Zen & The Art of Skincare

What’s in your mirror? Skin that is peevish, blotchy, just not right always has a cause. It doesn’t “just happen.”

You can drive yourself bananas with self-diagnosis by over analysis. In fact, over analyzing skin that is acting up can be part of a larger problem – called life. If you are bananas then your skin will be, too. Usually.

Start there. Are you crazy?

Yes. I am but I have a good reason. My life partner I found out is a giraffe. Really.

Okay, So this has a visible effect on your skin and that’s annoying. Right?

I guess. Can’t I be crazy and have good skin?

If you leave it alone.

That’s it?

No. But that’s where you start.


The number one problem in skincare is skin care. There are so many ways your skin can go wrong. Oral medications, stress, menopause, and topical products lead the list. The ONLY thing you can 100% control is topical products. The other causes require that you examine your medical choices carefully. But first stop applying things to your skin.

I have rosacea, so now what?

Everyone says that.

No really, it seems always pinked up or itchy.

It comes and goes?

Right. Some days it’s fine. But usually not. My dermatologist gave me some things but they only worked for a few days and then made it worse.

And what did you do?

I stopped using them.


I found a Chinese herbalist and I take Benadryl. Now my hair’s falling out.


I’m using a special soap.


You keep saying that.

You keep trying things, I’m trying to keep up.

I follow directions.

And that’s not working is it.


Look in that mirror.

Okay, I get it, my skin is lousy. I have rosacea.

No, you are reacting. Your skin is reacting because that’s what you do. And the result is unpredictable. That’s simple logic.

But, I was given products by people who are supposed to be experts and followed their directions. What am I supposed to do?

Look in the mirror. Skin problems have a cause. What do YOU think is going on?


That’s a word. What do you see?

Right now one eyelid feels raw. The right side of my face itches. I have one Big Zit on my chin. My forehead has some red spots.

What else? Big picture.

I have a light powder for cover.


Here we go again. You and that word. And….well, like what? I put a moisturizer on, like always.

So, with all the experts giving you advice and products you also put on the powder and the moisturizer?

Well, yeah.

Anything else? Do you wash your face?

Well, yeah.


I told you. A super mild soap.

How often?

Twice a day.

Does your skin fee dry?

I have rosacea. It’s dry. It can just flare up, too. What do I do?

What do you put on your neck, it looks fine.


So, try that. Nothing.

Well, I have to wash. Excuse me, the giraffe texted me. He found my anti-depressants. I have to make a call.


The beginning and end of skincare for those who have systemic issues is cleansing. Oral medications like anti-depressants often have side effects to the skin – drying and random rashes most common. If you MUST take an orally dosed medication that is also causing a skin problem, the worst thing you can do is to try to combat that side effect with topical products. Most doctors provide a low dose corticosteroid cream and this is a ticking time bomb that will weaken your skin to the point that can easily lead to dermatitis.

You can wash your skin and that will be enough. Moisturizers and so on will weaken skin further if it is already unstable. Choose cleansers carefully. Most are highly charged. The Skin Dork has written elsewhere about CLEANSERS and you can find a great deal on the subject at 302Skincare.com in REFERENCE TOPICS.

Choose a very mild lotion type cleanser. Like SENSITIVE CLEANSER. It has a fragrance-free version, too. This will leave you clean and moisturized. You can also choose REVIVE, a unique cleanser/moisturizer combination that is very helpful for skin that is susceptible to breakouts.

To control unstable skin, put less on it.

Menopause can drive anyone bananas when it comes to sorting out skin issues, but you must avoid applying products or you will look like a Red Hot.

For those who MUST DO SOMETHING, try this. Once per week, maybe twice at absolute most, apply A 1.0 DROPS. I prefer that instead of the A 1.0 SERUM for unstable skin. This is a retinol that will exert control over unstable skin. Get the facts at the link.

Picture this: A mild lotion cleanser and a once, maybe twice, per week application of A 1.0 DROPS.

That will solve a lot of visible instability. Yes, your skin will flare up from menopause, and yes, your anti-depressants or birth control meds or statins will light you up BUT you will not aggravate the problem with a basket full of topical products.

For those who exercise, do not take medications, and take care of themselves with a good diet, and still have unstable skin, obviously there is joker in the deck.

In most cases that joker is a topical product or combination of products. Those choices must be examined – if your neck is looking fine because you apply nothing there, but your face is not fine, the answer is obvious. You have the wrong stuff going on your skin.

No skin coach or dermatologist or Skin Dork can sort this out – only you can and you start by subtraction. The directions on the bottle or in product pages at a website may be wrong for you. YOU have to tune in to your own skin and sort out things. The Zen of skincare depends on you tuning in to find the balance.

Most often, it is too many things going onto your skin. Start there. Subtract. If you are compulsive, this can be a challenge, but it’s the only way back.

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