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My Skin Picking Log

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#1 LizzLemon

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 04:04 PM

Well here goes nothing...

I can't remember a day in my life i haven't picked at something. even as a little girl i picked scabs and bit my nails. as i grew older i picked at little hair follicles on my thighs and picked at budding acne... which later became teen acne... which later became full blown adult hormonal acne.

at this point i can't even tell you what came first, the acne or the picking. and god, what a world of trouble i have created for myself. every day ending with pock marks, blood, ooze, and some weird sense of relief?! i am normally a happy person... so why do i inflict this pain upon myself?

today is day one. 1/31/2012
i've tried this before... under a far less organized effort, of course. but i am going to use every resource and tool available to me until i stop the cycle. i have to convince myself that the strange relief i get from popping is not worth the regret, the weeks of scabs and dark marks and more zits. i MUST convince myself that popping my zits does not make them go away... it makes them multiply like an evil, regenerating army. at some point soon my skin won't be able to heal as well as it did in my teens and twenties. i have to stop for good before i really destroy my face. it's the only one i've got!
Routine
AM - splash of warm water, DKR BP, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin
Makeup - ELF mineral makeup w/ Taklon antibacterial brushes
PM - Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash, DKR BP, DKR AHA+, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin
*Key to success: less picking, more patience*

#2 PaulH85

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 06:40 PM

I wish you the very best of luck with breaking the habit. I can totally relate to everything you wrote there and it certainly is diificult to figure why we do it and indeed which aspect of it came first. I guess that it all starts out as hormonal in our teens but from there, perhaps in many cases, it's up to us as to whether or not it continues. Not really a nice thought to think that we might have been able to curb the acne before it continued and became more stubborn into adulthood, had we just let it be. Plus, the habit's even more ingrained by that point and is harder to break, so it's all one big vicious cycle.

I can also relate to that sense of relief. I've used picking as a release mechanism for many years and in some instances it's even felt like a reward. There was always this (false) sense of control and empowerment, meaning that I would pick in order for those senses to kick in and counter any instances when I felt down, anxious, insecure or inferior to people around me. That was another vicious cycle because it's not like the picking actually made those feeling go away or was a good way to deal with my negative feelings. If anything, depending on the visible damage down, it only served to increase those negative feelings and of course make the acne worse and cause it to continue.

Working on that aspect of things has been the biggest factor in my success I think because I've really started to learn when those negative feelings are creeping in and when they're likely to be triggered. Preempting those triggers and approaching those particular scenarios in a better way - a way which helps me curb those feelings of nervousness, anxiety and inferiority - can help reduce the need and the craving for that sense of control and release. When I reduce that, I reduce the temptation to pick. Reducing the temptation and the opportunities I have to pick allows the skin to heal, which in turn makes not picking easier as time passes because there's less and less to pick at as things heal.

I could be off the mark as I guess each case differs as we're all totally different people in ourselves, but it may well be that looking into what triggers your picking and what's at the root of it all will help you to reduce the temptation and the feelings of needing to keep that habit going. The fact that you've realised the significance of picking in terms of its negative impact is half the battle. Now comes the harder bit which is to break the habit. Just like any habit, it's about retraining your thought process and stopping yourself. Don't pressure yourself though, just take it one day at a time and see how you go. It doesn't take too long before you see positive results and that's a great motivation to keep going. Even if you stumble, know when to step away from the mirror and know when to stop picking before you go too far. That way, you can start up again without having done too much damage. That's how I did it. Even though I say that I stopped picking almost two months ago, I have picked a little here and there, and popped the odd pimple, but by being smart about it - not going looking for problems or creating them, and not going beyond the point of no return - I haven't done anything to trigger breakouts, meaning the vicious cycle I was in is pretty much broken.

Good luck! Posted Image

Thoughts become words
Words become actions
Actions become habits
Habits become character
Character becomes destiny
It is time to change my destiny

 

You look like a guy I banged once.


