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DAY 1

Hi everyone!

English is not my native language, so please bear with me while I'm making mistakes.

I'm 30 years old and have had the problem of compulsive face picking for over 20 years. After watching nichibeicafe's confessional videos and reading this forum for the first time just yesterday I decided to stop picking at my face. I was really impressed at nichibeicafe's progress, found her very charming and somehow started thinking that I could do it too. I feel so incredibly inspired. I will post the link at the end of my post.

Needless to say, my situation is/was comparable to many of you. I'm sure that the way my skin looks has over time really changed my personality. I used to be on birth control mainly for the sake of having better skin, and it worked, but ruined relationships because it killed my libido. I also tried harsh prescription medicines which caused depression and have really messed with my ability to digest food which turned into a whole another problem. As you can see, there were always severe side effects that made me feel even more depressed. Worst of all, at the time I didn't realise that the medicines were the root of my new problems. I won't even go into how bad my skin looked from the medicines and topical treatments prescribed by dermatologists. Let's just say that there were times when my skin looked extremely dehydrated and/or damaged from peeling.

A few years ago I could afford to get regular facials (microdermabrasion, light therapy etc.). However, my current financial situation dictates that I only do stuff that is suitable for very sensitive skin and actually works. I simply don't have the money anymore to try everything there is on the market.

I mostly work from home and use makeup only when I have to work with people (currently maybe once a month). However, I would really like to work in a team and meet new people. I've been away for a few years so after having come back it really feels like starting over again. Which is also a good thing. Only problem is that I would like to be taken seriously. Unfortunately, people have let me know that they think my skin condition is a manifestation of psychological problems or that I'm afraid of being a grown-up, which I'm not. Anyway, I hate feeling stigmatised and also tired of looking like a teenager or someone "with problems". I'm getting lines / small wrinkles around my eyes and am actually a bit happy about it because it's proof that I'm actually not that young... How crazy is that?

Anyway, after a lot of research on makeupalley and similar sites I decided to ask my family for a Clarisonic Mia and a lighter version of the La Mer creme. I also recently purchased a serum by Estee Lauder. I have to say that each thing on its own is very effective but the combination is what makes it work for me.

At first I tried the original La Mer creme. Unfortunately, the 30ml jar was finished after one month only. However, I noticed that it managed to calm my skin down and fade my scars a little bit. It was especially potent when used together with the Radiant Infusion or the Concentrate. Unfortunately, they gave me only a few drops to try at home. The Concentrate cost over 400 euros where I live... After the creme was used up I noticed that my skin was very unhappy without it.

Meanwhile I had asked for the Clarisonic Mia and it has arrived a month ago. I started using it and got really excited about the results. However, it was also very drying, so I simply had to get another moisturiser. After La Mer I didn't bother to go back to another moisturiser so I asked for the Emulsion which I had also tried before (they gave me a little in the shop to try at home). This is not the oil-free emulsion, I have to say, but it's perfect for my skin.

So now I was using the Clarisonic Mia (I'm down to around once a week after having overdone it a bit) with the La Mer Emulsion. I also knew I wanted the expensive La Mer Concentrate really badly. Not being in a position to afford it, I was looking for alternatives. Through my research I knew that the Advanced Night Repair Syncronized something/serum was said to be effective, so when I saw a used bottle online, I bought it.

This serum really made a huge difference! I've been only using it for a week or so, but the effect is incredible. It heals the skin after picking sessions like you wouldn't believe, so this made me think I had everything under control.

Anyway, this post is becoming too long... Let me just sum up and say that I now have product I know work very well on their own and in combination. While I subjectively feel that my skin is better (very smooth, calm etc.) the progress is not visible because of all the marks from picking at it. The Clarisoni Mia has really helped to bring a lot to the surface, so I got rid of a lot of stuff by picking at my skin. But now I feel that now is the time to stop. My pores are much less congested than they used to be, so hopefully my skin will look better after I leave it alone so it has time to heal. A few years ago there was a time when I had very little access to a mirror and the lighting in my apartment was very poor. I also didn't have the time to pick, but this also meant that after a month or two my face was pimple-free but was covered with blackheads and congested pores which, to me, looked even worse... I hope that with the Clarisonic it won't become such a problem again.

