Posted 02 May 2010 - 01:03 PM
I created this account just to share my results from using Apple Cider Vinegar + Tea Tree Oil over the last week and hopefully into the future.
History - I found this forum years ago but didn't find anything that helped me and was within my budget at the time. I've suffered from acne on my face, neck, shoulders, and back (upper and lower) since I was 14 (I'm now 25). At first I assumed I would grow out of it as my doctor suggested. I also stopped drinking pop, and was more consistent with showering and face washing. After a couple years of frustration, I finally asked my doctor if there was something he could prescribe. He tried a few different things, but none seemed to be helping and some made it worse. I've been experimenting with different things recently (diet, multivitamins, sleep cycle, working out, shower routine, stress management, etc.). However, I haven't been swimming in 11 years. When friends get together to play a pick-up game, I'm just praying I don't end up on the "skins" team and if I do, I make up some excuse about not feeling well. Obviously there's more I'm missing out on (aren't we all?), but perhaps most striking is what it does to a relationship. My face is relatively clear these days, though blackheads are still an issue around the nose area, but I simply can't imagine a woman being attracted to me considering what I'm dealing with on the back of my neck and back area. Forget intimacy, going to the beach, etc. Overall, I would say I'm in the moderate to severe category, depending on the day.
Regimen - I wanted to find something that was natural, safe, and effective. So after finding this thread on Apple Cider Vinegar, here's what I do.
- Shower using organic bar soap($3.50) for general body cleaning.
- Wash face and other affected areas with Clearasil Free and Clear Oil Free Cleanser($3.00) (it's very gentle).
- Air dry as much as possible, towel dry the rest.
- Shower using organic bar soap for general body cleaning.
- Wash face and other affected areas with Clearasil Free and Clear Oil Free Cleanser (it's very gentle).
- Air dry as much as possible, towel dry the rest.
- Pour 1 Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar($2.50 per gallon) (it's reddish in color and may even say it's for food) into a glass.
- Using 100% Tea Tree Oil($8.00 for 4oz) (bought from Whole Foods) pour 5 drops into the cup of Apple Cider Vinegar.
- Add 3 Cups of very warm water to the Apple Cider Vinegar and Tea Tree Oil.
- Using regular cotton balls ($1.50 for 100), dip one in the ACV, TTO, and Water mix.
- Gently but thoroughly, rub the soaking cotton ball over an affected areas.
- Repeat with additional soaking cotton balls over each affected area. (be generous in your application, I use about 7 cotton balls each time)
- Air dry.
After the first day, I made the mixture with less water each following day so now I'm consistently using 1 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar to 1 cup of very warm water and still 5 drops of Tea Tree Oil. Also, after the third day of use, I stopped showering in the morning as I felt it was drying my skin out too much and the smell of the Apple Cider Vinegar had faded anyway.
- After my first application, everything does get pretty red, but there was no burning because I started off with a well diluted mixture.
- The first morning after using the mixture, I noticed that anything active was brought to a head, hard to tell if anything new had shown up though.
- After my second application, some of the more persistent spots came to a head again, but nothing new showed up for sure.
- After my third application, I'm pretty certain that all active spots had come to a head and were now on the retreat.
- After my fourth application, the larger, more cystic spots are shrinking, one or two new spots came to a head (much fewer than the usual 5 - 10 I would wake up with prior to this regimen).
- After my fifth application, I started to use this on the back of my neck (I waited in case my body reacted poorly to the mixture, didn't want to make the visible spots worse). My back has no new spots and some of the reddest ones have faded just a bit.
- After my sixth application, everything came to a head on my neck, 10 - 12 spots in all. My back and shoulders continue to be free of new spots, though existing red marks do remain.
- After my seventh application, spots on my neck are retreating, and only a couple more new spots have come to a head. My back and shoulders remain free of new spots.
And that's where I'm at. Overall, I would say this is working out quite well for me. I'm thrilled to not have any new spots forming or popping up. My bigger concern now is whether or not this will help reduce and fade the bigger red spots that were already here. Also, I have a bit of scarring from acne, chicken pox, and a car accident, so I'll be looking into ways to help reduce those next.
Two small notes, I use a very mild, fragrance free, all-natural moisturizer on my face after washing. It's made by J-A-S-O-N ($5.00) and sold at Whole Foods as well. I also take a men's Nature Brand multivitamin. Also, 100% Tea Tree Oil should never be applied undiluted to your face and probably not your body if you have sensitive skin in the first place!
If anyone has any questions on this, I'll do my best to check in and answer them as I hope you'll be able to experience some level of success as I have. It's not necessarily an all-in-one solution (yet), but it's definitely helped stop the advance of the acne. Sorry for the length of the post!