#3 LizzLemon

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 09:18 PM

You've quite hit the nail on the head with regards to triggers and negative feelings. Althought this log is a new venture for me, I have thought about my picking for a very long time. With total transparency, I will say that the control is what feels so "good" when a bout of picking occurs. And coming from a very long line of alcoholics, that addictive mentality and destructive gratification system seems to be very present in my brain.

Thanks so much for the reply. This has given me plenty to meditate on tonight!

Best wishes.
Routine
AM - splash of warm water, DKR BP, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin
Makeup - ELF mineral makeup w/ Taklon antibacterial brushes
PM - Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash, DKR BP, DKR AHA+, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin
*Key to success: less picking, more patience*

#4 LizzLemon

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 09:00 AM

Day one pics: 1/31/12

Here's the gory details. I know it's really not bad in comparison to *many* others. This is just evidence of how i destroy my face & I wanted to hold myself accountable by periodically posting photos of my (fingers crossed!) improvement.

Stats:
I have about three months on DKR. a few active cysts. no active white heads. my last bout of picking was over the weekend. you can tell the i prefer my left cheek? lol :\

last night went okay. i realized i scratch a lot a the dry skin along my jaw and cheeks. i almost picked off a scab when i felt the bump, but i put my hands down and pressed my index finger and thumb together for like 30 seconds. that seemed to help. I know the Chill Out suggestion is to stick your fist out infront of you, but i tend to scratch & pick all day and in front of people, so i needed something more subtle.

over and out.



One more post for today, FYI...
APA DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, version 5, out May, 2012)
http://www.dsm5.org/...on.aspx?rid=401

The APA is proposing a change that will introduce Skin Picking Disorder under the category of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders. Here is the developing criteria. What do you think?
...
Skin picking disorder *
The work group is recommending that this be included for Anxiety and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders, or in Appendix.

A. Recurrent skin picking resulting in skin lesions.
B. The skin picking causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
C. The skin picking is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., cocaine) or a general medical condition (e.g., scabies).
D. The skin picking is not restricted to the symptoms of another mental disorder (e.g., skin picking due to fixed beliefs about skin infestation in Delusional Disorder, preoccupation with appearance in Body Dysmorphic Disorder).

* The Work Group is considering an additional criterion that addresses urges to pick one’s skin or attempts to resist the skin picking.

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Edited by LizzLemon, 07 February 2012 - 09:33 AM.

Routine
AM - splash of warm water, DKR BP, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin
Makeup - ELF mineral makeup w/ Taklon antibacterial brushes
PM - Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash, DKR BP, DKR AHA+, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin
*Key to success: less picking, more patience*

#5 PaulH85

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 01:02 PM

I often think the severity is kind of irrelevant. Perhaps someone with severe cystic acne would disagree, but my reasoning is that whether it's mild, severe or something in between, the fact remains that it's not how you'd like it to be and it's having a negative impact on things. Add the destructive and repetitive cycle of picking which needs dealing with as well and the degree of that negative impact gets worse and worse as time goes on.

Your skin looks a lot like mine used to actually. I only ever really had problems where I'd picked and the frequency of the breakouts also partially depended on how much I was picking. I later learned that the breakouts were also down to food intolerances I have, but I'm still pretty sure that the picking was a major factor. I'd often look and think, 'If I hadn't picked at this or that, I'd have no problems right now'. Looks like you've got the same thing going on. If it's any consolation, it only took a few weeks for me to see results. I started making a conscious effort not to pick some time in November after I went totally crazy on it and made my face really sore. Once I got the hang of leaving things alone, I'd broken that cycle just before Christmas. Aside from a very small breakout last week which healed up as fast as it appeared because I left it alone, I've been pretty much clear for six weeks. Even though I can attribute a lot of that to dietary changes, I believe the overall improvement in my complexion and skin tone is thanks to not picking, especially when I consider that I could quite easily go to the mirror and create problems from nothing if I wanted to.

See how you go, I reckon you'll be surprised how soon things improve. When that happens, you naturally want to see if it can improve even further so it's the best possible motivation. It's a win-win situation.

:)

Thoughts become words
Words become actions
Actions become habits
Habits become character
Character becomes destiny
It is time to change my destiny

 

You look like a guy I banged once.


