I’ve been doing a lot better recently about managing my skin-picking. I think I’ve mostly been in control for the past 2 months. And these last two months have been very stressful.
I picked at a few things today but I don’t think I was in the bathroom for more than 10-15 minutes, which I’m taking as a positive.
I feel I could do even better than this if I just focus on being mindful about my triggers (touching my face, zooming in on mirrors).
I’ve looked at my diary entries and an overwhelming majority of them have been negative, only documenting the frustration and failures…
I think it’s time to start acknowledging and writing about some victories, and I can safely say I haven’t had any intensive skin-picking (the sessions that can last for an hour or more, and afterwards you feel horrible) for a while now. 1 day ago
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I’ve been doing a lot better recently about managing my skin-picking. I think I’ve mostly been in control for the past 2 months. And these last two months have been very stressful.
The last time I picked badly was about 10 days ago, but it was on one spot particularly so…not ideal, but I didn’t get my whole face in trouble. I’m appreciative, my skin is looking pretty good. Now, how do I make it stay that way?
I’ve noticed a big factor in my picking: when my skin starts looking better I lose motivation to not pick and end up doing it. It’s a big realization because I used to think once my skin was better I could worry less about it, but now I know to be mindful. It sucks to have to do that, but whatever helps is worth it.
Right now it’s helpful for me to keep that in mind as well as other discoveries. For instance, I’m also trying to stop that “just one” mentality (regarding picking one zit or spot) because we all know it hardly ever plays out that way. Additionally, I left a powder foundation at my parents’ this weekend because the container had a little mirror in it that I was using to pick since I could put it to any light to examine my face. That leaves me with a full body mirror in my room where I can’t see my face closely and a vanity mirror that I took off my dresser and placed on the floor, making it surprisingly less tempting to use. Gosh, it sounds so silly, but I know these things will benefit me.
I’m worried because other factors that sometimes play roles in my picking are looming in my life at the moment. Aside from my skin looking better these days, I’m anxious because my roommates and I have to move from our apartment to another in the complex since ours is in dire need of renovation, however they keep going back and forth on dates to move. I’m also going to be alone for about a week because everyone is leaving for Thanksgiving. Plus, I have unresolved issues with someone important in my life and I think I’m just going to have to accept that they’re going to stay that way. All this makes me feel so unorganized and much anxiety, I really don’t want to end up picking.
Hopefully having acknowledged these things keeps me away from that and I can find a more productive way to deal with it all. 2 weeks ago
I’m realizing that if your not careful, you can get honey everywhere. For the times I cant put honey on my face, I’m wearing gloves. It’s harder to pick and feel the texture of your skin with gloves on 2 weeks ago
oh dear lordy. I made it thirty whole days without any serious picking. then comes my period and I got insanely jealous of a fellow female comic who got a better review than I did and I let it get to me. and. lo and behold a wee pick fest that lasted about half an hour.
I’ve put aloe vera on the inflamed areas but I still feel guilty about it. Its like I have to do a performance tomorrow and this is the worst thing I could do to damage my confidence before a show…
anyway, I’m going to try to build myself up the whole of tomorrow, make sure I look as nice as I can and perform to the best of my abilities.
I just need to be super careful when I start feeling down on myself. That’s one of the big triggers!
and I just need to cover the bathroom mirror or turn off the bathroom light. always.
:/ fingers crossed this won’t happen too often in the future. 3 weeks ago
I’m trying something new, since I mostly only pick on my face now and since I only pick when I’m at home, I’m going to put honey on my face anytime I’m home. Not only does honey help with acne and smooth out your skin, but it’s super hard to pick when you have honey on your face. I’m going to try this for 10 days and see how much my skin improves. Maybe after these 10 days with this barrier on my face, I’ll be able to not pick by myself. Or maybe not, it’s an experiment. Yesterday I went a day pick free, so 9 more days. 3 weeks ago
But that all went out the window xD
I couldn’t sleep last night, and when I can’t sleep my hands roam and scratch at every tiny bump… <_<
Pick pick pick pick…
Did bad last night. 3 weeks ago
It’s still hard, but it’s so rewarding seeing my skin healing. Really the best thing I can do for myself is accept that I have a picking problem, and plan on dealing with it. In the past, I’ve gotten to 8 or 9 days and thought “Okay, I’ve got this under control.” So, I stop worrying about it. I stop doing things that help me. And I pick again. This time, I’ve decided to remember that I have a problem, and acknowledge that it’s not gone yet just because the past 37 days have been good. I still have to go to bed when I’m tired and turn off the lights when I go in the bathroom. And it’s a little annoying, but it’s way better than leaving the lights on and ending up picking in the mirror for several hours.
