what is that?
Yeah. So like I posted earlier I have been using washcloths. And let me just say, excellent for exfoliation! But not so great for my face every day, probably because I don't use a moisturizer. I saw that using it lightly daily didn't work well, using it hard worked well in terms of keeping away flaking but it resulted in lots of redness, irritation, oiliness, and BREAKING THE EFF OUT. Thankfully those were more "almost-pimples" that only became something if I picked... and pick I did. I've not used a washcloth for a few days and my skin is much happier now.
So right now I've been maintaining moderation in the shower by not soaking my face in water the whole shower or splashing it like 30846 times. I'll splash 1-2 times (enough to get my whole face wet) and then kind of rub my skin. I don't do this for too long, just maybe ~10 seconds should suffice. Then pat dry post-shower.
But I have a feeling that just doing that will not suffice. Since I've seen an almost disappearance of clogs with the washcloth and no flaking (initially) I suspect that, due to a) my past skincare regimens and b) the drier environment here, my skin responds well to regular exfoliation. But instead of DAILY, I've decided on doing it weekly or bi-weekly depending on how my skin looks and feels. And when exfoliating with the washcloth I will be doing it with a lot of pressure to ensure a proper exfoliation. Before I decided on just rinsing with my hands I did try just gently wiping my face with the cloth, and while that worked ok it also seemed to make my face prone to flaking.
So overall, here are some updates on my skin:
1) My red marks, without using the washcloth daily, are much better! Especially on my cheeks.
2) My face is muuch calmer. Before it was a bit stingy even, now it doesn't hurt or look weirdly flushed and uncomfortable and the scarring isn't pronounced.
3) Clogs are still at a minimal.
4) I've got 3 little whitehead/pustule things but they are a result of picking while I was doing washcloths daily. I also had almost-pimples from the washcloth that are now mostly gone (THANK GOD) but I have a few marks from those.
5) My skin is feeling a bit rough from some patches - some scabs from picking (mostly small and gone though) and just some minor flaky areas. But hopefully it will improve with regular but not overdone exfoliation.
6) I am much less oily since I stopped scrubbing. I am thankful for this.
7) my face mostly feels comfortable. When I was exfoliating, initially my skin stopped feeling tight at all. Then as flaking started again I got a bit tight. Now I'm still a bit tight but not as much. So hopefully once my skin adjusts to a weekly exfoliation things should balance out and my skin should feel pretty well normal.
So right now I'm infinitely happier with my skin than I was even just 3-4 days ago. Hopefully I've found the middle ground I've been looking for!
And I've got finals month starting now so I probably won't update until mid-december. This is going to just be a horribly crazy month.