Summer Skin

Hello there dear reader, welcome back to my corner of the Internet! As we get nearer to the dog days of summer and the temperatures rise, I thought now would be a good time to check in about skincare. For a long time I was a ‘soap and go’ kind of gal, but a couple years ago I began using the oil cleansing method (OCM). When I’m being consistent I do that, and in interspersed periods I go back to whatever soap happens to be in the shower. It has only been recently that I have discovered reddit’s Skincare Addiction and gotten invested—financially, emotionally, and spiritually—in my day-to-day skincare routine. I even discovered the now infamous skin gritting method, which I tried and is now the focus point of this blog.

First, let me clarify where my skin is at: I typically have oily combination skin where my T-zone is everslick but my undereyes and top of cheeks look patchy dry under concealer. Also, because of my genetics, my pores are extremely large and my sebaceous filaments are mighty. I have pretty strong red undertones and, because I have anxiety-related sleep disorders, I also have semi-permanent purple-grey undereyes. None of these are bad things, just facts of my face.

Combine this with the heat and resulting sweat of summer and my skincare needs change during this season. I don’t like wearing a ton of makeup in the summer months because I find I just sweat it off. And if I’m going to be naked bareface each day, I want that look to be best as possible. Usually that means multiple daily applications of pure witch hazel, which I highly recommend. But after reading Skincare Addiction’s, I decided to try the aforementioned skin gritting method.

If you haven’t heard, skin gritting is supposed to be a three-step process to remove dirt, clogged pores, and blackheads from your skin. Dermatologists generally say it’s safe as long as you don’t have sensitive skin, but they also think it’s debatable if the method does what it’s supposed to. In theory, by skin gritting, you should be able to easily remove the contents of your pores—those filled yellow-green/brown/orange sebaceous filaments and all the dirt that goes along with them—by having them just slide out of your pores when rubbing with oil. It’s not permanent, obviously your pores will re-gunkify over time, but it does provide a cleansed fresh face in the meantime.

So I tried the grit cleansing technique! I will say that my pores did not pop out their contents so that was a bit of a let-down, but honestly I hadn’t totally fallen for the hype in the first place. I do think it reduced the size of my pores and my face felt incredible afterwards, so all in all worth it.

 

Read on for Skin Gritting steps and photographs documenting my first-try!

 The Before photo. You can see my eyebags, enlarged pores that have taken on a green/grey color, and my unkempt brows. 

The Before photo. You can see my eyebags, enlarged pores that have taken on a green/grey color, and my unkempt brows. 

Step 1: Cleanse your skin with a BHA. I used a Spearment Tea Oily Skin Cleanser with a 2% salicylic acid content. See the end of this post for my entire product list and costs.

 Me with spearmint cleansing mask on! Instructions had me leave it for ten minutes. It felt tingly cool with no pinching. 

Me with spearmint cleansing mask on! Instructions had me leave it for ten minutes. It felt tingly cool with no pinching. 

Step 2: Do a clay mask. I used my all-time favorite Indian Healing Springs clay mask mixed with apple cider vinegar. I do think this company’s name is appropriative, so while I buy the product because it is what I can afford, I also write the company asking if they have a tribal connection, and if not, that they pay a reparation and change their name.

 This mask gets  TIGHT  which is part of why I love it. The more time it's on my face, the more I can feel it really pulling out my pores' contents. 

This mask gets TIGHT which is part of why I love it. The more time it's on my face, the more I can feel it really pulling out my pores' contents. 

Step 3: Use the oil cleansing method and be aggressive. For my oils I use 2/3 castor oil and 1/3 grapeseed oil. No picture for this part because oil all over face doesn't look anything special but oil all over my phone trying to take a selfie would have been a disaster. Plus, my fingers were busy furiously rubbing.

And once the oil was rinsed off…

 The AFTER shot! You can see my pores are noticeably smaller and my skin looks smoother, fresher, and brighter. 

The AFTER shot! You can see my pores are noticeably smaller and my skin looks smoother, fresher, and brighter. 

So nothing popped out of my face and onto my hands with a pure-joy inducing ASMR sensation. But even though I didn’t get the results I wanted, I did get good results. And it felt really nice to do something kind for myself, specifically to my body, after essentially not leaving my bed all week or doing anything for my well-being. Physical pick-me-ups can go the length in helping our whole selves feel better. As I said in my 2017 post, I moisturize everything to soften all wounds. Knowing that my skin is clean helps my whole self feel rested and taken care of.

So, just to recap (or tl;dr if you just scrolled) the Skin Gritting Method was a so-so success and it involved the following product list and steps:

Product list:

  • Skin By Ann Webb’s Spearment Tea Oily Skin Cleanser, $15.99
  • Indian Healing Clay, $6.69
  • Bragg’s Unrefined Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, 16 oz, $3.43
  • Home Health Castor Oil, 16 oz, $7.48
  • Now Foods Grapeseed Oil, 4 ox, $4.99
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Steps:

·         Cleanse face with a BHA (containing 2% salicylic acid)

·         Use a clay mask

·         Apply oil using oil cleansing method

·         Rub aggressively with fingers

 

And if you end up trying it, or tweaking it to make it work for you, please let me know your routine and results! Are there other ways my fellow oily-skinned femmes are taking care during the hottest months? Products you’re absolutely loving? As always, let me know in the comments.