"What My Skin Has Been Missing"
I've been browsing these forums for quite some time looking for the antidote to my acne. As all of you can probably relate, it absolutely sucks to deal with acne while it seems everyone around you has perfect skin, and you do research and research and try product after product with no success. From all the trial and error and research I've done, one of the key things I've learned is that using natural remedies is ALWAYS better. I do want to quickly share my acne story, so some information about me is that I'm 24 and have suffered from acne since I was 15. I saw a dermatologist when I was in high school and it managed my skin well. Sometime when I was in college, I stopped and my acne came back so I battled confidence and self-esteem issues as my skin problems would cycle on and off. After college I went right to grad school, and was still fighting battles with really noticeable acne (mostly on my forehead), and then I found the regimen through Acne.org. This cleared my acne really well at first, but eventually I noticed my face just looked dry and unhealthy. I scoured the internet until finally I took a risk in using Cold Pressed Olive Oil (California Ranch brand), and after two months my skin never looked as incredible as it had! What I would do is use warm water every morning and night to open my pores, gently rub olive oil on my face, sit for 20 minutes, and then wash it off with a cotton ball soaked in green tea. I literally had flawless skin, and this remedied blemishes, wrinkles, and acne on my face. Then the dreaded day I had my graduation for my Master's program, and I wore that damn cap that I wore for hours and unknowingly irritated my skin terribly. I got home and saw that my skin had broke out horrendously! I panicked and started washing my face 3 times a day and using organic coconut oil as a topical. My skin broke out even more!!! I was in such a bad pit and right after I had cleared my skin! I panicked again and used benzoyl peroxide treatments, but they never really fully helped heal my skin. At the end of the day, here's what I learned. Once again, natural is better. It will take longer, but you cannot compare how great the results are with products with harmful chemicals. I also have a conspiracy theory that products like that are designed to make your skin become dependent of them so you keep buying them. Don't fall into the trap. Two is that diet truly matters. For a while I was consuming whey protein everyday, in addition to a lot of high glycemic foods. One New Year's Eve, I out of habit ate so much pizza, chips, and pasta in combination with sugary drinks and woke up to a face full of new acne. So that's what I've been battling to this day. But I decided to go vegan and saw significant improvements. Cutting out dairy and meat, and eating an overload of vegetables and fiber has seen my digestion and gut flora improve dramatically and improve my skin. Be conscious what you're eating because it is indefinitely a source of your breakouts. Three is that you need to exfoliate your skin to initiate a healing process. This is where apple cider vinegar has come into play for me. So with chemical treatments like benzoyl peroxide, those exfoliate your skin. I think these products stopped working for me because they did it too much and were actually aggravating my acne and in the end making it worse. Apple cider vinegar does exfoliate your skin and it is a natural product (as long as you're using a product like Bragg's with 'the mother' in it). So ACV has earned itself a spot in my routine, as well as my trusted olive oil and green tea. I've tried many things, but once I started putting in ACV, my skin is INDEFINITELY on the road to clearing up. It is just a matter of time and consistency now. Here is my routine; -(Morning and Night) Wash face with warm water -Gently rub Olive Oil (California Ranch brand) and let it sit for 20 minutes -Wash away with green tea -After a minute or so once skin is dry, use a cotton ball with DILUTED ACV (I use half water and half ACV) -After a minute again when skin is dry, use organic aloe vera I will say I did briefly purge from ACV, meaning my skin got a little worse before it got better. Therefore I decided to use it as a spot treatment, and was sure it was working because areas of my face that were already at their worst were starting to heal. But after a week and a half, like I said, my skin is about a few weeks time until it is perfectly clear. And apple cider vinegar is to thank for it! Sorry for the long post, but if you took the time to read I hope you learned something. One last thing I'll add is to be careful with the internet. Looking for solutions, you see the upsides and downsides of products you're thinking of using, peoples' wonder stories and horror stories, that taking the risk of using something new and controversial is absolutely NERVE-WRACKING. I remember my anxiety putting olive oil on my face. But I do encourage you to visit that forum on acne.org. I guarantee you that people sharing horror stories are referring to having used the wrong kind of olive oil. Same with any other post with any other product. People posting about their experiences has helped me so much, but their are posts that may influence your opinion that you have to read between the lines. Finally, one last thing. Some things I've incorporated into my diet that has significantly helped my skin too is hot water with lemon, hot water with apple cider vinegar, green smoothies (with spinach and kale), salads (the more colorful the better), and using spirulina and magnesium/calcium supplements. Like I said, diet matters. Hot water kick starts your digestion which will help flush toxins from the inside out and make a different with your acne. That's all I have to say. Best of luck!