I have read so many of your stories and all the medications, lotions, gels creams, oils etc.. that are out there that supposidly help various skin conditions. I am a 31 year old female and had perfect skin up until two years ago. I have a red face, small bumsp/blemishes and a really oily face that also feels rough and dry. I was using hydrocorisone cream on and off for about a year and a half but have stopped and I'm wondering if the cortisone cream has worsened my condition. Anyways, I've heard about aloe vera gel and have used it with no success. I've also heard jojoba and emu oil is supposed to penetrate deep in the skin and help to unclog pores and even out the skin. Has anyone tried any of these products or other essential oils? Some people said they have cured their skin but it seems unrealistic. If anyone has a story about these or other oils or natural remedies I would be interest to know
I also had adult acne for about 6 years that's finally cleared up - I think my BC pills were causing part of the problem, but there's other factors as well. I'm 33 years old now, so it's been a while since I've felt confident about my appearance. Here's a little background on my experience:
Skin is naturally acidic. Bacteria on the other hand prefer an alkaline environment - soap, unfortunately, is alkaline in nature. Getting rid of the oil on your face is the last thing you want to do because it destroys the acid mantel and dries out your skin. That's why scrubbing the skin often causes more problems...your skin then goes into overdrive and produces too much oil which can block pores. The best thing I've found so far is vinegar - preferably apple cider vinegar as white vinegar is a bit too astringent for already damaged skin, although I do use white vinegar for maintenance. It all depends on your skin's tolerance. The best cleanser I've found (quite by accident) is Oil of Olay Foaming Face Cleanser. It specifically says "soap free" on the label and the fragrance-free type is even better.
Every night after I wash my face I splash vinegar into my hand, dilute it halfway with water and rub it all over my face. Yes, it does smell strong, but if you're like me then it's worth it. If you have irritated skin or open sores, the vinegar will sting. But as the skin heals, the stinging will go away. Vinegar, being highly acidic, repairs the acid mantel and causes your skin to actually absorb and retain water from the air and even flaky skin problems seem to go away. I used to have dry, flakey, bumpy skin on my face as well as oily patches and now it's uniformly baby-bottom soft and totally clear. I use a little aloe vera gel (Banana Boat or Fruit of The Earth is good, but get the kind that's clear, not colored) for additional moisturizing. If you have a painful sore, pure lavendar essential oil is good for the pain and it heals too. Be sure it's pure essential oil tho - artificial fragrances cause problems. I get mine in 1/4 bottles directly from my local herb store at around $4 each - they pour it per purchase so I know it's fresh. A good way to test for purity is to dab a little of the essential oil on a piece of plain dry toilet paper and let it sit overnight. If there's no oil stain in the morning, you're good to go. True, unadulterated essential oils evaporate completely and don't leave residue. And I don't care what anybody says...if you see a core (whitehead), push it out 'til it bleeds. Otherwise the pore stays blocked and the pimple will just come back again. If the pimple is just red and there's no core visible, acne treatments like 5% benzoyl peroxide do help to dry it out quickly. But only use it long enough to shrink the pimple down to a reasonable size. Herb-store quality powdered goldenseal (not the pre-packaged kind at the grocery store)is also good for pimples, visible core or not - dampen the affected area with water and apply the powder directly. Goldenseal turns dark brown and crusty when it dries, so I only use it before bed and I leave it on all night.
I hope that helps - let me know if you want to know anything else. If you start using the soap-free cleanser and vinegar route, you should notice results very quickly. I have very, very sensitive skin so I'm all about natural remedies!
Hi,thank you for your tips on natural skin remedies. Will the apple cider vinegar cause your skin to become red and irritated? I already have red, irritated skin along with the bumps that often is burning and itchy. I'm not sure if acne or blemishes causes burning and itching or not. I have been to three dermatologists and none of them have been able to help. I have been using cetaphil gentle cleanser which is soap free but hasn't helped. I will try the apple cider vinegar but I'm worried it will go more red and burning. I bought some emu oil, which I heard is good. I've also been using 99% organic aloe vera gel for about a week,no results from that yet. I can't stand the redness and the bumps, my forhead isn't as red but it is really greasy with small bumps which are white. I don't think I can really squeeze them though, I don't want them to become red. The whole thing is quite a mess and I am so frustrated coming from perfect skin to this. Do you have any idea why this would happen starting at age 29.
