I’ve done poorly with foot hygiene. I paid very little mind to mosturizing my feet and sanitizing my sneakers. Until now. I recently washed the insoles of my shoes, using a fresh toothbrush to scrub with a vigorous lather of soap and water. When everything was washed away, I watched a river of caked on grime go down the drain. The insoles now look so clean as if I just bought them.
I have similar sentiments about my lack of skin care. Every now and then I’ll slap on some lotion but only if I feel very dry. I once went a whole winter with itchy skin and nearly scratched myself raw on my legs and arms, all because I was too dry but laziness compelled me to not bother with the upkeep of lotion after hot showers.
It could be the change in weather these past few days (Hello, autumn) or I have had a change of heart and want to take my self-care more seriously this time around. Funnily, when winter comes I’ll have a convenient excuse to go full mammoth on my legs.
Habitually there have been periods where I made myself stay on a strict skin regiment. Facial wash twice a day, and also lotion twice a day. I stopped believing in facial cleanses, though, because the removal of oil from my face seemed to force more oil production. So if I skipped a washing, I found myself with oily skin again. It was the same issue I encountered with hair shampoos with SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate), an ingredient found in most shampoos that strips oil from the scalp during washing. Some people say the chemical is too harsh and may be responsible for the scalp overproducing oil to compensate for all of its natural oil being taken away.
With lotion, it can feel like a chore to remoisturize constantly. But the reward is seeing that my skin looks so much better. I had athlete’s foot some years ago. It’s embarrassing to admit I had it because of how horrifying the symptoms were. Blackened and itchy skin, accompanied by hardening and peeling inbetween the toes and on the underside of my feet. Scary! A good cream for treating the disease helped me. I imagine if I still had athelete’s foot, the foot massage parlor I went to in China recently may have refused to service me, lol.
First thing in the morning, my most unfavorite activity to do after rolling out of bed is washing away my eye boogers at the sink. I get that the crust formations are just the body’s way of protecting itself while the eyes are closed for so many hours during sleep. Partially I feel grossed out seeing what comes out from me but also amazed my body works on autopilot without my directive.
I have yet to take an allergy test but I will someday. I believe I am allergic to certain chemicals since I’ve had bad reactions to stuff.
The worst when I put sunscreen on my face and within seconds, my skin felt like a boiling furnace. Several days later I had redness, peeling, and such leathery skin that I couldn’t even open my mouth to brush my teeth without feeling extreme pain when the skin was pulled by that one action. I used sunscreen loads of times in earlier years and nothing like this ever happened. After that I never put sunscreen on my face ever again. This incident made me reliant on wearing hats for those sunny days.
Then there’s the mixed signals I’ve gotten various lip balms. A stick balm called Softlips in the mint flavor used to be my favorite and worked best for me. If I were to dab some on now, it would make my lips crack and peel. I have no idea why, except that it could be an undiagnosed allergy. Blistex also used to work but like Softlips, it worked well for my lips until it didn’t.
What are some of your good/bad habits with skin care upkeep? What methods have or have not worked for you?
Featured Image by Holger Link.