#6 LizzLemon

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 08:23 AM

Thanks for the boost, Paul! You're an inspiration! :)

Day Two: 2/1/2012

I managed to avoid scratching my face much while at work. if i feel an itch, i just press on it with the back of my hand until it goes away.
I had a whitehead on my left cheek that came 100% to the surface - with the help of a fat glob of BP - so i took a kleenex & *very gently* popped it when i got home. i know i could have let it be but it was quite ready to go. took no effort or squeezing... proud that i was able to leave the rest of my face well enough alone.

Edited by LizzLemon, 02 February 2012 - 08:24 AM.

Routine
AM - splash of warm water, DKR BP, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin
Makeup - ELF mineral makeup w/ Taklon antibacterial brushes
PM - Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash, DKR BP, DKR AHA+, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin
*Key to success: less picking, more patience*

#7 AceEpidermis

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 08:41 AM

Posted Image

Good luck, Lemon.

Edited by AceEpidermis, 02 February 2012 - 08:44 AM.


#8 LizzLemon

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 08:49 AM

ahh hahahahah LOVE IT! :) Thanks, dude!
Routine
AM - splash of warm water, DKR BP, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin
Makeup - ELF mineral makeup w/ Taklon antibacterial brushes
PM - Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash, DKR BP, DKR AHA+, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin
*Key to success: less picking, more patience*

#9 LizzLemon

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 08:19 AM

Day Three: 2/2/2012

Went fairly well... i have to keep reminding myself at work to stop running my hands along my cheek and jawline. that seems to be my trigger for picking. i find a bump without looking in the mirror and then sort of touch and obsess over it all day until i can't take it anymore.
I popped one spot last night. i tried to be as gentle and clean about it as possible. lord knows i didn't want to step away from that mirror! i have a feeling an initial break out will be coming on soon and *that's* going to be my real test. i sooo don't want to F this up. ughhh.
For now i just try to wash my face as soon as i come home from work, get my BP and lotion on, and then i'm resigned to not touch my face for the rest of the night. it's kinda sorta working. i'm afraid the weekend will be another story. that's when i have plenty of free time to pick pick pick!

Liz

Edited by LizzLemon, 07 February 2012 - 09:32 AM.

Routine
AM - splash of warm water, DKR BP, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin
Makeup - ELF mineral makeup w/ Taklon antibacterial brushes
PM - Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash, DKR BP, DKR AHA+, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin
*Key to success: less picking, more patience*

#10 LizzLemon

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 11:02 AM

Day Four: 2/3/2012

Work went fairly well. I was obsessing a bit over some dry patches around my nose and mouth, plus one fat zit where my Cindy Crawford mole should be... Lol. Luckily I had a small tube of Proactiv green tea lotion in my purse. I don't usually use the stuff but it came in handy!
When I got home from work I managed to avoid picking the fat zit until about 9:30 when I was just tired of looking at it. I think I had inspected it too many times in the mirror at this point and was thoroughly obsessed. Now I have a nice red mark plus an open sore that will likely turn into a big fat zit again. What an idiot I am! I knew exactly what I was doing and yet I went for it anyways! ....and the worst part is, it wasn't even that exciting to pop. Kind of a let down.

Hopefully I can manage to control myself the rest of the weekend. It's a lot harder to control at home...

In other news, I've continued to stick with DKR. I think I'm going on 4 months now?. I thought for a minute that I was going to 'throw in the towel' and go back to organics, but I think a bad PMS breakout had me thinking all sorts of crazy & desperate thoughts.

And - I know, I know - I've started tanning once or twice a week. I just needed some dang sunshine! Winter is so dark and long in the Midwest & with quitting picking, I have desperately needed some relief!! ....full disclosure though, I have been wearing SPF 30 every time I go. I can't risk a burn on top of sensitive skin that is trying to heal... And I only tan for 10 minutes. So far so good.

Later y'all!
Liz

Edited by LizzLemon, 07 February 2012 - 09:32 AM.

