I have been struggling with acne problems since I was only 11 years old. I am 22 now, so that is exactly 11 years. Puberty, PMS, pregnancy, and breastfeeding have all had their toll on my skin. Fluctuating hormones cause intense breakouts for me. I have several scars on my face that make-up can not even cover up.
I have had to try several different medications and products to try and control my acne. I have had success with some, but more times than anything, no results whatsoever or worse acne than I started with. I have taken anti-biotics, birth control, retin a, and other presribed drugs, as well as OTC astringents, lotions, creams, gels, washes, soaps, etc.
Recently, in the past few years, I have started to lead a more natural lifestyle. I have noticed that the more natural a product is, the better the results are(this goes for anything, from household cleansers to hygiene products). I also began making my own bath & beauty products around the same time. I decided to expiriment with different natural ingredients to clear my skin. Every time, the results have been fantastic! It is unbelievable how nature can be so perfect and have the very cure we are looking for.
That is why I am here now for you. To help you better understand your skin and share the knowledge I have learned from my journey through skincare.
Let's begin with the basics.
WHAT IS ACNE?
Acne is an inflammatory disease of the skin, caused by changes in the pilosebaceous units (skin structures consisting of a hair follicle and its associated sebaceous gland).
Acne develops as a result of blockages in follicles. Hyperkeratinization and formation of a plug of keratin and sebum (a microcomedo) is the earliest change. Enlargement of sebaceous glands and an increase in sebum production occur with increased androgen (DHEA-S) production at adrenarche. The microcomedo may enlarge to form an open comedo (blackhead) or closed comedo (whitehead). In these conditions the naturally occurring largely commensual bacteria Propionibacterium acnes can cause inflammation, leading to inflammatory lesions (papules, infected pustules, or nodules) in the dermis around the microcomedo or comedo, which results in redness and and may result in scarring or hyperpigmentation.
WHAT CAUSES ACNE?
-Stress(increases levels of hormones)
-Poor Diet(i.e. one that is high in processed/refined foods, carbohydrates, refined sugars, caffeine, etc.)
-Lower levels of vitamins A & E
-Dead skin cells
-Over medication/irritation to the skin
WHAT WILL PREVENT ACNE?
-Lower levels of stress(practice relaxtion techniques)
-Plenty of Water(minimum of eight 8 ounce glasses per day)
WHAT IS BALANCED SKINCARE?
Balanced skincare is a skin regime or routine that you will follow every day that does not irritate or over medicate your skin. Using harsh chemmicals and washing your skin often with a rough wash cloth or scrubby will not clear up or prevent acne, it will actually make it worse.
Inorder to take charge of your skin, you need to find what routine and products are best for you. I have found that washing my face twice daily helps greatly. I only use a gently exfoliating wash cloth, such as a micro fine terry cloth towel, to exfoliate and remove make-up. I use my own natural products to cleanse, clarify, restore, and prevent breakouts. Occasionally I will follow up with a tonic, but always add a light oil free moisturizer. For breakouts and troublesome areas, I will dab on tea tree oil or a tea tree oil blend.
Your individual routine will vary. I reccomend beginning with twice daily washing followed by a tonic, oil free moisturizer, and topical treatment when needed. You may eliminate the morning washing if you find it irritating or drying to your skin. It is essential to wash your face at least once a day though, especially if you wear make-up. Acne is caused by plugged pores, and by keeping your make-up on all night, you are not allowing your skin to breathe, thus causing acne. Remove make-up with plain soap and water--never use any commercial products. Also, use a tonic that is suited for your skin type, as well as an oil free moisturizer(to prevent clogging your pores), and topical treatment if needed. Generally, this routine works for most people.
WHAT IS MY SKIN TYPE?
There are four basic skin types:
Oily--excessive amounts of oil are produced by the skin, creating a "glow" or "slick" look and feel
Dry--dry, patchy areas of skin that are hard to keep moisturized
Combination--a combination of dry and oily skin.
Sensitive--skin that is easily irritated, particularly by OTC products and harsh essential oils.
WHAT PRODUCTS ARE AVAILABLE?
I currently make the following products for facial care:
Simple Clarifying Complexion Bar--gentle organic oils are combined with the powerful acne fighting tea tree and neem oils. Reccomended for moderate to severe acne, oily skin, not reccomended for those with sensitive skin.
Soothing Rose Water Tonic--a blend of rose hydrosol, aloe vera, vegetable glycerin, and witch hazel to soothe and restore skin. Suitable for all skin types.
Calming Chamomile Soap--organic oils are mixed with real chamomile tea and leaves, excellent for those with sensitive skin.
New! v i t a m i n s Facial Bar--a blend of natural oils, vitamins A, C, D, E, and B complex, neem oil, lemongrass oil, and geranium oil. Provided balance and clarity. Currently in the works.
I also offer upon request pure Tea Tree Oil and Neem Oil(or a combination), in 8 ounce bottles only.
HOW DO I KNOW WHAT WILL WORK?
My products are labeled as to what skin type it is good for. Generally though, skincare is a trial and error process. I do promise though, to find the right product for YOU.