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Member Since 26 Jun 2011
Offline Last Active Apr 24 2014 01:47 PM

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When Someone Tells You "you Don't Have Acne," You Have Finally Beat The 10-...

06 April 2012 - 05:28 PM

I have struggled with mild to moderate acne since puberty and I am now 24. I've had everything: whiteheads, blackheads, zits, cysts, redness, ugly skin, dry skin, and oily skin. During the spring before I got married, I tried some really cheap makeup that caused one of the worst breakouts I had ever had. It was that awful breakout that motivated me to find a better way to obtain the clear, beautiful, acne-free face I had always wanted, especially right before my wedding that summer. Since I was 12, I had been using Walmart cleansers with SA and creams with BP morning and night. Somtimes I'd even use more BP cream mid-day. I tried ProActive for a while and when that didn't work I was given a Rx for Differin while using the Cetephil sensitive cleanser and moisturizer. It didn't seem like anything was working any better, so Walmart cleansers and creams it was.

For the first time ever, I came across products while searching online that had natural ingredients that had the same purpose as the 2% SA and 10% BP products I was using. I also came across natural remedies like masks, honey and sugar scrubs, and started using freshly squeezed lemon juice (mixed with water) to help decrease redness and acne marks. I also read up on the comedogenicy of common commercial ingredients and got familiar with the ones to avoid and the ones that were okay so I could avoid any harsh or irritating ingredients.

I watched tons of youtube reviews on natural products and came across a review for a website called Best Bath Store. They have an acne bar, toner, gel, and moisturizer that are all mostly oil based, 100% natural, and very FEW ingredients. The website lists all ingredients and tells the benefits/purpose of each one. It felt sooo weird to not use benzoyl peroxide or anything "medicated" because I thought I depended on them to keep my acne maintained, but guess what! My acne certainly did not get worse, that bad breakout had cleared up, and my skin felt healthier!

Because I couldn't help myself and had always "overloaded" on products anyway (NOT good!), I also got into Burt's Bee's and tried the Tomato Complexion soap which I think has been discontinued now. I traded off between the tomoato soap and best bath store bar as cleansers, and still kept doing everything else best bath store twice a day so it looked like this:

Best Bath Store (BBS) Acne Bar
BBS Acne Gel
BBS moisturizer

Burt's Bees Tomoato Soap
BBS Toner
BBS Moisturizer
2-3 times a week I would use the BBS Dead Sea Mask

That is the routine I was using when my wedding came around and -  with makeup of course - my face looked awesome! There were some pictures where you could still see that my face wasn't glorious. Some redness came through and my skin didn't look completely smooth but most pictures came out great. I don't know how much "editing" my photographer did either.

I stuck with this routine for a long time and I would say I had very mild acne. Not horrible but I always had a few pimples, always. The redness was still a problem and I still felt like I either had really dry skin or really oily skin. Never felt comfortable! Then, another discovery:

The Oil Cleansing Method
Upon reading about it, I thought it was brilliant and made perfect since. I added it to my regimen Summer 2011, and since it is so deep cleaning, it was suggested to only cleanse at night. I think minimizing the frequency of cleansing alone was one of the best things I did. I believe now that the less you do to control your skin and the more you can leave it alone, your skin will finally take care of itself again. My older brother was NEVER as persistent or anal about acne as I was even though his acne was worse than mine sometimes. He has good skin now without doing much of anything.

Currently, this is what I use and have had the best skin I can remember since I was 11. Now, I know OCM doesn't work for everyone and I don't know why I am so lucky. Maybe it is because I had been using oil based products before this and so my skin was slowly introduced before being bombarded with straight oils...I don't know. Anyway....

Spritz with Rosewater

I use my OCM mixture to remove eye make-up.

Every other day:
OCM mixture - 20% Castor Oil; 30% Grapeseed Oil; 60% Sunflower Oil
In the shower I massage this mixture on my face, let it sit while I do something else, then at the end I steam with a clean washcloth. I massage again for a minute, steam another time, and then wipe it of gently. Before getting out, I turn the water to a cooler temperature and rinse my face once more.

When not using OCM, I cleanse with Burt's Bee's Orange Essence Facial Cleanser (also oil based)

After cleansing:
Moisturize - I'll either use BBS moisturizer or a small dab of my OCM mixture if I don't feel I need more moisture

3X's a week I'll use a honey mask and then add sugar for a natural scrub before rinsing off

My skin is the healthiest it has felt and I have found my "normal skin." I am never really dry nor oily. My skin is softer and on good weeks it is REALLY good! I also like that the regimen is non-complicated and not very time consuming at all so that I am not obsessing over my skin trying to take care of it all the time. I was working an outside job the summer I started this and I didn't wear make-up because it was hot and would all come off anyway. I was talking to one of my co-workers towards the end of the summer about skin care. She used ProActive and so we were talking about having acne and she said "What? You don't have acne!"

It took someone to say that to me to know that I finally found something that worked! I had been so used to being a girl with acne for over 10 years and now I finally look into the mirror and most days I realize I don't have a single new pimple! I still get tiny whiteheads time to time but they are those kind that are there at night and then gone in the morning. No cysts or major breakouts. Now that my face is clear from most active acne, the aftermath of the last 10 years is left. Red marks and the redness they left are really my biggest battle. I use a tiny bit of Everyday Minerals powder with a brush to even out the redness of my cheeks compared to around my eyes and that's all it takes to make my skin look normal. I'm hoping that keeping my skin healthy and not interferring so much will fix this with more time. Also, I haven't bought any new products since last summer because the oils last SO LONG!

If you haven't found something that works for you, I encourage you to try more natural products, or at LEAST try washing once a day and try not to interfere so much with your skin's natural system. Most cleansers strip your skin of even its natural protective barrier trying to clean EVERYTHING off, and it takes 12 hours for it to return so your facial skin is always defenseless against acne-causing bacteria if you cleanse morning and night. Facial skin is such delicate skin. I know we hate acne but we don't have to punish our skin for it. Bottom line is that I think I made my skin worse by putting all the stuff on it that I did so often. I wish I had found another way like this sooner!