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Epsom Salts, Tea tree & Vinegar

red mark oily skin

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#1 ukochana

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Posted 07 November 2004 - 11:16 AM

Well, I've been a lurker for a while, and finally decided to share my experiences with everyone. I've been suffering from chronic mild to moderate acne for the past ten years, and I've tried everything recommended by my derm from topical/internal antibiotics & bp to retin-a with no luck except irritation. These chemicals - especially bp and retin-a - changed the colour of my skin (bleached), made it painful to the touch and ended up breaking me out even more than before (and yes, I did use retin-a for well over the time the 'initial breakout phase' - I gave it about 5 months). This culminated in a huge breakout about three months ago where I ended up with two painful cysts and a couple huge pimples on my cheeks - I have NEVER had cysts before or zits of that magnitude!!; that's when I decided to chuck all the chemicals out...I was concerned about bp's free radical effect, and even though retin-a is touted as an anti-aging miracle cream, I think it's a crock of shit, as the skin thinning that occurs is unbelievable, and cannot be good in the long run. I also stopped using sunscreen everyday, as I'm sick of it breaking me out and making me look like a greaseball, and now I only use it when I'm actually OUTSIDE for a LONG PERIOD of time - ie. on the beach or skiing!! I also think that this whole sunscreen craze has gotten out of hand...people are scared of walking to their cars without a glop of sunscreen on for christ's sake because they fear 'the culminating effects of sun damage'.
Anyways, let me get to the point, because I'm just going to keep on rambling about the brainwashing that the pharmaceutical and cosmetics markets expose us to. I had read about the vinegar method here, and had used it with great results for my past scarring (I scar in red marks). But I still had the breakouts to contend with, and tea tree on its own just drained the big cysts and did nothing for the smaller pimples. I decided to try epsom salts as an exfoliant one night, and in the morning when I woke up, all of my pimples had come to a head. I guess the epsom salts had drawn all the gunk out...anyways, I firmly believe in draining pimples that have come to a head, so I did just that; then I mixed a solution of epsom salts and water, dipped some cotton pads into it, then applied them to my face. I let them sit there until they started hardening (recrystalizing), then I took them off and washed my face. This solution had killed all the bacteria and healed the area because none of the popped zits had returned, and the cysts were healing nicely. That was three months ago, ever since then I have been crystal clear...except for a whitehead here and there.
At first I was very vigilant with the epsom salts - applying the pads almost every day at night, even leaving the solution on all night. Now, I just do daily maintenace by using them as a scrub every night; I still use the vinegar daily in the mornings - I don't wash my face with soap, instead, I fill the wash basin with water and mix some vinegar and tea tree oil into it, then I wash with this solution. It normalizes the ph of my skin, kills bacteria and keeps the bacteria off all day. I still use a facewash at night because I have rather oily skin.
I know this is a lengthy post, but if it helps even one person, then I'm glad, because a lot of people have helped me with their experiences.





#2 deville

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Posted 07 November 2004 - 12:41 PM

Sounds really interesting...my acne sounds like yours 'mild to moderate', but chronic, with a few cysts every few months...do you think epsom salts would help with scarring as well? Where do I buy them, how much do they cost? And how much do I need to start off with this regimen??
Sorry for all the questions, but I'm willing to try anything...so far nothing has worked to stop the zits from coming back. And I'm sick and tired of being addicted to bp.


#3 [flip]

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Posted 07 November 2004 - 01:39 PM

Where to buy Epsom Salt! LOL

You can get Epsom salt at any pharmacy. Epsom salt is Magnesium Phosphate (MgSO4). Try Wallgreens.

I have two bags myself which I think I got from Cost-Co eusa_think.gif . Sounds like a plan to me! biggrin.gif

http://www.walgreens...4&id=prod379057
It even says that it can be used to "Deep clean skin and pores." I never knew that!
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#4 ukochana

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Posted 07 November 2004 - 02:44 PM

Deville - You will need a lot, as the solutions I made were fairly concentrated with the salts - this was just to kill all of the bacteria and draw all the gunk out. Just add half the amount of salt, as the water that you're using. ie. a cup of water, half a cup of salts.
I gues it depends on what kind of scarring you have, it definately helped me with my red marks - seemed to dry them out, and then they just flaked off and quickly faded...and since I also use the vinegar as a face splash in the morning, maybe that helped with the scarring as well??
A warning though - the epsom salts will STING any open sores that you have (bacteria killing action), but if you can bear it, then you'll have great results, and once the sores are healed, it does not sting anymore.