I wasn't on bc pills when this started but I went on them because I heard they help acne/oily skin. My skin has got progressivly worse over the two years, I don't know if it was because of the cortisone cream, the bc pills or neither one. The latest doctor gave me elidel with erythmacin. which is for excema and the erythmacin is an antibiotic. It worked for a couple weeks and then stopped working and it came back. I'm sick of doctors because they havn't helped. Have you heard anything about evening primrose oil? I am going to start taking that as well
I know how you feel - how could vinegar be okay for your skin when you can use it to cut grease? I don't know the exact whys and whatfors behind vinegar. Yes, it will briefly cause some slight redness/heat to your skin immediately after you put it on, but it doesn't last - on me it only lasts for about 10 minutes or so. Don't forget to dilute the vinegar as well. At this point I would dilute it 1:3 or 1:4 as water:vinegar and gradually work up to 1:2. Pure vinegar will literally send you through the roof if you put it on damaged skin. I put on a little aloe gel after I use it as well, since vinegar has mild astringent effects as well (I think that's what causes the redness). The little white bumps on your skin are probably just blocked pores and not necessarily full-blown pimples. These can gradually be gotten rid of by gently exfoliating in the shower with a non-soap cleanser and one of those Japanese body scrub cloths...or for that matter, any facial exfoliating cloth. Burning usually only occurs where there's an open wound, not on whole skin, and it does go away quickly. It's not as bad as alcohol, let's say.
Honestly, aloe by itself does nothing to help pimples on my skin. Its purpose for me is strictly moisturizing on whole, undamaged skin.
When women reach a certain age, our skin can go out of whack. Cumulative effects like pollution, makeup, chemicals in the body (yes, caffeine too), diet, weather, etc...all take a toll. Our hormonal system also changes over time - BC pills advertized as "for acne" I understand are just single-level hormonal pills. Acne can be caused by fluctuating hormonal levels, and single-level pills smooth things out a bit. But it isn't always enough.
A couple of little tricks I learned to help in the overall success of skin clarity:
1. If you put gel or mousse in your hair to style it, keep it away from your hairline since it only really gets clean when you wash your hair.
2. Wash your face with non-soap cleanser only *after* you're done shampooing and conditioning your hair. Conditioner residue especially can block pores.
3. Pat your face dry - don't scrub with a towel.
4. For pimple redness, a little Visine goes a long way. It helps temporarily reduce redness (just like it does for eyes). It might take a couple of applications for a really red area, tho.
I haven't tried primrose oil, but I've heard it's good. Definitely try it and see how it works. Cajaput oil or tea tree oil is good as well but it's a bit harsh on my skin. I've spent a lot of time experimenting with various oils so I know what my skin will tolerate and what it won't.
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I have had acne for about 3 years. I take Backtrim for acne, which does a decent job, but not what I'd like for it to do. So I turned to mineral oil to make my face smoother. I didn't see it clogging my pores, but the doctor said I should stop, so I did. I looked online for something else and found Emu oil. Used that and after a month my face was awesome, soooooo smooth. But one day I got all these little tiny flesh-colored bumps all over my face and assumed it was the Emu oil. that was about 2-3 months ago and I'm still trying to get rid of these bumps. I use tea tree oil and that got rid of most of the bumps, it works pretty well, but I still miss how smooth my face was when I used the Emu oil. And yes, it did even out my face. Today I bought peppermint oil to prevent itchy pimples I get sometimes, but this stuff has to be diluted, but I don't know what to put it with.
Your doctor is quite right - mineral oil dries out the skin. And peppermint is an astringent, good for spot fixes (like tea tree oil). If you want to try it out, certainly do so but on a small area of face skin to make sure it won't irritate. I don't know receipes to dilute it, but either vegatable oil or soybean oil seem to be non-clogging carrier oils. You should be able to find dilution receipes in just about any herbal preparation book. I wish I could use tea tree oil on my face - it's too harsh for my skin but I've heard it works wonders.
