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I've struggled with acne for an excessively long time. As a teen who always has felt pressured to be more beautiful, the first thought that always came to my mind when trying to be pretty was my skin.
I'm not going to tell you to just drink water or just eat better. Instead I'm going to tell you that the beauty industry creates target products that create unhealthy skin cravings and for an unreasonable price tag. The way to go is au natural!
I looked down upon natural ingredients when I was younger and treating my acne because I assumed that the scientifically developed ingredients and formulas would work better. Because of this, I completely ruined my skin.
Here's my history:
Things to know: I have ridiculously oily skin. My acne is genetic and hormonal.
During my first two years of tragically popping my pimples, large pores, blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, and pustules, I used $300 worth of skincare products. I experimented with several drugstores cleansers, nearly the entire line of eradiKate skin line, a Clarisonic brush, tea tree oil, the liquid inside of Aleve pills, and apple cider vinegar. Nothing worked, so I asked my doctor for something, anything to fix my face.
He gave me a prescription topical cream treatment with 2.5 percent benzoyl peroxide. BP is very commonly used in over-the-counter products to treat acne and clogged pores. This within one to two weeks (no lie) had gotten rid of the 20+ pimples on my face. I'm not even exaggerating. I went half an entire year with glossy, poreless, smooth, soft, firm skin. I walked into high school with a bright smile on my face and hungry for the social scene.
Within a couple weeks, I broke out horribly. It was the worse my skin had ever been. I knew it was not the topical cream, because I had not used it in months because I had no pimples on my face, ever. So there was nowhere to use it on, you know?
I didn't panic a lot. I applied my cream. I knew it would go away, or so I thought. It didn't. Instead, it burned my skin and only that. I had not put anything hindering in my skin routine. I just cleaned my skin with a gentle sensitive skin cleanser. I ate well, my stress levels were the same as they've always been. My acne went away again a year after I had just washed my face only. I tried more products that did nothing.
I finally found a foaming aloe vera cleanser from Nature Republic that just got rid of my acne slowly and then exactly a year ago, my acne hit me full force again. This time was not as bad but bad enough to hurt, badly. The more I grow, the more self-conscious I become and this really took a toll on me. I tried more drugstore products and rose water, that pink lotion that Kylie Jenner swears by, more tea tree oil, lemon. I stopped drinking, consuming dairy, cut my carbs. I kept my changes consistent giving them time and still nothing.
Until this summer.
Here's how to do it:
1. Limit every non-natural ingredient.
Yes, I'm telling you to throw away every product (with the exception of toner) that contains salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acids, and other harsh chemicals. These may work now, but their continued use will make your skin addicted to them and it will ruin your skin. Products like BP will tear apart your skin and without it, your skin might break out more because it has gotten used to it.
Above, I excluded toner from being thrown away because it is the lightest way possible to apply light coverage of an ingredient that may still aid. Currently, I use Clinique Solutions Toner with salicylic acid in it and it works just fine because toner is made to clean excess dirt and oil, tone your skin texture, and lightly nourish your skin. It's refreshing and a light swipe of the acid exfoliates my skin softly. It may be better to use a natural toner like witch hazel or a rose tonic. A toner will really make the biggest difference in how your face feels and looks.
I'm here to tell you that this was what transformed my face this summer. Your masks should stay powerfully natural. I am talking about clay masks! What changed my life dramatically was using the Aztec Healing Clay mask every single day. My skin, although sensitive, is hungry and it could handle using a mask every day. That may not apply to you too, so start off two or three times a week and increase as necessary. I mixed my mask with apple cider vinegar and my life changed. I went from 40+ pimples on my face to (in a month) six or five pimples on my face. I also used raw honey and left it on my face for one to two hours. What also made a difference was using an Umbrian clay mask, which just sucked all the oil and bacteria from my skin and cleansed it at the same time.
4. Double Cleanse
It's not only satisfying to double cleanse, but using two gentle cleansers will also stimulate more blood movement and thoroughly and safely exfoliate and wash your pores. I thought it would overwhelm my face, but it definitely helped my face keep control.
I thought drinking three or four cups a day was enough, I was wrong. I drink ten to eleven glasses of water a day. I pee a lot but my body is detoxing marvelously.
I don't apply moisturizer because it feels uncomfortable for me to use it as an oily person. After trying dozens of moisturizers in the past few years, it never did anything for my skin honestly. However, I now realize the amazing effects of moisturizing through a serum. A serum is applied after washing your face and toning your face (if you choose to do so). It's a light and refreshing way to restore and replenish your skin with nutrients. It made (alongside with the masks) one of the biggest differences in my skin. I used a retinol and hyaluronic acid serum at night only. Hyaluronic acid is so soft and gentle on skin, it's a godsend. It's a non-natural ingredient that you can find naturally in some herbs and plants, but even without only moisturizes and helps your skin. My Dermanu serum with 2.5 percent retinoid and hyaluronic acid made my skin look dewy, feel fresh, and worked its magic overnight.
I never gave this much thought, but one time I took a nap the same day I went to sleep early and got 10 hours of sleep, 14 hours total. My skin had never looked better. Your skin replenishes itself overnight and I never gave it much thought until it actually turned out to coincidentally make a change in my skin.
8. Rice and Kefir
I stopped eating carbs altogether a week ago and I have not broken out since. Rice is a heavy staple in my daily meals and ever since I started eating just vegetables and meat, I haven't broken out at all. Carbohydrates are especially unhealthy for you because most of those foods are highly processed. My change of simply not eating rice was enough to aid in my skin recovery. Kefir is also something that has made the biggest dietary change for me. Kefir is dairy but packed with probiotics that will help your body in so many ways. Drinking kefir again after trying to not consume dairy at all actually had instantly helped my skin not break out more.
I still have acne. It takes time. But my pimples aren't mad and my face is almost clear. With these tips, it shouldn't take too long. My skin changed dramatically within a month and all that I have left to say is to tell yourself that it will get better and keep it consistent!