Perfect Post-Picking Spot Treatment
In my personal experience I have found Manuka Honey to be a very healing spot treatment. This is the way I use it:<br/>If I have squeezed at a pimple (which I am trying very hard to NEVER do, but you know, sometimes you can't resist) and am left with a scab or a wound of some sort as a result, I will dab a little Manuka Honey (I use the Rowse brand NPA 10+) over the area with a clean Q-tip and leave it on for as long as possible (Anything from an hour to all day.) Then before bed I will gently wipe away the Manuka Honey with a damp cotton pad.<br/>I have found that this method is very healing to wounds created by popping and picking at pimples. I also believe that the moisturising and antibacterial properties are beneficial to existing pimples.<br/>However, as an all over mask, I have not had success with Manuka Honey. For whatever reason, it is a little to much for my skin to handle. After I have used a Manuka mask I will almost always have a small breakout in the coming days. This may be due to some sort of "purging" but I have had enough experiences of purging processes in my lifetime to want to stick out another one!<br/>So all in all, Manuka Honey is fantastic as a spot treatment, but for me personally, it is not suitable as an all over mask.
Get the proper stuff
I would say the only negative thing about tea tree is how hard it is to get REAL tea tree oil, and how easy it is to use it incorrectly.<br/>For one thing, it is not a good idea to apple tea tree oil all over your face, whether it is diluted or not. It is simply too strong for that kind of application. Tea tree oil should be used as a spot treatment on pimples to disinfect them and reduce inflammation.<br/>Secondly, real tea tree oil is extracted from the Australian Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) and should be the 100% pure Australian oil, preferably organic. Yes, it will be more expensive than you would pay for a watered down version, but wouldn't you rather pay a little more and know you are getting the real thing?<br/>Secondly, you should really patch test every spot treatment that you use, and tea tree oil is no different! I recommend starting with a drop of tea tree oil in about a table spoon of water, seeing how your skin reacts over 24 hours, and then proceeding to up the dose one drop at a time if you are not satisfied with the results.<br/>Remember that harsh products, undiluted cause irritation, and although that may appear to kill a pimple or two, irritation is aways bad for acne.
Please be careful
I used baking soda for a while and I believed it was doing wonders, it left my skin smooth and it didn't make my face feel too dry. But unfortunately baking soda just isn't the right pH for our skin. Our skin is slightly acidic, and baking soda is much too alkaline, which leaves our skin defenceless against bacteria.<br/>Now, I know for some people baking soda works great as an exfoliant, and it is much better to use baking soda than a harsh apricot scrub, for example, and if you are switching from a harsh acne scrub to baking soda, you will certainly see some improvement.<br/>But, my experiences have lead me to believe that any "scrubbing" product is bad for acne prone skin. For a long time I was an over-exfoliator, I would use baking soda twice a week, I thought it was great, but eventually it broke me out horribly. By scrubbing at your skin you are creating lots of tiny microscopic cuts on the surface and huge amounts of irritation, which is detrimental to acne.<br/>At the end of the day, you cannot scrub your acne off your face, contrary to popular belief.<br/>Your skin will be much happier, and healthier if it is kept at the correct pH, using a gentle and nourishing skincare routine.<br/>Please, please be careful if you decide to scrub at your skin!
Lovely lactic acid
I have tried a number of brands of plain yoghurt for a face mask and all of them have behaved pretty much the same, so this is not a specific review for cannon. Just make sure the yoghurt is completely PLAIN. No strawberry flavoured yoghurts slathered all over your face please. And also that the yoghurt is full fat. You wouldn't buy a watered down face mask from the drugstore, and this is no different.<br/>Yoghurt masks work because the yoghurt contains lactic acid, which essentially exfoliates your face without irritation. It is also a humectant which attracts and retains moisture in your skin. Very similarly to honey but with more of a soothing effect. Lovely.<br/>I have become a firm believer in only using products that you would be happy to eat, so I was excited to try honey! On my first application of the yoghurt mask I found it to be incredibly soothing and cooling, especially straight from the fridge. However I did notice a slight stinging the first few times I applied it, baring in mind that this was when my skin was VERY dry, so it may just have been the lovely lactic acid eating away at all that dead skin. I found that after the mask my skin was smooth and felt moisturised (but not so moisturised that I didn't have to use a moisturiser, thus the 4 star rating.)<br/>If I had any recommendations for yoghurt it would be to ALWAYS do a patch test on an acne prone area of skin that you can easily cover, wait for 24 hours, and if you see no adverse side effects, proceed with the full application.<br/>Also, a little tip, if you have some honey that is a little out of date, even better! The lactic acid content in the yoghurt increases when the yoghurt is just a little past its sell by date. So go ahead and use it on your skin (we're not talking mould here, use it within 5 days of the sell by.)<br/>Hope that's helpful!
