This Is Where I Ask For Advice


Water. This is pretty much the most I can do. Oh, and I look just like her. Well, maybe if I was 25 years younger and 100 pounds lighter and had neatly plucked eyebrows and had major facial reconstruction surgery and…

My dear readers, I come today asking for advice.  I struggle with a problem that’s been plaguing me since adolescence.  I, for the life of me, seem unable to wash my face, moisturize, or regularly use makeup (not that I want to regularly use makeup–I’ve gotten used to not doing it, and it’s kind of nice not to feel like I have to).

The reason?  I have extremely sensitive skin.  In addition, I have seborrhea dermatitis (or maybe my sensitive skin is because of this? I don’t know), which flares up when I put products on my skin.

When I was a teen, I stubbornly wore makeup, despite my skin telling me not to.  I would use a wet washcloth to get the makeup off.  No soap, because the soap made my skin worse.  Wearing the makeup or using the soap made it get all red, with flaky patches across my nose and cheekbones.   So then, of course, I’d cover them with more makeup.  That didn’t help, obviously.  Then I finally got disgusted with it and stopped wearing makeup altogether.  I mean, it seemed like the makeup made the flaky patches more visible, so why draw attention to it?

Then, the strangest thing happened.  The patches went away.

Imagine that.  No more crap on my face to irritate the skin, no more irritation.  So I haven’t been washing my face with anything other than a washcloth or water or wearing makeup (except on rare special occasions) for many years.  I do occasionally use witch hazel if I’ve been doing something extremely dirty and my pores feel all gucky, but I don’t dare do it often, because the moment I do it, I can feel my skin complaining and drying up.

The strange thing is, I can use lotions and such on the rest of my body.  In fact, as I get older, my skin dries more easily and I find I use moisturizer more frequently.  But I cannot use those same products on my face.

Water and a washcloth for my face seems to be okay, for the most part.  But with all the stress I’ve been through in the last few years, my skin has gotten bad.  It’s drier in some areas and oilier in others.  I tend to get breakouts at the temples and on the chin when I’m stressed or Aunt Flo is visiting.  I would like to take care of my skin.  What can I use?  What do I do?

When you make recommendations to me, keep three things in mind:

1) $30 seems like a frick-load of money to me, so if you recommend some $75 moisturizer or cleanser, I’m not buying it.  First of all, it’s a major waste of  money if it doesn’t work for me.  And, it’s a major chunk of change even if it DOES work for me.

If it is a little bit more expensive, is it possible to get samples?  Again, I don’t want to invest a ton of money in something that will likely  never get used up.  I know this is true.  There was a time when I went through hundreds of products to no avail.  It’s been over 20 years now, though, and there are new products with new formulations, so I’m hoping something works.

2)  If it is a homemade remedy, how feasible is it to use on a semi-truck that doesn’t have access to a kitchen sink?  Or a blender?  Or a fridge?  I have a cooler, though, so I can chill some ingredients, I just can’t have a whole produce section in there.  Actually, even if it isn’t a homemade remedy, but is one of those “systems” that has like fifteen bottles or something, that won’t work well on a truck with major space limitations.

3)  I am majorly sensitive to odors.  Especially flowery ones.  If the scent is flowery, I usually can’t use it.  I literally had to quit a job I had in retail once, because no matter where I was in the store, the perfume counter spritzers ruined my day by spritzing every god-forsaken person who wandered by.   Who then wandered by me.  Ugh.  I prefer unscented products.  Although products that smell like food–vanilla, coconut, fruits, etc.-are usually okay.  In fact, one of my favorite body butters smells rather like a vanilla waffle cone.   Mmm.  I want to take a bite out of myself every time I put that stuff on, lol.

So, now that I’ve given you my guidelines that make the quest even more difficult, how about it?  Do you have any advice?


13 thoughts on “This Is Where I Ask For Advice

  1. I’m not a beauty expert but I have found some really gentle products during my travels to S. Korea last year. I found these 100% cloth masks which are saturated with different treatments/essences. Most of them are for moisturizing only and after trying several of them I found them to be very gentle. Even though most of them are scented I thought the scents were very mild (cucumber was nice). I was able to find the same brand on Amazon, here is a link to a variety pack for less than $10:

    Another thing I can recommend is that I’m pretty sure CVS has a cosmetics return policy that allows you to return any cosmetic item (even if it is used and opened) if you are allergic. You could try different products at CVS and if you have a reaction to it, return it or exchange it for a different one until you find one that works! 🙂

      • It might be worthwhile checking out other pharmacies in the area to see if they have similar policies, in case there isn’t a CVS nearby.

      • Yeah, I just checked CVS–none in Oregon. But, I think you have the right idea. We’ve got RiteAid and Walgreens here; maybe they have similar policies. It’s worth checking out!

  2. Something I’ve used as a mask-type cleanser is egg white. Seriously. Beat it up a little, apply to the face with a cotton ball or whatever, let it dry, and rinse off with lukewarm water. My skin always feels smoother afterwards. YMMV

  3. I believe oatmeal mixed with warm water makes an excellent exfoliator and you can make it more nourishing for skin if you mash in banana with it. Oatmeal is meant to be good for soothing irritation – it’s also quite cheap! I sometimes use a brand of moisturiser called Aveeno which is unscented and inexpensive (made in Canada) so you may find it in supermarket or pharmacy. Let us know how you get on 🙂

    • I’ve used Aveeno on my body before (a nice bath soak thingie once that was pretty great) and I tried an Aveeno lotion on my face, but it didn’t really agree with my facial skin. I’ve heard that oatmeal is supposed to be soothing, but I’ve yet to try a homemade oatmeal thing. With bananas? Hm. That sounds tasty, actually, lol. I wonder how it would be with avocado? Isn’t avocado supposed to be good for your skin, too? Lots of vitamin E or something like that. I’ll have to try those.

      Thanks for the advice!

  4. I’m allergic to synthetic fragrances as well; they give me migraines. Natural essences are okay unless I have a migraine going already, in which case anything hurts.

    You mention elsewhere that you have health insurance now (or will soon). I would suggest going to a dermatologist. There may be a prescription product that will work for you, which could make it relatively inexpensive if you have Rx coverage.

    • Good idea, Phoenix!

      Being sensitive to odors is a pain in the patootie, if you ask me. Most of the time I wish I wasn’t so sensitive to them! I can’t even imagine having to deal with a migraine on top of odors. Yeesh. You have my sympathy!

  5. Origins checks and balances. $20 great for sensitive skin and non soap foaming cleanser. You can get samples too. They have origins stores and they are in Macy’s. I’ve been using it for 2 years and adore it. Still looking for a moisturizer but I want to try the origins one as well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s