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How to heal acne naturally (it worked for me!)

vitamin vitamins vitamin a biotin beta carotene rosacea

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#1 terradacto

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 10:35 AM

Alright so, I've had little bits of acne since about age 11 and I'm now 18. I began using harsh over the counter chemicals that made my skin extremely red, dry, flaky, and irritated, but I persisted at the time thinking it was necessary to get rid of the tiny pimples. It wasn't really but I felt it was all I could do. Then at about age 13 I started Zenmed for a week. The first night I woke up feeling like I was going to die of thirst and thought it would be best not to continue (that was a waste of $300). Not too long after I developed inflamed cystic acne on my forehead and cheeks. My skin was getting unusually oily and I started on proactive. It worked very well for a while and despite the redness and irritation because of my sensitive skin I continued. My skin got oilier and I started washing my face up to 4 times a day thinking I was going to combat it! I remember at lunch time my freshman year going into the bathroom and blotting 2-3 tissues full of oil off of my face. I didn't think for one second that a product made to help my skin was actually making it worse. My cystic acne was full blown on my cheeks and my mom finally took me to the dermatologist. When they said I should take accutane, she refused knowing the side effects and I developed scarring because of it. Proactive was still the only solution I was using and my acne never seemed to go away. My face was still oily and the lesions were still popping up. Then a few months before I turned 16 I told my mom I couldn't take it anymore and I was going to try accutane. It worked wonders on my skin and I had no side effects at all but dryness. I stopped proactive and my face hadn't looked so good in years. Small itty bitty pimples would come up but nothing to worry about. Then after a year or so it started up again a little worse, so I decided not to go with accutane again (the expenses!) but try the alternative and see if using what it's derived from (Vitamin A) would do the trick.


Beta Carotene and its magic.

I started taking 15mg of beta carotene daily. After about a week I could already see the difference and after months my skin was completely dry, no oil, no pesky bumps. My sebaceous glands were smaller and produced barely any oil. My acne wouldn't flame up and get as large or red, just the occasional few. You can't truly overdose on it because it converts the vitamin in your body, but it's best to stay at or below 30,000 IU (my dose).

I also started on multi-vitamins which I never had before (at least not for a long enough period). It was GNC healthy hair, skin, and nail formula. After I was finished with the whole bottle my breakouts were fewer, my nails were stronger, and my hair was bouncier at the roots.

These 2 small things added together in my diet changed my whole complexion.

My scalp will get overly dry if I shampoo it with sulfates and harsh chemicals so I only use natural products (currently Jason's biotin formula), and I only have to once a week! My hair is completely dry and beautiful. It's never looked this healthy.

I drink only water, and now since my diet has changed if I say, like I did last week lol, drink a few sips of regular milk my skin underneath and around my chin (hormonal) breaks out terribly. Soda dehydrates me. Coffee dehydrates me. I drink water even when I'm not thirsty and do my best to drink at least 8 glasses daily.

My skin is gorgeous, but the scars...

Well, since I'm completely astounded by nature's healing, I started looking up ways to get rid of that too.

I bought GNC's aloe vera gel and applied it night and day for a few weeks. I could tell it was evening out the tissue and making it a little softer in some spots but nothing noteworthy. It also kept my skin super soft and smoother.

Then I looked up other treatments and bought extra virgin olive oil and some honey. Some say olive oil helps their acne, but for me it caused it. I would not recommend it to anyone prone to breakouts. I rubbed it in vigorously and lo and behold they began popping up after just a few days. I was asking for clogged pores!

Honey on the other hand, is a miracle.

Not only does it help scar tissue rebuild, but it also promotes collagen production, softens skin, eliminates bacteria growth, eliminates inflammation, and helps to even skin tone and PH balance!! Whew!

And boy does it. My skin is a perfect tone, no redness at all (I've always suffered from a slight case of rosacea) and my scarring is literally disappearing into beautiful, flawless, plump skin and after just a few days!

I rub it in at night and leave it on. It's messy but worth it. Then during the day I rub it on 3-4 times.

Now my scarring is pretty mild to moderate so it's not magically healing anything surgery might have to step in for, but it's definitely a hidden treasure. All I'm using is a 'natural' blossom honey, not organic or anything fancy. I've read manuka honey is used for wounds and scars but I don't think it could do much better than this.

Also, honey is excellent for acne sufferers because of the anti inflammation & bacteria properties. I would try it as soon as you can.

