Beginning again – letting go of control to finally get the results you want
This is written specifically for those who have suppressed severe breakout in any area of their face in the past (this could include symptoms that resemble acne, rosacea, hormonal pimples, cysts or cystic acne, etc) but the ideas can apply to anyone who is feeling like they are constantly trying to hold back the floodgates and wants to move from suppressive (control-based drugstore/beauty counter/pharma-style) skin care to supportive (holistic herbal) skincare. Specific products may vary in such a case.
It’s not easy to know where to start and what is normal when you are giving your skin (and health) and major turnaround. Here are some steps and ideas to make it easier.
There is no quick fix for all skin problems. Changing what you are doing topically can sometimes provide a type of immediate relief in certain skin problems—but nothing is “fixed” right away. (By the way, we don’t diagnose, prescribe for or treat diseases of any kind. We simply give you the tools to help get your basic needs met in order for your skin to function better and more beautifully.)
The recovery rule of Functional Herbalism is this: It takes about one month of letting go of control methods and supporting the body’s needs to allow each year of suppression to release and resolve.
If you have only recently started to show symptoms, changing your topical skin care routine and improving your diet can give immediate results. If you have been struggling and trying out everything on the market for years, it will take longer. Fortunately, you can enjoy softer, younger-looking, smoother skin even as the problems, stress bumps and irritations take their time to release and resolve.
Create your Box of Broken Dreams
- Gather all of your current skin care regimen. This includes cleansers, lotions, creams, pimple potions, dying agents, toners, essential oils, scrubs, treatments, retinols, serums, soaps, tinted moisturizers, foundation, powders, cover-ups, etc.
- Figure out your depth of control. What products do you currently use that are controlling? Do any of them make your skin “look” healthy when, in fact, it is not? What dries you out? What suppresses your body’s immune responses? Look out for benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid or any steroid-type cream. How long have you been using products that control or suppress your body’s natural functions? Give yourself a score of one month for every year you have been suppressing.
- Pick out your most controlling product, and then put all of the rest in a shoe box (or trailer?), close the lid and mark it on the outside “Box of Broken Dreams”. Now write the number of months for “Release & Resolve” and give it a date.
- Your goal is to wean yourself off all of those controlling products by the date on the box and all of the old “Ghosts of Pimples Past” will have ceased haunting you by that date. Follow the directions below for more specifics
- When your time is up, (or maybe even before then) it’s time to let go of those broken dreams. Either bring back in the products you have missed or put them in the trash.
If you have been controlling for a long time, it may be best not to let go of control completely and take time to wean yourself off your most controlling product(s). If that product is a cleanser, you will want to start by adding our Moisture Duo: Nourish & Replenish Oil with One of our Mineral Mists.
Drip 3-5 drops of Nourish and Replenish Oil into the palm of your hand and then spray 4-8 pumps of the Mineral Mist most suited to you directly into it. These two products are specially formulated to work together in this way and should be combined for best results.
Now, read carefully, as this will be counter to what you would do with other types of products: If you get oily in the afternoon you will need equal amounts oil and Water (4 drops + 4 mists) for 3 weeks. If you feel dry or dehydrated you will want to double the mist (3 drops + 6 mists). And, once your skin has taken back its own control, the usual ratio for normal, well-functioning skin using these two products will be about 3 drops and 5 mists. If that is not enough product for your whole face and neck, you can either double it (6 + 10) or simply do the ritual twice in a row (our preference).
Start adding oil cleansing with NO EVIL to your regimen 2-3 times a week, in addition to using your old, controlling therapy. If you suddenly stop suppressing, old bumps will come out. It’s not the result of using a new product, but the result of discontinuing one that your body has become dependent upon. As you improve you diet (read Diet for Incredibly Good Skin and book an appointment for a consultation with one of our specialists) and increase the functionality of your skin, you can further wean from the old, controlling product with less “purging.”
NO EVIL as an Oil Cleanser: Apply 10-15 drops over entire face. Massage into impacted, problem spots with fingertips (dampened with warm/hot water–this may be done in the shower). Always remove with a washcloth. Our textured washcloths work especially well.
If your current most-controlling product is a toner or moisturizer, you will want to start by adding cleansing with Sow Your Wild Oats 3-5 times a week.
Mix 1 tsp SYWO + 10 drops NO EVIL + 1 tsp tap water in the palm of your hand. Apply to the face (before a shower is great) and massage with your warm, wet fingertips before removing with one of our washcloths.
Use the Moisture Duo as described above 2-3 times a week instead of your more controlling product and slowly wean yourself off over the course of 2-3 months. Controlling Moisturizing and toners tend to be a little harder to let go cold-turkey, so just be kind to yourself (no judgement) if you have to go back once a week for a little while.
Better Rituals for Better Results
Let go of anything you may use to dry-up pimples. Drying them out only furthers the problem and prevents true healing. Our method has you support your skin’s actions and draw them out instead.
No matter your method of control, you will benefit from the Clear Complexion Charcoal Clay Mask over NO EVIL (If your skin is sensitive or congested) or Cow Fart Juice (If you have old scars, hyperpigmentation PIH, or wounds) at least once a week. Mix 2 tsp powder with 3 tsp water and apply over 10-15 drops of the Supportive Skin Care Oil of your choice. Let sit for 8- 10 minutes (preferably in a steamy shower or with a wet towel over your face) and remove by working the mask with wet fingertips and gently wiping away with a washcloth or towel.
If your body is actively creating new stress bumps in your skin or you are experiencing what we call “The Ghosts of Pimples Past” (little, hard bumps that look like you are squeezing out toothpaste if you press on them) you may also use the Clear Complexion Charcoal Clay instead of your cleanser a few times a week. Apply the oil first and mix 1 tsp of powder with 1 tsp of water in the palm of your hand. Put it on over the oil and keep adding warm water to your fingertips as you work it over congested areas. Remove with your washcloth and warm water.
You may, however, use a pinch of this specific clay with a drop of NO EVIL or Cow Fart Juice as a spot treatment before bed. Be aware, this product will stain cloth.
Finding Your Support
Following these guidelines will help you get thorough the period of time when you are letting go of control and that may simply be enough if you have resolved the issues that initially led to the suppression. If you experience new stress bumps (the itchy, welt-like kind) you will need to also work on improving your skin’s ability to function well and reduce your body’s need to use your skin as an organ of elimination.
When you have been controlling your skin for a long time, it can be really hard to let go. Sometimes it takes the support of professionals and those who have been through it before, but it is worth the effort. When you finally reach the point where you don’t seem to have to do anything special and your skin is just naturally dewy and lovely, you will know that you have made it through and it’s smooth sailing from there! You can do it.