Occam’s razor, applied to skin care

You’ve heard of Occam’s razor, right?  Simpler is better.  Clearly, this is not something I’ve adopted when it comes to skincare, as evidenced by my multi-step regimen.  But I’m starting to see some truth in it.

Let me go back a few years to when we first brought home our dog Tiger, the second love of my life.  Truthfully, he is without a doubt the love of my life but my husband gets a little sensitive when he hears me say this, so I compromise by saying Tiger is the second love of my life.  All while keeping my fingers crossed.

Here's Tiger!
Here’s Tiger!

I was so happy to have a dog.  Back when I was a teenager with an at-home permanent and sky-high bangs, my family briefly flirted with the idea of having a dog.  That is to say, one day our dad brought home a German Shepard who did not like any of us.  Just as quickly, our dad took him to the vet and came back alone because the dog had run away.  Or so he said and I was too naive to doubt the veracity of his replay.  I asked if we should go look for him.  My two older sisters exchanged knowing glances and shook their heads.

Perhaps to make up for the guilt I feel about that incident, I was determined to love my dog.  A dog that I found.  A dog that I chose, who kinda sorta went with the flow and let us throw him in our car and drive 16 hours home to NY.  I was determined to win over his affection.  And I was going to accomplish this by letting him lick the shit out of my face.

A few days later, I started noticing small, red, itchy bumps popping up on my heretofore moderately smooth face.  I wasn’t worried because I had done enough research prior to bringing Tiger home to know this was a common result of dog or cat saliva irritating the skin.

I did what any reasonable grown person would do.  I made my husband go see a doctor for a minor complaint and ask about my problem.  It was probably an in-grown toe nail or something equally trivial and embarrassing for him.  The point is that it was minor and he REALLY didn’t want to take time out of his day to go see a doctor about something he was sure would go away shortly.  He had a point.

So of course I went ahead and made the appointment for him and made sure he would ask the doctor what I should do about the allergic reaction to Tiger’s saliva.  I expected him to come back home with a prescription for an anti-inflammatory steroidal topical cream or some sort.

What he came back with, was some good old-fashioned home remedy recommendation from the doctor.  I listened eagerly.  “He said that if your face is breaking out because Tiger is licking your face, you should stop letting him lick your face.”

That was it.

I mention this because this lesson is finally starting to sink in, 4 years later.   Case in point, I’ve been using Caolion Blackhead Steam Pore Pack for a few weeks now.

where is pore

It promised me deep cleansing, detoxifying, hydrating and other mystical wonders.  I wanted to believe it.  More than anything else, I was fascinated by the fact that once you apply the pack on your face, it heats up!  The product warms up on contact and it helps draw out impurities.

Also I loved the existential debate sparked by the product tagline: “Where is Pore?” Everything about this was fascinating and puzzling to me.  Why the capital P for Pore?  Is this a rhetorical question?  Is it a philosophical quandary?  Is everything I’ve come to believe about Pore really the truth?  Who is John Galt?  It blew my mind on every level.

The first time I used it, the warming sensation was enthralling.  So much I assumed the stinging and throbbing I felt was just in my head.  I had my suspicions when I rinsed and the warming sensation started to feel more like a burning sensation.  It took me about 7 uses to finally admit that this is simply not for me.

I finally decided it wasn’t right for me when I started thinking about what other products in my skincare arsenal I should use after the Caoilion mask to help with the irritation.  That’s when I remembered our doctor’s folksy but helpful wisdom.  If it’s making you breakout, stop doing it.  It’s true what they say.  Sometimes the best solution really is the simplest solution.


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