I’ve spent most of my life hating my skin. When I was about 10 years old, we talked about hygiene in health class, and the gym teacher told us, “Some of you will have acne no matter how well you wash your face, and some of you will have clear skin even if you don’t wash your face at all.” I made up my mind that I would be in the latter category, but genetics and hormones placed me firmly in the former. I remember being just shy of 12 years old and feeling the baby smooth texture of my skin changing to a bumpy mess that I didn’t want to touch. That was only the beginning. I had deep, cystic acne through my teenage years, and my only comfort was that there were other people whose acne was worse than mine. I can’t put into words how ugly acne made me feel.
I’ve tried many things over the years to calm my troubled skin. Antibiotics didn’t work and gave me yeast infections. I even tried Acutane, which dried my skin so much that I still to this day get a wicked sunburn on my face. It also dried up my tear ducts, which is why wearing contact lenses never worked for me. There were some topical solutions that my doctor gave me, but prescriptions are expensive and a hassle.
Fortunately, time takes care of so many problems, acne included. After the birth of my first child, my hormones changed and my skin was clearer for longer stretches. The texture was still bumpy, but at least the blemishes were not as bad. It has improved with each child, so I’m not sure if it’s just an age thing, or a baby thing, or what. I’ve also become a much more relaxed person, so perhaps stress was a factor.
Another factor is skin products. In the past year I’ve found a few that really work well for me. If you have oily or combination skin, perhaps these will work for you, too.
Seacret Mud Soap
This is a really good everyday soap for me, especially in the summer when my oily skin goes into high gear. Originally, I used a different brand that my brother sent to me from Israel. Within days of using it, my acne all but disappeared. I still get hormonal flare-ups, but nothing like before. This mud soap, available online and apparently in mall kiosks in Tyson’s up in northern Virginia, seems to be identical identical and gives my skin a very smooth texture.
Yes To Tomatoes Clear Skin Daily Balancing Moisturizer
I know that NOT using a moisturizer can cause the skin to produce more oil, and that using a good moisturizer can balance the skin’s chemistry. Unfortunately, historically I have never been able to use a moisturizer on my face without triggering massive breakouts. Again, my brother sent me some wonderful products from Israel called Mineral Flowers that I could actually use without making the acne worse. Unfortunately, it is not distributed in the United States, but in searching for the product here, I stumbled on the Yes To brand, which was developed by the same company. I’ve not yet used this moisturizer in the hot, humid summer months, but I’ve been very pleased with it so far.
Burt’s Bees Peach and Willowbark Deep Pore Scrub
Every time I find a good facial scrub that I like, it either goes off the market or the company changes the formula on me, so I’ve done a lot of shopping for facial scrubs over the years. I absolutely love this one. It has a very pleasant smell, and there is enough “grit” to make a noticeable difference on the texture of my skin.