Anyway, today is the first day of my challenge. After doing some online research I decided to adjust my skin care regimen. Today I woke up, washed my face (no cleanser <-- first adjustment) and applied the La Mer Emulsion (without the night repair serum <-- second adjustment). Before going to sleep I will wash my face with my new Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit sensitive face wash and afterwards apply the serum and the emulsion. I will use my Clarisonic only after my skin has no raw patches and red marks anymore. Also, as of today, I will stand far away from the mirror, no close-ups anymore!

Today I will also try and find the special blend of green tea I can drink without sugar. I know it exists as I used to have it a few years back.

I will try and post pictures every day. Here is the first batch:

(The links didn't show up so I uploaded the files instead).

And here is nichibeicafe. Watching her videos has been an epiphany! Before that I assumed there could be videos like that but was psychologically not ready to watch "spotty teenagers"... Finding the videos and this community is a turning point for me! I already feel like a different person.

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Edited by outofcharacter

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DAY 1 (night)

So today I've kept on reading message boards on skin picking. I am pretty shocked at how bad it is with some people. I'm glad that it has never been as bad with me, even at the worst of times.

I actually started having many thoughts on this subject. I am pretty sure that most of the sufferers who think they have OCD don't really have it. They just don't know how to care for damaged skin to make it recover fast. Today I realised that I was definitely one of them. Let me give you an example.

A few weeks before getting the first La Mer cream my skin had started peeling on two of my fingertips on my right hand. So I started using the cream and the directions say to "rub" between your fingertips in order to warm it so the active ingredients become activated. However, I found it easier to first rub my palms together and then put the cream into my left palm and "rub" it with the fingertips of my right hand. By coincidence, the fingertips I used to do it were exactly the affected ones with pink raw skin. I'd actually had the same problems with my fingertips since my childhood. It came and went. I just didn't know what was causing it. It started with a small cut, like a papercut or something, and would start peeling, leaving sore pink skin. The edges were always "raised" so the logical thing was to peel them away. This was only making the affected area larger.

So back to the La Mer cream. As soon as I started using it, it healed my sore fingertips! It didn't happen overnight but it was very obvious that the healing happened because of the cream, because I was using those fingertips to warm and apply the cream.

So now, of course, if it happens again, I will just use the cream from day one! I mean, the problem is solved! And it really has been a problem throughout the years. This is just to show that once you know what you can do to heal your skin the urge to pick at it goes away.

So the same thing applies to face picking. I think many sufferers, including myself up until just very recently, make the mistake of thinking that they have OCD which makes them see therapists and get on antidepressants etc. OCD is an additional way to stigmatise yourself by thinking you have a serious psychological disorder. Once you realise it's not psychological, it's a huge relief.

So how was my first day?

A lot happened, actually. I was shown pictures from the time when I was little. The interesting thing is that I had never seen these pictures as they were never printed, I suppose. So I got the chance to see myself in situation I'd completely forgotten about, wearing clothes I didn't recognise. It's funny how you think you've seen all your childhood pictures, because there are only so many of them. And then one day you get to see pictures someone else took of you and realise that you had been defining yourself, unconsciously, by the pictures you knew. So when other pictures become available you are suddenly surprised to discover things about yourself you didn't know. You kind of get a fresh perspective on yourself. Also, it's very powerful seeing them for the first time because you've seen all your other childhood pictures so many times, they've been shown to your visiting relatives, you've arranged them in albums etc. But with these new ones, it's totally different. You can't stop staring at them and thinking about them. Needless to say, my skin looked perfect. Well, I was a child at that time...

Another thing that happened today is I got the tea I was mentioning in my first post. It's not the exact same one but I can definitely bring myself to drink it. I've already had three cups today. Also I drank unflavoured water, so this means all my beverages of today have been unsweetened.

Also, I exercised today, which is something I've started just recently and want to continue doing on a regular basis, maybe twice a week.

In terms of skin picking, I really feel how my attitude has changed from watching those inspiring videos by nichibeicafe. If I imagine going to the bathroom mirror, I just feel a very determined internal "no". It's like I'm not attracted by it anymore but somehow repulsed. When I did go to the bathroom to wash my hands or brush my teeth during the day I avoided looking in the mirror. It turned to not be difficult at all! Now I just look at my hands when washing them. When applying the cream in the morning, I stood away from the mirror.

