A guide for the ungirly [Part 3]

crystal dingsA few days later, I noticed that my face was burnt out again. Groan. I went back to the shop and bought Himalaya Neem wash, because, well, the cream wash was finished, and the Neem wash is for all skin types, so that seemed like a much safer option until I figured out what exactly was what.

I had re-used the for-oily-skin gel wash because it was in a pretty bottle, felt deliciously cool on my skin, smelt fabulous … and because I wasn’t about to throw out a perfectly good tube of facial wash. My reasoning was ‘what’s the worst that could happen?’

I used it one morning, just once. By lunch time, my face was stinging and ‘sunburnt’. It took me a week of mild exfoliant and soothing Neem wash to get rid of the burn effect.

Yeah, I’m not ever trying that again.

Then I went a-googling and found out a few things. Apparently, getting burnt by clay masks is more common than you’d think. Yahoo answers claimed it was a sign of allergy, at which point I decided that I have sensitive skin, since I am ‘allergic’ to mud masks and cinammon exfoliant, and since my skin is shiny and  patchy, and is both dry and sticky after cleansing.

I found further information suggesting that perhaps I have combination skin, since both times, it was only my T-zone that took a burning. That theory fell flat because combination skin has an oily T-zone and dry sides, not the other way around. My pimply bits are usually on the side, and are, as I know realise, prompted by hormones and stress.

I then started some deduction. I figured perhaps I was allergic to Himalaya, or that being a Malaysian product, it was more formulated for … Malaysian skin. Or that perhaps my skin was once oily but had been dried out by coastal climate, and would return to oily once back in 254.

Eventually, I found a conclusive, straightforward skin-type test. Cleanse your face, rinse and pat dry. Check for tightness immediately after cleansing – does your face feel like the skin is too small for the face? Wait an hour, then get some Kleenex or soft tissue. Pat the tissue or lightly wipe various parts of your face – chin, cheeks, nose, forehead.

If the tissue has some oil on it, you have oily skin. If the  t-zone [forehead, cheeks and chin] tissues are oily but the other tissues are not, you have combination skin. If the tissue has little flakes on it, your skin is dry.

Now, for ungirly me, the ‘flakes’ are about as confusing as the pores. But I suppose the teeny black dots on the white tissue, when combined with the skin-too-small-for-face component suggest my skin is dry.

Crud. That means I’m going to wrinkle.

Of course once I accepted that my skin was dry, then I started to notice the whiteheads. Usually, I would feel like my skin is rough to the touch when I oil it, but I couldn’t really tell why. Whiteheads, allegedly, are often invisible to the naked eye.

I also suddenly noticed that my skin does look dull sometimes, and tired and patchy. I don’t know if it’s always been that way, or if it is only because I read that in descriptions of dry skin. I also read in more than one place that dry skin is usually pimple free throughout teenage. No info on how it behaves after teenage.

Oh, and dry skin also, allegedly, stings when you use a toner. Hmph.

And all this for a wedding.

In conclusion, I am now sticking with the Neem-for-all-skin-types gel wash, and Bio oil or Himalaya day and night creams – also suitable for all skin types. I have a beauty tub full of mud and fruit packs, and I’m using the fruit pack. Partly because it says ‘for dry skin’ and is less messy, but mostly because it stings less.

Also, since local December weather is loaded with heat rash, it may be a while before I exfoliate.

I suppose I should tell you about the wedding now…

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