Skincare for Morons

I’ve suffered on and off (mostly on) with acne since puberty; aka, the last fifteen fucking years. I’m not a dermatologist nor some sort of skincare expert, but I certainly have a fuckton of field experience.

Left Side, DreamHack Winter 2013
Right Side, Dreamhack Winter 2013
Yeesh. Beef lookin fresh though.

Unsurprisingly, I didn’t treasure any of the photographs from this event even though we won the tournament. These are among the only images that I have (solely because others took them & tagged me on facebook) and I don’t think I’ve ever let anyone see them publicly. Definitely went with the “hide from timeline & hopefully from all of human history” option.

I preferred pictures like this one

GSL Thailand 2014. (ps — won this tournament too)

As while you could tell my face ain’t clear, it’s better than what I was seeing in the mirror.

As a disclaimer — I am not a medical professional. I do not have any real proof that what I’m saying will work for you, be effective for a friend, or really do anything at all other than make your life unspeakably worse. Don’t sue.

& to those of you who’ve messaged me asking for help over the years, I’m sorry this took so long.

Kyle’s Skin Care Commandments.

I won’t forbid you alcohol (it’s quarantine we all have a drinking problem at this point) but attempt to drink a minimum of 2 litres of water a day as a rule in addition to your wine.

  • You can flip it every other night then change it instead if that floats your boat.
  • Use clean t shirts in place of pillowcases if necessary
  • If you dont know what i mean regarding the detergent just find one made for babies or google it goddamnit

3. Do.Not. Touch.Your. Face. DO_NOT_TOUCH_YOUR_FACE.

Have you just washed your hands? Just now?

Okay fine you can touch it.


dont touch your face.
dont do it. dont touch your face.

In addition — think about all the stuff you use that touches your face. Headsets, Hoodies, Hats, Helmets. Clean that stuff every once in a while.

I do not know how to properly stress the importance of the above. Consider it gospel. Try it, consciously, for three months. Stay hopeful. Don’t give up. Don’t touch your face. I’d rather you do all of the above and ignore literally everything else in this guide if that’s what’s necessary to motivate you.

Other Key Factors


Some women have had radical skin improvement when they started taking birth control. I wouldn’t recommend this for men. Life’s a bit of a lotto, some of us just lost this coin toss. Take it up with your god.

If you google it, you can find lists literally hundreds of items long full of foods/ingredients you SHOULD & SHOULDN’T eat for better skin. Fuck that noise, we’re trying to keep it simple.

Just be healthy.

  • Avoid eating high-glycemic carbohydrates (aka, sugar). Don’t drink soda.
  • DO eat vegetables, bananas, walnuts, sunflower seeds, berries, fish, (goddamit im hungry now) chicken, complex carbs. You get the gist.

I’m not saying cut out all cookies from your life. But at LEAST consume ½ of the good shit you need in a week. You’re not a moron, you can do it.

Science is totally split when it comes to milk — some call it a huge +, others the opposite. I personally don’t drink it, though I am also lactose intolerant :).

This is a bit more hardmode. The diagram below outlines some of the difficulties.

Helpful Flow-Chart explaining

I recommend trying to find healthy ways to distract yourself.

Try meditating?

Exercise? Stretch? Have Sex? Whatever you do, anything that’ll reduce your fears/anxiety is a good move for your skin.

Personally I like to unwind by boiling 30 boxes of angel hair pasta in a bathtub; then I lounge inside those swirling spaghettis pretending to be a meatball for six or seven hours. Who knows what’ll work for you.

I used to break out/get skin irritation after shaving. I’d trust my barber with my life and his methodology is rather simple & for the last two years, effective.

Sanitize your razor before & after every use.

Shave gently (with the grain) after washing/wetting your face.

Use witch hazel as an aftershave.

I use this

Definitely don’t put anything that contains alcohol on your face. You can safely operate under the assumption that any sort of burning or stinging sensation is a bad sign.