I think what causes a real problem is that when you are cleaning out your pores you are so close and so focused that you can only see a few pores at a time, then you move to the next cluster of pores. After a picking session you see your whole face for the first time and are taken aback by how red and damaged it is. I think you could avoid this if you just told yourself to only come as close as you are still able to see both of your eyes in the mirror. I think this is quite a safe distance. This way you will be always able to keep yourself in check and avoid the "what have I done" moment.

So back to today's skin care routine. I decided to not use my sunscreen because I think it's to greasy for me. I know how important sun protection is, in fact I've never used it on my face in everyday life and just decided to do it starting this May when I felt that I couldn't be outside without getting burned.

I also realised that I have to include "picking at flakes/scabs" into my challenge. The thing is, due to the Clarisonic, La Mer and Estee Lauder the scabs are really thin and the skin heals so fast underneath. So I got rid of a few of those thinking it wasn't picking. It didn't do any damage, but still I've come to realise that I should leave them alone and let my Clarisonic take care of them. I'm really looking forward to the day when my red marks heal so that I can use the brush again to get my pores in shape and get rid of dead skin cells.

I've seen a few things on my neck and chest that I normally would have gotten rid of, but I didn't bother. In fact, I didn't find them awful anymore. I felt rather indifferent. This is a huge change for me! I see how many people struggle with these challenges having relapses all the time, but I think it's because they didn't have that "epiphany" I was talking about in the previous post where you suddenly _understand_. I don't know how to explain it, but I feel 100% confident that I will make it through this challenge because I suddenly don't feel the urge. It's not like I'm trying to keep busy in order to avoid it. I don't have the slightest doubt that it will work.

I will now go and wash my face with the Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit blah blah and apply the Night Repair followed by La Mer.

See you tomorrow.

Edited by outofcharacter

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DAY 2

I feel very good and confident.

I've realised that the urge to touch my face often comes from a very light itching feeling, like from a very light mosquito bite. I figured that I can deal with that as I've disciplined myself not to scratch at actual mosquito bites a few years ago. At the moment of writing this I have a light itch above my upper lip, for example, but I won't touch it in order to avoid any contact between my fingertips and my skin and also to avoid finding semi-loose pieces of skin I can pick on.

When applying my cream I stood away from the mirror so the only close ups I get from my skin are from looking at the pics.

So here are the pics of day 2 (morning).

Edited by outofcharacter

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DAY 2 (night)

Still feel the urge to write because I have so many thoughts on this issue.

First of all, I wish I'd known about this much earlier. By this I mean the fact that face picking causes "bad skin". I mean, it's just crazy how many hours I spent in front of the mirror in the past 20 years. At least one hour a day, I guess...

Actually this reminded me of my grandmother who told me that in her teens she used to wash her face dozens of times a day fiercely with cold water to make her natural blush go away. She was really thinking that the water would wash it away... In fact, cold water only stimulated the blood circulation... She just didn't know better...

I was reading a lot again (skinpick.com etc.) and it made me feel really sad. I just have this very "heavy" feeling inside. I guess it means that my brain is in the process of sorting all of this out. It's just so shocking to read about the parts of the body that people do harm to. They keep hiding it from their husbands for years... Strangely, most of them are women/girls... This made me think about how little we know about others and their actual problems. They may seem beautiful and successful, but underneath their underwear they may be all scratched up and their own husbands have never seen them naked... I think this is more than I can take at this point.

Aside from that, everything went well today. I have a few small things that I would normally make me go oh-my-god-this-needs-to-be-gone on my chin and further down my chest (you can't see these parts on the pics). My usual reaction would be to get rid of them immediately. However, the "new me" just looks at them with curiosity instead of with disgust/distress. This is totally surprising to me. I'm already at a point where I can look at myself in the mirror closely and not get the urge to do anything. By the way, I haven't cut my nails short, just don't feel like I need to. I could cut them tomorrow, but not to prevent picking.

