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Epsom Salts, Tea tree & Vinegar

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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.

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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.

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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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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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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.

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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!

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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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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, 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.

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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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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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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

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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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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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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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Hello...just updating my experience. All of my zits have basically shrivelled up and died, so to say...but I have been bombarding them with the solution, as well as tea tree oil/vinegar (as a facewash like used by ukochana - very very refreshing, I must say!!)...I have also been using the manuka honey gel from Living Nature (free shipping from nzpacific.com!!), and a combination of these things has resulted in zero new zits forming...I can't believe it, I've been running to the mirror as soon as I wake up, and aside from the ugly red marks left behind past breakouts, I have zero new active zits!! And I usually break out like mad during this time of the month.

Hopefully, this stuff does not lose it's effectiveness, cause my skin hasn't looked so good in a long, long time.

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That's great news, deville! Just wondering - do you use the method with the cotton pads? Is it really necessary to go to bed with all that dried, crusty salt on your face? - cos I find it a horrible feeling!

I was wondering whether taking the warm salt solution and smearing it over your face for a bit, before rinsing with water, would have the same effect? What do the experts think?!

Deville - what exactly has been your regimen in the last couple of days

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Hey KT,

I think it's really important to keep the salt on all night...as I find that it sucks up all the oil that I produce (one of the factors that causes zits), and keeps me from getting new ones. I applied the pads onto active zits, and kept on resoaking them in the solution a couple of times...in a short time all of the gunk had come to the surface...after that, when I squeezed everything out, it was also important to keep on disinfecting the area (to stop reinfection), so I kept on using the pads...now, that my zits aren't active, and I have zero new ones coming up, I just use the solution as a toner at night...meaning that I don't keep the pads on anymore.

After a lot of experimenting, here is my regimen:

I wash my face in the morning using the acid vinegar/tea tree oil solution that ukochana recommends, I also use epsom salts as a scrub in the mornings, cause it feels really good!! Then I use Living Nature Manuka oil & honey gel on my acne prone areas, on the non-active acne I use their Hydrating and Vitalising toner Gel (I cannot use creams of any kind, cause it's zit city for me), but these gels are so amazing...they smell like ass, but the look and feel of my skin has really improved since I've been using them.

At night, I wash my face with Cetaphil (oily skin cleanser) and apply the epsom salt solution like a toner. Even though the Living nature manuka honey & oil gel really helped me with healing zits, it didn't stop new ones from cropping up - something which the epsom salts has done - I mean, in a few days, it has basically annhiliated all of my active zits, and stops new ones from coming up - instead, what I have noticed is that most of the big zits turn into whiteheads, which can be easily squeezed out, and heal without scarring. Hey, whiteheads I can take anyday over zits that scar.

Good luck

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Hey Deville, it's nice to see that it's working for you. I was just wondering if you have to mix a new solution every night when using it as a toner, or would you be able to use the same solution for a few days. Also, does using it as a toner help fade red marks, or is it just used to keep new ones from coming up. And do you apply it over your entire face or only acne prone areas? Thanks.

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Hey Deville, it's nice to see that it's working for you.  I was just wondering if you have to mix a new solution every night when using it as a toner, or would you be able to use the same solution for a few days.  Also, does using it as a toner help fade red marks, or is it just used to keep new ones from coming up.  And do you apply it over your entire face or only acne prone areas?  Thanks.

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