just call me feet-face

July 6, 2012

Hey, so, blogher is coming at the end of this month (already, oh my god) and it's about this time of year when a lot of us start trying to "be fit" or "look good," or whatever, and then get bored/give up and go back to eating ice cream. Not that that's a confession or anything. (It is.) Anyway, in the interest of beauty and science I desperately needed to mix up my facial routine. Please, let me continue at length.

(I will, don't worry.)

I have no idea what changed this past year but my formerly easy-to-care-for skin has flipped it's prospective shit. I suspect a combination of post-pregnancy and getting older (gross). My skincare routine has until this point been remarkably basic: cheap drug-store anti-blemish soap (Clean & Clear or like), followed with cheap drug-store anti-shine moisturizer applied when I remembered, which was about as often as I wash my hair, ie hardly ever. I've never been all that invested in my face-box beyond making it look passably human, so this worked out just fine for many years– until suddenly it really really didn't.

Recently (and very dramatically) my complexion migrated from 'combination skin' to 'so fucking dry what am I old or something' faster than I could keep up with a solution. The result was a cascade of adorably twee breakouts and flaking dry skin which drifted to and fro like blustering snowfall in winter. It was SUPER GREAT, you guys. I have never felt more like an adult woman than when my face looked like a teen girl's worst nightmare. Heyyyooooo! Let me go get my braces put back on. Now who wants to make out?!

I tried a number of things to correct the problem (gentler soap, exfoliation, fancier more moisturizing moisturizer, etc.) which only seemed to make THE BEAST angrier, because it was so comfortably adjusted to the routine I've had for the last 18 years. It was not jumping on board The Change Train LIKE IT SHOULD HAVE. Finally, I was desperate enough to start googling home acne treatments, because even though the smart thing to do would be to go to the dermatologist my insurance is sliding off the tip of a big long donkey dick and I absolutely can't stand to spend money on myself. Gross I know, but that's facts. Insurance is a bust.

Via pinterest or luck or something, I stumbled across the recommendation to try apple cider vinegar as a toner. I googled around a bit and for some strange reason decided, of all the odd homemade remedies I've seen recently, to give it a test run. While I was reading up on what strength mixture to use I scanned down to the comments for a good hemp-powered laugh, which is where I discovered this incredible beauty advice. Please get a pen and paper ready, you're going to want to write this down:


After that, apple cider vinegar seemed like a completely rational choice. Also, that person is crazy.

So, it's been two weeks now. Here's my apple cider vinegar toner review:
• I'm using apple cider vinegar from the grocery store. I found out later that you're supposed to use the natural kind that is labeled "with mother" because that means there's magic dirt in it. Whatever.
• The mixture I am using is one part ACV to eight parts water. You can mix stronger/weaker as desired.
• I apply it in the evening. First I wash my face (Trader Joe's Naturals FaceWhateverSoap, I like it okay) and liberally apply much much lotion to keep the snowflakes away. Once the festival of lotion has settled I use a cotton ball to wipe the ACV/water mixture all over my face. Fan dry.
• Some directions recommend washing it off after ten minutes, but I just go to bed. I'm so street.

Do I like it? YES I DO. Here's the odd part, because it's a little bit odd: it has not made me break out less, or any amount less than a better routine of washing/moisturizing would have created anyway. What it HAS done, which I am incredibly pleased about, is help even out my blotchy spots and scarring and give my skin a nice smooth texture without over-drying. The blemishes I have gotten have healed faster and looked less hideous.

Since I am very pale complexioned (think big white ivory beach ball face) I have always struggled with redness/marks showing on my skin. If I get a blemish the mark seems to hang around for the next ten years mocking me with silent evil laughter. Since I'm not a heavy makeup wearer I'm sometimes self-conscious about it, except cue WHITE KNIGHT, I really think the apple cider vinegar is helping everything be more even.

damn gurl, dats sum parade hurrr.

*Does not cure: freckles, reeeeeee-diculous hair decisions

And now, Q and A timez!
Are you going to keep using it?
Rarely have these "natural" type remedies worked well enough that I keep using them, but this one goes in the win column. Yes, I'm definitely going to stick with it for the time being.

Isn't this the same thing as toner you can buy at the store?
Yes and no. In theory it is, but I've never found a store-bought toner that didn't sting like all hell and dry me out. Since I'm newly battling moisture problems, that is my highest priority. Commercial toners also seem to make my dark spots/blemishes most pronounced and angry rather than less.

Should I try it?
That's up to you and your skin, man. One of the better things about it is that many of us already have apple cider vinegar sitting around at home because it's a great multipurpose cleaner, salad dressing, etc. So if you have some in your pantry at least you don't have to make a special trip to test it out, and it's cheap.

But, doesn't apple cider vinegar smell terrible?
Yes, yes it does. In the evening my face smells like spicy feet. The only good news is that once it fully dries (about ten minutes) the smell is mostly gone. I wouldn't recommend chasing your family members around the house yelling, "SMELL MY FACE! SMELL IT!" because that would be kind of mean. Funny, but mean.


In conclusion:
There is really no way for you to tell if I'm showing you pictures of my pee.

Any other questions?
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