I have a problem. Let me show you. The picture below is one of me.
See that? Okay, yes, I’m quite the looker and you’re quite welcome for finally having a face to put to the Wench’s name. Yeah, look at those cheekbones. Anyways…what you can’t see, at least, what you can’t see clearly, is the horrific breakout on my chin.
I have this thing where, if there’s any imperfection on my skin, I will pick at it. I know, I know, Merry, it makes it so much worse if you pick at it. I know!!
Thing is…I can’t stop. I’m trying. I really am. But it’s hard, and the Adderall I take for my ADHD makes it so much worse for me. I’ve done some research, and apparently it’s rather common for people who take Adderall, among other stimulants, to have their skin break out like they’ve hit puberty all over again. And it’s also common for those stimulants to make any “picking neuroses” much, much worse.
So…I’ve been trying everything. I wash my face in the morning, and again at night. The only thing that has helped is a one-two punch of CVS brand Deep Cleansing Exfoliating Scrub and CVS brand Daily Pore Cleanser. I use the deep cleanser at night to scrub away the day’s dirt and oils, and the daily pore cleanser in the morning. I’m starting to see some improvement. Be forewarned, if you’re a picker, the exfoliating scrub WILL burn a little bit at first unless you’ve managed to leave your face alone that day.
The deep cleanser also dries your skin somewhat. Whatever you do, do NOT use any lotion except a water based lotion, if you absolutely MUST moisturize. Anything other than water based will induce more pimples, and you should also be prepared for a water based lotion to have the same potential. I choose not to use any lotion, at least, not until my chin recovers. If I absolutely must moisturize, I simply take a washcloth soaked with the hottest water I can stand and just hold it over my face.
Another thing to do before doing the deep cleanser at night is to fill a sink with hot water, the hottest water that will come from your tap. Drape a towel over your head and bend over the sink so that your face is in a mini-sauna over your sink. This will open up your pores and allow the cleanser to work more efficiently. If you’re just doing daily maintenance, you can skip this. If your skin is not in danger of scarring like my chin is, you can probably get away with your daily makeup application if you use a good makeup remover at night (I use Clean & Clear Makeup Remover for that), and you can also probably do the deep cleanser every other night instead of every night.
I’ve noticed that the blackheads on my nose, which have been a plague to me since my early teens (though everyone says they don’t notice…*I* notice, and that’s what matters), have started to disappear, and the pores on my nose have shrunk visibly.
The deep cleanser sometimes makes my skin feel tight, much like microdermabrasion did that one time I had it done…but without the awful redness of the microdermabrasion.
I will keep you posted as to my progress…
Down with the pimples!!!
Now, this is for all you pickers. You probably want to know, “How can I stop picking?!?”…Unfortunately, I can’t give you a definite answer to that…I have been utilizing rubberband therapy (wear a rubberband on your wrist and snap it whenever you want to pick at yourself), but with only mild success. I have found that my new skincare routine makes me less likely to pick, simply because I’m going to all this effort to undo the harm I’ve done, and get rid of any pimples lurking there. But sometimes I don’t even realize I’m doing it. It’s hard, because it is a subconscious reaction (in that 99% of the time I don’t know I’m picking at myself until the damage is done) to things we perceive as stressors. I’m in the process of getting into counseling for my PPD, and I am sure that the picking will be addressed as well. It’s a damaging coping mechanism that for whatever reason, gets programmed into our brains to the point where we can’t remember where we left our freaking car keys (which can make us pick), but by golly we sure have a hard time remembering to leave our skin alone.
Seriously. Leave your skin alone. Occupy your hands. Type. Write. Draw, play, create, do something, anything…Heck, sit on your hands when you’re stressed so they can’t be free to mindlessly claw at your skin.
I had flawlessly soft alabaster skin, until my early 20s, when I began to get more and more freckles. Irish myth holds that freckles are the kisses of the pixies…well, they sure kissed me way too much.
But I could handle freckles. I could handle the smile lines that began to appear when I was 22. I could handle circles under my eyes from lack of sleep. I cannot handle this breakout. In itself, the damage I do by picking is, itself, a major stressor to me.
Don’t worry. We will get through this together. I’ll keep y’all updated.
What skincare regimen do you swear by (you don’t need to be a picker, or even on a stimulant, to answer this one)?