Zemaye’s Take: Pimples
My face has never been smooth. Pimples have been my friends since forever. But it is a relationship I am slowly ending. Here is what has worked for me with pimples:
1. Food matters. What you put in your mouth affects your skin. Remember that the whole body is interconnected. You cannot treat your facial skin as if it is different from the rest of your body. The skin is the body’s largest organ. Bad greasy food will show up on your skin as bad greasy pimples. If you eat fresh vegetables and nuts and fruits, your skin will be different. I was complaining about my face once and Ifemelu said I should stop eating too much ‘refined’ food. At first I said abeg abeg Ifem carry this your Americanah and go. But one day I woke up and my face was like a farm, bumps and ridges everywhere. So I asked what she meant. She said, “refined or processed food is food that God did not make as it is. Food that has been processed in a factory or bakery or whatever. Like bread. Tinned tomatoes. Chocolate. Cake. Spaghetti.”
In short, everything I like eating.
Anyway I stopped eating most of them. And I swear my face looked better in two weeks! (Stay tuned for what I actually ate)
2. How you handle your skin matters.
Wash your face gently. Do not overwash. If you scrub too hard you will annoy the skin and cause it to produce more oil. If you scrub too hard you might just get more pimples. So clean gently with water and a simple cleanser (I’m putting together a post on product recommemdations). Use a toner with 1-2 percent salicylic acid. Give your skin a minute for the toner to absorb. Then use a benzoyl peroxide cream and apply directly on each pimple.
3. Another thing you can try for a big angry pimple is hydrocortisone cream, 1 or 2 percent. It sometimes helps reduce a pimple. It works for me on some days and not on other days.
4. Always use moisturizer. Also known as cream. Also known as ude. If your skin is oily, it does not mean your skin does not need cream. It means your skin is overproducing oil. And sometimes not moisturizing your skin (aka not rubbing cream on your face) will make it produce even more oil.
The important thing is to find the right cream. Look for creams that say ‘oil-free’ or ‘gel’ or ‘for oily skin’ or ‘balancing.’ There are even some oils that can help oily skin. Seriously. But that is a subject for another day.