Hello, I'm a 28 (almost 29) year old woman from the humid South Texas coast. I've been a face picker since I was 12, thanks to my big sister's excitement over squeezing my pre-teen blackheads. During this time, my father was dying, so I spent time alone in my room with my mirror, escaping into a trance of skin picking. After he died, skin picking continued in private and got worse as I got older.
I accepted Christ when I was 25. Jesus is my savior and my transformation. I have turned away from many bad habits and bad relationships thanks to Christ. So, moving on...
Knowing acne is the major trigger of my skin picking, I saw a nutritionist when I was 26. My skin inflammation has come down dramatically because of my new diet and supplements, but I still get some acne. I exercise regularly and live in a humid, yucky climate, so I'm sure those are contributing factors to my acne.
At the age of 27, I "came out of the closet" and began telling everyone about my skin picking problem and saw a therapist. The therapist suggested that I keep a log of how many times I pick, and after a month, I looked at the data and realized that most of my skin picking happened in cycles, right before ovulation and right before menstruation. So, my urge to pick is linked with anxiety and hormonal changes. Then I stumbled onto an email newsletter that discussed "mindful body awareness" techniques that teach you to love and respect the body in order to stop skin picking. Actually, this "mindful body awareness" lead me to "discover myself" and achieve my first orgasm. Nice, right? So, for the last year and a half, I've been pre-occupied with masturbation as if I'm a teenage boy. I was happier and my skin picking waned, but I never completely stopped.
Finally, just these last couple of months I've gotten very serious about reading the Bible daily and growing my relationship with God.
I am beginning to understand and deal with all my remaining sins. Just the other day, I realized why skin picking is a sin. The thing is, your skin is not yours to pick.
If you are a Christian, may these verses help you as they also help me.
Your skin is not yours to pick.
Your body belongs to Christ, to God.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Your body is more than appearances, it is a spiritual vessel.
So do not attempt to perfect what is already made perfect.
God created man in his own image, Genesis 1:27
If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple. 1 Corinthians 3:17
Don't mess with the vessel of the Holy Spirit.
So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. James 4:17
Care not about the way your skin looks.
And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. Luke 12:22
Your skin is not flawed, but your ideas about skin are flawed.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
Do not try to control the body that God gave you. The body is a masterpiece that God will take care of in his own way and in his own time.
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
Pamper and respect your skin. Do not scrape, cut, pick, or squeeze it intentionally.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2
Keep a clean attitude and a clean face.
Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22
It is useless to control the body you've been given, for it will expire anyway. Your efforts to remove blemishes are futile, for you cannot remove the passage of time.
Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun. Ecclesiastes 2:11
You need Jesus to save you from your sins. You can't stop skin picking by yourself.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10
Focus on godliness. Be like an innocent child who isn't concerned with the flesh.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. Ephesians 5:1
Stop thinking you know better than God. You don't.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. 2 Corinthians 1:9-10
Don't let negative thoughts about your skin trap you. It is not up to you whether or not your pores are filled with sebum or covered with scabs.
“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. Luke 21:34
Do not allow the body to be mastered by addiction or anything.
“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything. 1 Corinthians 6:12
You are not alone, and you will overcome this.
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
Changing your habits is difficult, but suffering makes you stronger.
It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes. Psalm 119:71
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded;be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:6-11
Enlist help and prayer from other Christ followers. Don't isolate yourself.
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:13-16
Be diligent and self-controlled. Obey.
Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. 1 Timothy 4:15-16
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. 1 John 2:2-6
Beauty is on the inside.
Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. 1 Peter 3:3-4
Hang in there!
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12
Love yourself and relax into positive thinking.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9
Your skin is not yours to pick.
Don't mess with the vessel of the Holy Spirit.