Routine
AM - splash of warm water, DKR BP, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin
Makeup - ELF mineral makeup w/ Taklon antibacterial brushes
PM - Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash, DKR BP, DKR AHA+, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin
*Key to success: less picking, more patience*

#11 LizzLemon

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 05:48 PM

Days Five & Six: 2/4/5/2012

i have found that the weekend goes well as long as i keep busy. one saving grace is spending my down time reading the message boards instead of watching TV and subconsciously picking and scratching! i squashed a moment of boredom on saturday night by painting my nails before i went out with a couple friends. i also took advice i saw elsewhere and applied my makeup in dim light. doing so, i avoided inspecting every pore on my face. go me! Posted Image

the Big Fat Zit on my face is now a red scab. i've havent touched it much although the first scab fell off in the shower... it was already pretty soft from the Neosporin. I have one active cyst on my left cheek that is starting to go away but is VERY itchy. does anyone else ever experience this when a cyst starts to heal? i hate it almost as much as when they are "coming in" and very painful.

the other areas that i want to pick at are the tiny white bumps along my jaw line. i *know* i could pop these because i have done damage on them many many times before. they look so gross! it's like i have grains of sand under my skin! disgusting. i try not to think about it or look at it too much because i will start to fixate on them and want to pick. so far i have only squeezed one & i stopped myself after it started to bleed. but one is better than my usual sunday ritual of trying to "purge" my entire face.

today i also re-read my chill-out program. i think the biggest piece of advice i took away was trying to be my own "friend" in this process. i am trying not to beat myself up about it if i have a "relapse" and pick a little. i rather think about how well i have done in one week to control myself and that seems to be a better reinforcer than any negativity.

rah rah rah. go me. Posted Image

Edited by LizzLemon, 07 February 2012 - 09:32 AM.

Routine
AM - splash of warm water, DKR BP, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin
Makeup - ELF mineral makeup w/ Taklon antibacterial brushes
PM - Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash, DKR BP, DKR AHA+, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin
*Key to success: less picking, more patience*

#12 PaulH85

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 07:18 PM

i have found that the weekend goes well as long as i keep busy. one saving grace is spending my down time reading the message boards instead of watching TV and subconsciously picking and scratching! i squashed a moment of boredom on saturday night by painting my nails before i went out with a couple friends.


The weekends have always been the worst for me. I actually get quite depressed, especially by Sunday. It used to be because I hated my job and dreaded the thought that Monday morning was fast approaching. These days, it's mainly boredom and feeling like everyone else has things to do with their friends on a Friday night and over the weekend and I really struggle with the whole social thing, but that's another story...
Especially on a Sunday, I'd be sat around with nothing to do, bored, negative feelings start to creep in, I'd head to the mirror and it's obvious how that used to turn out. I did it today in fact. Even after all these years and even though I know it's happening, I still haven't quite tackled it. I currently have one active pimple and it's now sore and prominent because I picked it several times today. Of course, the day that I have a meltdown over one single, solitary pimple is the day that anyone struggling with actual acne would have every right to come and kick my ass, but the point is that my situation, mood and the environment I'm in can influence my actions and it's up to me to alter those things.
If that's something you experience too and you've been able to recognise the connection, are being pro-active to make changes to pacify yourself, and alter things rather than turn your attention to your skin and to the temptation to pick, then that's fantastic!. All credit to you for that!


the other areas that i want to pick at are the tiny white bumps along my jaw line. i *know* i could pop these because i have done damage on them many many times before. they look so gross! it's like i have grains of sand under my skin! disgusting. i try not to think about it or look at it too much because i will start to fixate on them and want to pick. so far i have only squeezed one & i stopped myself after it started to bleed. but one is better than my usual sunday ritual of trying to "purge" my entire face.


