Hey there, been a long time reader and a five year adult acne sufferer. When I was a teenager I didn't have many pimples at all, but I was given the HORRIBLE advice that it was okay to pop them =(
Fast forward to being an adult- late 20's and hormone changes and thinking it was okay to pop a zit.. and a terrible mess ensued.
Proacive, Acne-Free (from the store), accutane, solodyn with clyndamiacin and adalapene gels, etc etc
Finally, I stopped using everything on my face for a few days. I had enough. I got a handle on popping my zits, which I hated anyway, and I did some research and worked with a dermatologist who wasn't afraid to help me with alternative therapies.
I found out that I had destroyed the acid mantle on my skin, which means the Ph balance was out of wack.
I have/had scars from popping cystic zits and trying to force out blackheads
I found out that my skin type was oily because of a hormone shift from 1. Lack of sun (vitamin D is a hormone to control estrogen, progesterone and testosterone) 2. Stripping all the natural oils my skin needed and 3. it's just my skin type (I have no wrinkles whatsoever- not even crows feet lol)
There is GOOD and BAD bacteria on the face- using benzyl peroxide destroys both.
Pores do NOT OPEN AND CLOSE- there are no muscles there. However, soft steam and warm water help loosen dirt in pores and pores can get larger the more dirt and oil it collects.
So what's an adult to do?
First I did research into alternatives to benzyl peroxide.. and researches found that a thyme tincture works twice as better and did not harm the helpful bacteria needed for the skin.
Then I found out I have hard water, so adding a touch of baking soda to my water helps soften it.
Then I did research into oils and honey.
Here is what I use.
Tea Tree Oil
Organic Raw Buckwheat Honey
Organic Nutmeg and Cinnamon
Organic, Fresh Thyme
First thing is to learn how to make a thyme tincture. It's really quite easy
Use throughout the day! I mix 1/2 cup of Witch Hazel with 1/4th cup of water in a GLASS BOTTLE (do not use plastic) and add FRESH ORGANIC THYME. DO NOT USE THE SPICE BOTTLED STUFF. Once you do that, let the tincture stew for two days. Remove the thyme and you now have a tincture that works better than benzoyl peroxide. Source:
* PLEASE PLEASE DO AN ALLERGY TEST BEFORE YOU USE THIS ON YOUR FACE. Mix a small bit of castor oil and jojoba oil on the inside of your elbow and let sit over night. The next morning use a small bit on the side of your neck where you can hide a rash if you think you might break out.
* Castor oil actually pulls oil and dirt from your pores, but if there's ZERO change within three days you'll want to stop as this method is not for you. In order to purge the oil process from your skin you will want to soak your skin with a baking soda mask/peel (mix baking soda and water into a paste and let sit for 15 minutes) followed by fresh squeezed lemon juice on your face to restore the acid mantle.
Here are my pictures: 6.1.2014, 6.6.2014 and 6.16.2014
Furthermore, I make sure to get 20 minutes of sun every day for maximum vitamin D absorption. If you live up north or in colder climates, please consider taking vitamin D3 supplements and still try to get some sun. The best time for UVB rays are between noon and one p.m.
You can determine yourself if you think this is worthy for your own regimen.