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 use benzoyl peroxide 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? Update May 2017 – I did find something that works 😀 See below for more info.
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.
Update May 2017 – I have gone off of benzoyl peroxide! To make a long story short, I was having problems with my lips getting dry, itchy, and swollen. For months I was dealing with this problem and I assumed it was the benzoyl peroxide that was causing it. I contacted many online experts, as well as my doctor and no one thought it was caused by the BP. I was still convinced, so I went off of BP and bought a bunch of makeup to cover the acne I knew I would end up with.
It was back in April when I quit BP, and I am still off of it. I decided to utilize this break to try out a natural skin care line that is formulated specifically for adult acne. a skin care line called Moss. I have been using Moss for a month now and it seems to be working! It isn’t the same as BP in that it doesn’t work as quickly, but it is lessening my breakouts and helping my skin be its healthiest. Moss is supporting my skin to heal itself and I can see that my under-layer of inflammation is going down and the amount of large pimples I get is decreasing.
To go back to my lip issue, I have recently learned what the problem was, I have developed a sensitivity to beeswax! I know now that it was not the BP that was causing my lip issue (though I have my suspicions that BP played a role in the development of my sensitivity to beeswax by damaging my skin barrier). I have been off of BP for a month and have not put a single thing on my lips. About a week ago, I decided to wear lipstick, right away my lips got itchy. The next day I put on a homemade lip balm, and my lips got itchy again. The next day my lips were swollen and irritated. So now I know what the problem was, it was all the lip balms and products I was using with beeswax in them.
Even though I now know that BP was not what I was reacting to, I still don’t really want to go back on it. I loved how BP cleared my skin, but I didn’t like knowing that it was essentially stripping my skin of its protective barrier. For now I am happy to be using Moss and I am ecstatic that it is slowly but surely clearing up my skin.
My Current Skin Care Routine:
- Wash my skin with Moss’ Revele oil cleanser or CLNS Green tea cleanser.
- Pat my face dry
- Apply Moss’ Potenci moisturizer in the am
- Apply sunscreen in the am
- In the evening I apply Moss’ Illumina exfoliating treatment and Potenci moisturizer.
Tell me please, does anyone have experience with acne? Can you recommend products that have worked for you?
Yours In Beauty,