Acne is a terrible, unfortunate affliction that mostly every teen must endure. It’s apart of development, as your body starts to change and your hormones start going into overdrive. But when you get into your 20’s, acne is supposed to go away, right? Not always the case. Lots of women and men suffer from adult acne well into their 20’s and even past their 30’s. The cause? a number of possibilities: hormone levels, diet, products being used on the skin, stress just to name a few.
Personally, I think one of the main causes of adult acne is what we’re putting on our skin. We are bombarded with ads and products to use to help reverse aging, hyperpigmentation, zap pimples so we are putting loads of crap on our face and our skin reacts to all these different products, especially if we don’t see results right away. And if you’re like me, If I don’t see results right away, I move on to the next product ASAP.
I want to share my thoughts on skin care along with my personal battle with the Devil I call Acne. I have had my ups and downs with acne ever since my teens. It seemed to get worse with age instead of getting better. After about a grand, possibly more, in dermatology bills including microdermabrasions, TCA facial peels, cortisone injections, extractions and prescription medications just to name a few I was done with seeing the dermatologist because nothing was working for me and I just kept wasting money.
So I started researching the origins of acne and what other people were doing to help keep their skin clear. I read a lot of how people cleared their skin using all natural products. I was a little skeptical because my dermatologists and estheticians had always told me that Salicylic and other Alpha Hydroxy acids, Benzoyl Peroxide or other stronger prescription medications worked better on acne because they exfoliate the skin, kill the bacteria that causes acne etc etc. Because they are doctors and experienced, I drilled that in my head and lived by that. But what they fail to mention is that the skin, like any other organ in the body, can only take so much crap being pushed into it before it reacts negatively. You can over wash your face, you can over exfoliate your skin, you can over moisturize, which in turn will make you break out.
So after reading up on all natural skin care and it’s benefits I decided to give it a try. I figure it wouldn’t hurt and I already looked like Scarface so I couldn’t lose. I learned some interesting stuff, mostly that you don’t have to spend a shit load of money on stuff that was made in a laboratory and that some stuff may even be found in your kitchen. Now I live by natural skin care regimen and it seems to be working wonderfully for me. Here are some cheap yet effective tips I thought I’d share.
Honey is a natural antiseptic and an antioxidant that can be dabbed on a pimple to help bring it out and/or calm it down. It is not a drying agent but It works by stopping the growth of bacteria, which causes acne. However this is only real raw honey; NOT your store bought honey syrup. And make sure you wash it off after a few minutes. Honey can also help fade scars.
Lemon Juice is Citrus Acid/Vitamin C and it’s a natural acid, like the alpha hydroxy acids. It is meant to exfoliate the dead skin cells and it is also a natural lightner that can help with scarring of the skin. Put a dab on the pimple or scars and leave it on overnight and I swear in the morning the pimple will be gone, or at least going away. NEVER rub this on the skin, it could irritate you and burn! This is ideal for those with super oily skin such as myself. A few warnings about this though; 1.) it will burn like a son of a bitch. It burned my skin and I have a pretty high tolereance for pain, so you could dilute it with a few drops of water or witch hazel. I chose not to dilute because I wanted the full effect and my skin isn’t super senitive. But you can do it either way and be fine. 2.) I wouldn’t recommend this for extra sensitive skin. You might find it quite irritating. even diluted. This remedy is really strong and isn’t for everyone. and 3.) It WILL dry you out so I didn’t use it daily. I did at first and it dried my skin out a lot to the point where i had to use moisturizers and i NEVER use moisturizers because I already have oily skin. I lived by this remedy for a while, until my skin grew a tolerance to it and it stopped working.
Aspirin is an anti-inflammatory for the skin and when made into a paste it can be used as a mask and/or scrub. I used this a few times and it helped with the redness and the pain of a blemish. I put the paste on the pimple and left it on over night and the next day it wasn’t painful and the pimple was just about gone. It’s good for oily skin because it absorbs oil. It has to be the white uncoated aspirins, not the coated ones. Crush 6 or 7 pills and add a little water and you have your paste.
Oatmeal is good for blackheads and other acne. Apply some cooled, cooked oatmeal to the whole face for fifteen minutes, then wash off. Oatmeal is an astringent and is supposed to draw oil and impurities out of the skin. It can also be used as a scrub to get off dead skin.
Aloe Vera is an old school healing plant that heals cuts and burns and stops scarring. It’s a good moisturizer for dry, flaky skin but since I have oily skin this didn’t work for me. I felt it sat on my face instead of absorb into my skin. It’s also supposed to help with blemishes because it has healing properties and is an anti-inflammatory agent. Above all else it can be used for those nasty scars. You can rub the fleshy, wet part of aloe vera plant all over your face or you can puree the fleshy part and use like a toner. It will take time but I found that it does lighten dark spots a bit and it soothes red, inflammed skin.
Witch Hazel is a good toner to tighten the pores. This is great so you don’t over wash your skin but you want get a clean feeling. It’s great for oily skin and gets off all that nasty dirt and grime buried in the pores. I wouldn’t go crazy with it because it can dry the skin out a bit, which means you will produce more oil. I usually use it when I feel my skin start to get a little grimey mid-day or at night before moisturizing. It’s main purpose is to keep your skin oil-free thus pimple free.