Vitamins + natural topical treatment = my current and almost flawless skin!!

Pass it on!

#2 terradacto

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 10:48 AM

Also, I forgot to mention my simple regimen. I don't use soaps, not even cetaphil or light glycerin cleansers, only cold water. Hot or warm water makes my face red and irritated. So every morning and night I rinse my face with cool to freezing cold water. I know, I know, what about unclogging my pores and allowing the steam to open them? I don't need it. My skin looks great and I have no breakouts. Trust me on this, if you have sensitive, red skin, don't abuse it with hot water!

One thing I have been using, though, is a baking soda paste for exfoliation. The first few times I used it my skin was so much smoother and felt really nice, but daily is definitely too much and can cause irritation so I would try it 1-2 times a week. All you have to do is take some of the powder and mix enough water in to make it applicable to the face. Gently rotate in circles for a good 30 seconds and rinse. Must moisturize after. I would use aloe vera because it's non oily.

#3 sie

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 01:47 AM

Congratulations! I am so happy for you. Believe it or not, I think you may have hit upon a possible solution for people suffering from regular ole *hormonal* acne (mostly females, I think...cuz I'm female, so I don't pretend to know anything about male acne). Are you female?

Here's my recent experience: I went on an unusual spinach based diet a couple of months ago (don't ask why) and my skin cleared up very nicely. Also, I believe that my fertility was boosted, as I have since gotten pregnant (I was trying--and I conceived much quicker than my previous pregnancy). I have realized that I have had low progesterone and started progesterone cream (even though in the past I was too scared to try it, I have since learned it is quite safe). I have also read that vitamin A regulates progesterone and progesterone can regulate/balance estrogen and testosterone. I have been trying to read up on this but have found very little real sources of info. Your post on beta carotene made me realize that my web searches were for vit A and progesterone...but spinach contains mostly beta carotene (not vit A per se). I have searched those terms and found that beta carotene is strongly associated with reproduction and progesterone and with ovulation and the corpus luteum (what is left behind after ovulation that provides progesterone in the last half of a girls cycle). I believe that a relative low beta carotene intake caused me to have inadequate corpus luteum to supply enough progesterone in my luteal phase (this is when most girls like me get monthly acne flare ups). Not only can low progesterone cause acne flare ups, but also PMS and all its glory (mood swings, etc) and also reduced fertility (progesterone is the pregnancy hormone, if you want to get pregnant, you had better be making enough of it). This all could explain the success of green smoothies, of my spinach diet, and of your beta carotene supplementation.

I am very happy that you have posted this. I am continuing progesterone cream use for my pregnancy, but will consider just smoothies or high beta carotene foods alternated with supplementation (as necessary) in the future. I hope other girls with cyclical acne will read this and take it under consideration.

Again, congratulations!

#4 paulvg

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 03:21 AM

Congrats... eusa_clap.gif

#5 terradacto

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 10:18 AM

Thanks ^^

And excellent point, sie.

I definitely know that vitamin A interferes with my menstrual cycle. When I was on accutane I had terrible cramps and bloating right when it started. I nearly fainted on the bathroom floor a few times. I was sweaty and nauseated, everything was a blur. This has also happened when I went past 30,000 IU of Beta Carotene- never again! They also say it's not good to consume more than 5,000 IU of vitamin A during pregnancy. Accutane's iPledge program is evidence that it has a very serious impact on reproductive hormones and organs.

#6 Capo

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 02:08 PM

Going to have to try this.Can you simplify a list on what we would need and how we would use it in your regimen?

#7 OneLoveLetsGetTogether

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 05:30 PM

I have a question, why did you take beta carotene pills instead of eating foods with beta carotene?

I'm not attacking you I'm just curious, do you suppose it would work a bit better or something since you're getting pure beta carotene instead of eating something like a carrot which would give you beta carotene as well as a host of other (good) perhaps unnecessary things?

I like your avatar thing btw, I used to live in Hawaii.

#8 terradacto

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 08:07 PM

QUOTE (Capo @ Nov 23 2008, 02:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Going to have to try this.Can you simplify a list on what we would need and how we would use it in your regimen?

