My Face Wants Me to Make Weird Choices (plz send help)

Maybe I just need a glitter facial.

Skin changes throughout life, and while I’d hoped that my smooth and supple post-teenage acne stage would last forever, it hasn’t. I’ve got a skin issue I can’t seem to remedy or find easily online so I started looking at getting a facial. This impulse runs pretty much contradictory to my fairly public stance (twitter-public, anyway) on beauty regimens. I love makeup and now that I’m older I use really nice moisturizers and the like, but I try not to be vain and try not to spend serious money regularly on vanity-related things. But my face is making me crazy.

(Related: Have you seen Dumpster Dog’s post on the cost of women’s beauty regimens? And that most women get a full waxing of their nethers routinely? That blew my mind. Too much pain and so many dollars.)

Now part of my reason for not spending lots of dough on my face is frugality (or, frankly, cheapness), but the other reason is that I don’t think women should worry so much about meeting particular beauty standards. Who cares? And then, of course, I feel like a hypocrite for caring.

Or perhaps it’s time for a citrus soak. A bit too Ophelia for me.

In case you’re wondering, I’ve got all these teeeny tiny white bits on my lower face. They look kind of like dry skin but I think my dry skin only exacerbates what they are (I’ve been using an oil cleanser, cold cream to remove makeup, and an argan oil cream to moisturize, plus drinking lots of water–I can’t do much more there. I tried a serum, made no difference). They kind of look like sebaceous filaments, only they’re not greasy or, as those usually are, in an oily area. Sometimes I can scrub some of them off, but usually even a pore strip won’t peel them away.
I’ve got one of these terrifying-looking comedone kits and still, nada. Pulling them out with tweezers gives me the best results, and that’s not saying much. The worst part about them is that my makeup goes on fine but by midday looks all dried out, primarily around my mouth.

They’re driving me NUTS, and I realize how dumb that is, since I can’t even snap a decent photo of them. I also feel like I’m abandoning my feminist cred by being as focused on my face as I am.

Are citrus soaks just a thing when you search stock photos for “facial”?

I’ve tried lots of moisturizers, moisturizing regimens, I’ve consulted with the fine people at Kiehl’s (my face is too sensitive for their stuff, alas) and at Sephora (tho at Sephora everyone is so young this felt like a lost battle at the start). I feel like I’m being silly, fretting over this, and it’s exactly the advice I’d give others–it’s minor, don’t worry about it. And surely don’t spend more hard-earned money trying to figure this out. No guarantee a facial will solve it and a quick googling has revealed how appallingly expensive those are.

But.

Help a sister out.

What would you do?

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6 thoughts on “My Face Wants Me to Make Weird Choices (plz send help)

  1. Ugh sorry I don’t have any specific advice for you (especially because my skin is much more on the oily side).

    But I’ve been hyper-aware of my face and all the damn acne that’s been popping up since I switched forms of birth control last March and that’s driving me crazy. It’s been expensive switching up my routine and trying new products and I have to be perfect about washing my face twice a day every day to even keep things at a borderline okay state. And some nights I’m just too tired or lazy to wash my face and everything goes to hell.

    I feel dumb caring this much about my face, especially as someone who historically has been too damn lazy to care and never wears makeup, but then again, it’s MY FACE. So I feel you.

    1. LORD. That sounds exhausting. I’ll stop complaining in comparison! I can still sleep with my makeup on on occasion without major harm done.

  2. Would it help to re-frame this as a health issue? I would talk to my primary care doctor and consider a referral to a dermatologist.

    I have a similar approach to and philosophy about beauty regimens. But skin changes can reflect other health issues, and it’s not frivolous deal with those.

    1. That’s a reasonable approach, assuming I have a PCP 😐
      Mine left the practice at least six months ago and I haven’t scheduled a physical with the new one yet. Ooops.

  3. What did you end up doing? I’m not sure if it’s age, new-mom tiredness, or both, but I’m finally realizing that I am going to have to invest in my face. I have spent a long time finding some basics that work well for me that are also cruelty-free, but I think I need to bring out the big guns. It’s vanity mostly, but my skin gets all itchy now, too.

    1. Funny you should ask–I was just thinking about posting about what I did, when I was reading that article Emily shared on not criticizing women on what they spend.

      I ended up placing an order with Sabbatical Beauty. I did their online consultation and they gave me a 20% discount code on the package they recommended. I’m um three days in–and poorly hydrated, I should add, as I’m not consuming enough water–and things are indeed starting to look a little better. I’m beginning to think the specks on my face are indeed related to dryness, and with this new (involved) routine, my makeup isn’t caking in them anymore. Better than it was, anyway!

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