A guide for the ungirly [Part 2]

crystal dingsSo, a few months ago, when I bought my first ever facial products, I went with Himalaya oily skin products. And that worked just fine for a few days, until my face broke out in what looked like sunburn. A week later, when I tried my first home facial, my skin burnt so intensely that I was tempted to smother myself with a pillow, just to stop the stinging.

I decided, based on the burning, that perhaps my skin is dry. After all, I had had a facial once, for an interview at KQ, and the lady insisted my skin was dry. I ignored her of course, on account of being so shiny.

However, I am a bit of a DIY fanatic, so I laid off the toner and bought some Himalaya dry skin products. That seems to work fine. The cream wash is gentler on my skin, even though it smells annoyingly flowery and tastes like pins.

The for-dry-skin fruit mask stung, but it stung considerably less than the mud mask. So I stuck to milk masks and exfoliated the burned areas every two days, and that seemed to help. For about a month, my skin looked and felt great.

I had read on the net that oily skin feels sticky, though it sometimes feels itchy and dry. It is prone to pimples, and, of course, it wrinkles less, so a part of me was still uneasy. Oily skin is shiny in the mornings, but that’s a bit hard to tell when you live in an oven. Shiny sweat and oil can be a bit confusing. It also appears that oily skin gets blackheads and has large pores.

Now here is where the problem begins.

I’m not quite sure what sticky is, since I live at the coast, and so my skin is always sticky. And pores … allegedly, can be seen in a magnifying mirror. But what exactly am I supposed to see, holes on my face? Coz I can see these little dimplish dots around my nose, that are either pin-sized craters or clear-coloured freckles. And the black spots on my face which only I seem to see, are those not blackheads?

Dry skin allegedly feels dry after cleansing. The moment I read that, my face felt tight every time I washed it. I can’t tell whether it was always the case, or whether I ‘noticed’ it after reading it. This happens often when you read about a disease, so perhaps it applies for skin care too.

I also did some reading on acne, and realised that my ‘blackheads’ were really whiteheads, and that they only left black scars when I scratched them. They are whiteheads, because they start out very small, almost unseen, and sometimes get larger during my time of month. And because their appearance is, well, white. At least before I burst them and initiate the scarring.

Armed with my complete and utter confusion, I went to a local salon where I was convinced to have a facial at the cost of 25,000 local monies  [that’s about 1,500 Kenyan].

Fair enough.

First, the lady suggested my face was bumpy due to stress. True, I have been rather tense lately.

Then she suggested I use a cinammon and honey exfoliant, which was disturbing, because I had read that you shouldn’t exfoliate during a breakout, since you will only spread the bacteria and increase the pimples. Also, it hurts. A lot.

But she’s a professional, so I let her do her job and tried not to squeal when my face started to burn. After all, she had just given me a ginger palm and foot scrub, and that stung as well, so maybe it’s just me.

When she concluded, as I had, that my skin-type is oily [due to my pimples] I didn’t comment. But when she put the Himalaya clay mask on my face and it burnt like a paper-thin iron box, I started to wonder what was up. Finally, she steamed my face and … gasp … popped my pimples! Are they allowed to do that?

Her own skin looks fabulous though, so she must know what she’s doing. And the clay mask burned far more intensely than it did at home, even though the stinging duration was shorter than it had been at home.

The immediate effect of the facial was negligible. My face – the part of it that wasn’t bumpy – looked delicate and fresh.  But for days after that, every time I rinsed my face or felt some sweat, my skin would make like a blow torch. Agony, thy name is cinammon-honey-and -himalaya-mud-mask-facial.

…to be continued…

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Crystal Ading' is a professional author, editor, rock lover and mother. Her work is available through threeceebee.com.

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