As each year passes I move more and more down the path to simplicity. Each step seems to ease a small load off my back and clear just a little bit of my mind. I document some of my steps here but most I choose not to. This next one wasn't going to be one I shared, but the results have been great and I'd love to pass this on in case it could help anyone else out there.
I have acne. I'm 27 and it still plagues my face. The second puberty hit the little beasts arrived, and they haven't gone away since. Until recently there hasn't been much that has offered any relief either. I have religiously washed my face every morning, and every night for just about as long as I could remember. I've even had friends comment on their amazement of my ability to make it a priority even after a night of drinking and staying out late (something which is no longer part of my life). Instead of crashing right to bed and passing out, I always made sure to wash my face and drink as much water as I could stomach first.
It never occurred to me that all this washing could be part of the problem. Though the years I moved from nasty paraben filled toxic concoctions to more "healthy" brands of cleaners. My first breakthrough came when I thought "maybe my skin is just sensitive" so I started trying ultra calming soothing cleansers and moisturizers. I saw a slight improvement and thought I was on to something. Then I went to visit my sister. She lives states and an expensive plane flight away so I rarely get to see her. While visiting her she casually mentioned during one of my face washing fits that she never washed her face. It struck me as amazing! He face is a beautiful porcelain, seemingly perfect. I just assumed other factors were at play...she got the "good" genes, her body chemistry changed after giving birth, she had found the perfect combo of foods that works just right for her body.
I filed this knowledge away and continued washing my face. Slowly I started meeting more and more people who simply never wash their faces. "I just throw a little water on my face every now and then" or "I only wash when I shower...which is about once a week". Once a week??? I had been washing mine 14 times a week!
Finally my curiosity got to me and I decided to give it a shot. With very little confidence and bracing myself for it to "get worse before it gets better", I began simply wiping my face with a wet washcloth (cold water) every morning and night. If needed, I still added moisturizer. Even if I had put on makeup that day, all my face received was a cold washcloth wipe down. Once or twice a week, when I showered I would wash with an ultra gentle cleanser. You know what happened??? My face NEVER "got worse before it got better", it just got better!
This is an ongoing process of course, but at this point I'm no longer washing, even in the shower. No cleansers touch my face, just water. I've even moved from store bought moisturizers to an amazing homemade one using coconut oil infused with calendula (grown right here in my front yard).
This small act alone has made my skin smoother than I ever thought possible, dramatically improved my acne problem, dropped two expensive items from my shopping list, stopped a trail of energy use and waste, saved me a little time everyday, and given me just a few less things to worry about. I really wish I would have tried this sooner!
I'm not going to show you before and after photos. It would be impossible to give an accurate representation of something that is constantly in flux. And I don't want to give the impression that my face is magically cured and will never have a pimple again. They still show up, but a lot less often and they seem to heal a lot quicker now too (I think that's due to the calendula). I just wanted to share this and let people know there are other options. Other things you can try beyond just buying more products and hoping that the next one will work. As time passes I grow more and more convinced that letting everything in life go as naturally as possible seems to give the best results.