I don't know about you but I've begun to be more and more skeptical of all these companies that sell me crap to put on my face and hormones to put in my body all for the sake of treating acne. Why do we constantly have to buy things to fix ourselves? Why are these expensive treatments rarely a long term solution? The more I research and experiment with natural products the more I learn of their powerful healing properties for the body and the skin. So with that said let me tell you where I'm at today in my acne journey.
Today I am happy. My face is not perfect (hello rolling scars) but things are under control and for me that is the best feeling when dealing with acne. I've got a few pustules that are on their way out --healing up nicely and not inflamed. This is a big change from a few days ago when I had a strong breakout along my jawline. Things were red, inflamed, a few worrisome deep bumps and maybe 6-8 pustules popped up over the course of a few days. I was concerned but instead of reaching for my usual retin-A and skinoren combo I tried a honey and aloe mask. Both have antibacterial and healing properties so it makes sense as a treatment for acne.
I tried this out instead because as much as retin-A and skinoren have worked for me in the past, all that acid was starting to ruin the texture of my skin. No pimples (yay!) but my skin was incurably dry, rough and lack luster. I felt like no matter how much moisturizer I used nothing helped. Even some natural remedies did not help me like: cider vinegar toner and almond oil moisturizer. I think the cider toner was just too harsh and the almond oil gave me little tiny bumps so I quit both. At this point I realized my skin did not need oil or harsh acid, it just needed water. I started looking into natural ways to hydrate skin and came upon aloe vera. After a week of using pure aloe on my face as a moisturizer I noticed a significant improvement in texture. My mineral makeup actually went on smoother than ever before (it used to look so cakey on my dehydrated skin). I haven't been using retin-A and skinoren daily for several months because I haven't needed it but was still relying on it as a emergency breakout/spot treatment. After using honey and aloe I may not need to rely on the medical grade stuff anymore at all.
In summary: My acne is now mild; only popping up on occasion so harsh topicals are no longer a daily routine for me. I've switched to a lot of natural skincare remedies because the chemical stuff was ruining my skin. I take vitex daily. I use Dove extra sensitive beauty bar as a daily cleanser, with a possibility of switching to pure honey cleanser instead. I moisturize both with pure aloe vera gel and an oil based moisturizer. When necessary I use baking soda as an exfoliant. And when I need to really tackle a breakout - aloe and honey mask. *Please remember that skin is unique to each individual. Do what works for you and never try something new without doing your own research first. That is my rule of thumb when it comes to natural remedies. Ok so that said, here are a list of recipes I use on my skin. Please feel free to ask questions or comment if any of these have worked for you!*
Aloe and Honey Face Mask Recipe
Mix equal parts aloe vera gel to equal parts honey. Apply to face and leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse and then moisturize normally.
1. I use fresh aloe instead of the store bought kind. It is cheap and better than anything you get in a bottle.
2. This is perishable stuff, keep it in the fridge for two days max (this is my non-doctor opinion)
3. Yes yes organic, straight from God's honeycomb is the best to use. Just try and buy the best you can afford- it does matter.
4. I use a chunk of the aloe leaf that I scraped as my mask applicator. I also applied more than once during the 15 minutes.
5. This stuff kind of stings! The same way skinoren made me itchy is how the mask felt on my skin. It was itchy and stings a little but I could handle it for 15 minutes (sometimes 20).
Simple --- apply fresh aloe vera to your face and let dry. I follow this with my normal oil based moisturizer so that my skin gets the benefit of a water based (aloe) moisturizer and an oil based one. This combo has really helped my dehydrated skin.
Simple --- wet face with warm water and then massage a bit of honey all over face. Rinse. I've tried this once, not convinced that I would switch solely to this as I still like my Dove sensitive skin bar as a facial cleanser. But we'll see, the experiments continue!
It is an awesome exfoliator. I only use it once or twice a week mixed in with my face cleanser. Put it in a salt shaker and keep it in the bathroom.