Acknowledging and accepting that I’m not done is helping me get closer to being “done”. It’s a hard lesson, but I’m learning it. 4 weeks ago
It’s still hard though. Every day is a struggle. I wonder if there will ever be a time when I don’t have to make a conscious effort not to pick. Does that happen at 100 days? 5 years?
Anyway, I’m extremely proud of myself. I’ve promised myself a reward if I make it to day 40. 4 weeks ago
Tonight I’ll break my record. I’m super excited. 1 month ago
I’m working on day 27 now. Last night and this morning I turned off the lights for everything I did in front of the mirror, and it was much easier than it usually is. I don’t know why I always forget to do that. It’s such a simple thing, really. Turning off the lights not only makes me want to pick less because I can’t see things that bother me, it also reminds me to make a conscious effort not to pick if I happen to feel a bump when I’m washing/moisturizing/doing whatever to my face.
I’m really looking forward to day 31. The longest I’ve ever gone is 30 days, and that was almost a year ago. I’m really excited. 1 month ago
My skin is improving massively. I’ve still got some texture issues right now, but I’m almost completely free of pimples and I only used concealer on like 5 or 6 spots on my face today. Face washing time at night is still really rough. I’ve been doing it with the lights dimmed most nights. Driving time is hard for me not to touch my face too. I have no idea why, but my face gets really itchy during car rides. My best guess is it has something to do with the air conditioner blowing in my face, otherwise it’s probably a mental thing. I’m making it through work without touching my face almost effortlessly though (there’s the occasional difficulty in the bathroom when I notice some flaking skin from my leftover blemishes, but that’s about it).
My last long string of days was 11 or 12 days. I was using the “make a fist whenever you want to touch or pick” method. Usually, whenever I fail, I move on to a different method. I’m so glad I decided to stick with this. Really, I’m using a combination of a lot of methods I’ve learned from talking to you all here and paying attention to my own habits. I have a bad tendency to try something for a bit then forget about it if it doesn’t work 100% perfectly. But, it’s a practice thing. Just because something doesn’t work perfectly the first time doesn’t mean it’s not something you can get to work ultimately if you keep at it. 1 month ago
I just want to write some encouragement. I have overcome this overall but I remember how much it ruined me before. Things that helped me:
- placing aluminium foil over all the mirrors ALL OF THEM
- keeping my nails very short
- remembering EVERY TIME you squeeze your face, even if it doesn’t break the skin, you damage it irreversibly and lose collagen + elasticity – creating premature wrinkles. Now when we do break it, those scars are never normal skin.
- when you break out use diluted sea salt water or diluted ACV as a toner. A baking soda mask. Just don’t squeeze and squeeze trying to get out a tiny speck that actually rises to the surface by itself.
- refuse to lean in and inspect microscopically with your elbows on the faucet:(
- all easier said then done
But I also want to let you know, our skin bounces back. I never thought mine would recover from all the dark pigmentation and pock marks. It really heals over time. There are always slip ups but you can do it. 1 month ago
Things are going pretty well. I’m still making fists whenever I want to pick or touch my face, though I still catch myself feeling my upper arms, usually late at night around when I should be getting ready for bed. I think once or twice in the past 19 days I’ve caught myself touching my face to feel for things, and I’ve pulled out a few random hard bits that I could get without pinching, scratching or squeezing.
All in all, it could be more perfect, but I’m really happy with my progress. I’ve started writing on my bathroom mirror. Right now there’s a huge “19” on it (for the 19 days I’ve been pick-free), some notes about my skincare routine, and some reminders not to lean too close. I still find myself leaning in, but I’m getting better.
Looking forward to midnight tonight so I can be “officially” 20 days pick-free.
Hope all is well with everyone else. 1 month ago
Trying to keep my motivation up. Feeling pretty good right now about my lack of picking, but feeling slightly less good about the fact that my face is breaking out like mad. I’m working on sorting out a new skincare routine and I’m not sure if one of my new skincare things doesn’t agree with my skin, or this breakout was already in the works. Now I need to find a way to figure out, AND avoid picking.
I had decided that I would buy myself a reward when I got to 15 days, but the thing I wanted apparently doesn’t come in my size. So, I’ve earned a new thing but I haven’t bought anything yet. Maybe I’ll get a book instead. 1 month ago
oh wow feeling quite a bit of stress for an upcoming audition!
that plus work..
been touching my face quite a bit, just need to be mindful and cover the bathroom mirror every time I go in. 1 month ago
lots of stress now because university work is intense and I have a number of other issues I am juggling at the same time.