There's Better Out There
As a long term sufferer with acne I have been through a few stages of foundation wearing. Stage 1 being "I'm going to cover every inch of my face with the thickest product I can find to make myself feel okay about going outside and save the world from the burden of seeing my face." To stage 2, "I don't care anymore. I can't keep putting makeup on top of makeup. Take me as I am world! Acne and all!" I flit between these two states often, but I have found that nothing makes my skin more upset than liquid foundation. Revlon ColourStay has incredible coverage and staying power. It will sure cover everything on your face. But in the long run the worst thing you can do is coat yourself with thick, liquid makeup. As a long term acne sufferer I know it is hard to go without, but there are better makeup options than coating yourself with liquid foundation. And the less you wear, the more you will realise no one really cares. And if you are ever trying anything new that you are going to use on your entire face, please patch test it on your jaw line first and wait 24 hours to make absolutely sure it won't break you out.
Cakey, Clogging, Crap
If you are looking for something similar to wall paper paste you may have found your ideal foundation. I came across this foundation on the recommendation of a friend who had flawless skin. I headed straight to the MAC store and splashed out £15 for a bottle. I used it for around 6 months, I don't know how I lasted that long. It clogged every pore on my face, but it was an accumulative effect. I didn't realise that this had anything to do with my slowly, but surely clogging pores. Of course, a serious breakout ensued and I remedied this by piling on more foundation. The foundation itself is thick, heavy and cakey. It sticks in lines on your face and gives you a chalky, pasty appearance. Studio Fix Fluid was actually created to be used as stage makeup. Please, please avoid this if you have acne prone skin. It is the most clogging foundation I have ever used.
Great BP Treatment but Be Cautious
When my acne got bad, benzoyl peroxide cured it, there is no question. Not lemons, not vinegar, benzoyl peroxide. Fortunately now I am in a position where my skin has improved and my body is in balance so I am quitting BP all together and keeping my acne under control with aforementioned lemons and vinegar. But my god, when your skin is in a real state, nothing will clear it up as quickly as BP will. Stick out the redness, and build up slowly, your skin will be freakishly dry at first but you will adjust. Dans BP is 2.5% which is ideal, the formula is smooth and gel-like and you get a gigantic amount for your money (I still haven't got through the stuff and its been 4 months.) But one thing I will say is that although this will probably "cure" your acne, it is not something you should be shovelling all over your face twice a day. It's a serious chemical and should be treated that way. Yes, use BP when your skin is messed up, but when you're getting back to normal, slowly wean yourself off and try out some of the natural remedies reviewed on this site. Have you noticed how high the reviews are for things as simple as lemons and potatoes?
Every little helps
It goes without saying that your overall health and your skin go hand in hand, and water is step 1 in being healthy. However, I have had chronic acne and the last thing I want to hear is "Oh just drink 10 gallons of water a day! Your skin will glow!" When I drink a lot of water (and by a lot I mean around 4-6 pints a day) I notice my skin tone is more even, but water alone has never been enough to cure my acne. So yes, chug the stuff, it's great for your body and being hydrated improves your digestion tremendously, which means that all the vitamins and minerals your skin needs can get to your skin and all the toxins and nasty stuff will come out (ahem.) But stop telling people that water is the cure to their acne, if that's the case, they didn't have acne in the first place.
Braggs Organic Apple Cider Vinegar cured my acne around a year ago. I used a 2:1 ratio of vinegar to water and worked up to undiluted. I also drank 2 tablespoons a day, diluted with lots of water. Over the next few months I got a bit cocky with my skincare and started playing around with my cleansers and moisturisers etc. Within 4 months my acne was returning in the form of little bumps under my skin. Thinking it was an allergic reaction I was prescribed a moisturising cream and told to wait it out, of course it got progressively worse, I couldn't tell you what possessed me not to just start using the ACV again but I didn't. I went back to the doctor and I was prescribed Differin 0.1% which proceeded to "purge" my skin to the point where my acne was the most severe it has ever been. My face was covered in closed comedones, blackheads and whiteheads. Eventually I quit using the Differin because my acne had become too painful. I went back to the doctor and picked up some Duac to try to calm this horrific breakout. I am now at a point where my skin is on the way to being better. Thanks in part to Duac and in part to Apple Cider Vinegar, which I have begun to use, diluted, in my skincare routine and began ingesting 2 table spoons a day. If it cured me before it can do it again! And my god, I will never stop using this stuff. Please, please be careful with your skincare routine, if it works? DON'T mess with it!
It Can't Hurt!
It's not my favourite taste in the world but I am a firm believer in treating acne from the inside out. Green Tea contains powerful antioxidants that are beneficial to your overall health as well as your skin. One thing I would say is avoid drinking more than 2-3 cups a day because Green Tea IS caffeinated. If you want to drink any more than that I suggest buying a decaffeinated version (still contains all the goodness of regular green tea.) Alternatively I tend to alternate Green Tea with Peppermint which is great for you digestive system.