What else? I examined today's pics and came to the conclusion that, unfortunately, it is still to early to use my Clarisonic on my face. The redness shows up in the pics although I can't see it in the mirror. Actually, I used it on my body when I was taking a shower. I also used it on my chest, so maybe there will be more of a difference tomorrow. By the way, I forgot to say that I will use different creams on my chest. The face one is simply to expensive. But I have other creams which turned out to be not suitable for may face, so I will use them up on my chest. In the past I never used any skincare there. Now I have an arsenal of maybe 10 moisturisers and anti-blemish-creams that I plan on using on my chest. I also don't use the serum there. By the way, my chest has many raised scars...

Anyway, day 2 almost completed. Feel good about the future and bad about the past.

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DAY 3

So yesterday I stayed up way longer than I thought I would. I decided to be more disciplined with regard to flakes/scabs. As I said before, my skin heals pretty fast underneath, so most of the time it feels like the flakes aren't even attached to the skin anymore. Anyway, sometimes it's deceiving because yesterday I pulled at a flake and it left a burning sensation which I didn't notice right away, so picked another and it was still attached. So I left it alone and decided not to touch my face anymore. I consider touching my face a bad habit in its own right.

I still some things on my chin and above my upper lip that are noticeable but tiny, but no urge to get rid of them the old way. Will later use concealer/makeup to cover them up when I go to meet my mom. If I don't, she will notice them and probably ask me to remove them. She's always had perfect skin, by the way.

So not touching my face at all won't be as easy, I guess, but I understand the importance of it. This way I will also find out whether the things on my jawline/chin are related to the fact that I rest my chin on my hand when reading on the computer.

Today I forgot about only using water to wash my face in the morning, so I used my facewash. I like the smell and the "minty" feel on my face.

So here are my pics for today.

Edited by outofcharacter

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DAY 3 (night)

Everything is still going okay. Only had to remove one dry flake from the side of my nose which was very annoying because it was directly in front of my left eye when I was trying to read.

I still have like 6-7 small but visible things on my chin, 1 above my upper lip and 2 on the bridge of the nose. When I dry my face with a towel after washing, sometimes one gets "damaged" but is still there, only maybe 50% less noticeable. I would still use concealer if I had an important social/business meeting.

Might use my Clarisonic on my face today. Judging from the pics, there is still quite a bit of redness, but I find it important to exfoliate so I tan evenly and my skincare products work better.

Didn't touch my face apart from that one time. Was aware of itches and tried to ignore them, which worked brilliantly.

Edited by outofcharacter

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DAY 3 (night)

I used my Clarisonic and applied a clay-based face mask from Chanel. I've had it for quite a while, at least a year, and I hated it because it was so harsh and ineffective. However, after reading discussions on another message board, I thought I might give it a go seeing as I would now use it on significantly calmer skin than in the past when I would use it specifically to calm things down after giving it my all. I have to say that it didn't feel bad this time. In combination with the Clarisonic and towel drying it has deactivated some of the things I mentioned before. I then applied my serum and will apply the cream before going to bed.

I'm actually happy that I still have a lot of skincare I can use on my chest and not feel bad about it. I never used anything on my chest because I would need so much of the product and it would end up being very expensive.

Anyway, I've been reading a lot again and sighing the whole time, which speaks for itself. It is very emotional and I feel that I can't breathe properly. I find reading about it very therapeutic.

What I keep forgetting about telling is that my life has been really stressful lately, but also during the past months etc. I've also been procrastinating a lot, but after I started my challenge, I feel like additional energy was somehow freed up. I think that freeing myself from the habit will have very very positive long-term effects on my life and productivity/creativity. My thinking has already changed completely, my behaviour is changing with very little resistance. What I'm dealing with now is the emotional side of it.

Actually I've come to realise that it might be because of my mom. She's always had very good skin but has always been very critical of congested skin in others. She would often comment on that so I guess I've internalised that this is a bad thing to have. Besides, she was the one who started cleaning out my skin in the first place. So I thought it was the way to "deal" with it. She didn't know it any better, having had flawless skin all her life...

Edited by outofcharacter

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DAY 4

So today is day 4, an odd feeling. The more time passes the more skin-related bad habits I become aware of. Well, the most important things for me right now are my face, neck, chest, upper arms and back. I have other comparatively minor things that I will try to include later, maybe after the challenge.