Really been feeling the urge to pick today but have managed to mostly avoid the mirror tonight. phew.
I picked at one thing on my forehead and one thing on my jawline but I don’t feel all that bad about it.
it’s when the picking is compulsive and draws you in for an hour and you end up picking all over- that’s when I feel bad about it..
just need to try to relax tonight, take it easy.
I feel like if I acknowledge how stressed I am it makes it a bit easier to keep myself in line! 1 month ago
But last night was REALLY hard. The day before that was pretty rough too. This morning I pulled out a big blackhead that was sticking out. Didn’t pinch or scratch my skin, but I still feel bad about it. I’ve been telling myself I’ll reward myself when I get to 15 days. I’m really looking forward to it, but I think I need some kind of mental reset to get me there. 1 month ago
It’s been 3 days in a row where I haven’t picked my skin, even in the slightest bit. I haven’t been touching my skin or even really looking at my skin as much as I could. Anytime I felt like I was going to search for something on my skin I played with my shirt or my bracelet. And let me tell you, after 3 days I notice a big improvement. My face is a lot smoother, bumps on my face that I would have felt went in a day or two because I didn’t touch it. I notice that just touching your face makes pimples worse, it spreads bacteria which makes pimples bigger and redder, even without picking it. And squeezing it just a bit spreads bacteria even more. I didn’t realize just how much touching your face can make your face so much worse.
So for anyone else who does the whole “or I’m just going to check up on my face and see how it’s doing” every hour or something like I do. DON’T. Keep busy, your skin is healing itself. Avoid mirrors as much as you can. Look at your face once a day and then don’t look at it again, unless you wanna check your hair or something then do a quick glance in the mirror and that’s it.
And for anyone else who thinks it’s no problem to just feel that one zit, it won’t do any harm, THINK AGAIN. A pimple that could have went in a day or less then a day, will get bigger and take longer to heal. Just leave it alone and let your skin do it’s healing process.
Also remember to keep treating your skin with creams that’ll help hyperpigmentation and new acne from forming… internally and externally, meaning do your research on facewashes, toners, and eat HEALTHY. Green tea and omega 3 has been making a difference for me.
Much love guys and good luck, I know how hard it can get <3 1 month ago
I went a month and ruined it AGAIN. I am dealing with so much right now that this failure just feels that much heavier. I’m depressed and unmotivated. Undoing the work that it takes to get my skin looking better is so heartbreaking. 2 months ago
Last night, I did a mental exercise with someone that was supposed to help deal with a phobia of mine. It was extraordinarily stressful and draining and I found myself rubbing my face violently during the exercise. Afterwards, I scratched out two of those hard, sticky-outy blackheads in the mirror. And I told myself that was okay, and I wouldn’t count it against myself because I just went through an unusual, extremely stressful situation, so I wouldn’t count it against my no-picking streak.
Buuut then I kept scratching at the hard bits on my arms and back and eventually started feeling around my face for hard bits. I felt totally manic, but I didn’t do insane amounts of damage.
I talked to my husband about it and how frustrated I was with the situation (and the picking in general) and he said I shouldn’t count yesterday as a no-picking day, but I shouldn’t reset my count either. I kind of feel like that’s cheating, BUT also I’ve found that being forgiving with myself helps me pick less.
On the bright side, the mental exercise seems to have helped a LOT with my phobia, so there’s that. 2 months ago
(Note: Day 11 was a success)
So, in my recent Amazon haul of a bunch of skincare products, I ordered these: http://www.amazon.com/Nexcare-Absorbing-Cover-Sizes-Count/dp/B00BRGUNV2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1380814597&sr=8-1&keywords=nexcare+acne+patch
And I got to use them last night. I read a lot of reviews and whatnot before I ordered them and most said they only work on pimples that have come to a head (I also read that they’re the same thing as hydrocolloid bandages, but I think I’ll look into that later). Well I got them and looked at the two different sizes, and decided that they were a bit bigger than I needed, so I cut one of the smaller stickers into fourths (with CLEAN scissors) and promptly dropped one fourth on the floor. But then I put the other three pieces on my most… mature? White-headed? pimples. One of them hadn’t QUITE come to a full head yet, but I wanted to see what happened. Anyway, come morning, I peeled them off and two of the three pulled out the white icky pus core of the pimple with no apparent irritation. I wish I had taken a picture. The one that wasn’t quite mature yet didn’t pull anything out, but I’m pretty sure the pimple is flatter than it was yesterday.
I thought this would appeal to you guys, not just because it helps heal up pimples, but because it covers them up so you can’t pick at them. Unfortunately the stickers are way to thick to wear under makeup, so they’re really only good for night-time wear, but still faster healing + picking barrier = pretty good.
