I never really had acne throughout my teenage years but when I got in my late 20’s and early 30’s, it hit me. The dermatologist put me on topical steroid treatments which caused dry skin, were expensive, and frankly I didn’t like putting all those chemicals on my face – it just didn’t seem right! I decided to take the natural approach and guess what, it worked! I want to share what helped me and if you are struggling with cystic acne or any type of acne really, I hope this helps you too!
- Cleanse: Twice a day I use Activated Charcoal & Tea Tree Soap. The activated charcoal draws bacteria, chemicals, dirt and other micro-particles to the surface of skin, giving your skin a deep detox. Tea Tree is a natural antiseptic and is known to help fight viral, bacterial and fungal infections, and clear skin and acne blemishes.
- Tone: Don’t skip a toner! Cleansing just isn’t enough. Raw (Unfiltered) Organic Apple Cider Vinegar is the key ingredient to my daily toner. It may sound weird to put vinegar on your face, but I am telling you this works. I mixed 1 part of the Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 Part Chamomile Hydrosol, and 1 Part Witch Hazel in a spray bottle. I also added a few drops of lavender & geranium because they smell great and they are beneficial for the oily/acne skin. Essential oils should only contain 1-2% of the total solution amount. If you don’t have chamomile hydrosol, you can use rose hydrosol, lavender hydrosol, or water works just fine. You can mist this on your face or apply it with a round cotton.
- Moisturize: Sometimes you think if you have oily skin, you shouldn’t put on more oil. However, this is actually a myth. I use an oil-base serum on my face. You can make your own easy using Jojoba Oil and Grapeseed Oil. Here is a simple recipe to follow:
- 45% Jojoba Oil – This oil is similar to the skin’s natural sebum and helps to balance oil production. High in fatty acids to help protect and moisturize the skin.
- 40% Grapeseed Oil – High in linoleic acid, this oil has anti-inflammatory properties and the oil absorbs quickly into the skin.
- 15% Extra Virgin Greek Olive Oil – Olive Oil is packed with potent antioxidants that penetrate deep into the skin and provide a long-lasting shield of moisture to keep skin smooth and supple.
- A few drops of Lavender & Geranium essential oils. Best practice is for the essential oils to be only 1-2% of your blend.
- Tip: Apply a few drops directly after the toner while your face is still moist, allowing the oils to absorb into the skin faster and reduce any greasy feeling.
- Mask: Twice a week I use this mask. It helps to draw out toxins and exfoliate to remove dead skin cells. I mixed ½ tablespoon of Green Clay, ½ tablespoon of Bentonite Clay and ½ tablespoon of liquid. I switch up the liquid and use any of the following depending on that day: olive oil, orange juice, apple cider vinegar, chamomile hydrosol, Greek-yogurt, honey, or just water. You can try all of them and see what works best for you.
A few other tips:
- Eat more veggies and fruit. These are powerful and contain many vitamins and antioxidants your body needs.
- For me I realized that dairy can cause flare ups so I reduced my dairy intake and have only Greek yogurt and Kefir with probiotics in moderation.
- Drink Water! So many benefits of drinking water but seriously I think this helped too when I increased my water intake.
- Please do not sleep with your makeup on. This is one of the WORST things you can do for your skin. It will age your skin and just cause a build-up of nasty bacteria causing breakouts.
- Don’t pick. I know it is tough, but especially with cystic acne, this can cause scaring and it will take a longer time to heal. Please don’t squeeze!
- I like to do baking soda spot treatments. I mixed baking soda with orange juice or water to get a good paste and left on my skin for about 10 min – you can add a drop of tea tree or rosemary as well. This spot treatment helps reduce swelling on the problem area and helps the spot to clear quicker.
- Make sure you change your sheets/pillowcases at least once per week.
I really hope my tips help you! I would love to know your thoughts on what maybe has worked for you! Please share your stories and let me know if you have any questions!