Sure, lately it goes like this:

-wake-up
-rinse the raw honey mask off my face (yeah, I've been sleeping in it lol- it's not messy if you're careful)
-apply 99% aloe vera gel
-have oatmeal or some sort of random breakfast... simmered shrimp? LOL (ok, let's not get into my diet!)
-take my multi-vitamin with a glass of filtered water after
-drink lots of water throughout the day
-try to get a good meal at nightfall (hopefully not a tv dinner)
-take the multi-vitamin + the Beta Carotene capsule of 25,000 IU (the multi has 5,000 plus half retin-A)
-apply more aloe vera and then rub the honey in for a few minutes before I let it sit while I sleep and I don't even have to rinse before I go to bed but you can wash/rinse whatever if you prefer. My skin just easily dries out even with water alone.

Now if you're male, I'm sure there are plenty of multi-vitamin varieties for you to take as a replacement.

I use the baking soda paste 1-2 times a week and I've used a homemade crushed papaya mask to help the scarring (helps with acne too)

As for your question of why I don't just eat foods high in beta carotene, hehe, my answer is because I couldn't in a million years down enough carrots to make my diet complete without the supplements. I would have to eat leafy greens 'til my gut busted. I'm also quite naughty and consume candies and other things which they compensate for. Frankly, I probably couldn't afford fresh produce at such a rate. There are times when Mc Donald's 99 cent menu is the only alternative to going hungry so I make due, ya know?

Of course, if you're able to keep up with a healthy diet then I say go for it, but if you're like me then vitamins work just fine. (slow metabolisms need not apply eusa_dance.gif )



QUOTE (OneLoveLetsGetTogether @ Nov 23 2008, 05:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I like your avatar thing btw, I used to live in Hawaii.

cool.gif Thanks, I plan on moving there.

#9 dave611

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 08:45 PM

Congrats on your success!! Im just curious what kind of scarring did you have? Was any of it depressed? How much improvement did you see? Thanks

#10 under

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 09:57 PM

What type of honey is this? Manuka Honey or just grocery a store variety?

#11 OneLoveLetsGetTogether

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 10:36 PM

QUOTE (terradacto @ Nov 23 2008, 10:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Capo @ Nov 23 2008, 02:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Going to have to try this.Can you simplify a list on what we would need and how we would use it in your regimen?

Sure, lately it goes like this:

-wake-up
-rinse the raw honey mask off my face (yeah, I've been sleeping in it lol- it's not messy if you're careful)
-apply 99% aloe vera gel
-have oatmeal or some sort of random breakfast... simmered shrimp? LOL (ok, let's not get into my diet!)
-take my multi-vitamin with a glass of filtered water after
-drink lots of water throughout the day
-try to get a good meal at nightfall (hopefully not a tv dinner)
-take the multi-vitamin + the Beta Carotene capsule of 25,000 IU (the multi has 5,000 plus half retin-A)
-apply more aloe vera and then rub the honey in for a few minutes before I let it sit while I sleep and I don't even have to rinse before I go to bed but you can wash/rinse whatever if you prefer. My skin just easily dries out even with water alone.

Now if you're male, I'm sure there are plenty of multi-vitamin varieties for you to take as a replacement.

I use the baking soda paste 1-2 times a week and I've used a homemade crushed papaya mask to help the scarring (helps with acne too)

As for your question of why I don't just eat foods high in beta carotene, hehe, my answer is because I couldn't in a million years down enough carrots to make my diet complete without the supplements. I would have to eat leafy greens 'til my gut busted. I'm also quite naughty and consume candies and other things which they compensate for. Frankly, I probably couldn't afford fresh produce at such a rate. There are times when Mc Donald's 99 cent menu is the only alternative to going hungry so I make due, ya know?

Of course, if you're able to keep up with a healthy diet then I say go for it, but if you're like me then vitamins work just fine. (slow metabolisms need not apply eusa_dance.gif )



QUOTE (OneLoveLetsGetTogether @ Nov 23 2008, 05:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I like your avatar thing btw, I used to live in Hawaii.

cool.gif Thanks, I plan on moving there.



Too cool, I plan on going back for college. I think it's the best place in the world haha.

