Head down thinking, ‘Oh God are they looking at me?!’ I entered the office and quietly logged onto my computer. I’d had enough of my skin, erupting with cystic acne and drowning in oil, skin was playing tricks on me. I’d gone to the doctors for the latest cycle of antibiotics, having already tried all the treatments on the planet. I’ve tried and tested every spot cream, face mask and oil control lotion the market has to offer, I dread to think how much I’ve spent over the years. One thing I hadn’t tried to combat my spots was not wearing makeup, stupid I know but it was a confidence thing.
I’ve been wearing makeup since I was about 13-14, in an attempt to hide my troublesome skin, so around a decade now. Once I started I became obsessed, makeup was my crack. I was in denial - makeup couldn’t be causing my skin any trouble, and I was taking it off after work anyway. Really plastering on the foundation, concealer and powder was only preventing my skin from breathing.
I took a brave step and decided to stop wearing makeup to work. Yes, this might seem silly to some but I have horrible red scarring from old acne on my face. Even when I don’t have a spot I’m still hiding plenty of red scars. Makeup had been a comfort blanket, but I had to let it go, I was going to try a week without makeup.
So Monday rolled around and I was very excited about my extra half an hour in bed. When it came to it I panicked, my skin looked awful but I had no time to actually apply makeup, I’d purposely set my alarm with little time to get ready for force my own hand. So I slapped on some moisturiser and left. I kept my head down all day, I was so self-conscious about my scarring. No one really commented, so I felt a little better, ready to go make-up for the next day.
My skin actually looks so much better, now it’s had a chance to breathe. My scars have faded slightly and my skin overall looks better in texture. I’ve noticed I do produce slightly less oil, I think the makeup was sending my oil production into overdrive. As my skin is clear and I’ve let moisturiser sink in, I think it needs to produce less oil.
I've had more time to spend on skincare. Japanese ladies spend around half and hour on skincare and 5 on makeup but us Brits are the opposite. I've taken pleasure in really giving my skin some TLC. I stuck to my Pixi Cleansing Balm but added in the Serozinc spray from La Roche Posay to balance the skin. When I've not been wearing makeup I can read my skin better, understanding when it needs moisturise and when it needs oil control, so I've been switching up moisturisers between Dermalogica, Kiehl's, Elemis and La Roche Posay.
I did cave twice, I had an out of office meeting with a new client and a presentation with the big boss, both of which I wanted to look presentable for. As soon as the meetings were over I wanted to take my makeup off, I love letting my skin breathe now, I would never have guessed as a makeup addict.
Not wearing makeup to work wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, none of my mostly female colleagues have commented and I’ve started to see the benefits. Would you try a makeup free week in work?