ACNE. Even just the mention of the word sends shivers down my spine. Whoever said this was a teenage problem lied. I never thought I would be in my late twenties trying to figure out how to treat and conceal pimples. I have tried numerous solutions (prescription creams, prescription pills, Proactive, Murad, and so many others) - some that worked and some that didn't. You might be thinking to yourself, "if she found something that worked why didn't she just stop there?" Well it's because I realized that all of these things were band-aid solutions and not addressing the real problem. It also really freaked me out to be slathering these mystery concoctions all over my face and body, day and night. So I was determined to find some natural alternatives.
If you're interested in more info on why you are getting acne in the first place, THIS article by Acne Einstein offers a great explanation. The next step is controlling the breakouts.
Simplify your routine and replace all of those chemical laden products with natural ones. Here are some of my favorite options! Give it AT LEAST two weeks of consistent use. You will most likely have a purging stage in the beginning, but then it will all get better!
Step 1: Cleanse
- I LOVE Dr. Bronner's Lavender Castile Soap. It's not called magic soap for nothing people! Don't believe that this is a viable acne solution? Then check out all of the amazing reviews HERE!
- Organic Honey. I know this one sounds weird, but honey has all kinds of amazingly beneficial properties. Mix a little bit of honey with water and then slather it on. Wash off with warm water and a wash cloth.
- Organic Grapeseed Oil. Slather all over dry skin. Remove with a wet wash cloth and warm water. Please note that all oil is not created equal! Some oils may actually worsen acne. Keep reading for more info on selecting the best one for your skin.
Step 2: Tone
- Rose Witch Hazel. This stuff is amazing and it smells great too. Balancing your skin after cleansing is a must! Do not skip toner.
- Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar. ACV cures everything. Drink it, use it, bathe in it.
Step 3: Moisturize
- Organic Grapeseed Oil
- Organic Evening Primrose Oil
- Organic Rosehip Oil
- Splurge on a premade mix HERE
As I mentioned before, not all oils are created equal. In a perfect world, we would have a balance of oleic and linoleic acid in our naturally produced face oils. However, people with acne tend to have an over abundance of oleic acid, which clogs pores and creates pimples. So naturally, we would want to pick a moisturizing oil that is high in linoleic acid and low in oleic acid to balance everything out. All of the ones mentioned above are great choices. Some not so great choices: almond, avocado, olive oil. THIS blog post has tons of info and more options on picking the right oil.
The worst thing you can do is over-exfoliate. This will only encourage your skin to produce more oil (it's also just unnecessary), but exfoliating a few times a week will leave your skin glowing and encourage cell turnover. My favorite method of exfoliation is the Clarisonic. It didn't become famous for nothing. It works and it is worth every penny. If you think it's too expensive, just think about the hundreds (maybe even thousands) of dollars you have spent on drugstore and spa treatments. I use it 2-3x per week with the Dr. Bronner's Soap. Twice a day is way too much. Please do not do that. If you need a more budget friendly option, mixing ground oats with honey is a great natural exfoliant.
- I use THIS homemade version of the GlamGlow mask about 1-2 times per week. Love it! It also works great as a spot treatment overnight.
- Burt's Bees Herbal Blemish Stick. This is a combination of alcohol (dries out the pimple) and essential oils to help reduce the appearance of those stubborn spots and kill the bacteria. The smell is strong, but once it dries you can no longer smell it. This is a great day or night option.
Whew! That was long. Kuddos to you if you are still reading. I would love to know if you have found any natural solutions to treating acne. What are your secrets?