Skin Care – Mentally Ill Edition.

Depression Skin

My skincare was absolutely crap when I was at my worst. It is so much effort to have to get up, scrub your face with a face wash, dry your face, then put a bunch of other stuff on your face before getting into bed. I don’t want to do that, I just want to go to bed.

Depression can really mess up your ability to do simple tasks like washing your face properly with soap, at a sink. There was no way I was going to be able to take the advice from 4,000 different bloggers and YouTubers. They all told me to wash my face with several different lotions, cleansers, oils, serums, whatever they could find. Then there’s also the issue of everybody’s skin is different.

My Skin Story

My skin is really, really oily. There is a reason for that which I’ll explain in a minute. However, when I figured out my skin was oily I completely stopped using moisturizing products or oils because it made no sense to me. That then caused my skin to break into this dry ‘Sahara desert’ stage where every piece of make up I slathered onto my skin would fleck off in a disgusting way.

My skin has been so bad for most of teenage and young adult life because I made it that way. When I joined secondary school I had never worn makeup in my life, and my skin was perfect. I remember very clearly getting specific compliments on my skin in year 7 and 8. Then I discovered BOYS. After that happens things tend to go down hill I think – my insecurities got worse and therefore so did my skin.

I never, and I mean never, took my makeup off. Never. Not once. The only time my skin got a wash was if I had a bath and rubbed it with some water. That was pretty much it. I would occasionally run my finger that I had licked under my eye to get rid of the left over mascara. I had no idea that you had to actually take off makeup after you put it on, I thought it just disappeared.

You can imagine the havoc that caused, and after 3 years of putting layer on layer of makeup on my face constantly… I got acne. I had spots and stuff whilst this was going on but because I used so much makeup, I didn’t care. Then when I left secondary school, I finally figured it out! People REMOVE their makeup! What an amazing world we live in. By then it was too late, I had the worst reoccurring acne ever, and nothing would make it stop.


Right now I’d say my skin is a combination. Only recently did I manage to completely stop the acne I had suffered with since I was 14. I had used medications in the past like drying creams, oral meds, that kind of thing. The only medication that has actually helped was Clindamycin topical solution, which I got prescribed from my doctor. It’s also more commonly known as Dalacin-T, which you can buy here.

That’s what kicked the acne to begin with, and then I did some research and a lot of trial-and-error, and found a new skincare routine. Not any old skincare routine, a routine with NO FACE WASHES! I know some people will cringe at the idea of that, but I simply cannot use face washes because of my depression. Once I’m sat down in bed there is no chance of me getting up to wash my face, no sir.

My Current Routine

My skincare routine is possibly the easiest and cheapest way I’ve found that actually helps my skin. Hopefully it’ll help some other people who seriously cannot be bothered as well. It’s 3 steps long, so if you’re depressed, all you have to do is 3 steps to clear skin! You can do it, I believe in you.

  1. Micellar Water.

    Where: Wilko.
    Price: £4

    This is such a big bottle of micellar water that I bought it back in March and I’ve hardly made a dent. I use it once a day, sometimes twice a day. I just wipe it with a cotton pad over my skin to get rid of the makeup, it easily takes off eye makeup, not so good with waterproof mascara though.

  2. Cleanser

    Where: Superdrug
    Price: £1.85

    Same deal with this, I just use a cotton pad and it gets rid of whatever dirt was left over in my skin after the micellar water. I don’t even have to move anywhere, or use excessive force, or wash it off. Amazing!

  3. Facial Oil

    Where: Superdrug
    Price: £2.99

    The holy grail! Bow down to Superdrug’s facial oil. It’s the best thing I’ve ever used; it’s gotten rid of my acne scarring, red spots, red blemishes, just calmed my skin down in general. Also, it’s so cheap and this bottle I bought about a month ago is still going. I’m only half way through it. You only need a tiny bit on your fingers, then rub it into your face! Easy peasy.

    Note: Before this, I use my clindamycin.

Occasional Products

  1. Grease Lightning.

    Where: Lush
    Price: £6.95

    I use this mainly when I have a massive, ugly, red spot. You know those painful ones that take ages to come out of the skin? Those. It really does work, it just dries it out before it can come out of the skin. You don’t even need to worry about it after that! It is pricey, however it is worth it in my opinion.

  2. Nivea Regenerating Night Cream.

    Where: Superdrug
    Price: £4.19

    I used to use this before I started using the facial oil, however I have stopped using this. I think if I were to use both it would have the opposite effect on my skin. This moisturizer is so good for skin that has had a rough time, hence the name of it. It’s not heavy at all and it doesn’t feel sticky or like you’ve got something on your face. It just does its job.

  3. Essence Primer Spray

    Where: Wilko
    Price: £3.50

    Now, I don’t know about you but I don’t have £12 to spend on a bit of water to ‘prime’ my face for makeup. I don’t even use this spray as a primer spray, I use it as a refresher spray in the morning’s. But I guess that turns it automatically into a primer spray if I wear makeup that day, though. It’s got coconut water in it so I bought it, and it helps wake me up, what more can I say?

That’s it!

So that’s it really! I must say that this skincare routine wouldn’t have cleared my acne up from the start. You definitely need something stronger to start the process off, like what I have, but after that it’s simple. I know that everyone’s skin is different, however since mine is combination and I would say quite volatile, it may relate to a lot of people.

I hope this helps someone who’s struggling with hygiene or motivation during a mental illness of any kind. People don’t talk enough about the effect depression can have on basic hygiene, so making it easier for yourself in any way is highly recommended.

Let me know what your skincare routines are and how you overcame the depression skin blues!

Chaz x







Hi! I'm Chaz. I'm the Founder of The Green Button Project, I run my own mental health blog, and I'm also a mental health volunteer with Time to Change and I also love dogs.


  1. If I’m depressed and isolating I’m not wearing makeup anyways. I’m horrible about not washing my face when I’m feeling down. I don’t really use products, I just start with a washcloth and then finish with witch hazel and fractionated coconut oil on a cotton pad to get off the rest of my makeup and mascara.

  2. Chaz, you’ve done it again girl! Ok, I’m so glad that finally someone has made a post that isn’t just about self-care. Like yes, self-care is important, but most of the time, just caring and hygiene is even harder. Some days, I don’t even have the mental strength to brush my teeth, let alone put on a face mask and paint my nails. Though I have dry skin, I LOVE micellar water. I use micellar water wipes from Burt’s Bees, but at my old job I sold Bioderma micellar water. This post is very needed and valid. Thanks girl!

    • Yay thank you! I totally agree, face masks and nails are like MAJOR accomplishments for me. Burt’s Bees has so many people raving about it but I’ve never tried any of their products, maybe I should! Thank you for the great feedback x

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