Anyway, I feel good. Face picking doesn't seem to feel like an option to me anymore. It's like I couldn't bring myself to do it. I can't picture myself going the full way to the bathroom mirror because halfway something is pushing me back to my room like two magnets with the same poles. Even if I think, well, life is really very stressful at the moment, how about...? No! It's not an option anymore. This is how it feels like for me.

However, it is very emotional on a very deep level. It's like I'm not even aware of most of my thoughts but they feel very "heavy".

So here are today's pics. It looks like I will have to start a new thread because I already exceeded the maximum upload size...

Edited by outofcharacter

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DAY 4 (night)

So I decided to treat myself to something after the first three days. I bought 1 kg of strawberries which smelled so good but tasted all watery.

Today some of the pent-up feelings were released. I broke down when I realised I couldn't afford to repurchase the skincare that is helping me so much. The crying felt good, though. I read on about people talking about their relationship with the bathroom mirror or the room itself and realised that I myself had unpleasant memories of being punished there for crying when I was little. My father used to drag me there by my ears and hold my head under cold running water.

So anyway, I have stuff I'm looking forward to in the next few days and I'll be wearing no makeup although this thing is mostly about dressing up and wearing makeup.

Another realisation that I had is that I don't find impurities on my skin "gross" anymore, not even the "ugly" kind.

I feel like using the Clarisonic again tonight.

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DAY 4 (night)

I cried a bit more when I told my mom. She was actually very supportive. I told my +1 one or two days ago. Turned out he didn't know my hyperpigmentation (face, back etc.) was scars... Now I feel like I opening up to friends about it. I will tell them if they ask when my skin is healed.

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DAY 5

I just realised that I can't post more pics if I open a new thread... I've already exceeded the limit... This is bad because this posting pics thing kept me so motivated. I guess I will have to delete the earlier ones apart from the first batch.

So yesterday my mom told me that my father apparently still has bad skin. I haven't seen him since childhood and don't remember his skin but I guess that maybe skin picking has something to do with it. I don't care really, it's just that yesterday my mom told me that my problems may still have a physiological side.

I hope I will have regular Internet access over the next few days. I will be away and very busy trying to work and socialise at the same time. Will still try to post pics every day, hope the lighting will be okay as I will be away.

Reaching day 5 really feels like an accomplishment. Not because I'm trying hard to resist, because there is no urge, but rather because I feel like I've already dealt with a huge chunk of emotional baggage by reading other people's stories, analysing, writing, crying, taking pics and talking to the people close to me.

I like the way my skin looks. I do have quite a few impurities on my chin and around my temples, though. Today's pics were taken after another clay mask. This one was 40 times cheaper than the Chanel one and I like it way better. It is gentle and effective. It also has a skin-brightening effect. I have only one tube and won't be able to repurchase it anytime soon as it's not available where I live or over the Internet.

Edited by outofcharacter

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DAY 6

So I'm away and distracted by all the good things happening around me. I'm having a lot of fun right now. Actually, I did pick on my body a bit, but only in places I can't see, like my back. I didn't pick my face although I do have a lot of things there (chin/jawline, cheeks, nose). I'm glad that the bathroom has very poor lighting, though, and I can't do it anywhere else.

I feel pretty nervous right now about a lot of things, though.

Edited by outofcharacter

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DAY 7

So I'm still very distracted. I'm around people a lot. Actually, I found it easier not to pick when I was miserable and focused. Now I do scratch my back and arms a little.

My face now has a lot of things that are very noticeable. I keep telling myself that at least they are not red. I started using concealer, but the colour is not right for me so I use only a very thin layer, which doesn't help much. Looks like I will have to invest in a new concealer because it's the only thing I can do... The Clarisonic doesn't help with those. The clay mask doesn't help either.

It's actually very strange to have so many things on my chin and around my mouth. I only ever had congested pores and inflammations due to picking there.

So here are today's pics.

Edited by outofcharacter

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DAY 8

So I don't have any pics yet but hope to be able to take some later today.

