I Gave Up Common Acne-Fighters and It Changed My Skin

I never had crazy-extreme, life-ruining breakouts, but I always treated my skin as if I did. Isn’t that what we all do? Go into panic mode at the first sight of a problem? By now we’ve all probably heard the evidence against such tactics—when you dry out oily skin, it just produces more pore-clogging oil in order to compensate, and acne is actually inflammation, so to heal it, you need to calm that inflammation. Which sounds all well and good, but when I have a breakout, I just want it gone STAT. So naturally, I would throw everything I had at it. Exfoliating face wash followed up with manual exfoliation, anti-oil toner, allover acne treatment gel, moisturizer loaded with salicylic acid, and one more layer of spot treatment to top it off. Every mask I owned had the words “purifying,” “detoxifying,” “oil-absorbing,” “pore-clearing,” and “decongesting” on it. With the exception of one moisturizing mask that I relied on to bring my skin back to life after burying it in clay masks, every skin treatment was geared at problem skin. But that’s the issue: When you focus on “the problem” and not the health of your skin, you never really address the problem at all. Oh how wise I’ve become in my old age. I wish I could take credit for coming to this realization all on my own, but alas, I cannot.

Keep reading to hear more about what changed everything for my skin!