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Stare_Girl

All natural skincare regimen

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A bit of background:

I had posted a regimen that I was doing a while back, but it ended up failing me for one reason or another (it was not an all natural regimen). I have created a new regimen for myself using only natural products. The reason I chose this route is because I felt I was using a lot of topicals and cleansers that were irritating my skin, making the acne worse. I had been using Retin-A, mud masks, BP, high end products, etc. But nothing seemed to provide a solid "cure" that lasted, and was non-irritating. I've seen things in this forum that are downright scary as to what people are willing to try. But this is a very realistic and soothing approach to composing a natural acne treatment. Hopefully this will help someone, or inspire someone to try something new.

My skin type: fair, thick (according to my derm.), oily skin with mild-moderate acne, shallow scars, and old marks

I started with a book about homemade beauty remedies and secrets. It has several recipes for homemade facial masks and toners. So I decided to give it a shot. The first mask I used was the egg white and lemon juice mask: composed of 1 egg white, and the juice of half a lemon (approx. 1 1/2 Tbsp). Do not use the bottled lemon juice, use only fresh squeezed juice. I did this the night before last. And immediately I could see and feel it working. It acts as an astringent and tightens the pores. Also the acids help to break down clogged pores, and the lemon helps lighten any old marks. As soon as I rinsed, I could see a noticable difference in the texture of my skin. My pores were smaller, blackheads appearing smaller, and smoother texture. After this, I used some lemon juice as a toner, then went to bed. The next morning, my skin was noticably more even. Still some red spots that were healing. I was surprised to see it working like this. So I kept going with it.

Yesterday morning, I used the Mario Badescu Enzyme cleanser, and then toned my face with lemon juice. My skin was feeling so incredibly soft. I have read that lemon juice can be harsh for a toner, but I am not experiencing any damaging effects so far (perhaps the bottled juice with it's added ingredients could be harmful). Then I used Burt's Bees Radiance Day Cream as a moisturizer, before putting on makeup. I used Jane Iredale mineral makeup.

At night, I used Neutrogena Acne Wash (trying to find a suitable gentler replacement, but this helps in removing makeup), and then the MB Enzyme cleanser. Then I used a mask composed of 1 egg yolk, 1 Tbsp. of honey, 1 Tbsp. of plain yogurt, and 1 tsp. of grapeseed oil (purchased from natural foods store). I did not really notice much change in skin texture after using this. It felt quite rich, and I assume this is meant to be a moisturizing mask, but I was curious, so I tried it. Then I mixed a tsp of lemon juice with a tsp. of rose water, and used this as a toner.

This morning, my skin looked quite even, except those few small red spots that are healing. Normally I would wake with some whiteheads, nose covered in blackheads. And various red marks. This morning there were NO whiteheads, which is unusual for me. I think I saw one new red spot on my cheek, but it is small. The blackheads on my nose seem to be somewhat smaller and less noticable.

I remembered that someone had given me a Burt's Bees sampler package, including a couple of bar soaps. I noticed one bar soap that seemed like it had good ingredients for fighting acne, so I used that this morning in stead of the MB cleanser. The Burt's Bees soap I'm referring to is the Peppermint Shower Soap. It felt nice going on, and after rinsing, my skin felt super clean, almost "dry". I then used the Burt's Bees Citrus scrub, which again has a good list of skincare ingredients. This is a product I've been using on and off. I try not to use it too much so I do not irritate my skin. But I'm thinking once a week should be good. After rinsing the scrub, my skin felt more moisturized - you can feel the natural oils leftover from the scrub, which I think is soothing. Then I toned with my lemonjuice/rose water mixture, then moisturized with the BB Radiance cream. And my face is looking and feeling good. I haven't really felt this confident about my skin in a while. The texture of my skin has literally transformed. This is why I felt compelled to share this here.

I also feel it's important to keep a log since this is all new to me, and really still an experiment. I have spent hours over the past few days researching natural ingredients that are safe and beneficial for my skin type. For the most part, these ingredients are inexpensive and non-irritating.

