Searching for the perfect morning and beauty routine can lead you into a never ending spin, and putting your sensitive skin through it can leave you irritated, inflamed and frustrated. It’s always tempting to try the latest beauty crazes, and new beauty rituals that you see on social media and magazines. However when it comes to your sensitive skin, less is always more.
I’m literally the worst person to be writing this, but also the best, because I didn’t practice what I’m about to preach, and then learned from it. For as long as I can remember I’ve been obsessed with treating things the natural way, so when this whole new natural wave came in the beauty industry I was all for it. I wanted to try and test everything. Naturally I took to Pinterest to pin my life one step closer to clearer, less irritated skin. But that my loves went south real fast. This epic Pinterest beauty craze I spiraled into started around 2011 and went until 2015. My skin went through it all. Homemade apple cider vinegar toners, DIY face masks, lemon facial scrubs, face peels, oil cleansing, ALL of it. After trying to self medicate my sensitive skin and take my skincare routine into 10,000 directions, I had to book an immediate trip to the dermatologist.
My eczema had never been worse, I constantly felt irritated and frustrated. My acne that I had successfully rid of when I was 18 returned full force at 24 and I was just fed up. So while at my visit I let my dermatologist in on all that I had been doing. I was embarrassed to say the least when I heard myself actually recanting all the Pinterest skincare experiments I had done. The best one was watching her face as I said had been cracking vitamin c capsules open and rubbing them on my face. She nearly died. I was immediately told that my skin simply couldn’t handle all that I was doing and that I was actually exasperating my skin problem’s rather than treating them. She recommended that I begin limiting products used, and only use a gentle face wash, light moisturizer, and sunblock. That was it.
I couldn’t believe it, and I didn’t want to either. How could she say that was it? When I knew it wasn’t. Feeling armed with knowledge that I had gained about skin care through Pinterest, I questioned my dermatologists knowledge.
I argued about the benefits of serums, and toners and why I wanted to still use them in my skincare routine. I ranted about how oil cleansing was actually better for your skin than regular face washes, and how daily face scrubbing was needed for radiant skin. Since I had a degree in fashion merchandising and not a MD in dermatology, I lost that argument.
“Not all you read on Pinterest is true, everyone has different skin types and skin reactions, what works wonders for one may lead to be disastrous for another. You have overly sensitive and reactive skin, for you less is more”.
I was prescribed a medication for my eczema and acne,and was instructed to limit the use of products on my face. I was also referred to see an allergist to see what I could be allergic to as well. Finding out my allergens literally saved my skin, you can read more in detail about that in later post.
I left my appointment feeling a little bit upset that I had to stop cleaning my face with oils and rubbing vitamin c capsules on my skin. I had spent so much time and energy trying to fix my skincare problems on my own, that stopping it all was so foreign. What would I do on my lunch break now? What is life without creating a new skincare board? What would I do with all these damn lemons?
However it was the best thing that I could ever have done for my skin. Cutting back on the amount of “products” and varying ingredients I was slathering on, allowed my skin to finally heal. Taking it back to the skincare basics and using products you can read about in my sensitive skincare posts, led me to skin recovery.
I saw my skin slowly but surely improving, and it felt amazing. Seeing your skin go from eczema covered and inflamed to clear and calm was A-Okay with me. My skin is still getting better every single day, and its because I took the right steps to get it there. Looking to Pinterest to heal my skin, from something that I didn’t even have was not doing me any good. What business did I have using a face scrub with harsh abrasives when I have overly sensitive-eczema prone skin? None. I was scrubbing away at healthy skin revealing dry-irritation that would lead to eczema.
I was self diagnosing myself based on seeing other peoples results and cute little face mask recipes, when all I needed was to seek the help of a medically trained professional.
Pinterest is still my guilty pleasure, I pin everything from vegan recipes to DIY home projects, and I pin probably more than your mom does, but I’m not a dermatologist and neither are you. So we have to stop this obsession with healing ourselves on our own. We cannot come up with one solution to skincare and think it’ll work for everyone. Everyone’s skin is not created equal and we have to leave our precious skin in the hands of those who are actually trained to treat, heal and improve it.
I know it feels like your doing yourself a solid by taking to Pinterest to figure out how to remove acne scars at home, or how to treat eczema with coconut oil. Trust me I get it. You feel proactive in doing something to try and help your skin, but you could actually be making it worse just as I did. You can end up leading yourself into a whole other plethora of skin issues that you won’t be prepared for. Use that pin button wisely and remember that you only have the skin your in, so take care of it and treat it well.