I have a lot of small bumps on my face, but no active lumps. If I do get a lump I leave it alone and it's almost gone the next day. However, I did pick one thing on my face today, the first time since I started. It was in the fold directly under my nose and there is no way I could ever reach it with my Clarisonic. It was very strange. It looked like it was filled with blood and stuff. So I pressed very lightly with a fingernail and it was gone. Although I have a lot of things on my face, this was the only one that I felt was possible to get rid of. After I come back I will add my trusted Chanel Purete Serum to my skincare routine. I remember how it got rid of all the bumps on its own. I didn't even know it was able to do that. The only problem was that it was drying and I didn't have any good moisturiser then.

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DAY 9

So I couldn't post any pics yesterday, so I'm going to post them now.

About today... In the morning I decided to do something about the big whiteheads, especially on my chin and forehead. I god rid of about 10 or 12. I knew I would spend the whole day sitting very close to other people and just couldn't bear to look like that. I have to admit that all of the whiteheads came back later in the day.

In the evening I had the chance to examine my face in good lighting and realised in what a bad state it was. All the congested pores became inflamed, so my whole face was covered with bumps. I can honestly say that it looked horrible and was becoming more and more inflamed. I was so disappointed because just a week ago my face had been so smooth. I really didn't expect this to happen! I thought that I would leave it alone and it would heal etc. After reading the forums I had become convinced that the only thing that caused inflammation was picking! However, today I was faced with more inflammation than I had ever seen on myself! I never had so many inflammations on my chin or nose! My nose only ever had congested pores which I would clean every day. Today my nose was covered with inflamed whiteheads...

Anyway... I thought that my last resort would be to try the oil cleansing method. I'd read about it only yesterday and it seemed very promising. So I massaged my skin with the oil and wanted to see if it worked, so I started squeezing. I don't know whether it was the high pressure in my skin due to all the inflammation or the oil was really working, but cleaning was rather easy, so I continued. My whiteheads weren't showing any signs of going away anyway... So after cleaning my skin is red again. I used my Chanel for the first time in a long time. It has some kind of antibiotics from plants or something so it kills the germs, I suppose. I know it is the right thing to deal with the bumps...

So later I'm going to take today's pics. My skin is going to be red from picking... But I hope that it will calm down tomorrow.

I'm pretty disappointed that not picking ended up making my skin so much worse in such a short time. I have an important meeting tomorrow and couldn't use make up with such bumpy skin anyway. Feeling very down at the moment...

Will do the oil cleansing again tomorrow, but without the picking. From what I can see now it's a very good method, only I didn't have the patience... I guess it's part of the process...

So here are yesterday's pics.

Edited by outofcharacter

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DAY 9

So here are today's pics. My face after picking...

Feel very sad. Had so much hope.

Didn't pick my chest. It had none of the problems. Maybe it has to do with the products I use. I don't know...

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DAY 10

I just wanted to share with you that I did the oil cleansing again. Today I oil-cleansed in the morning and just now in the late afternoon. The third time I thought it was beginning to work but still I didn't feel the impurities coming out like sand under my fingertips as it's supposed to be. I was going to wash my hair anyway, so I decided to try the oil cleansing on my chest. Wow! It worked immediately! I could see and feel the "sand" come out of my pores. Then I tried it on my back/shoulders, and it was almost the same result. When I touch my back it's like touching someone else... So I'm really impressed. I just hope it starts working on my face as well. However, I'm afraid that the pores on my face are maybe too deformed from years and years of constant picking and/or the sebum is too soft for this method to work. Still, I'm excited about the results and will keep using the oil until it's finished.

+1 says I'm a completely different person after I came back. He is very disappointed because I started picking again and doesn't believe that it was necessary. He thinks I'm very depressed. I don't feel that way about the trip. I think everything went okay.

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hiya. i just wanted to share my experience with the Oil Cleansing Method.

i don't think it's very good for the face. not when the skin is in a state of getting congested easily, because for me it just made stuff waaaaay worse, and "encouaged" me to pick.

also, i think that doing it several times a day the way you describe might be really getting the acne going. i would limit ocm to once or twice a week for the face, really. the steam and the massaging just makes whatever whiteheads that might be going on underneath really pop up.

so take it easy with the ocm. since you've described using the clarisonic, whch is exfoliating as well i think doing that and the ocm too much could make the skin over-react, because they're both powerful things to do to the extremley delicate skin on your face.

also i don't think it's a bad idea to invest in some good concealer, powder and foundation. makes it sooo much easier to pass mirrors in the day without going crazy, you know.

