I've been on my natural skin care mission for about 4 days now, so I thought I'd share some of my impressions on how it's going so far!
I suppose I can't review the vitamins so much right now as I think they take some time to get working in your system, but I have also begun taking Vitamin D3 which after looking online seemed to be another effective acne solution. So as it stands I'm taking the recommended dosage for Vitamin A, E & D3 - though I can't speak for effectiveness right now, I can say I haven't experienced any negative side effects while taking this vitamin combo. Vitamin D3 (sunshine vitamin) can be great for your overall mood (I can vouch for this personally, because I feel amazing when I take Vitamin D3 everyday), and also has been shown to help balance your skin and help get rid of acne (apparently 75% of us are deficient in vitamin D!). If you do start to take vitamin A, or E, remember to take them with food because some vitamins are fat soluble and require there to be some sort of fat, animal or vegetable, in your stomach to be absorbed properly. This is why the label will usually say to take it with a meal, because it's how your body absorbs the vitamin. Vitamin D can be taken with or without food, but you might as well take them all at the same time with a meal to make it easier!
Sorry for the vitamin rant! In terms of skincare, weirdly the day after I used the 'honey mask', I found myself breaking out a bit on/around my nose, and a bit on my forehead. I thought that was odd so I decided to play it safe and skip the honey after that - I have no idea if this was because of the honey or the tea tree 'purging' my skin a bit, but I decided to cut the honey to eliminate a factor while I figure things out. The tea tree regime is nice so far, I haven't broken out REALLY bad but as I said above, I have had some minor bumps appear. When I began this whole natural skincare regime, I had a LARGE existing pimple that was driving me nuts, and I happened to start using all the tea tree products right when this was at it's worst. I was surprised that the tea tree oil has really helped speed up the healing and minimize any infection. This wasn't a normal small pimple, which is why I was so pleasantly surprised when after 2-3 days it was practically gone with the use of all tea tree products!
Firstly, I only use the tea tree OIL itself at night because as the name implies, it's oily - not a good look for the day time. I don't know if 'less is more' with tea tree, so I've been using two methods to apply the oil at night - 1) after I cleanse and tone, I put on the night treatment and then follow with the tea tree oil on a cotton ball all over my face, 2) after I cleanse and tone, I put on the night treatment and then use a q-tip to apply the tea tree oil to breakouts only. I'll let you know what I find works best but, I've read about people doing one or both of these methods, so I suppose it's a matter of preference and your skin type.
OK! That was just little update in case anyone was curious about experimenting with a natural route. I will be sure to update soon and let you all know how the vitamins are working along with the skin care regime.
If anyone has been reading my blog thus far, you will know I have been on the regime (drugstore version) for about a month. I can honestly say that benzoyl peroxide is a very effective acne/blemish treatment - at a cost. The dryness, roughness and overall uneven skin texture is a trade off for fewer pimples and potentially clear skin. I found that my skin was so rough and uneven that it just didn't look great, even though I had fewer pimples and blemishes. Doing some research on Benzoyl Peroxide you'll find that there has been research done that has led many researchers to believe that benzoyl peroxide is harmful to skin and causes damage by delivering free radicals into the skin. Overall it's not generally recommended as a long term acne solution. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not some naturalist who only uses organic and all-natural products. I believe in using what will work, regardless of if it is natural or not. However, after not being impressed with the effects of benzoyl peroxide on my skin, I've decided to try out a more natural routine...so for anyone curious, I'll be your skincare guinea pig!! I have done LOTS of research into the selection of all products and vitamins listed, though you can conduct your own as well. If all else fails, I will go back to benzoyl peroxide, and try to find a solution to the skin problems which accompany using it.
Here is what I will be using:
Tea Tree Oil (from The Body Shop...though you can find products containing tea tree oil - or just the oil itself - at any natural store.
More specifically I'm using a few products from their Tea Tree oil line up:
Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash
Tea Tree Skin Clearing Toner
Tea Tree Skin Clearing Lotion (Day)
Tea Tree Blemish Fade Night Lotion (Night)
Tea Tree Oil (Night)
I live in Canada, so I'm sure the pricing is fairly similar in the US, but for a FULL sized kit containing the all the products I've listed (minus the night lotion), it's $30! I think that's an awesome price for 4 full-sized products. I bought the Night Fade Lotion because I thought it looked good and most products from the Body Shop are reasonably priced. Quick Fact about Tea Tree Oil: it has been said to be as effective as benzoyl peroxide on the skin without the negative impact, though it takes longer to work it's magic, so I guess more patience is needed!
