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How to reconcile my skincare routine and my OCD symptoms



Last year, with the proliferation of Skin Care Recommendations on social media, I unexpectedly dealt with what I put on my face.

For years I have dealt with skin care recommendations was content to rinse lazy in the morning with water or apply the years of exfoliation of the drugstore . Then I learned toner and from then on my skincare training expanded on expensive Sunday Riley purchases and thorough comparisons with micellar water. I used more sunscreen last year than in all my teenage years together. My group texts are now peppered with serious discussions about 1

0-Step Therapies Hyaluronic Acid and Slug-Face Masks.

Skin care was a good investment. I can not fight the aging process, but my skin looks better. And it's more enjoyable to spend $ 25 on weird little bottles of Good Genes and Ceramic Slip Cleanser than the indulgences of my early 20's.

But skin care routines are a slippery slope for someone with intellectual makeup.

For the past 15 years, my life has been determined by routines ranging from quirky to self-destructive, all of which were part of my OCD (OCD). This poses a challenge: How can I participate in skin care routines – a self-care practice that benefits my body and saturates my social media feeds – without triggering my obsessive-compulsive disorder?

"The worst thing for people with obsessive-compulsive disorder is having rituals and routines," says Jenny Yip, Psy.D., clinical psychologist and institutional member of the International OCD Foundation, SELF. "It's easy for us to replace a compulsion with a new one – and you do not want to replace one compulsion with another."

OCD starts with obsessions – unwanted thoughts that recur in your head – that trigger anxiety and discomfort, she explains. To reduce the negative effects of obsessive-compulsive disorder, a person must exercise restraints. These are behaviors that can be remedied by making you feel safer or escape the pressures.

When a person is diagnosed with OCD, OCD and OCD are reported to interfere with their normal daily functioning, such as their ability to take responsibility at school or at work, or to deal with family, friends or romantic partners.

Following a routine because it gives you positive physical results is not inherently the opposite. It's the same as compulsive behavior, but for some, it can quickly move into that area. For example, I am a very nervous flyer and rely on rituals for years to suppress intrusive thoughts of crashes. For example, in the morning of a flight, when I methodically repeat my ritual of cleansing, sound, and humidification until it feels "right" or I reach one of my "good" numbers, I use my skin care routine to calm down my obsessive thoughts about flying ,

Magical thinking – an aspect of OCD that makes me believe that my thoughts or actions can influence the outside world – tells me that it could cause me to mess up my routine before I go to the airport for a plane crash ,

When your mind gets into that kind of obsessive tailspin (the one you can objectively remotely identify as nonsensical, but you still do not seem to get away from), constraints can give you a sense of relief or temporary compulsion says Yip.

"This relief is intensifying," she adds. "So, when your thought comes back, what are you likely to do? Whatever you did before. "

If I get stuck in this thought loop too much – I have to do this just so or this plane crashes – I can repeat my routine to the point where it does disturbs my daily functioning. For example, I could miss my flight or annoy a person I'm traveling with.

When a skincare routine interferes with your social life or sleep, or you must repeat it every time you screw it up or act accordingly. According to Yip, these are signs that certain behaviors associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder may occur.

In recent years, more and more people have become interested in skincare, probably due to "empowerment and education through social media networks," Dr. med. Evan Rieder, assistant professor in the Department of Dermatology of Ronald O. Perelman at NYU Langone Health and a state-certified psychiatrist to SELF. But for people with obsessive-compulsive disorder, moderation is the key.

"A skincare system can be of great benefit in terms of self-care," he says. Some people find that keeping to such a routine is relaxing or that a Sunday evening mask helps them mentally prepare for the coming week.

Dr. If this interferes with work or social activities, it may be time for a change. "Often, the main difference between helpful and poorly adapted behaviors is limiting the time spent on self-care and the frequency of self-care per day."

I've lived with OCD long enough I have a good sense of what rituals can become constraints and when my stress level could aggravate my symptoms. I've found that when it comes to skincare, it's important for me to mix them – occasionally omit the toner or moisturizer.

A violation of these "OCD rules" is part of a strategy called exposure therapy, says Yip. You can totally ignore the rules or your "OCD monster". This is usually a difficult first step for people who have never tried exposure therapy.

Another strategy is to do the routine in the opposite direction or order: When it is important for someone to apply toner in the evening from top to bottom. He has to apply it from the bottom up. Or you can run the routine differently, with different amounts assigned to each step. For example, if a ritual requires you to apply three pumps of sunscreen and then rinse your hands with hot water, an alternative is to apply two pumps and rinse with cold water or another combination.

The good news is that the skin care systems can vary depending on personal preference and individual skin needs, according to Rieder. Therefore, not everyone has to invest in the Soko Glam routine. Many of us really do not need more than a gentle cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen during the day. And yes, for some people, skin care can be beneficial both physically and mentally. When used properly, skin care for people with obsessive-compulsive disorder may be just the thing – a healthy, soothing habit without becoming compulsive.


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