I touch myself.  A lot.  It’s a dirty habit and I’m trying to break it.

Of course I’m not talking about flicking the bean.  That’s perfectly fine and not dirty at all, unless of course you haven’t washed your hands after stuffing a chicken or unblocking a drain bare handed, in which case it’s pretty bloody gross and you should rethink your hygiene standards.  No, I’m talking about unnecessarily touching your face and creating problems that were never going to occur in the first place, problems like acne.

The last time I wrote about my history with acne, I was taking a contraceptive pill to balance my hormones and keep my skin relatively clear.  Well, due to lazy and forgetful circumstances, I’ve been off them now for about six months, and I’m having to deal with a few spots.  The skin on my body is copping most of the breakouts, which I would describe as acne, on account of their size, soreness and stubbornness to get the f*ck off me.  Whereas, the ones that pop up on my face are just annoying run of the mill pimples, which shouldn’t be an issue, but because I can’t keep my dirty fingers off it, my face continues to breakout like an awkward teenager’s.

I just love a good pick.  My ex used to know when I was doing it in the car, because we’d start to slow down unnecessarily or slightly swerve a little.  “Stop picking!” he’d say, without even having to look at what I was doing.  “Shut up! You stop picking.” I’d snap back, because I was the more mature one in the relationship.  Seriously though, it’s a shitty habit that I’ve had forever and it doesn’t help my skin in the least.  The only thing that stops me from touching my face is wearing makeup (or mittens), and although this may sound counter intuitive to those who like to let their skin breathe, if you chose the right type of complexion products, then makeup can actually improve your skin.  For me, I know that silicone can get stuck in my pores and clog me up, so I’m lucky that there’s plenty of products available that are free of that crap and full of other good stuff.

So everyday for the past two weeks, much to my husband’s delight, I’ve been wearing makeup.  Not the hour long application type of makeup that I used to wear to work or when I go out, but a quick five ten minute face that I can put on with two little inquisitive minis rummaging through my stash.  The routine has become so habitual, that they know which product to pass me and when, sort of.  Sure one of them has applied mascara to her lips and had a run in with the lash curlers, but who hasn’t?  So now instead of looking like a tired, stressed and disheveled crazy woman, I only feel like one.  The outside is polished and put together with small quantities of liquid illuminators, foundation, powder and blush, while the inside remains on high alert for a toddler induced nervous breakdown.

Another thing I’ve changed to help clear up my skin is my cleansing routine, particularly now that I am wearing makeup again and because I have officially decided that foaming cleansers hate me and everything I stand for.  I’ve been kidding myself that the convenient devils I have in my shower are not drying out my skin or leaving it feeling rough and completely stripped of life, because they are, and the imbalance that they’re creating is causing little eruptions on my poor face too.  So I’m back onto a beautiful cream cleanser which I lovingly remove with a warm face washer in the shower.  The balance is restored and everyone is happy.

Now, being a lazy and sometimes forgetful human, this indulgent and nurturing cleansing routine doesn’t always happen, and while the evil foaming cleansers used to take their place in times of not being bothered, I needed a better option.  Micellar cleansing waters came into my life back in my Mecca days, with French brands leading the way with magic little bottles of mystery.  Not a toner, not an oil, not strippy, not sticky, Micellar waters are a makeup wearer’s and artist’s dream come true.  They don’t leave any residue, so you can use them during your makeup application to tidy up or fix any mistakes, especially around the eye area.  Just wet a cotton tip with a bit of special water and correct away.  They are also fabulous for drunk girls who need to get their face off before going to bed, but who might run the risk of flooding the bathroom or drowning themselves if they try washing their makeup off in the sink (I say ‘they’ and ‘their’, but I mean ‘me’ and ‘my’, let’s not pretend here).

There are a lot of Micellar and other cleansing waters on the market now, but unless you want to spend a bit on luxe brands, few of the drugstore products are cruelty free.  Until now.  I nearly left a little puddle of excitement at my local pharamacy when I was checking out the new offerings from one of our favourite natural brands, Sukin.  Reaching for the toner, I noticed that magic little word, ‘Micellar’ and wanted to squeal with delight.  I was intending to use the toner to do the job of a cleansing water, so when I discovered the real thing, I couldn’t wait to get home and try it.  Being true to Sukin’s style, it’s incredibly effective, yet gentle, and a perfect option for sensitive eyes and delicate skin.  I use it first thing in the morning to refresh my skin after sleeping in my own dribble, and after my cream cleanse at night to remove any stubborn makeup.  I can’t speak for it’s ability to remove waterproof mascara, but it removes eyeliner and regular mascara like a dream, without pulling on the delicate skin around the eyes.  It also leaves my face feeling soft, balanced and perfectly prepped for my serum and moisturiser.  For both lazy girls and high maintenance divas, I thoroughly recommend having this product at your disposal.

These new changes are certainly keeping my spots in check and my skin is gradually becoming a lot smoother and clearer, however, there’s always gonna be a sneaky little bastard trying to break through and ruin my day. For these moments I have Botani Rescue Acne Cream.  I bought this when I wanted something clear to treat my pimples during the day.  I was loving the Indie Lee Blemish Lotion, but I could only wear it at night as it was a pink tinted treatment.  The Botani cream is undetectable once rubbed in and doesn’t dry out your skin.  It targets the pimple itself without affecting the skin around it, which is great if you want to just smear it all over your face as a preventative measure.  They suggest applying it with a cotton tip, but I can’t be arsed, so I just make sure I have really clean hands and just put it on with my finger.  There is a feeling of instant gratification as the product tones down redness and leaves the skin subtly mattified.  For this reason, I find it works well as a pore refining primer for oily skin prone to blemishes.  Although this doesn’t work miracles on my body acne (you have no idea how stubborn it is), it does stop spots from developing on my face.  If I feel one or more coming up, I put it on and quite often they don’t get a chance to form before disappearing completely, and if they do, their lifespan is shortened by this little wonder.

In two weeks I have drastically improved my skin.  The irony is it’s now more worthy of appearing makeup free than it was when it was actually makeup free and I really want to touch it to feel how soft it is.  If you’re struggling with misbehaving skin, you might like to try wearing a bit of slap, keeping your hands to yourself or switching cleansers.   The next thing I need is a bit of glycolic to completely smooth it out and I’ll be positively glowing.

Kind Beauty Points : Both Sukin and Botani are cruelty free, eco friendly, vegan and natural.  Sukin is carbon neutral and Botani supports many worthy charities.  You can buy both brands from Priceline through Shopnate, and help out your favourite charity.

LISTEN : MC HAMMER  You Can’t Touch This