It has been quite a while since I've written a blog regarding my skin condition. Over the past couple of years, I've narrowed it down to a few simple things I do to my skin. I've narrowed it to three combined personal reasons why my skin looks as bad as it does. 1) Diet A bad diet can indirectly cause an increased production of sebum and inflammation of the skin. I've had a horrible diet ever since I was a young child and diet was probably the leading trigger that pushed me towards this whole struggle. From when I was in elementary school, I loved eating fatty foods; like burgers, fries, and candy; particularly chips and chocolates. I could finish a whole grocery bag filled with junk food in a week. Plus my parents didn't cook particularly healthy, the meat category was my biggest serving size consumed and I drank lots of milk. This type of diet is scientifically shown to be horrible for your skin condition. Nowadays, I eliminated dairy and drastically reduced the amount of saturated fats I consume. I am trying to eat more fruits and vegetables. My diet needs to be rich in essentially fats, vitamins and minerals. I am also trying to reduce the amount of simple carbohydrates I consume. 2) Physical trigger of Inflammation of the skin. When my skin looks red, it means it's inflamed. It means the area is flushed with chemicals associated with inflammation, vasodilators and many other chemicals are abundant. The skin on my face looks very different from the rest of my body. Not only is it more dry with acne, big pores and scars, but my skin tone looks more red. It looks like I have a mask on. Inflammation of the skin can be reduced internally by having a healthier diet and also by reducing the amount of physical strain on my face. One reason why my face looks as bad as it does is because I used to wash my face six or seven times per day. This caused a tremendous amount of stress on my skin which increased inflammation. (it also striped the moisture barrier and may have caused permanent structural damage to my skin.) I also washed and wiped my face roughly with hot water, again, causing inflammation to go up and stripping away my moisture barrier. I've exposed my face regularly to very hot steam from the steam machine my parents bought. This may have permanently stripped away my moisture barrier and increased my sebum production. I applied a lot of chemicals on my face, such as when I covered my face with benzyl peroxide. Used clindamycin, green cream or salicylic acid (oxy pads and various topical creams). I also used great force to pop pimples and extract comedones from pores. This is probably the leading cause of my scars and large pores. Nowadays, I wipe my face gently in the morning with a clean cloth soaked in room temperature water and wash when I take a shower with a very light cleanser, with focus on being gentle. I exfoliate every so often. I try to extract my pores as sparsely as possible and being as gentle as possible, (first softening the comedones with the oil cleaning method and heat from showering or the steam machine) 3) Sebum Production My face has always been oily since the earliest memory of oil on my face in grade 6, my forehead was covered in a slick of oil. The oil production on my face has always been really high, particularly my nose. (I call my nose the oil factory powerhouse). The only times when my sebum production has greatly diminished was when I took accutane in grade 11 and when I took it again illegally at the age of 25. My skin was also oil free when I was on the Daniel Kern Method for a couple of years in third and fourth year university. (benzyl peroxide) However, these methods were unsustainable. I found that my oil production goes up when I am more harsh to my skin. If I regularly kept up with my routine, my oil production seemed to lower. Decreasing my stress and having an adequate amount of sleep seemed to lower my oil production. I seem to produce a lot of oil when I sleep, unless I've used oil reducing cream or expose my skin to very cool air. Nowadays, I try to be gentle with my skin, but not being too gentle or else the oil won't wash away, I separate my washes as evenly as possible and I try to eliminate unnecessary stress and sleep adequately. I blot my face with paper at times. Having bad skin is the greatest misery within my life, it has prevented me from pursuing many things, particularly girls and academics. My self esteem and self confidence was constantly being challenged. I've spent a great deal of time looking at mirrors up close, especially 'truth mirrors' and being overwhelmed by deep piercing pain, sad emotions and a tremendous amount of ruminating thoughts, I've taken many long walks while ruminating about my skin with teary eyes. Bad skin has triggered thoughts of suicide, loss of hope and long stoic phases. I stood far away from people when socializing, especially if I perceive them as physically judgmental or an attractive girl, I also