I have been using these products only for a day, so I can't comment yet, though I will be updating.
Honey (organic, raw...not the sugary kind!). I've read online that putting honey on your face for about 20-30 min a day can do wonders for your skin, since honey has excellent antibacterial properties! There are some great reviews on acne.org, in the products review section, so check it out to see what other people think. This is my first night using a honey mask - currently typing with it on!
Vitamin A & E. Vitamin A is great for your hair, nails and especially skin and same goes for Vitamin E (it's also present in a lot fo face creams and moisturizers). Recently I've been seeing a lot of people posting about their success clearing skin with just vitamins! Sounds too good to be true, and I suppose everyone is different, but it can't hurt to try! Though every post I read recommended a different set of vitamins, two kept popping up again and again. Both of these vitamins were mentioned in nearly every blog post I've read on the topic, so I decided it was worth giving them a try. A lot of people seem to have success incorporating these two into their routine.
Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to give you guys all the info. I will be sure to update whenever I start to notice changes or how my skin reacts - though I am assuming it won't be an overnight change! Feel free to do your own research about the products I've mentioned and see if they might be a good option for your skin as well.
Please let me know in the comments if there is any natural product, food, or vitamin that you have found to help clear up your skin - I'd love to know! Likewise if any of these products have worked or not for you, please share your experience.
I wanted to do another update, as I've been doing this regime for four days now. I can tell that my skin is getting a bit dry, but not in a flakey way - more in an itchy way, with lots of very, very, tiny bumps. It's kind of like getting to be the texture of sandpaper, which is generally how my skin reacts to being dried out. I think this is a result of the BP treatment as I knew I was going to experience some drying so I guess I'll have to see if my skin gets used to it! On the flip side, I have noticed clearing in my skin. A few spots were 'brought out' initially after using the BP treatment but I think that's to be expected, from what I've read about other users experience. Those went away fairly quickly and so far I haven't experienced any new spots or breakouts.
So aside from the drying, which is annoying since I wear makeup and it's difficult to apply, I think it's going well so far. I'm not a huge fan of the Cetaphill gentle face wash, as I feel unsure of how well it cleans skin. It doesn't lather (as I mentioned previously), which kind of bugs me since I always feel more clean using products that lather up. It is also kind of drying on my face which I find a bit weird, so I might search for something else from the drugstore. I know Dan has a list on his blog about some good face washes to use so I might give one of those a try! I'm also switching between my two moisturizers to see which one I like best or if I want to get a new one all together. I was suggested a Neutrogena one in the comments of another post so I might just give that one a try and see how it works out!
Anyways, I just wanted to give an update about the products and my experience. I do like the Clean & Clear Persa-Gel, I think it's a good brand and I like the product. When I experienced a small breakout after using it the first time, I used a bit extra on some new spots (after I applied it to my whole face) and they seemed to shrink drastically overnight. It has great reviews on most websites I've checked out so I think it's a good choice for anyone looking for a drugstore benzoyl peroxide, other than Neutrogena 'On-The-Spot' - which I was unable to find in Canadian drugstores.
I will keep updated on the dryness situation and any new products I swap out or in.
I know it's only been one day since starting Dan's regime with drugstore products, but I wanted to give some of my 'first impressions' and let you know how it's going so far - in case anyone is looking to start it! Also looking for a good non-greasy moisturizer suggestion so please feel free to share any you have found in the comments!
Here is my routine so far:
NIGHT: I wash my face gently with Cetaphil, pat dry with towel, then let my skin dry (5 min). I next put on the benzoyl peroxide and again wait for it to dry (15 min). Finally I gently rub in my moisturizer (I wait just a bit, then head to bed).
MORNING: (I leave the Benzoyl Peroxide out of my regime in the morning as I have sensitive skin. I'm a fair skinned redhead so I'm going to start out with just a nighttime application and see how my skin takes to it. I believe it was recommended in a few videos I watched about the regime, that if you have sensitive skin that you might be better off sticking to one application daily.)
