Acne and natural skin products
Although I got the occasional pimple, I didn’t suffer from acne until I was in my late teens and early twenties. It was horrible. Acne has a big effect on your self esteem and confidence as well as your social patterns. I wore thick amounts of makeup just to leave the house – which in itself didn’t help matters – and when someone looked at me, I believed that they were disgusted. I was constantly worried about my appearance and I started to look for every cream, lotion and potion I could find that would help me.
The problem? My skin was very sensitive and I could not use strong detergents like benzoyl peroxide for very long. I tried very expensive over the counter meds, I tried some dermatological oral and topical meds, and I even tried those late night TV infomercial solutions. Some of the items worked, but dried out my skin and I continued to have huge acne problems well into my twenties.
What causes acne?
First, your skin cells become sticky, do not shed properly and block your pores which build up an excess of sebum in your pores. This happens due to many different factors, skin failing to slough off properly, rubbing your face with your fingers, stress and other things. There then is a build up of bacteria which feed on the sebum. This bacterium is popularly known as P. acnes (Propionibacterium acnes).
The first stage is the microcomedone stage. At this stage, the pore is not yet inflamed, yet you can see that there is something going on underneath. It takes two forms:
- Whiteheads – Which look like a very small white dot due to the build up of bacteria.
- Blackheads – Which look like a black dot and is hard to the touch due to blocked pore.
The first stage may heal up on its own or become inflamed which leads to:
- Papules – This is the initial stage of the pore’s walls breaking which then causes white blood cells to enter.
- Pustules – a full-blown zit or pimple, which is the stage where the white blood cells make their way to the surface of the skin.
- Nodule – A break in the bottom of the pore’s wall which can be very sore to touch.
- Cysts – A strong inflammatory reaction can result in very large lesions.
So that’s how acne is formed. I remember getting horrible scars because my acne would flare up and become severely inflamed. But I can now walk around with very little makeup and fairly clear skin.
Now can I give you a miracle cure for acne? No. I still get acne, but it is much less frequent, do not leave ugly scars and go away in a few days.
Here are a few steps that you can take to relieve yourself of major acne for the long term. Remember, this is not a miracle cure!
Get your skin to work for you not against you
Now at the same time of my major breakouts, one of my sisters had lovely skin. Did she diligently wash her skin before going to bed? No. Did she have a beauty regimen? No. Did she even apply any cream to her face at all? Not really. Then what was going on? How come my skin which was getting all the scrubs, rubs and potions had these huge acne cysts and she would occasionally get one little pimple on her nose? That wasn’t fair! Or was there something else to it?
If you look at how acne is formed, it is caused by a blockage in the pores. Now most people intuitively think that they should be scrubbing their pores clean.
But the secret is to get the skin to slough off efficiently and produce less sebum. Your skin is like any other organ. If it feels like it is too dry it will produce more oil. If it feels it is under attack it will send the white blood cells to search and destroy. If there is something wrong it will become inflamed. So I decided to try an experiment and here is what I found:
- Add good oil and moisture to your face
Every night I rubbed in some high quality moisturizing antibacterial oil. Now tamanu oil, shea butter, or lavender oil will be the best as they are antibacterial as well as moisturizing, do your research, but make sure that the oil you choose will be absorbed into your skin and not clog pores. Tea tree oil is antibacterial but not for moisturizing, so I would recommend tea tree only as a treatment for inflamed acne.
- Get good bacteria onto your face
The most amazing skin cream is available to you for pennies and it is right under your nose. Believe it or not, its yoghurt! Yoghurt has some beautiful properties. It is cooling and soothing, ph balancing and it has bacteria which love eating P. acnes. I use it with a touch of turmeric to soothe my entire face.
- Use AHA or Vitamin A to help slough off dead skin cells
These are the only “chemicals” I’d recommend if you need help with your cell turnover. Alpha Hydroxy Acid comes from sugar cane, and is proven to increase cell turnover as is vitamin A. I used it together with the antibacterial oil, which helps because vitamin A is absorbed better in oil. This is good especially for older women as this reduces the look of fine lines and wrinkles. However, use is not recommended for pregnant women as too much vitamin A is bad for the baby. Also remember to add sun block to your routine every morning as it makes you more susceptible to sun damage.