You know, I bet they don't stand out to anyone else anywhere near as much as they stand out to you, until you've made them worse, of course. That's the main thing to remember, especially if you should find yourself super-close to the mirror, convincing yourself that they're ten times more visible than they actually are.
I used to have a similar problem with my nose. The pores are pretty prominent and sometimes I'd just go crazy on them. In a strange kind of way, I've started to become sort of attached to the scars and indents I have there now as a result of picking. My nose is technically misshapen due to two indents I created by picking and essentially digging holes. Funny thing is, I kind of like it now because it's almost this quirky little thing that's sort of unique to me. There's probably something to be said for that in terms of progress and acceptance, but I don't think I could have ever been accepting of my acne in the same way. B y contrast, that's always been very much an "all or nothing" situation for me.


i am trying not to beat myself up about it if i have a "relapse" and pick a little. i rather think about how well i have done in one week to control myself and that seems to be a better reinforcer than any negativity.

rah rah rah. go me.


Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted ImagePosted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Thoughts become words
Words become actions
Actions become habits
Habits become character
Character becomes destiny
It is time to change my destiny

 

You look like a guy I banged once.


#13 LizzLemon

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 07:51 AM

Week one - Progress Pics!

Things are starting to calm down, a little less red. A lot less inflamed. Still have quite a few dark marks that are going to take a long time to heal... especially that whopper on my left cheek. That one has been my constant companion for a looong time. at least it's not a MegaCyst anymore! Posted Image
Used AHA last night and that seems to even out the texture & tone of my skin... allowing me to ignore those little jaw-bumps a moment longer. woo hoo!

Funny thing is, I kind of like it now because it's almost this quirky little thing that's sort of unique to me. There's probably something to be said for that in terms of progress and acceptance, but I don't think I could have ever been accepting of my acne in the same way.


Paul, i vote you for Acne.org Zen Master Posted Image ...there are so many invisible, psychosocial life problems that come with having acne and you, my friend, deserve major kudos for being the resident moral booster. The next time you experience some boredom on a friday or saturday night, think of all the people who appreciate the kind work you are doing here. When you finally get "out there," people are going to see and appreciate these qualities you have!

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Edited by LizzLemon, 06 February 2012 - 07:52 AM.

Routine
AM - splash of warm water, DKR BP, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin
Makeup - ELF mineral makeup w/ Taklon antibacterial brushes
PM - Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash, DKR BP, DKR AHA+, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin
*Key to success: less picking, more patience*

#14 PaulH85

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 08:23 AM

Aww, thank you. Posted Image

Can certainly see a difference there! The redness has reduced for sure. Looks more even, the left side's calmed down and your forehead is still looking really good.

I'm sure the mark from that cyst will heal in time. I used to give my long-term companions names, figured we might as well try and get along if they were going to stick around for a while! Posted Image

The main thing is the progress that you can't see yet - starting to break that cycle and the production of the acne will be decreasing because you're picking less.

Keep it up! Posted Image

Thoughts become words
Words become actions
Actions become habits
Habits become character
Character becomes destiny
It is time to change my destiny

 

You look like a guy I banged once.


#15 LizzLemon

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 09:39 AM

2/6/2012

Nothing to exciting to report, just a very busy day! Work, class, dinner, went for a quick tanning sesh, ran some errands, read the message boards and went to bed! I scratched off one whitehead on my chin while at work on accident... i won't lie, it felt kinda good but today it hurts. We'll see what it turns into! (lucky me.)

there is a cyst starting to form on my forehead which is weird because i rarely get zits there. it might be from my hair products though... off to go read some cyst forums. lol
Routine
AM - splash of warm water, DKR BP, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin
Makeup - ELF mineral makeup w/ Taklon antibacterial brushes
PM - Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash, DKR BP, DKR AHA+, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin
*Key to success: less picking, more patience*

#16 LizzLemon

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 08:05 AM

2/9/2012

Whoops! i missed a day or two there. skin is still looking really good - thank god!
I am finding that as my inflamed (sic: picked) acne heals, the bumps and non-inflamed acne remains. i decided to look for REAL solutions rather than resort to my bad habits... as the more my skin cleared the more i fussed over the grainy bumps. There were a couple of really helpful threads that i read regarding this type of acne. Based on those suggestions I've started adding a little more AHA to my DKR routine and it seems to be smoothing the bumps along my jawline quite nicely.