I was my face with Cetaphil, pat dry with a towel, and then apply a mixture of my Clinique moisturizer and the Impruv moisturizer.
As I said in my first blog post, I'm using Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 5 (5% BP). I've found it to be pretty good although it is a bit difficult to spread. I'm using the amount that Dan suggests to start with, which is just under one third of a fingers length of product. I think it's enough but I guess because it is a bit thick, it takes a bit of work to gently rub it into the skin. I haven't experienced any drying with the BP, which I guess I can attribute to the moisturizers I am using, as well as the fact that I've just begun the regime.
I do like the 'Impruv' moisturizer, however I find it a tad bit 'greasy' feeling after a while. I find it hard to get a moisturizer that moisturizes WITHOUT that sticky, greasy feeling.
The Cetaphil face wash is nice, although I was a bit surprised by the fact that it doesn't lather! I'm use to a face wash that immediately works into a nice lather, because I find it takes less work to clean your skin (also less irritation). I'm getting use to it! I can get over the fact that it doesn't lather if I like it after a while of use.
Overall I think it's going well so far! I woke up and felt like things were looking a bit more under control, though I know it's early. The whole reason I wanted to start this regime again is because I have never found anything that works better at treating my acne prone skin, than benzoyl peroxide. Drying is my main concern of BP, so I hope my skin doesn't become a flaky mess!
I will be sure to share any updates!
I decided - after a few failed attempts with other methods - to start the regime. I will be using drugstore products that I will list below.
I'm starting this blog so that anyone reading can share their experience with the regime or good drugstore products I might not have listed. I'd also love to hear any tips and tricks you might have in approaching treatment.
About 3 years ago I ordered Dan's products, which are awesome. Great price, large quantities, and for the most part cheaper than drugstore brands (for the amount you get). HOWEVER, I live in Canada. The shipping time took just about three weeks, which is super long to wait for a skin care regime. I had some really great results but I ran out. If I wanted to get it shipped to me in 4-5 business days it would be an extra $60. So being lazy I just decided to forget about it.
I really like the products Dan sells because they are really tailored to this whole regime process. For me right now, it is more practical to try with drugstore products first - I may end up cracking and ordering Dan's products, if I find mine aren't working. As far as my skin 'story' goes, I have probably what would be called 'mild acne' or frequent breakouts. I won't go into my life story because I'm sure we all share a similar one - tried multiple products with no luck. I want to find something that works because this whole 'acne' thing is getting old!
Anyways, I'm going to be keeping track of how I'm doing with drugstore products and let you know what I think. As I said, I live in Canada but from what I've read online the products I'm going to list below are available in the USA as well – the Clinique product is sold at department stores or Sephora.
1. For facial cleanser: Cetaphil 'Gentle Skin Cleanser' (Non-comedogenic)
2. For treatment: Clean & Clear 'Persa-Gel 5' (5% Benzoyl Peroxide)
3. a) For moisturizer: Impruv 'Advanced Moisturizer for Dry, Sensitive Skin' (Non-comedogenic, Non-Irritating, Hypoallergenic)
3. b) Backup Moisturizer: Clinique 'Moisture Surge Intense' (Oil-Free, for Very Dry to Dry Combination)
The Clinique moisturizer I had before this all began, as my previous ‘acne’ routines really dried out my skin and this is one of the best oil-free moisturizers out there (I did a lot of research and tested out a few to find this one!). Highly recommend, though it is on the more expensive side ($60-$65). The new moisturizer (Impruv) I picked up just because I was curious and I wanted to have some options as I know BP is VERY drying – this product was in the same section as Eucerin and other more intense moisturizers ($18). The Clean & Clear was one of the only BP products my drugstore had and it was on sale so I picked up two tubes ($7 each, on sale). It is 5% so I’m a bit worried about the dryness, which is why I loaded up on good quality moisturizers.
Tonight will be my first night using all of the above products together, so I will be updating when I start to get an idea of how my skin is taking to the regime with drugstore products (plus the Clinique). If you have had any experience with drugstore products or anything I’ve listed above please share! I’d love to hear any suggestions, especially how to avoid or treat dryness.