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DAY 11

Hi Becky,

thanks for sharing your experience. I clearly overdid the oil cleansing yesterday. I may have done it four times, each time with steaming followed by picking... I thought that if congested pores was what triggered the inflammation to begin with (well, not the sebum itself but the fact that it was there) then I should get rid of them as soon as possible to halt the inflammation from spreading. I have to say my face doesn't look significantly worse after the picking, but my skin look tired...

I thought so much about what may have caused the inflammation and I don't know... It could be the Clarisonic.

About using makeup: I do have good makeup products but after I read that only Clarisonic is able to cleanse your skin after removing makeup I wouldn't use makeup every day. I only use makeup maybe once a month and I would like to brush with the Clarisonic after removing it to make sure nothing is left in my pores. The funny thing is though that my skin always looks better the day after the day I wore makeup (I use Shiseido's dual-balancing foundation, not sure about the name). If anything, makeup improves my skin. Anyway, I only use it when I need it for work...

I will try the oil cleansing again, maybe in 1-2 weeks.

I'm going to post yesterday's pics (after picking) and take some now to show how my skin changed (or didn't change) after 6 hours of sleep and minimal picking.

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DAY 11

So here are the pics of yesterday late at night/early morning before going to bed and today morning.

I forgot to say that I picked my chest for the first time in the challenge. I was so excited that the oil cleansing worked there that I thought I should "help" the pores...

My skin now looks so much worse than one DAY 1 of the challenge... At least it has healed significantly in the night. Looking at yesterday's pics, I'm dying inside.

I also started making this clip with all the pics blurring into one another. I showed it to my +1 yesterday and he said it was scary...

It's so sad looking at how at first my skin got better with every day and then suddenly became so inflamed on its own... And not knowing the reason for that...

The only positive thing is that my +1 noticed a difference in the appearance of my hyperpigmentation when I came back. I hope that when the inflammation dies down and the zits go away, there will be less hyperpigmentation than in the beginning.

It's still a mystery to me how I ended up with zits on my nose... Anyway, I'm going back to only using facewash, serum and cream for now. No oil cleansing, no Clarisonic, no picking, no rubbing with the towel, no touching.

Edited by outofcharacter

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i'm just no too sure that "getting rid of" congested pores will help you get less acne. in my past experience of giving up picking i go through a phase of congestion that lasts maybe a week, and then the sebum production sort of balances out.

and, if your skin gets better from wearing makeup, why dont you wear it more often? it might actually help your skin to balance. and if you want to use your exfoliator evey night, just use a makeup remover before you use the brush.

personally, acne made my skin very sensitive, so i stay clear of everything that's harsh on the skin, like OCM or exfoliators. to me it only causes more stress on the skin, thus more acne in a vicious circle.

for me even the BP is too much sometimes, i can't use it every night - and definitly not in the day.

what's worked for me has been cutting out all the "tough" products and everything that claims to reduce oiliness, and instead use products for sensitive skin and creams that calm the skin down. jojoba oil and avocado oil has been very helpful in healing scars, anti-acne stuff useually just makes my skin feel worse.

but that's me, and what works on my skin might not work on yours.

only my 2 cents..

love

/Becky

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DAY 11

Yeah... I don't know. I'm even thinking about trying homeopathy! I don't believe in it, but what the hell.

I'm actually very satisfied with the La Mer cream and the Advanced Night Repair serum. I can't imagine being without them anymore...

The problem is that my pores didn't get congested with sebum but with pus... And it happened after I started not picking at a moment when my skin had already been in a good condition for a while.

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DAY 11

I just wanted to share this cool youtube channel I came across. It's great!

I also wanted to say that I slathered my face in Origins Spot Remover hoping that it would treat the inflammation and it worked! I know you should only use it on your spots as it's really drying, but I was getting really depressed after a bad day so I decided to give it a shot. Actually, I need to put it back into the refrigerator because in the past I never manage to finish a bottle as it always started smelling bad so there was always a third left when I threw it in the trash. So when I bought this new bottle after not using the product for a couple of years, they suggested to always keep it in the refrigerator. Anyway, it is fighting the inflammation and my skin already feels very calm. At first it burnt like crazy but it was something I felt I had to do to rescue my skin.

