First off, I Googled (I mean, who wouldn't. Duh.). Many, many dermatology and medical websites claim that moisturizing is an essential part of a skincare routine. Ha! Just like I thought. "Experts" (at least, I hope they're experts) claim that moisturizing is needed to treat acne, because most topical acne meds are drying, and overly-dry skin can lead to more breakouts. But my derm swears that too much oil leads to breakouts (makes sense, actually), and that if we all would just leave our skin alone, it will produce enough oil to keep it hydrated. When I protested that my skin is super-dry and needs moisturizer, he said it's not my skin that's dry, but the products I'm using are drying it out. Using moisturizer is "a cultural thing." No way. He said that when you apply moisturizer, it's like rubbing in excess oil. But all of my products are oil-free! Not good enough, he said; even supposedly "oil-free" products can clog pores. Well, what about makeup? "We encourage people to use makeup," he said. "Makeup covers a multitude of sins."
But isn't makeup comedogenic? Apparently not. My doc says that since makeup sits on the surface of your skin, it doesn't penetrate enough to do any real damage; unlike moisturizer, which gets absorbed right away and seeps into your pores. Gross. So my derm gave me a sample of Cetaphil cleanser, told me to use that, and only that, and promised that I would notice a difference. "Stop moisturizing, and you will stop having acne breakouts." Just like that, eh? Well, heck. I'm 25 and have tried just about every acne treatment out there (I'm one of those who never broke out as a teen, but the minute I turned 20... spot city in my T-zone!) with mixed results. Sometimes I'll find what I deem a "miracle product," only to have my skin rebel within a few weeks of treatment. My skin, in addition to being breakout-prone, is crazy sensitive, and seems to ultimately reject whatever products I feed it. I have tried multiple brands. I have tried changing my diet. I have tried drinking tons of water. But the one thing I haven't tried? Not moisturizing. Even though the idea completely freaks me out, I've simply got to try it. What if my doc is right? I mean, he's the one with a dermatology degree, not me. Cosmo and Glamour are great and all, but my favorite magazines can't be my sole authority on skincare.
Step away from the moisturizer!
I'm worried that my face is going to look and feel like the Sahara, but other than that, I've got nothing to lose! So. Can I reduce my own dependency on oil? Check back to find out...
What about you? Are you completely dependent on your moisturizer? If so, what brand do you swear by? Every girl has a skincare story, and I'd love to hear from you!