So my current regimen is this:

Morning:

Cleanse with Burt's Bees Peppermint Shower Bar Soap

(once weekly) Burt's Bees Citrus Facial Scrub

Tone with 50/50 mix of fresh lemon juice and rose water

Moisturize with Burt's Bees Radiance Day Cream

Night

Cleanse twice (to remove makup) with Burt's Bees Peppermint Shower Bar Soap

Mask - tonight I will try a honey, cinnamon, and oatmeal mask

Tone with 50/50 mix of fresh lemon juice and rose water

Spot treat blemishes with Burt's Bees Herbal Blemish stick (haven't tried this yet)

As you can tell, I am a Burt's Bees fan, and I am for many reasons. But honestly, these select products have worked for me. I have used BB products in the past that were unsuccessful. But I am trying to create a regimen that is as natural (and pleasant) as possible, with products that have proven to be successful.

I also have future plans to create a facial serum using the grapeseed oil, and a few essential oils known to be beneficial for my skin type - such as lavender, rose, and mint. More on that when it happens.

Thanks for reading, and I welcome any suggestions or added info. I am also curious if anyone else has tried any of these remedies.

Edit: I should also add that I am taking daily birth control pills which have helped tremendously in calming my skin (and nerves). I recommend this for all women. It's not a cure, but it is a huge help.

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I am now on day 5, I believe. The night before last, I tried a oatmeal, yogurt, and honey mask. I skipped the cinnamon, as I was afraid it would irritate the skin. I have heard that honey and nutmeg is a good mask though, and I will try that soon. Anyhow, o/y/h mask felt nice while it was on. After washing off, I didn't really see a difference in my skin texture. Then I used my lemon/rosewater toner, and went to bed.

Yesterday, in the morning, washed with the BB's Peppermint shower soap. Toned with lemon/rosewater. I did notice there were a few new spots, while others had cleared. I figured maybe my skin is purging a little. So I didn't worry too much. Plus, the overall tone of my skin is quite even. I wore makeup, ran out and got some new supplies. I got the Burt's Bees Res-Q Ointment. I've heard this is a good natural treatment for pimples. It is advertised as an ointment similar to neosporin - to help speed healing of the skin, and can be used for all kinds of rashes and bumps. I used this last night, after cleansing with the peppermint soap, and toning with lemon/rosewater.

This morning, I noticed old spots drastically smaller, yet still more new spots. I inspected the pores of my nose, and noticed they are becoming clogged. My nose and the surrounding area is where I break out most, and where I am most oily. I decided to switch back to the Neutrogena Acne wash, since when I switched to the BB's Peppermint soap - I noticed my pores getting clogged again. I toned with lemon/rosewater, and applied Res-Q to spots, then moisturized with BB's Radiance Day Cream. We'll see how it goes.

A side note: My boyfriend said last night that my skin was looking really good. That is a sign of major improvement.

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Day 6

Last night, I washed my face with Neutrogena Acne Wash twice (to wash off makeup), then I used a mud mask - Quene Helene Mint Julep Masque - to help unclog pores and tone down the oiliness (my skin has been espcially oily since starting this new regimen). I noticed that I had a bunch of small but bright red spots around my nose. Also a few on my chin, and a couple on my forehead. I toned with the lemon/rosewater, then applied BB's Res-Q to spots. Then went to bed.

This morning, the spots around my nose appear smaller, but now all have tiny whiteheads. I extracted them, then applied BB's Res-Q. Spots on my chin are gone. I have not washed my face yet.

I think I'm going to go back to square one with this regimen, since I have deviated and tried so many different things all at once.

This morning, I will cleanse with the Mario Badescu Enzyme cleanser, and tone with straight rosewater.

Tonight, I think I will start over with the lemon/egg white face mask, then tone with straight lemon juice - as this is what initially gave me such great results.

A side note: The spots I applied Res-Q to are now faded, less red.

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Day 7

Last night I cleansed with Neutrogena, then MB Enzyme Cleansing Gel. Then I toned with straight lemon juice. Lemon is known to have antiseptic and antibacterial properties. I choose to only apply it at night however, because it does make my skin quite oily. I was going to do a mask but I decided to give my face a break. This morning, my face seems pretty even, no new spots that I could see, and ones that I had are much smaller, but still healing.