In situations like this I think it's been very important for me to re-learn what is proper for my skin. I have these insane thoughts that my skin will only get better if i manage to pick out all of the bumps and pimples. that is just crazy! as i see my skin heal over just one week i know that i am to blame. UGH!! part of me wants to smack myself upside the head for being so stupid, and the other part wants to pat me on the back for finally coming to my senses. LOL. i might just do both for good measure ;)

anyways. for anyone who's reading, here are the links to some of the threads i have consulted on *proper* skin care! it has really helped to reduce my cysts and non-inflamed acne... and correct some of my destructive habits. just remember that any new skin care routine should be taken on slowly & in moderation... that way you don't create further damage by irritating your skin!

best luck, y'all.

http://www.acne.org/messageboard/index.php/topic/159537-a-non-inflamed-acne-regimen/page__fromsearch__1
http://www.acne.org/non-inflamed-acne-regimen.html
http://www.acne.org/messageboard/index.php/topic/166343-what-to-do-with-a-cystpimplezit/
Routine
AM - splash of warm water, DKR BP, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin
Makeup - ELF mineral makeup w/ Taklon antibacterial brushes
PM - Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash, DKR BP, DKR AHA+, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin
*Key to success: less picking, more patience*

#17 LizzLemon

LizzLemon

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 12:14 PM

2/10/12

so yesterday i was all, "yeah, go me. clear skin!" and today i'm all "booooo." freakin figures. so here's what kinda sucks: AHA helps to bring your non-inflamed acne to the surface - which is great - but now i am starting to get whiteheads all over my jawline. it sucks! i popped three fat ones last night. i was gentle & immediately swabbed them with alcohol, but still. suuuucks.

one good thing... DKR totally works, y'all. i mean, my face was looking all gross last night and i was bummed that new zits were popped, but i stuck to my routine and this morning things look much less inflamed and bumpy. i'm just going to stick it out and apply my AHA every other night and hope that this is just another step in the clearing process!

*crosses fingers*
Routine
AM - splash of warm water, DKR BP, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin
Makeup - ELF mineral makeup w/ Taklon antibacterial brushes
PM - Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash, DKR BP, DKR AHA+, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin
*Key to success: less picking, more patience*

#18 CocnutCaramel

CocnutCaramel

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 01:32 PM

In situations like this I think it's been very important for me to re-learn what is proper for my skin. I have these insane thoughts that my skin will only get better if i manage to pick out all of the bumps and pimples. that is just crazy! as i see my skin heal over just one week i know that i am to blame. UGH!! part of me wants to smack myself upside the head for being so stupid, and the other part wants to pat me on the back for finally coming to my senses. LOL. i might just do both for good measure


don't smack yourself, ok :) Be nice. It's hard enough doing this without being angry with ourselves when we mess up (and I'm writing this aimed at myself as much as you). Because we WILL mess up. We WILL fall of that proverbial waggon, but the important thing is to let that next kliché of "getting back into the saddle" come and pick us right up. This isn't like turning a corner and never look back. I'm counting on having to actively work on healing this (the obsession, not the zits) for years and years, because it took me years and years to get to the point in November when I started my healing. A bit over two months down the road and I still think this is the hardest thing I've ever done, but te REWARDS are huge. The days when i manage to go through my evening cleansing ritual without diving into the mirror feel like flowers and fairies and honey - so freakin good. then there are other nights, but they get further apart. And suddenly one day you forget to pick, because happy things have taken that place in your mind. And that feeling is unbelievably good. Keep going, we're in this together, all of us!
Wanna see what happens when an obsessive picker quits and ditches a lot of products to heal? Check out my Acne.org journal!