stood far away when I know the light doesn't make my skin look so flattering (particularly fluorescence and bright lighting) How far I stood was correlated to how bad the lighting or the attractiveness of the girl was I got super nervous in those kind of situations. My mind races and my cognitive capacity drastically decreased. I remember during one break out, I was super self conscious and nervous when I walked towards my desk to write an exam. I didn't do well. I got super nervous whenever a TA walked near my desk, I was afraid they were staring at my face. Grade 11 to around third year was filled with horrible segments. I've held back from bursting into tears when travelling on buses, and many times I've cried myself to sleep. I was very psychologically unstable and my happiness correlated strongly with the condition of my face. So many opportunities lost, from not speaking face to face with Jen Jen, to being super nervous when speaking to Samantha out in the sun. I've had many mental break downs when staring at the mirror. I've gone crazy when extracting my nose. (sometimes at school). My head was low, I had a slouch and much of my speech was in monotone. Many times, I thought my life was over, I wanted to run away from all of this. I wanted to die. All this has made me dysmorphic, my skin is a lot better nowadays, but I still feel the lingering pain and negative self image acne has imposed on me. I no longer feel so negative about my skin. I am a lot happier nowadays. My routine is built for sustainability and has drastically improved to near perfection for my particular skin condition in this particular segment of time. But ... I still don't have the type of skin I long for. There is nothing I can do but accept and move on, and that is what I am doing. Just continue sticking to your routine, accept your bad skin and in the future, reduce your scars and get laser treatment or the similar to help to make your skin look a bit better. The only problems I have now are pimples from time to time, mildly oily skin, plugged large pores and a few scars. KEEP BEING SUPER GENTLE AND KEEP BEING SUPER PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY HEALTHY PETER
It is embarrassing to say that I've never had a girlfriend. There is only one thing I regret in my life so far. ..And that's not pursuing any girls. From a young age in kindergarten. I would play around with girls and put my hand on the laps of the girls I find pretty. (Is it sexual harassment if a toddler does it? lol) Yes, even as a toddler I liked girls. I moved from one crush to another. Admiring from a distance. Like a creep lol.. I was even madly infatuated with one girl in my physics class in second year university and I didn't even know her name! All I could do is admire her from the balcony of the auditorium. I couldn't concentrate in class and did horrible in it. I am a very confident person. No kidding. I am. But when it comes to girls I like. I am the biggest loser of all time (or perhaps close to it). I never pursued girls. Ever. I never asked ANY girl out before. And have only gone on one blind date set up by a friend. But that date still stings me whenever I think back to it. I think I am relatively attractive from far. I do catch girls checking me out from afar. But..... I get the deepest of piercing pain in my chest whenever I'd ponder the slightest idea pursing any girl I like. At times, in a rare instances. I would get a burst of confidence and my hopes rise high. But that great feeling is but a flash. Once I look at myself in the mirror. All hope instantly fade. I obsess about my bad skin. If you take a look inside my phone and you'll find hundreds upon hundreds and hundreds of close up shots of my mutilated scared skin with big pores under revealing light. Anyone with trypophobia certainly can't bare to look at it. Maybe I'll never get a girlfriend. I don't know what to do.. I'm trapped. I don't know how I can get out of this barrier I've fallen myself into. A barrier which grows stronger and stronger with the passage of time. Leaving not much room to breathe. Now at the age ... dare I say... 27, the barrier has gotten so strong I wonder if I have even the slightest possibility of getting out of it. hmmmmmmmmmmm don't get me wrong. The barrier is bullet proof strong but.. it's paper thin. The force of will can pierce better than a bullet, if one makes the leap of faith into the darkness. Not knowing if the darkness is covering a path to glory or leads to a sudden drop off a cliff. I just have to GO FOR IT and directly pursue a girl with a full force of will and I'll instantly break out of this life long barrier. (You can chip away at it slowly or you can bring it down instantly with one strong blow) It is good practice you know. This experience will extend and make you pierce stronger in every area of your life. It is very very very very hard but I believe you can do it Peter! It is within the realms of reality.