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DAY 12

So the Spot Remover from Origins has calmed my skin down very very very very VERY nicely. Seeing it work so fast has given me such a boost, even though I was at home and +1 was already asleep. i feel so so SO much better. I have to say, the Spot Remover was not the only thing I put on my face. After maybe half an hour after applying it I washed it away, although it felt like I was able to wash away only like 50% of it, which was okay with me. I wanted a little bit of it to stay on my face overnight, but not the whole layer. I don't know if you're familiar with this product, but it feels like glue, and if you touch your face and your hands are a little bit moist, it becomes sticky again. So to prevent my face from sticking to my pillow and also because I was afraid it might be too strong to leave overnight, I washed my face. However, it really felt like the deeper layer could not be dissolved by water. So after washing I applied the Advanced Night Repair serum followed by my La Mer moisturising lotion (this is the actual name, I think, not "cream"). And now I woke up with very calm skin. The spots are still there, but they do not look or feel "inflamed" anymore.

So I would describe the current state of my skin as follows: very irritated after a very intense inflammation (after days of not picking and getting better!), irritated by my picking (my trying the inflammation to stop spreading), irritated by trying and overdoing the oil cleansing method, but with much less congested pores, shocked by the amount of the Spot Remover I slathered on, it has now calmed down and on its way to healing again, though a bit dried out from all the stress.

I don't know if you can see the youtube clip I posted above, because I can't. If you don't, please find it, it's THE LOVE VITAMIN. I watched it for hours yesterday, it's so fantastic. It's about applying a "holistic" approach to curing your acne problems. The methods are very natural but realistic and the girl who talks about them is the proof that they work.

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DAY 12

So here are today's pics. I realise my skin probably doesn't as good, especially my left cheek, but it feels much better.

So today was an interesting day. I went to a natural products store and bought some stuff for my skin (honey, aloe vera gel, jojoba oil) and body (peppermint tea, flaxseeds). It was pretty expensive but I got to talk to the saleslady and she recommended I try a homeopath who has helped her sister with her acne problems. So I'm going to call the homeopath as soon as I get her number. The company also offers food sensitivity tests. However, I called the guy who does them and I didn't like him. And I always "give them a chance" and am always disappointed afterwards so I've decided to change that and not take services from people I don't like.

The saleslady also said that her sister did a vitamin deficiency test and they found out that she didn't have enough vitamin A. So then I guess she started taking supplements together with the homeopathy products and this cured her. Apparently her sister got a mild flare up of acne a few years ago, but she got in touch with the homeopath immediately and it went away. So now it looks like I'm going to try it, but only if the homeopath is nice on the phone...

One thing that got me down was that I thought it was a good day for my skin and the inflammation had gone down significantly, but the moment I started talking to the saleslady she pointed out my skin issues... So it's not true that no one notices... And I thought I was having a good day... It was so unpleasant because I've gotten so used to my acne that I mostly think that people don't see it as a part of myself. Like I think that I have much to offer as a person and have a strong personality so that the acne doesn't matter. But from time to time people will point it out and I realise that they notice all the time, they just don't always mention it. And it's especially hard if they say it in a way that makes you realise that they think you have it because of psychological issues...

Anyway, I then bought vegetables to make my first "green smoothie" as recommended by thelovevitamin.com. It was awful. I guess my blender is not very good because it took so long to blend and by the time it was more or less blended the smoothie was hot! Bad for the vitamins, I guess... Another problem was that the amount was too much. Also I had to go to the supermarket and buy an "innocent smoothie" ("innocent" is a brand) to mix with my smoothie. This improved the taste but increased the amount even more... On top of that, it has given me digestive problems besides giving me a strange feeling in the head (as fresh juice from vegetables always does). This meant I couldn't go running. Also, the vegetables were expensive. So I don't know... I might try it again in a week or so...

Also I now realise that I need to realise what stresses me out so I can deal with it better.

Edited by outofcharacter

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