#5 SteveLewis

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Posted 07 November 2004 - 03:00 PM

QUOTE(ukochana @ Nov 7 2004, 01:44 PM)
Deville - You will need a lot, as the solutions I made were fairly concentrated with the salts - this was just to kill all of the bacteria and draw all the gunk out.  Just add half the amount of salt, as the water that you're using.  ie. a cup of water, half a cup of salts. 
I gues it depends on what kind of scarring you have, it definately helped me with my red marks - seemed to dry them out, and then they just flaked off and quickly faded...and since I also use the vinegar as a face splash in the morning, maybe that helped with the scarring as well?? 
A warning though - the epsom salts will STING any open sores that you have (bacteria killing action), but if you can bear it, then you'll have great results, and once the sores are healed, it does not sting anymore.

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So what you did was just mix the epsom salts with water in a cup and then apply that to your face with cotton balls/pads?

#6 ukochana

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Posted 07 November 2004 - 03:17 PM

QUOTE(SteveLewis @ Nov 7 2004, 03:00 PM)
So what you did was just mix the epsom salts with water in a cup and then apply that to your face with cotton balls/pads?

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Yes, I would dip the cotton pads into the epsom salt solution and apply them to the areas where I break out (outside of cheeks/chin/forehead). I would just leave them on - they stick to the skin, and start crystallizing, which keeps them from falling off - so you could do this when you're studying/whatever.
If you're really breaking out - as I was before - then you can re-wet them, and apply them again if they start crystallizing (double the punch)

#7 SteveBrown

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Posted 07 November 2004 - 03:38 PM

QUOTE([flip] @ Nov 7 2004, 11:39 AM)
Epsom salt is Magnesium Phosphate (MgSO4).

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Magnesium sulfate.



#8 deville

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Posted 07 November 2004 - 04:57 PM

Hey, thanks for the posts...I picked up some epsom salts at shoppers drug mart (in canada here), and I'll be trying this method tonight...I currently have a few small pimples and a huge cyst on my right cheek, hopefully this will help.

#9 deville

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Posted 08 November 2004 - 07:05 AM

Hey All...just thought I'd update on what's going on...last night I fell asleep with all these cotton pads on my cheeks (yes, scary sight!), and this morning I had to peel those babies off...but to my great astonishment, ALL of my zits had come to a head. Just like ukochana said, I mean, I had a huge throbbing cyst on my cheek, which had overnight turned into a pusfilled sac (I know, gross), and all the pimples have turned into big whiteheads. It usually takes SO long for my zits to do this. Well, I squeezed them all carefully out (btw they require like minimal pressure to pop)...and mixed some more solution w/ tea tree oil and applied that on the area. I'm keeping this stuff on till I go to school cause I don't want any of those zits returning. I'll keep updating, but so far so good!

#10 KT

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Posted 08 November 2004 - 10:07 AM

HI

Sorry, I'm confused as to exactly what you're doing...

You make a solution of epsom salt and water, right? Then dip a cotton pad into it, dab onto spots and leave over night?

And what's your maintenance program to keep spots at bay? You mentioned something about using 'pads' and I'm not sure what you mean... When you say 'exfoliate' with the salts, how exactly do you do this?

Really want to try this so would be grateful if you could let us know exactly what you do... Sorry to be stupid!!

Thanks
Katie

#11 ukochana

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Posted 08 November 2004 - 11:06 AM

QUOTE(KT @ Nov 8 2004, 10:07 AM)
HI

Sorry, I'm confused as to exactly what you're doing...

You make a solution of epsom salt and water, right?  Then dip a cotton pad into it, dab onto spots and leave over night?

And what's your maintenance program to keep spots at bay?  You mentioned something about using 'pads' and I'm not sure what you mean...  When you say 'exfoliate' with the salts, how exactly do you do this?

Really want to try this so would be grateful if you could let us know exactly what you do... Sorry to be stupid!!

Thanks
Katie

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Hey Katie,
At the beginning when I still had active acne, I would make a very concentrated solution of epsom salts and water, then dip some cotton pads/balls into it, and leave the whole thing (cotton and all) on my face until it started drying/crystallizing. Then I would either re-wet them in the solution and put them on again, or just take the cotton off, and go to sleep. The main thing is - you want to create an epsom salt poultice, which has to be wet, as then it draws all the gunk out of your pores.
You will not believe how quickly this draws the pus to the surface...I don't know if you believe in squeezing, but that's the only way for me to get rid of a zit. But remember that if you do squeeze them out, then you'll have to reapply the solution (maybe mix in some tea tree oil as well) and disinfect the area until the inflammation goes down.
Now that I don't get active pimples anymore, I simply use the epsom salts as a scrub (ie. I mix it with some water in the palm of my hands, and scrub my face with it for about a minute - this not only exfoliates, but also kills germs).
I also don't wash my face with soap anymore in the mornings, instead I fill my washbasin with water, add some tea tree oil and some vinegar, and rinse with that.
Hope this helps


