Put the soap down and step away from the sink

If you know me or have been following Five Seed since the beginning, then you probably saw this one coming!

One of the first things I did when I started rehauling my skin care routine was letting go of my perceptions of what I supposedly needed to manage my skin. I realized that none of it had worked, anyway. Not the soaps, astringents, pimple treatments…nothing. My skin was a mess and the more I tried to manage it, the worse it became.

No more soap for me...

I mentioned before that I had read several books in my twenties about women who had abandoned their skin care routine altogether, as they believed soap threw their skin out of balance and stripped it of its natural oils and elasticity. Though I had never before been brave enough to follow in their footsteps, in my heart, I felt their words were true.

I couldn’t let go of simply not using a product on my face at all, so I decided to try using what I considered to be the “anti-soap” – oil. I washed my face with jojoba oil for about a year and after discovering that it did NOT, in fact, make me break out, I felt satisfied with the results. (It makes me think now of the decades that I heard doctors and so-called skin care specialists instruct me to never, ever use oil on my skin because it would cause me to break out beyond control. I now consider that to be a deception created by the cosmetic industry.)

How do you wash your face with oil? I simply splashed warm water onto my face, then massaged the oil in, then rinsed it off. If I had been wearing makeup, I would rinse it off with a warm, wet washcloth.

Speaking of makeup, that was another thing I realized I needed to scale back on. I couldn’t go cold turkey – even now, I am more confident with a little concealer covering up a pimple than leaving it out in the open. Obviously, it’s better to let the skin breathe and not clog it with makeup. But I also think it’s important to keep up our level of confidence, and if that means a little concealer or mineral foundation (or whatever you like), then go for it. For me, I refused to wear makeup at home, but I put a little concealer or mineral foundation on before going out.

After a while, I simply stopped using oil to wash my face. Nothing in particular inspired this decision, except the fact that I was watching my boyfriend’s skin care routine with great interest. He has lovely skin, and doesn’t do much to it. He does wash it with soap about every two days, but that’s about it. Most of the time, he just lets it be. No moisturizer, no washing twice a day…nothing.

At that point, I began only washing by splashing my face with water in the morning and at night. No more soap for me.*

I’ll tackle the moisturizer question next, and reveal my skin’s response to this relatively new skin care routine.

*Please remember that everyone is different and will respond to things differently. You may find that washing with soap is the right thing for you and your skin, and that’s fine. This post is only meant to relate my own skin care history and to inspire people to question our cultural perceptions and standards about skin care.