Again, this will only help those of you that actually get pimples that come to a head, but I thought it was awesome, and there’s bound to be someone else here that likes them. 2 months ago
Forgive me for writing another entry in such a short space of time.
The picking last night was brought on by more grieving which was in turn triggered by remembering painful things.
It’s like sometimes before bed my brain chooses to re-remember/relive very painful memories that I’d honestly just like to forget.
Then I can’t sleep because I’m tossing and turning at the pain from those memories.
So I think cognitive behavioural therapy will play some role in alleviating that. I’ll just have to work really hard on training my brain to select positive memories when its reliving painful ones.
I’ve also made myself a skin picking advent calendar, if you can believe it.
Today is ‘Day 0’ and the calendar lasts for 50 days, and each day you shade in the day to track progress (candy is optional in this case I suppose).
Sometimes it amazes how powerful the mind is- what it does when its stressed and how we subconsciously relieve that pain/stress. 2 months ago
a really bad night. woke up at 2am stressed. wound up in the bathroom. a really really bad night unfortunately.
will work on staying positive for tomorrow and the rest of the week. 2 months ago
It’s getting a little bit harder, but everything is mostly still good. 2 months ago
Hey everyone. It’s been something like a month since I’ve posted, but I haven’t stopped trying. I’ve actually been marking my Google calendar for every day I haven’t picked, and last month, I went without picking 20 out of 30 days. Even better than that, I’m on a 9-day streak right now! I think the most impressive thing about this is that my skin is really not that great. I have a nasty breakout on my left cheek and a bunch of tiny bumps on my forehead.
A few things that have made the past 9 days easier than normal: I’ve been working out (I’ve had a foot injury keeping me from doing workout for the past month/month-and-a-half). I started reading the subreddit SkincareAddiction, and after I got through a whole bunch of information there, I posted asking for guidance and recommendations and ordered a bunch of skincare products off of Amazon. On my post asking for guidance, someone commented saying they’re also a skin-picker and they did some research and found a paper (in German) saying that skin-pickers have found success with habit replacement by choosing a simple habit (like making a fist) to replace picking, and doing that for 1-3 minutes ANY time they get the urge to pick. This is pretty similar to some stuff we’ve talked about here, but this time around I’ve been doing this religiously. Even when I just feel itchy and I don’t actually want to pick, because I know a lot of my picking starts when I get an itch, and when I go to scratch it, I find things I want to pick. The paper also suggested mentally placing yourself in situations where the urge to pick would be overwhelming (like, imagining yourself in front of a magnifying mirror while you have really stressful stuff going on in school and work and a super-bad breakout) and doing your chosen habit for 1-3 minutes, but I haven’t tried doing this yet (I really should, I think I will later tonight). I’ve been trying CRAZY hard not to touch my face at all, and I’ve been focusing on cleanliness. If I need to touch my face for anything like makeup, washing it, putting on spot-treatments, etc., I wash my hands first. When I only touch my face with clean hands, I feel less inclined to touch it other times because I want to keep my skin as clean as possible.
/r/SkincareAddiction has a recommended “Beginner’s Routine” with a suggested sequence of product types and and recommended products for different skin types. I picked out ones that seemed right for me and ordered them. Though I’m anxious to start them all at once, the recommendation is that you test patch then start each new product one at a time, for at least a week or two before adding the next one, so you can isolate which product causes you problems, if any. I actually think this slowish process will help me stay focused on treating my skin well. After I start one product, I can stay excited for trying the next product, and continue focusing on keeping my skin clean.
I’m feeling pretty awesome. I know there’s no miracle solution, and I want to be realistic, but I think just maybe I’ve been at this long enough I can finally beat it. Maybe this time I’ve got the right combination of circumstances to get me over the hump.
I hope everyone else is doing well. 2 months ago
tomorrow is day one!!
I have decided that after each week of successfully not picking i will reward myself somehow. 2 months ago
I have been uncontrollably picking for so long now and I just somehow can’t bring myself to stop. Honestly I don’t really know why I do it. I’m not gonna lie.. it is is satisfying in the weirdest and worst way.. and it definitely is a stress reliever. But when it comes down to it.. it makes me more stressed because my skin looks so much worse after. I always buy nice natural skin products in an effort to make my skin clear, but my real problem is the compulsive picking and i just can’t bring myself to stop! I have made so many efforts but I always fail. It’s time to set some serious goals and make some changes so I can feel better about myself, not have to cover up with make up, and bring up my confidence! 2 months ago