I've got problems. Chin problems. Pimples to be exact. Even though I'm well passed my teenage years and the big fat white gross ones used to erupt all over my face I still go through phases ("lady times" as some people say) when my chin seems to be the home planet for dozens of tiny little pimples that start out as homely little black heads. Now I'm not one to go and get prescription stuff for such minor skin blemishes as these which essentially amount to champagne problems in my book, but I am vain enough to want to do something about them. I generally know what to do and what not to do. Here is that general list:
What not to do? Touch my face like this wonderful Michelle Williams-esque woman above. Putting my hands on my face seems to be the number one reason my face gets clogged. (Number two? My gross cell phone.) I like to sit in meetings touching my chin while contemplating riveting marketing problems such as, "Will millennials care more if we use a fast-paced double exposure GIF or would they care more if we use Drake as the anchor?"...You know, ground breaking world problems a Berkeley education was meant to solve. Anyway, besides that I'm pretty sure my penchant for wine and processed crap during these touch-and-go lady times is also to blame.
What to do then? Well, besides being an expert in self restraint and not touching or picking at my face, I enjoy lots of water. In the form of cleansing washes (I like Aesop's Parsley seed facial cleanser with those cool little rosemary looking dry loose-leaf type exfoliants mixed into it every week (or whenever I feel my face is too oily) and drinking literal quarts of water a day (one quart before noon, at least one more before I leave work or 5pm, whatever comes first).
After I wash my face, and tone it, and add a serum and moisturizer to my face and neck, I leave my chin area pretty clean so I can slather on some Aesop Chamomile Anti-Blemish Mask. It's a taupe clay-like material that I leave on for at least 30 minutes. It dries into a white powdery mask that washes off easily. The skin is left really clean feeling, but also a little tight from the astringent nature of the mask, so I lightly moisturize the area and finally go to bed.
Every week or so I love doing the Boscia black face mask. This little tube of black as hell gel is no secret weapon, but if you have not tried it yet just beware that the odor It's a pretty intense and may make your eyes water if you're a sensitive baby like I am — chopping onions is a painful ordeal, don't even get me started. I put a healthy layer of this on and go about my business for about 45 minutes. This is usually how long it takes for the gel mask to completely dry. Once the mask is completely bone dry (no wet or moist patches what so ever or you'll ruin this!) then I like to peel of this mask with a satisfactory smirk on my face like those old Bioré ads in the 90s and 00s. The holding the mask and viewing the little bits of oil and dead skin it lifts of and saying "EWL" is completely optional, but also fun, so just do it.
Olga, this beauty routine sounds pretty intense. It's also kind of expensive, what the hell.
Yes. I am aware. But remember, I'm a vain person and I enjoy the process of taking care of myself. I like all the steps involved as it makes me think there is some sense of order in my world. After years of doing the whole designer face stuff or some crazy fads, I really do genuinely enjoy the natural ingredient approach — so don't fuck me on this, Aesop, just like the people at Aveda and Kiehl's have. I like the smell and feel of the entire Aesop line. I use the shampoo, the incredible rose hair mask, and I love the moisturizer, and also like you despise the price every time I buy it again. BUT, I've already talked about the mathematical breakdown of the purchase, so it makes sense for me and is ultimately worth it. Find what works for you and stick with it. And hey, if my crazy little routine to tame the home planet of chin pimples works for you, then yay. That makes me pretty happy. So live long and prosper, and annihilate those son of a bitch pimples. Just don't forget to use sunscreen every day!
Collage by me. Photograph by W Magazine.