I believe in: greens, breathing, Yogi tea, spirulina, riding bikes, pumpkins, water and things that smell nice

Face care routine:
Shiseido Extra Gentle foaming cleanser
Shiseido The Skincare Hydro Nourishing Softener (toner)
Shiseido The Skincare Protective moisturiser spf 15
Shiseido The Skincare Night Moisture Recharge
Mario Badescu Healing Cream
On and off using: Clinique blemish solution spot gel

#19 LizzLemon

LizzLemon

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 08:19 AM

2/13/12

Well! What can i say... i forgot to take my weekly progress pics last night so that will be delayed until tonight or tomorrow. I did a little bit of damage over the weekend and this week's "progress" will look more like a set back. I have a bunch of whiteheads popping up on my cheeks from introducing AHA but I still think it's worth it. each day i keep up with AHA, the better my skin FEELS. i am just unfortunately in the purging process and, considering how deep some of my bumps are, i might be here for a while. but that's okay! (right? right.) ;) ...and i think i am going to be runnnnnning to the store tonight to pick up Dr. Bach's Crab Apple flower remedy as suggested by CoconutCaramel. i am hoping it will calm down some of my compulsive desires to "clean house" while these whiteheads continue to surface. i know it won't be a quick fix but it may help me in moments of severe duress. i'll be keeping it right by my bathroom mirror! LOL

i think tomorrow i am going to write a post on my full, daily skincare routine. i'd like to illustrate what i have been doing in case anyone is looking for advice or can offer some advice.

we WILL mess up. We WILL fall of that proverbial waggon, but the important thing is to let that next kliché of "getting back into the saddle" come and pick us right up. This isn't like turning a corner and never look back. I'm counting on having to actively work on healing this (the obsession, not the zits) for years and years, because it took me years and years to get to the point in November when I started my healing. A bit over two months down the road and I still think this is the hardest thing I've ever done, but te REWARDS are huge. The days when i manage to go through my evening cleansing ritual without diving into the mirror feel like flowers and fairies and honey - so freakin good. then there are other nights, but they get further apart. And suddenly one day you forget to pick, because happy things have taken that place in your mind. And that feeling is unbelievably good. Keep going, we're in this together, all of us!


Thanks, gal :) it's really nice to have buddies in all of this. i can't tell you how much i appreciate this forum as a sort of long-distance group therapy! we are so lucky. keep up the good work... i'm looking forward to days of flowers and fairies and honey! ;)
Routine
AM - splash of warm water, DKR BP, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin
Makeup - ELF mineral makeup w/ Taklon antibacterial brushes
PM - Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash, DKR BP, DKR AHA+, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin
*Key to success: less picking, more patience*

#20 LizzLemon

LizzLemon

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 11:55 AM

2/15/2012

I've been slipping off the proverbial wagon a bit these days. more bumps along my jawline and cheeks are coming to the surface with the help of AHA. i seem to manage a quick picking session before i get in the shower each morning and that's gotta stop. i only pick at legitimate zits but i feel it's becoming a gateway drug... a fast track to picking the rest of my relatively clear face into a raw mess.

but I digress... as promised, here's my current skin care routine:

AM
1. I do a semi-wash in the shower with an oil-cleanser. It's a mixture of jojoba oil, castor oil and tea tree oil... a ratio of 60%, 50%, 10%, respectively. i gently apply a dime size amount, let it soak in, and rinse it off. Sometimes if it feels like there is still too much oil-cleanser left on my face, i will gently wipe it off with a washcloth.
2. Once I am out of the shower & dried off I apply Cetaphil moisturizing cream for dry/sensitive skin around my eyes, nose/mouth, and neck. This prevents BP from getting near my eyes or running down my neck, and protects the skin around my nose and mouth - which still LOVES to flake off on a regular basis (super attractive). This step was added after some trial-and-error... about a month into DKR when I ended up with red, inflamed, angry looking skin around my eyes, nose, mouth and neck. lesson learned.
3. Then I apply a nickel-size amount of BP to my entire face, sometimes adding a little extra to my cheeks and jaw line (areas where i tend to break out). The BP is *supposed* to dry/soak in for 15 minutes but realistically i wait 5 minutes (or else i'd be late for work!) before applying a dollop of cetaphil moisturizer to my entire face. This amount fluctuates depending on how my skin feels. I can usually tell when I apply the BP if i am going to need more or less... more on days where my skin feels slightly sore, less when it, well, doesn't!
4. Everything soaks in while i do my hair, so it's a solid 15-25 minutes before i put my makeup on. I use Maybelline stick concealer under my eyes and ELF mineral makeup on my entire face. this makeup is super light and definitely not full coverage, but I have come to terms with the fact that my skin is not 100% even. I also switched from natural bristle makeup brushes to taklon brushes. this made a HUGE difference. for a long time i was experiencing acne cosmetica which looks like mild folliculitis all over my face. this has cleared dramatically since switching brushes. The taklon brushes are made of synthetic fiber that is anti-allergen/antibacterial... here's what Wiki has to say about them:
Taklon brushes are more hygenic than real hair brushes. Natural hair has an irregular surface which traps powders, dead skin cells, bacteria and chemicals. Cleaning may not necessarily remove these particles. Because of this, regular cleaning with disinfectants is required to prevent skin irritation. Taklon lacks these surface irregularities, making it easier to clean properly. This decreases irritation.
...I'd say this is quite true. I washed my regular brushes all the time - like every 3 days - and would still break out. now, not much of a problem. hooray. just remember you should still clean your brushes on a regular basis - including Taklon ones.