#12 sie

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 01:00 AM

terradacto, your description of the menstrual disruption you experienced on accutane and when taking too much beta carotene was identical to my EVERY month experience from puberty thru college...during that time in my life, I had NO acne, perfectly clear skin! Every month I'd go thru that nausea and passing out and so much more (hallucinating, fever, shakes, nose bleed), but my skin was perfectly flawless. I only remember ever getting one pimple in all of high school. I definitely believe that my progesterone levels have dropped over the years and I started experiencing practically no more monthly menstrual problems, but greater skin problems. I am hoping (after my pregnancy) that I can find a balance so that I don't have to sacrifice one for the other. Also, fyi, wrt supplementation vs. food sources...read up on beta carotene, it can increase risk of certain cancers in smokers and the risk is lower when taken with vitamin E...and I think selenium I think. Anyway, you might consider trying to get as much as you can from food sources (which will provide lots of other goodies: like vit K, folate, calcium and vit C in spinach, etc) and only supplement the remainder. (Frozen spinach is cheap and easy and you wouldn't have to eat too much, and carrots aren't that hard to handle--their crunchy and not too expensive) And, maybe you don't need so much beta carotene per day...maybe high beta carotene foods 3x per week could do the trick. Also, I believe that it is possible for the body to "reset" itself in as little as 3 months. You might try taking a break from the high dose beta carotene after 3-4 months to see if your body can stand on its own. Again, congratulations.

#13 terradacto

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 10:41 AM

QUOTE (dave611 @ Nov 23 2008, 08:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Congrats on your success!! Im just curious what kind of scarring did you have? Was any of it depressed? How much improvement did you see? Thanks

Yeah, dave, HUGE improvement. My pores are becoming invisible, and my scarring is just about completely healed. It's light boxcar scarring and I have a few soft small ice picks which are proving harder to get rid of but I'm seeing a difference. A few look like enlarged pores.

It's strange and hard to describe but the honey I'm using works amazing. When I put it on the first time immediately the redness from rosacea in my face disappeared. I rubbed it in and let it sit a few hours, went back to the bathroom and looked in the mirror, and saw my skin was a nice golden tone already. I woke up in the morning and my scars were flatter and less noticeable. I read that it's supposedly the best natural scar treatment available and scars will completely disappear with regular use. It's not just an old wive's tale because it's doing wonders for me. Someone said to rub it in 3-4 times a day or as much as possible so I did for a few days and started seeing something very strange- my body healing before my eyes. It looked like scars that had been already healed were getting wider, shallower, and turning into post-inflammatory pigmentations again, and I'm watching them re-heal in the blink of an eye. When I woke up this morning and looked in the mirror after getting out of the shower the morning sunlight hit the right side my face like it always does and to my amazement I could see barely any scarring whatsoever. I'm seeing very small little holes that almost resemble large pores but I know they were smaller scars that are widening (around where the ice picks are). These are only visible nearer to my inner cheek next to the bridge of my nose.

What I can best figure is that it's my body being treated very well and being given the right stuff to heal while at the same time having these powerful enzymes eat at the old scar tissue and form the new at the same time stimulating collagen production which is at its peak because my body is very healthy (and I'm still under 20). All of this combined is incredible. I'm sure the other masks are a big help too but honey has done all the work.

I've had acne scars for 3-4 years btw so some are relatively old.


QUOTE (under @ Nov 23 2008, 09:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What type of honey is this? Manuka Honey or just grocery a store variety?

I got it at the grocery store. It's nothing fancy, it's not the super refined bright yellow honey bear kind but it's not organic either. It is dark and says genuine, pure, and natural on the bottle. It's imported from PA.


QUOTE (sie @ Nov 24 2008, 01:00 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
terradacto, your description of the menstrual disruption you experienced on accutane and when taking too much beta carotene was identical to my EVERY month experience from puberty thru college...during that time in my life, I had NO acne, perfectly clear skin! Every month I'd go thru that nausea and passing out and so much more (hallucinating, fever, shakes, nose bleed), but my skin was perfectly flawless. I only remember ever getting one pimple in all of high school. I definitely believe that my progesterone levels have dropped over the years and I started experiencing practically no more monthly menstrual problems, but greater skin problems. I am hoping (after my pregnancy) that I can find a balance so that I don't have to sacrifice one for the other. Also, fyi, wrt supplementation vs. food sources...read up on beta carotene, it can increase risk of certain cancers in smokers and the risk is lower when taken with vitamin E...and I think selenium I think. Anyway, you might consider trying to get as much as you can from food sources (which will provide lots of other goodies: like vit K, folate, calcium and vit C in spinach, etc) and only supplement the remainder. (Frozen spinach is cheap and easy and you wouldn't have to eat too much, and carrots aren't that hard to handle--their crunchy and not too expensive) And, maybe you don't need so much beta carotene per day...maybe high beta carotene foods 3x per week could do the trick. Also, I believe that it is possible for the body to "reset" itself in as little as 3 months. You might try taking a break from the high dose beta carotene after 3-4 months to see if your body can stand on its own. Again, congratulations.

