Acne is a hormonal problem. It usually starts in the teenage years and can stay with the poor sufferer well into their 20s and even 30s. I know as I was a victim!
My acne problem was so acute that I was seeing a dermatologist from the age of 14 or 15 who prescribed anti-biotic treatment, six weeks on, six weeks off. He also advised me to get my face sun-burned!
I was convinced that I would eventually trade my pimples for wrinkles!
And that would probably been my fate if I had not taken matters in to my own hands.
By the time I reached my early 20s and with no real improvement in the condition, I was fed up with the lack of progress and the down side of the years of failed medical treatment.
The side effects of the prolonged anti-biotic treatment impacted on the rest of my body. I suffered from thrush, bowel problems and stomach disorders and the acne was never ‘cured’ by the heavily marketed, medical form of treatment. I decided there had to be a better way and found it with research and experimentation.
So here is what I learnt:-
- Pro-biotic taken daily not only improves acne, but maintains the gut flora and improves the immune system so the body has a fighting chance to heal itself.
- Chemical laden drug store acne remedies only address the symptoms, not the cause. They are dehydrating and contain possible carcinogenic (cancer causing) ingredients. They also sensitize the skin so it can become more damaged by the sun.
- A little sun light is a good thing! And I mean ‘a little’ don’t go for the burn. Vitamin D is sourced from the sun… not from a bottle in the form of a pill! Ten minutes before 10am or after 3pm in hot climates is enough. You may need a little longer in winter or at latitudes where the sunlight is weaker.
- Cleansing is vital. As mentioned above, avoid concoctions from the pharmacy and choose certified organic products. There are no synthetic chemicals in these preparations and the essential oils and plant extracts are healing and soothing.
- Exfoliate the skin a couple of times a week with a cloth (a handkerchief is good) containing rolled oats soaked in warm water. Rub the cloth over the acne area for several minutes, allowing the milky water to penetrate the skin and the roughness of the cloth to remove the top dead layer of skin. Use only once to avoid re-infection, throw out the used oats and launder the cloth ready for the next time.
- Use a clay mask 2 or 3 times a week. Clay will actually draw the impurities from the deeper layers of the skin. Always mix the clay with filtered water, apply thickly and lie down until it is set. Rinse with warm water and finish with a cotton ball soaked in apple cider vinegar.
- Now you have bought the apple cider vinegar… take a tablespoon in a glass of filtered water along with your pro-biotic each day.
- Don’t squeeze the pimples! I can’t stress this enough, it is tempting, but I have the scars to prove my point. Daub the spots with tea tree oil on a cotton tip or use a certified organic purifying gel.
- A moisturiser is okay. Even though my dermatologist threatened me with death if I used one. The best choice, of course is a certified organic moisturiser formulated for troubled skin. These products contain the most healing and anti-bacterial herbal extracts and certainly don’t contain mineral oils that will clog the pores, leading to more infections. They will keep the skin supple and avoid dehydration. Excessive sebum (the skin’s natural oil) is the problem for acne, not moisture. That is the reason for a non-oil formulation. One based on Aloe Vera is ideal because of its’ healing and antioxidant properties.
- Your diet is very important. Cut out the sugar! Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. A salad a day is ideal. Be inventive and consider vegetables you may not have eaten before. Drink plenty of water, 4 to 6 large glasses a day, spread them out and you will get used to the amount very quickly. A little chocolate, the darker the better as it has less sugar and you don’t crave so much, is fine as a treat. In spite of the bad press, chocolate won’t make your acne worse. Fried fatty food, on the other hand is best avoided.
- If you suffer from those large hard pimples that won’t come to a head, usually the ones on the torso gently massage around them to help increase the blood supply to speed up the removal of the infection. You can use an organic massage oil to prevent friction on the skin and this oil won’t clog the pores. Add some tea tree oil to the mix as an anti-bacterial. Don’t rub too hard as this could rupture the vessel below the skin and cause the infection to migrate to another area. With these horrors, you need to preserve and follow the guides above more strictly.
- One last bullet… make-up. It really is best to keep the skin free of foundation so that it can breathe as most foundations are silicone based and they clog the pores. Try a Mineral Foundation powder and if you must, a little concealer on the spots. The powder will allow the skin to breathe and eliminate toxins. Be careful with your choice as most mineral powders contain nanoparticles that may penetrate the skin and enter the blood stream. Research is well behind the application of this new technology and manufactures are not required to list on the label of their products that they contain these ingredients. More information can be found on my blog.
Finally don’t stress! It really will improve. I am a living testament. Maintain your skin by always choosing certified organic products. This link will take to the site to purchase no chemical skin care products. The improvement to my complexion since I have been using these formulations has been a marvel. I wish I had discovered them long ago.