Acne is something that unfortunately too many of us have had to deal with during our teen years, or may still be dealing with as young adults. Even for extremely confident people it can frustrating and I know there are times in my past where I thought “it would be so nice to just have clear skin” and I’d imagine what it would be like. Recently though, clear skin has been my reality. The above picture was taken without a stitch of makeup on, and has no retouching done. Not quite “perfect skin” (and really, who has that anyways???) but far better than what I’ve had to deal with in the past, and nice enough looking that I don’t feel the need or desire to wear coverup or foundation when going out in public. This didn’t happen over night though, it’s taken me years to get to this point.
Following, is the condensed version of my story. Hopefully it can help some of you and encourage you that there IS hope!
At around age 13, I became fed up with the acne I had been experiencing for the past several months to 1 year, and decided to take action. For the next 2 years, I diligently applied tea tree essential oil diluted in jojoba oil to my face every night. It really helped in controlling the acne I had been experiencing, but my results were not predictable. The tea tree oil helped in maintaining acne that was a result of bacteria, but, I still broke out basically all over my face with no rhyme or reason.
From ages 15 – 18 I began experimenting a lot with different remedies and found a number that worked. Even though the remedies worked, they were only effective to a certain point. I discovered that the acne along my hair line went away after I started wearing my hair back more but other than that, I still didn’t know the cause of my acne and my breakouts still weren’t predictable or trackable. We hear so often that acne is the result of oily skin, which is true in some cases, but it was during this time that I learned our skin is the largest organ on our body, and sometimes these surface problems are clues to deeper internal problems, or is the bodies’ way of releasing toxins. This is why, a healthy, well balanced diet is essential to good skin as is plenty of water to flush toxins out. Occasional full body cleansing can also be helpful.
I believe it was in the early spring of 2015 that after going off of sugar for a month prior to my black belt test, I discovered that my skin cleared up dramatically. It was then I linked excessive amounts of sugar to breaking out. Around that same time, or shortly thereafter is when I discovered face mapping. If you haven’t heard of it, please check it out! There is a lot of info online regarding the topic. Basically, face mapping is a way of pin pointing the underlying issues causing acne depending on the location of the breakouts. By that point in time, about the only places on my face that I would break out were on my forehead and chin/ mouth area. Through face mapping, I discovered that breakouts on the forehead are related to digestive issues (for me, too much sugar or processed foods) and that acne on the chin is hormonal.
Face mapping really was the key to effectively putting to use all the remedies I had experimented with over the years. Now, I can almost exactly pinpoint the cause of breakouts and effectively prevent and treat them. I also know, that if I eat too much sugar, my skin is going to react badly. Sometimes I let myself slip, but it’s not as frustrating as it once was, because I know what the cause is and that I’m simply suffering the consequences of my poor choices in food or over indulgence in sweets.
At age 20, I now have mostly clear skin, and though it does still require diligence on my part to maintain, it doesn’t require nearly as much time.
Below, are my top 10 natural and diy acne remedies. I have used each of these for a prolonged amount of time, and found them all to work extremely well in treating acne and helping achieve clear, healthy skin. It’s important to remember that there is no “miracle” cure for acne prone skin. achieving clear skin is the result of knowing the cause of your acne, and then consistently using the appropriate remedy.
Please note that all of the following are suggestions, and should be taken as such, not medical advice. Please do your own research and determine what is right for you. : )
- Tea Tree essential oil. Tea tree is an antiseptic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, and many other “anti’s” which makes it perfect for any kind of acne that is related to bacteria. Dilute a couple drops in some jojoba oil and apply to your entire face, or use undiluted as a spot treatment. It can dry your skin out though, so be sure to apply a good moisturizer after using if your skin seems to be getting dry.
- Raw Honey. I’ve talked about this liquid gold in the past here so I won’t rewrite everything I’ve already wrote, but honey is also antibacterial and antifungal. It’s antibacterial properties again, make it an ideal candidate for bacterial related acne, plus it is super moisturizing. You can apply it as an entire face mask, or to spot treat. Leave on for 15 minutes to an hour and then wash off with lukewarm water.
- Apple Cider Vinegar. Again, I’ve already talked about ACV here as a toner. It works wonders!!! Apple cider vinegar is yet another substance with antibacterial properties, it balances the ph of our skin, plus it helps remove dead skin cells which can clog pores and lead to acne. The use of ACV toner helped clear my skin up substantially, but you can also use it undiluted, as a spot treatment.
- Hot Compress. For pimples that are deep beneath the skin, applying a warm to hot washrag on the spot can help draw it out and form a head so you are then able to treat it. It also helps open up the pores so that things such as tea tree oil can penetrate easier.
- Chaste Tree Herb. When hormones are the culprit, Chaste Tree herb does wonders! Whenever I notice that hormone related acne is starting to appear I take some Chaste Tree, and it does a wonderful job of balancing my hormones out and taking care of the acne in an effective and timely manner (I usually see improvement the same day)
- Ice. It sounds crazy, but whenever I can start to feel a pimple start to form that is deep in my skin I apply ice to it. The cold somehow works to minimize the size of it, and sometimes it won’t ever fully form and will just go away. Don’t ask me for the science behind it, I just know it has been a lifesaver for me at times. I will also apply ice to pimples before putting on makeup because it helps reduce the size.
- Egg White Mask. It sounds weird, I know, but it has worked quite well for me in the past. Egg whites can reduce the size and appearance of pores, help reduce oil on skin, and help get rid of blackheads. Also, because of the protein and collagen present in egg whites it can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Apply egg whites directly to your face and wait for it to dry before rinsing off with lukewarm water and a wash cloth. It will leave your skin feeling super smooth!
- Oatmeal & Milk Mask. Again, another weird sounding one, but it is very soothing for inflamed acne. The oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties, and due to it’s high fat content is very moisturizing. The milk is also very hydrating, and can help remove dead skin cells plus lighten skin. This has been one of my favorite masks recently, because it leave my skin feeling amazing, and the hydration is great during the dry winter here in Idaho.
- Jojoba Oil. This is my favorite oil (that isn’t actually an oil, but rather a liquid wax) for hydration both on my face and hair. It’s antibacterial properties cleanse the skin of acne causing bacteria and dirt. Because the chemical make up of jojoba oil is closest to the sebum our skin naturally produces, it’s said that using it on our face “tricks” our sebaceous glands into thinking they have already produced enough sebum. Jojoba also makes a wonderful carrier oil and helps get other substances deep into the skin.
- Honey, Cinnamon, & Nutmeg Mask. I’ve already gone over what honey does, but cinnamon and nutmeg?? Well, cinnamon has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that combined with the same properties that honey contains, can really pack a punch on acne. Nutmeg, has anti-inflammatory properties and also is known for reducing scarring. These three elements combined in equal parts together make one amazing mask. Leave on for 15-20 minutes and then wash off with lukewarm water. You can store leftover mask in the refrigerator. Depending on how sensitive your skin is, you may experience some tingling from the cinnamon, as well as some redness during and after use. It goes away, but I wouldn’t recommend using this mask, say, in the morning right before leaving the house.
Have you ever tried any of these before? Do you have a favorite natural acne remedy or tip?