How I Got Rid of My Acne
I remember back when I was in grade 6, I had this small bump in the corner of my nose. I was slightly annoyed by it so I decided to squeeze it. Overnight, this tiny bump turned into an angry Godzilla looking pimple that continued to get angrier and angrier as the days went by. It got so big to the point that it looked like I had another nose growing beside my nose! After getting picked on by my peers at school, my mom finally took a pin and drained the monster nesting on my face. That pimple was the beginning of what I can only refer to as my horrifying acne years. For 5 years the skin on my face and the top of my back looked like a battle ground. Luckily, I didn’t have giant cystic types of acne, I had whiteheads and pustules, which are slightly easier to treat and recover from. I spent lots of my teenage years popping and picking at my face. Majority of my pimples appeared on my forehead and the odd one on my cheeks and chin. Because my skin is light brown in complexion, I suffered a lot from hyperpigmentation when I poked at my pimples. For those with darker complexions who suffer from pimples and hyperpigmentation, understands me when I say that it wasn’t the pimples that frustrated me as much as it was the scarring. The pimples would eventually heal and go away but the scars would last for about 8 months or even longer! I never wore makeup except for eyeliner and mascara throughout high school either, so the scars and pimples were bright and bold for everyone to see.
I tried every type of acne treatment there was. Every type of face wash, creams, toners, waters….everything!! Nothing worked. In fact, I think as the years went on, my skin got worse. I used all types of bleaching creams on my scars (and only my scars), hoping it would fade them, but then most only added to my pimple problem. After endless researching I decided to try a different routine. For starters I eliminated milk from my diet, as recommended by my naturopathic doctor. As a child and into my mid-teens I drank milk twice a day everyday….EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I learned that many of us have a lactose allergy but because it may not be as obvious as having tummy troubles after consuming it, we ignore the other small signs and continue to use milk and dairy. Within weeks of eliminating milk completely from my diet, I saw a difference in my skin. Outer beauty is often times a result of what’s going on in the inside of our bodies. It’s a shame I hadn’t realized that sooner, but I was relieved when I finally did.
The next thing I did that changed the texture and pigment of my skin, was wash it twice a day with Neutrogena’s Oil Free Acne Grapefruit Facial Cleanser. As embarrassing as this is for me to admit, in my tweens and teens, I was very lackadaisical with how well and frequent I’d wash my face. However, being in the industry that I’m in, many women seem to also act the same way. By 17, I decided to buckle down on my facial cleansing and I washed it twice a day, every day. This helped to clean out my clogged pores and scrub away all the old and dead skin cells on my face.
The final step that I took was throwing out all of synthetic lotions and potions I bought for my face, and used coconut oil. Now this is very controversial. There are some, like myself who swear by the effects of coconut oil, while there are others who flee from it. Other oils I recommend trying are Jojoba Oil, Almond Oil, Olive Oil, Moroccan Oil just to name a few. I know what you’re thinking, “why would I use oil on my face if my problem is oily skin and clogged pores?” Here’s why; 1) Oily skin is often a result of extremely dry skin that isn’t getting any oil or moisture, so your body starts to produce its own oil, which intern turns into overproduction of oil, causing your skin to appear greasy and oily. By applying oil as your moisturizer, you’re allowing your skin to get the nourishment and moisture that it needs. It will suck up the oil leaving your skin with a beautiful glow and will slow down the natural production of oil. 2) I thoroughly cleanse my face every morning and night. When using oil as a moisturizer you need to be on top of how frequently you wash your face. Just like your natural oils, if you don’t wash your face, the oil will clog your pores. 3) I apply a clay tea tree face mask 1-2 times a week from The Body Shop. This mask purifies my skin, and if I do have a pimple, it will either completely eliminate it or bring the inflammation inside of it to the surface making it ready to drain within 1-2 times of using it. Do yourself a favor, get yourself this mask! It is literally the Holy Grail of acne treatments!!!
Within about 2-3 months of making these little changes, my skin started to clear up from pimples and the coconut oil assisted in lightening my scars. In about a 9 months’ time, my skin was completely cleaned up and healed. I’ve tweaked my routine slightly since then, for my face and body cleanser I use natural soaps meant for acne and combination skin, like carbolic/chamomile/tea tree oil/bee pollen soap, I use coconut oil as my makeup remover and body moisturizer, with hazel for my toner, and I use jojoba oil as my face moisturizer. I still continue to use the tea tree skin clearing clay mask from The Body Shop because of how quickly and effectively it works! If I’m putting on makeup then I use Boscia’s Clear Complexion Moisturizer instead of jojoba oil so that my makeup will set evenly on my skin. I highly recommend incorporating natural/organic products into your daily skin care routines. Your face will appreciate you for it!
Please keep in mind, if you do decide to add some of these changes to your daily skin care routines, results may vary for everyone. Also keep in mind, it takes time to see changes being made to your skin as well. You need to be consistent with whatever routine you try, and you need to maintain it for about 3 months to start seeing a difference. When it comes to your skin, be patient and research the type of acne, and the cause of that type. Modify your routine accordingly and in time with work, you’ll have your skin back to its brightest, healthiest and most beautiful!