Since I entered middle school, zits and acne have been a problem for me. I had hoped exiting teenage-hood would see the end of it, but unfortunately, I take after my mother, who battled acne for a large part of her adult life too.
Like most people, I think, who have acne, I’ve tried a lot and spent a lot to get rid of it. An herbal formula I was taking when I got pregnant had been helping, but many of the herbs in the formula weren’t good to take during pregnancy. I had thought perhaps an underlying hormonal imbalance might be the root cause, but there was no change during and after the pregnancy. Since then, I’ve determined that I simply have really, really sensitive skin.
As part of my postpartum self-care, I became determined to develop a facial care regiment that would finally keep my acne in check and not break the bank. It had to be relatively simple, something that wouldn’t take too long or involve too many steps. I’m terrible at developing habits, so it had to be easy. I had heard that green tea was good for the skin, but that involved going to the fridge every time I wanted to use it as toner. I’d long heard about apple cider vinegar as a toner, but was put off by the thought of smelling like vinegar. I decided to hell with caring about the smell, enough was enough.
After some trial and error, here are the products and the treatment regiment I have found to be the most effective and the cheapest:
For my facial washes, I use Earth Science Clarifying Facial Wash as my primary cleanser, and Acure Facial Cleansing Gel as my secondary wash that I keep in the shower. Both of these retail around the $7-8 range, but they last a long time. I begin and end each day with washing my face, afterwards using Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider vinegar mixed with water in a 1:1 ratio as a toner that I apply to affected areas with a cotton ball.
After letting the toner dry, I will use Acure Argan Oil, a substitute for the wonderful but expensive Dr. Haushka Clarifying Day Oil, which retails for around $45 a pop. The argan oil can retail from anywhere from $8 online to $15 at a natural foods store.
Twice a week, I will mix up a tiny batch of Aztec Secret Healing Clay and apply it to the affected area before bed. I had used it in the past and didn’t find it to be terribly effective, but I discovered that it was crucial to leave it on overnight for it to really do its job. 1 pound of this goes for a little over $10, and has lasted me for years.
One thing I have found to be essential is that to keep from getting new zits is that I absolutely have to wash my face after eating an oily or dairy heavy meal. I’ve done many elimination diets to no effect, but if, eating my normal diet, I simply wash my face after eating, it helps. If you can find it your heart to give up sugar a bit, this may also help, but I haven’t found it as necessary as the above.
While I haven’t totally cured my acne, I have managed to keep my last outbreak in check for many months now and my skin is starting to heal.
I hope that someone out there finds this helpful, and I would be happy to answer any questions.