While I do focus on grain-free, food related topics, I wanted to share these tips that have make a huge difference in my chronic acne. After all, Empowered Sustenance covers things that sustain and empower us. And I think these natural cures for acne does both!
All I ever wanted for Christmas was clear skin…
Acne and I: inseparable since 7th grade. It requires pages to explain the myriad of treatments, lotions, potions and prescriptions under my belt. Basically, I’ve tried every prescription besides Acutane and birth control pills (and I will never touch those). Everything from drugstore cleansers to $90 serums have graced my medicine cabinet. I’ve even invested in at-home peel chemical peels, a Clarisonic, and laser treatments.
Natural acne treatments that work!
I’ve discussed how starting the SCD/GAPS diet made changes in my skin. I also shared how I cleared my body acne with The Ballerina Secret to Glowing Skin. Unfortunately, my improved facial acne situation was still considered “severe.” I’ve been experimenting with this specific combination of natural acne treatments and I think I’ve discovered what is going to permanently treat my acne.
I went cold turkey on all my skin care products–albeit “natural” products–and have been using the following, homemade regimen for about a month. While my acne is not completely gone, I know with a bit more time this routine will cure my acne.
1. Oil Cleansing in the Evening
I was apprehensive about smothering my face with oil, since my face has always been veritable oil slick one hour after I wash it. So it took a big dose of courage to throw out my face wash and tried this method for oil cleansing. I love it! It removes all traces of makeup and leaves my skin soft.
Most importantly, my face’s oil production is normalizing. This is because–in conjunction with the facial oil I’ll talk about–it does not need to overcompensate with oil production like it did when I cleansed with soap.
2. Honey Cleansing in the Morning
In the mornings, I wash my face with honey. With slightly dampened fingers, I massage about 1/2 teaspoon of raw honey over my dry face and then rinse. The antibacterial properties of honey work to inhibit breakouts. Additionally, it removes excess oil but leaves skin moisturized. You can read more details on my post The Honey Cleansing Method.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar Toner
Mornings and evenings, I spray my face with a mixture of 2/3 alcohol free which hazel and 1/3 raw apple cider vinegar. The apple cider contains gentle exfoliating acids to calm acne and it balances the skin’s pH. It also allows my homemade facial oil to absorb quickly and evenly.
4. Homemade Acne Facial Oil
I use a twist on Crunchy Betty’s formula for facial oil. I fill a 1 oz. jar with jojoba oil then add a few drops of carrot seed oil, 3 drops of geranium oil and 3 drops of lavender oil.
I just moisten my face with the toner, warm a few drops of this oil mixture between my fingertips and massage lightly onto my face. As a bonus, it feels like a quick aromatherapy treatment.
5. Honey, Cinnamon and Nutmeg Spot Treatment
If you ever visit my house without giving me prior warning, you might just see me walking around with dots of gooey cinnamon on my zits. This is my normal routine ever since discovering that this mask makes a super effective spot treatment.
I mix raw honey with enough cinnamon to form a paste, add some freshly grated nutmeg, and store it in a small container in my bathroom. I’ll leave this spot treatment on for a couple of hours. If you want to use it as a full face mask, leave it on for only 10-15 minutes.
6. Baking Soda Exfoliant
Once a week, I mix up a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to my face, chest, and back. I leave it on for a few minutes before my bath or shower. It provides gentle chemical exfoliation to even skin tone, dry up breakouts, and eliminate blackheads. As a bonus, this effective treatment is simple and economical!
UPDATE: I no longer recommend this exfoliation because it can be too harsh for the skin due to the strong alkalinity of baking soda. You must be extremely careful in selecting exfoliants for the face and chest because the skin is so delicate. Sugar scrubs, salt scrubs, apricot-hull scrubs and the rest are all much to harsh and can lead to premature aging. I only recommend this gentle anti-acne exfoliant, to be used once per week. Otherwise, a warm and slightly damp washcloth can be used to very gently buff the skin.
Before starting the GAPS diet, my health was so poor that I rarely got periods. GAPS brought my cycle back, but also delivered intense PMS. I’m talking nausea, headaches, and doubling over in pain from cramps. Desperate for a solution, I gave acupuncture a try. After two months of weekly treatment, my periods are getting better and better.
So how does this relate to acne? During that time of the month, my skin usually erupts into landscape of deep, painful cystic acne. Since starting the acupuncture treatment, I’ve noticed a marked improvement in PMS breakouts. I am going to continue regular acupuncture to see if my periods will continue to improve, and I think it will continue to reduce my hormonal acne.
UPDATE: Imbalanced hormones were absolutely the main cause behind my acne and cystic acne. After many, many hours of research and self-experimentation, I have learned how to balance my hormones naturally through dietary, lifestyle and supplemental changes. My cystic acne and PMS is now a thing of the past! I share all the resources and instructions to end PMS in my new ebook Quit PMS: End Your Menstrual Misery.
8. Bonus! Enessa Clove Acne Control
Yes, so the title says 7 things. But I had to update this post with a #8 because I couldn’t believe I had forgotten this! I rely onEnessa Clove Acne Control to reduce cystic acne (the deep and painful hormonal acne). This is the only topical treatment I’ve found that drastically reduces the inflammation and redness of cysts overnight. I always have an extra bottle around because I cannot bear to run out of this magic potion.
Enessa Clove Acne Control is a secret blend of clove oil and other essential oils in a base of jojoba oil. Do not go out and by a bottle of clove essential oil and think it will do the same thing. As a matter of fact, putting straight clove oil on your skin will burn and damage the skin, because it is so strong. The Enessa product may be a bit pricey, but it works… so it is a worthwhile investment for me.
Why go the natural route for acne?
These homemade acne cures may seem crazy, but it is not as crazy as dousing one’s face in toxic, stripping, chemical-based products. Normalizing the skin’s oil production, using gentlespot treatments and exfoliation and (for the ladies) balancing period hormones through acupuncture means a safe and effective solution to acne.