Daytime
not much happens with my face during the day. i try not to touch it. if a pimple starts to surface i may mess with it a little bit, but since instating the "no picking" policy i've managed to avoid serious daytime damage. if my skin starts to get oily, i will blot it off with a tissue or dust on some neutrogena powder. i do this no more than 2x during the day or my skin will start to flake. ...excessive blotting/powdering made me notice how delicate skin is, particularly the oils that are produced. you don't want a ton or you'll feel too greasy but having none is also a problem too. i strive for a lightly-oily ("dewey") appearance because my skin cooperates best in this condition.

(blah blah blah. get to the PM, lady.)

PM
night time is simple, save for the fact that i spend most of it avoiding the mirror and trying not to pick, scratch, etc...

1. I wash my face with the DKR cleanser - which is about to run out...
any suggestions for drug-store alternatives? i have tried the cetaphil wash and i'm not particularly fond of it. i like the latering quality of the DKR wash.
2. Once my skin is dry i apply the cetaphil moisturizer to my eyes, neck, nose and mouth, then apply the full finger-length of BP to my entire face. once this soaks in for 15 minutes or more, i apply the cetaphil moisturizer all over my face, slathering on much more than i use during the day.
3. Every other night i apply a dime size amount of DKR AHA, between the BP and lotion steps. on nights such as this i wait 15 minutes between each step then meditate and go to bed. voila!

i've never bumped up to the full finger-length BP during the day - I'd say I use about half that much for daytime. I'd like to, in theory, but this system has worked really well for me. when i have used the full finger length, on occasion, the topicals on my face start to feel thick and it makes makeup application really difficult. plus it seemed to prevent my skin from producing the natural oils that keep it moisturized during the day. ...i don't know for sure. but that's definitely how i experienced it.

anyways. this post was much more about the regimen than picking, but i think it's important to describe what i do on a daily basis. plus i just needed to post something and keep my hands off my face for a little while Posted Image

Lizz

**i forgot to add that i do not apply the stick concealer to my zits. i use the mineral makeup all over and then spot on ELF's mineral blemish powder for zits that are open or particularly red. this powder is off white and tones down the redness and irritation, but i try not to be too heavy-handed with the application. here are the ingredients... which i will now be cross referencing with the pore-clogging ingredients list. i just realized i have never checked this product out!

Active Ingredient:
Sulfur 3.0%
Inactive Ingredients: Zinc Stearate, Barium Sulfate, Silica, Kaolin, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Corn Starch Modified, Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Dextrin, Magnesium Myristate, Calcium Sodium Phosphosilicate, Mica, Bismuth Oxychloride, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides(CI 77891, CI 77892, CI 77899).

Edited by LizzLemon, 17 February 2012 - 12:44 PM.

Routine
AM - splash of warm water, DKR BP, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin
Makeup - ELF mineral makeup w/ Taklon antibacterial brushes
PM - Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash, DKR BP, DKR AHA+, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin
*Key to success: less picking, more patience*