So let’s talk about Kendall Jenner for a second. I don’t know if y’all are cult Kardashian watchers like me, but I’ve been following that family since they wore leopard-print Juicy Couture sweatsuits. Before they were all married to rappers and attending Givenchy shows, these women were (relatively) normal people.
Perhaps no Kardashian-Jenner exemplifies the, “You’re not ugly, you’re just poor,” mantra quite like Kendall. Kendall, as a prepubescent 13-year-old on the early seasons, had a FACE full of blemishes — a far cry from the Estee Lauder, Chanel and God-knows-what-else high-fashion couture model she is today. I always found myself wondering, “How the heck did she achieve such a flawless complexion only a few short years after that?”
Turns out, if you have enough money, you can pretty much do whatever you want to your appearance (cue photo of Kylie Jenner, the inventor of lips). Including lasering off your pimples.
I knew there had to be something else to it, though, so I dug deeper. Besides investing thousands in Fraxel laser treatments and weekly facials, the girl’s dermatologist revealed a few interesting insights, and they’re bizarrely simple.
Evidently, my approach to my face (i.e., I’ll just use a $200 vibrating face brush with the most expensive, ingredient-laden product I can find and change my pillowcases every three days) was amiss.
Kendall’s dermatologist (a woman I’m convinced practices the dark arts) explained that your facial skin is extremely sensitive (I mean, duh). People with a history of acne or other skin problems (i.e., me) have a tendency to scrub harshly with the mindset of, “I’ll scrub my face so clean it won’t break out.” Again, guilty.
She said the only cleansing tool you need is your hands, and that you should use a cleanser that’s specifically formulated for sensitive skin. Look for words like fragrance-free, gentle and hypoallergenic.
My face would erupt in a fiery mess if I did that, I thought, writing off her advice as whimsical Hollywood nonsense.
But her little voice stuck in my head the following few days, and I paid closer attention to the cleansers I saw in the bathroom at my sorority house. What’s everyone else using? I’d wonder, as I eyed everyone’s toiletry baskets when I went to grab mine.
One girl’s cleanser stuck out to me, because it listed all of those things. I was intrigued, so I went online. This cleanser costs a whopping $4.69.
Next thing I knew, I was in my car on the way to Rite-Aid to pick up a bottle. At $4, what did I have to lose?
So I embarked on a mini experiment, knowing full well that I may be inviting havoc into my complexion. But I just had to know.
For the next week, I didn’t use my Clarisonic once. I only washed with this gentle, sensitive skin, fragrance-free, hypoallergenic cleanser, and I didn’t scrub — at all. No masks, no exfoliating treatments, nothing.
And I have to say… I’m floored. I thought it was a fluke at first because it made such a dramatic difference, but it’s been a little over a week now, and it just keeps steadily improving.
Ever since I got off Accutane, my skin has had a pinkish tint. I think I may have mild rosacea, because my face just always looks a little… red.
But its normal pink hue has faded, and I’ve noticed a dramatic decrease in the number of small blemishes on my face. When a small one does arise, it’s usually gone by the next day.
This approach may not work for everyone, but for people who are post-Accutane (or other serious acne treatments) and just trying to maintain normal skin, I would suggest giving it a shot. I can’t believe how much better my face looks and feels after being hyper-gentle with the products and cleansing mechanisms for a week or two.
I use the product once in the morning and once at nighttime, double-cleansing if I’m taking makeup off. I don’t use a moisturizer with it, because it’s so gentle that it doesn’t really require one (unless I start to feel dry, then I’ll pat a little CeraVe lotion on the dry areas).
But remember: The way you’re cleansing is just as important as what you’re using to cleanse. Don’t use your nails (obviously), don’t use a washcloth or any other abrasive object. Your facial skin truly is so sensitive, and I’m evidence that you can seriously aggravate it by trying too hard to “scrub it clean.”
Here’s the gentle cleanser, in all its glory (you can buy it at Rite-Aid and Wal-Mart):
All things beauty.