I started getting pimples when I was around 12 years old. I remember Maria (my sister) calling me “pizza face”. I have had acne ever since. I never really learned how to properly take care of my face when I was younger.
I remember using Oxy-Clean and other harsh acne products. I would wash my face, trying to get all the oil off. My face was very oily. I developed a terrible habit of picking, this made my acne worse.
I now have scars on my face from the years of picking I did. I felt lost, I had no idea how to treat the problem. I would wash and pick, my face was always irritated and inflamed, which I know now, leads to more pimples.
This would make me feel defeated and disgusted with myself. It was a never ending cycle. Nothing helped, I tried different cleansers, nothing made a difference (looking back, I know I could have done more).
If I could go back I would have:
- used a gentle cleanser morning and night
- not picked or touched my face
- used some oil blotting paper during the day
- drank lots of water
- used a clay mask every few days
- nourished my skin with an oil free moisturizer
Oh if only I could go back in time. I am sure I would have still had acne, but it would have been minimized and I wouldn’t be left with as much scarring. I often wonder if my adult acne is from all the damage I did to my skin in my youth.
I am now 32 and I still have acne. It has subsided a bit over the years, I am not as oily as I was in my teens and early 20’s, but the acne has not left. I always have an under-layer of inflamed skin and at least 5 – 10 active pimples on my face. I have tried tea tree oil and lavender oil, I have done clay masks. They help, but it’s not enough.
About a year ago I was at my wit’s end. I was so tired of having acne, I just wanted my face to look normal. I reached out for help.
My sister told me about chemical exfoliates and the website www.acne.org. At this point in my life I had ditched the chemical products for a decade, I had eaten organic for that long too. I do think that my healthy diet helped my skin but it never totally cleared. I was willing to try anything, I didn’t care if it was a chemical anymore.
So I followed the regimen at acne.org. It called for washing your face in the morning with a sensitive skin cleanser and then putting benzoyl peroxide lotion (this is the lotion I use) on your face. You then apply an oil-free moisturizer (I actually use facial oils as moisturizers) to combat the drying effect of the benzoyl peroxide. You do this again at night before bed.
After about a week my face got used to the benzoyl and after about 2 weeks my face was clear! I couldn’t believe it, I hadn’t seen my face like that in 20 years! I felt like a million bucks. I could be around people and not feel like all they saw were my zits.
I love it, I love how my skin looks. The only problem is I am now a slave to it. If I don’t so it every morning and night, I start to get pimples again. I don’t mind having one or two blemishes, it is better than what I used to have, but I hate that I may have to use this product for a long time.
I also worry because benzoyl peroxide can speed aging and lead to cancer, plus all the other nasty ingredients in most benzoyl peroxide lotions are toxic (luckily I found the lotion I now use, which is free of these chemicals). It is a love/hate relationship. I love the way my skin looks but I hate knowing that I am putting toxins on my face.
I am at a loss and don’t know what to do. I want to use natural and organic on my skin but I want my acne to go away. Is there anything out there that does that?
I want to find an alternative to the benzoyl peroxide. I need something that goes deep into the pores and cleans them out, like the benzoyl does. I am thinking of trying to use a clay mask mixed with apple cider vinegar every day. I will combat the drying with a moisturizer. If it works, I will let you know!
Update March 2016 – I am still using benzoyl peroxide to control my acne. I tried to go off of benzoyl a couple of times. I tried using a clay mask mixed with honey and vinegar 3 times a day, but this did not work. I also tried a product called MooGoo Blemish Cleansing Cream which is a great product (they make amazing shampoo and conditioner) but it didn’t clear my skin.
I am so thankful for all the wonderful and helpful comments that people have left on this post. I have been asked what my routine is so I will share it with you here.
My Current Skin Care Routine:
- Wash with an organic cleanser ( I am using this one right now)
- Gently pat my face dry with a clean towel
- Apply benzoyl peroxide lotion ( I use a paraben and formaldehyde free lotion that you can get here)
- Wait a few minutes
- Apply my facial oil or balm ( I am using this and this right now)
- In the day, if I plan to go outside, I apply a sunscreen ( I am loving this one right now)
And that is it! A simple routine that keeps my skin clear.
Tell me please, does anyone have experience with acne? Can you recommend products that have worked for you?
Yours In Beauty,