Hmm, progesterone you say? I wonder why there would be an imbalance? I guess it could have been my diet throughout my teen years. Did you eat differently or do you think it has to do with age? I wasn't getting near the amount of nutrients I needed especially during puberty. I would eat a poptart or bag of eminems daily and nothing else. (Gee, no wonder my acne was so bad)

I know my diet isn't ideal, but really I don't think you can beat a year supply of Beta Carotene for $15. I don't smoke or anything and I stay away from smokers because I have trouble breathing in those environments. That's the only known side effect, and it probably rings true for those who don't just take the capsules but get over 500% the daily value in their diet (it seems rare that someone would).

In my multis I'm not getting extra vitamin K or omega fatty acids come to mind; I still seem to be doing fine. I feel like a walking medicine cabinet as it is. I've been eating fruits lately but this is unusual for me.

#14 terradacto

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 11:32 AM

QUOTE (OneLoveLetsGetTogether)
Too cool, I plan on going back for college. I think it's the best place in the world haha.

Molokai! I'd like to live rurally and help the farmers and land.

Do you know about the koani foundation?

#15 Alika

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 04:56 AM

I'm just starting with this little honey/ beta carotene regimen. I bought the Hawaiian Island Honey company brand. It's supposedly Lehua honey so we'll see how that goes.

#16 I'mHeather

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 10:55 AM

Congrats on nice skin!
I too just recently purchased the Beta Carotene- just started taking it yesterday and am going to incorporate honey to a yogurt face mask I'm going to be trying this weekend. I just had a bad hormonal breakout over Thanksgiving and my skin is healing up now but of course I still have redness and a few bumps that are just hanging out and skin is just loooking kind ugh. Trying hard to get it nice and clear by Christmas. Even buying the Progesterone Cream!


#17 ROLLIN

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 11:16 AM

I'm happy for your success, but I'm just giving a heads-up on what I found on wikipedia:

"It has been shown in trials that the ingestion of beta carotene at about 30 mg/day (10 times the Reference Daily Intake) increases the rate of lung cancer and prostate cancer, and increases mortality in smokers and people with a history of asbestos exposure."

http://en.wikipedia....tene_and_cancer

Careful, guys.

#18 I'mHeather

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 11:21 AM

OKay, well I just happen to go to GNC online and see what was in the Hair, Skin and nails to see if I wanted to start taking it. It says it has Vitamin A-50% of which is Beta Carotene equates to about 2,500 iu so if you take 2 per day as instructed, it's 5,000 is on top of the 25,000iu Beta Carotene vitamin you are taking. Is that too much Vitamin A? It seems like just taking the Hair, Skin and Nails would be sufficient as it does have a lot of good stuff in it and it would be only 5,000is Beta Carotene which I would think would be plenty.
I was wondering why I felt kind of funny last night (light headed, sickly) and I'm wondering it it's because I started my regular multivitamin and the Beta Carotone.
Anyone know about this?

#19 terradacto

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 11:42 AM

Well I just got back from my derm today (not acne related, wanted to get a spot checked out) and I told her about my dosage and she said what I was taking was fine but that it's good to get blood tests done to make sure I'm not causing any damage to my liver because the first thing she mentioned was how (well, that I've grown up and know my stuff now..awww) and also that accutane is indeed vitamin A and works in the same exact way. She said 'just to be on the safe side' and gave me the blood work paper. I think it's fine what you're taking, just be sure to stop if you experience serious side effects, of course.

I also felt strange when I took it for the very first day and a little bit the next few days (I was also in the heat of summer at the beach during this time) but it subsided and I noticed the oil was going away. One thing that also bothered me was the bone density it was causing like the accutane does, but this actually went away over the course of a few months and my joints don't ache anymore.

I don't think the 50/50 5,000 IU is enough for you to notice a significant difference in your sebum production.

Another thing I should mention is to NEVER apply vitamin A topically while taking it orally. It can cause serious nausea and headaches. VERY bad for your health.



#20 I'mHeather

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 12:09 PM

Thanks for the reply. I guess I'm wondering though, since I don't have oily skin, more dry/combo if this would even work for me. Yeah, I am one of those odd ball dry skin sufferers. I mean, it's not really dry but I am definitely not an oily gal.