#12 deville

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Posted 08 November 2004 - 02:13 PM

Hey, just thought I'd add that after half a day, I am still oil free...and usually by this time I'm so shiny...the salts seem to stay in the pores and suck up all the oil. Plus, the zits that I picked today are all puckered up and healing much more quickly than usual, and none of them got reinfected. Whoo hoo!! Hope this continues.

#13 lllynch

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Posted 08 November 2004 - 10:09 PM

Hi, I just bought some epsom salt today and have already tried your regimen. I just have a few questions. Do you let the salt totally dissolve before applying? Just curious because when I tried mixing the solution, the salt settled to the bottom, and took a while to dissolve. Also how long do you usually leave it on for? I'm having trouble keeping the cotton pad on my face, it falls off in 1 or 2 minutes. Maybe I'm doing something wrong? Thanks.

#14 ukochana

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Posted 09 November 2004 - 06:10 AM

QUOTE(lllynch @ Nov 8 2004, 10:09 PM)
Hi, I just bought some epsom salt today and have already tried your regimen.  I just have a few questions.  Do you let the salt totally dissolve before applying?  Just curious because when I tried mixing the solution, the salt settled to the bottom, and took a while to dissolve.  Also how long do you usually leave it on for?  I'm having trouble keeping the cotton pad on my face, it falls off in 1 or 2 minutes.  Maybe I'm doing something wrong?  Thanks.

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Yes, the salt has to totally dissolve - best to do it in hot water as it will dissolve fully. If you have problems making the cotton pads stick, I suggest splitting the cotton pad off into thinner sections (when you put it into the solution it will swell, then you can easily peel off each layer - 1 cotton pad can even be used for the entire face this way). Also, your solution might not be concentrated enough.
Leave the solution on overnight - you can take off the cotton pads before going to sleep - just rinse the solution off in the morning, it's the most effective way this way.


#15 deville

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Posted 09 November 2004 - 08:48 AM

Just wanted to update: My skin is healing fine, no new zits!! (yay), just a couple whiteheads which I carefully squeezed out and applied the solution to disinfect. That stuff stings like a b***h when applied to an open wound!! But it's worth it, cause nothing's coming back, and the zits aren't reinfecting.
BTW - I make my solution extra strong cause I'm an impatient person


#16 jsbee2

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Posted 09 November 2004 - 08:13 PM

The cotton balls aren't even near to sticking to my face, is my solution not concentrated with salt enough?

#17 ukochana

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 07:04 AM

QUOTE(jsbee2 @ Nov 9 2004, 08:13 PM)
The cotton balls aren't even near to sticking to my face, is my solution not concentrated with salt enough?

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Hmmm...I don't know why they wouldn't, I have trouble taking them off! But if you're using cotton balls, then make sure to seperate them into smaller sections - one can be used for your entire face. Also, make sure that you're really submerging the cotton, making it really wet.



#18 KT

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 12:55 PM

Hi

Thanks for your response. I've tried what you suggest but I too can't make the cotton pads stick. When you say a strong solution, what exactly do you mean. If I had a quarter of a glass of water, for example, how many teaspoons of salt?

Thanks again

#19 ukochana

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 03:43 PM

QUOTE(KT @ Nov 10 2004, 12:55 PM)
Hi

Thanks for your response.  I've tried what you suggest but I too can't make the cotton pads stick.  When you say a strong solution, what exactly do you mean.  If I had a quarter of a glass of water, for example, how many teaspoons of salt?

Thanks again

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I usually add enough salt so that it makes about 50% of the solution - if the pads start crystallizing and turning hard when they start drying, then you're using enough salt. I guess you can play around with how much you want to use depending on how severe your acne is, there are no concrete rules, experiment.
Hope this helps

#20 jsbee2

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 06:52 PM

QUOTE(ukochana @ Nov 10 2004, 05:04 AM)
Hmmm...I don't know why they wouldn't, I have trouble taking them off!  But if you're using cotton balls, then make sure to seperate them into smaller sections - one can be used for your entire face.  Also, make sure that you're really submerging the cotton, making it really wet.

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Oh, seperate, I see.

But while I Was trying to figure that out. I just used strips of TP instead, it seemed work pretty well.