This morning I washed with the MB cleanser, then toned with rosewater. I am trying to keep this regimen as simple as possible to avoid any irritation caused by products. I am tempted to put spot treatment on to help speed things along but I am trying to be patient. The important thing is that my skin does look a lot healthier, even if there is a small spot here and there, the overall tone is much better.

I purchased some herbal supplement teas to give my system a boost internally. I have read that dandelion and burdock as well as echinacea are all good internal remedies which help detox and boost the immune system. I had the echinacea tea last night, it was delicious. I recommend the Yogi herbal teas if this is something you'd like to try.

Now I'm drinking the Detox- dandelion root and burdock tea. Let's just assume I'll be drinking at least a cup of each of the teas every day. I'm not sure how much of a difference it will make, but I love tea anyway- so why not?

A side note: My skin has been much less oily after using the mint julep mud mask the other night. I really think facial masks like this are an important part of a regimen for oily skin. Also I stopped using the BB's Res-Q Ointment for now, since it is so oily, and I was afraid it was too much oil for my skin. Perhaps I would try it again, maybe during the day when I'm not going to be wearing makeup.

Another side note: I was reading about natural cleansers, and I found a couple things that interested me. First, Burt's Bees now has an acne skincare line and I've heard good things about the cleanser and scrub (as you can tell, I am a product junkie). Also, there is this cleanser I'm very curious about called Frownies pH Balancing Complexion Wash, and it's got a great list of natural ingredients. However, it is expensive at about $19.00 for a 4oz. bottle. Drugstore.com has it for half off, so I'm considering trying it.

Anyhow, I will be moisturizing with BB's Radiance Day Creme with Royal Jelly. Then applying makeup. I have minimized the amount of foundation makeup I wear. I am only using Physician's Formula Gentle Cover concealer, and set with Shiseido Powdery Foundation. I was using Jane Iredale mineral makeup, but it ALWAYS makes my face look shiny and the color is off. The Shiseido gives a nice bright yet matte and smooth appearance, and does not irritate my skin.

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Day 9

I have been maintaining the same regimen, except I have been using Burt's Bees Herbal Blemish stick (a sample from a kit) after toning. It seems to help speed up the healing. Although the texture of my skin is much better than it was- softer, more even tone, less redness- I still continue to break out. The breakouts are drastically smaller, and less irritated though, and heal up much faster than before. I think part of the problem is that I have been wearing makeup every day for the past week. Though I keep my makeup minimal- concealer and powder. Still I think this is what is perpetuating it. It's difficult because I feel I cannot go out without makeup on. I keep feeling there has to be another product to use as a preventative during the day. Perhaps replace my moisturizer with the facial serum I mentioned creating before, using essential oils.

I will continue the current regimen and update when I have anymore discoveries or conclusions.

Morning:

Cleanse with MB Enzyme Cleansing Gel

Scrub once a week with BB's Citrus Facial Scrub

Tone with rosewater

Treat blemishes with BB's Herbal Blemish Stick

Moisturize with BB's Radiance Day Cream

Night:

Cleanse with Neutrogena Acne Wash

Cleanse with MB Enzyme CG (if wearing makeup)

Mask every other night (alternate mud mask with eggwhite/lemon juice)

Tone with lemon juice

Treat blemishes with BB's Herbal Blemish Stick

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My skin is still doing pretty well for the most part. I still have minor breakouts, which are small and superficial (very close to the surface) - they heal up within a day or two. I have noticed DRASTIC reduction in the oiliness of my face! I attribute this to the regular use of the natural egg and mud masks, and cutting down on irritating treatments. The other day my boyfriend thought I was wearing makeup, when I wasn't- my skin tone has just evened out dramatically.

One change I made to my current regimen is that I now use grapeseed oil as a moisturizer instead of the Burt's Bee's Radiance day creme. It feels much lighter, and I wanted to test it out before making my facial serum concoction- including the grapeseed oil as a carrier, and some essential oils for treatment. I still feel that I do need preventative medicine, and I hope that the serum will work for that. I will be getting the essential oils soon, and will update with results. For now, I still use the Burt's Bees Herbal Blemish Stick as treatment, and it works great for healing existing blemishes.

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