Self explanatory. If you’re not getting enough, you know it.

I’ll include products to make it easy — I am not affiliated with nor earning $ if you buy these I legit have all this on my sink.

Clean your face with a mild/gentle cleanser. I use this. It’s $8 and lasts about a month or two.

Afterwards you moisturize. Now you could perform years of painstaking, useless research that ultimately leads you nowhere, or just do what the wise have known to do since antiquity; get something from Korea. Currently I use;

I couldn’t get the above in Ukraine, so at the recommendation of the talented WePlay makeup artist I’m now using;

I asked for a moisturizer ideal for super sensitive skin. So far I like it even more. Further evidence that I’m probably a moron who should just blindly trust professionals because they likely know better than me.

Do the above twice a day, morning and night.

In between cleansing/moisturizing I alternate using either


I did ~13 years of trial&error (mostly error) before settling on the above. Ironically, most of you will probably read too much into the products when in reality I don’t know if any of this actually makes a difference. I’m pretty sure the original commandments + getting older is the real “solution”, at least for me, but who knows.

In addition — make sure you’re using a gentle & quality shampoo and soap. Spending hundreds of dollars on skincare, but then using dime store shampoo or abrasive soap seems rather silly. I 100% can trace any sort of backne I get from using bad hotel shampoos.

Because of my nomadic lifestyle I’ve become a huge fan of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap. I use this shit to clean myself, my clothes, my house, shoes, everything. My backpack at all times had this + my cleanser + my moisturizer.

It also doesn’t fuck with my skin which is nice.

A recommendation for a Shampoo/Conditioner is a bit tricky. As a general rule, try to wash your hair so the water/product runs down your BACK instead of over your face. I don’t feel confident enough in anything to recommend something so I’ll wait until I receive feedback on this and update later.

At least one of you saw this on your feed and got an adrenaline rush — “finally, an ANSWER!! IM SAVED”. I’ve been there too. Unfortunately for us, the dermological hivemind has found that genetics are responsible for as much as 80% of those with acne. I have seen friends break my cardinal rules so badly they made me cringe, with no negative side effects.

Meanwhile, I’ll break out a little under my chin/on my neck after EVERY ESL event because of all the goddamn mafia, JUST because I often unconsciously sit like this while I’m scouting scum (shoutout to JJ im still 9/9).

I don’t know what the fuck happened after resizing this photograph but you get the point. OHHHH and also DONT TOUCH YOUR FACE

My point is, I was you for a long while. I found quite a few “miracles” too. There’s a chance that all this will have limited to no effect for you.

Sorry sport, but thems the breaks.


Don’t be like me. I let acne (anxiety) spoil the first ~21 years of my life. I didn’t want to be photographed, ditched out on prom, ignored invites to socialize(felt uncomfortable when I did), thought girls hitting on me were in on the joke, etc. Looking back at it ….yeah sometimes it was really bad, but if instead of falling into the above stress/anxiety spiral I just took little steps to make my life better I would have likely started enjoying it significantly sooner. We’ve all got flaws & insecurities, & we’re all beautiful anyway (except Synderen, he’s fucked).

Nowadays, I could go on a bender, sleep for an hour, not shower and then stumble into the green room and after 15 (…20) minutes in the chair be ready for broadcast. Makeup to attractiveness is like fertilizer to plants. Sure, you don’t “need” it, but fuck me does it work. The people you see on TV and in magazines looking flawless have a team around them to ensure they look good. Literal armies of nutritionists, trainers, photographers, lighting specialists. That’s before makeup. And photoshop. It’s not real.

You might think you’re ugly, but you never saw what the DotA scene looked like the morning after the Shanghai Major.

Anyway, I hope this all helps at least one of you. Keep trooping.

& remember

You don’t have to do something with your life.
Just do something with your day.

— Kyle



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Kyle Freedman

You don't have to do something with your life. Just do something with your day.