Not all products work for all people - particularly the greasy products with largish molecules that are partially/completely absorbed (or claim to be) by the skin such as emu oil. From what I've seen, emu oil as a trendy cure-all is highly touted by the emu industry itself but also that there hasn't been much in the way of third-party research to verify their claims. I'm sure it probably does soften the skin of many folks, but so do many oils such as coconut and olive oils. My own grandmother used vaseline every night under her eyes, but my skin isn't as tolerant as hers was and it just gives me bumps. Emu oil (i.e., bird fat) is an animal product, and if it's being absorbed by your own skin your body may be identifying it as an intruder and causing an allergic reaction once it builds up to a certain level. Allergic reactions have been shown to cause the skin to be alkaline. It's my belief that you shouldn't have to make your skin absorb anything to be healthy over the long term - your body should be supplying all you need, you just need to enable your skin to use it. That's why I recommend vinegar to create the ideal environment for your skin to function (and to make your skin soft and smooth). You're not absorbing animal-based products into your body through your skin, you're simply creating an acidic environment suitable for your skin's healing/proper function. The skin is the body's largest organ, after all.
Complex sugars can also cause excessive alkalinity - processed breads, pastas, sweets (highly refined sugar) and such. That's probably why the myth of chocolate causing acne was created. Yeast feed on sugars and also cause acne. If you're a carbohydrate enthusiast, try reducing the amount you eat.
Something else I just thought about is the use of a Na-PCA spray-on supplement (sodium salt of pyrrolidone carboxylic acid). It may help in some cases of dryness because it replaces the Na-PCA compound that sometimes the skin looses the ability to produce over time (it causes the skin to retain moisture). It personally doesn't work very well for me because it's not what my skin needs, but a friend of mine uses it and swears by it to make her skin soft. It's kind of hard to get, but you might be able to find it at health food stores. The kind I used is by Twinlab.
Taz_Grl, I'm really interested in trying out your vinegar technique but you never said how long you should keep the vinegar on your face? Do I just splash my face with the vinegar solution before I go to bed and leave it on overnight? I just bought a bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar which has 5% acidity, is that enough? And what should it exactly do, will it get rid of whiteheads, blackheads and red marks? Thanks
The best oil i ever use was olive oil. It smoothes my skin and it doesn't seem to clog my pores. It makes my skin so soft. I love it. But i do want to try Jojoba oil. I have read alot of good stuff about it here. Has anyone ever tried it?
i have not been on here awhile but found some interesting information from everyone's replies. I bought some Emu oil also but havn't really used it much. It feels really greasy on my face which I don't like. I might try the jojoba oil. I've heard it's good too. Plus isn't jojoba oil from a plant? That seems better than from a a bird like Emu oil. I would think olive oil would feel extremely greasy on my face so I havn't tried that one yet
I would say that you should not use any of the oils if you have any fresh acne/bumps. Use it only after your face is cleared up. Have you heard of Paula's Choice products? Many people with acne problems have used it with success.
When your skin is clear, you can use oil to hydrate, soften and smooth it. My favorite is camellia oil which is the closest oil to our skin's natural sebum. I feel that it's superior to jojoba oil, emu oil, etc. Almost everyone I know of who has used these oils feel the same way. Emu oil is definitely way too heavy and usually has a smell. Jojoba is not moisturizing enough for me and is not absorbed as fast/well as camellia oil. Best of all, the camellia oil also smoothed out my pitted acne scars.
anyways, i wanted to pass on some info about essential oils for skin. i have been using an all natural line of skin care products by annabellina. (just google it to find it)
so if your interestred in apple cider vinegar she has a toner with it in it. i just received it in the mail today. i am going to spot treat and apply to my nose to see if i can still exfoliate and shrink my pores there. i'll let you know what i think. also, if redness or scars are a concern, that site had a link to a to another all natural skin site. its nature's gift (under the resource section.)
that site is where i found out about helichrysum. it is supposed to be the most potent anti-inflammatory essential oil. i bought the helichrysum hydrasol. i have had it for about a week and i really like it. it does reduce redness of a pimple and it has been helping spot treat old red marks.
Hey Calista, I'm glad you are seeing results using natural skin care products. Thanks for the suggestions regarding annabellina. It sounds interesting, I have been using Apple Cider Vinegar (5% acidity rating) on my face for the past 5 days but can't honestly say I have seen any good results unfortunately. However, I will stick with it for a few weeks as Vinegar has a great reputation as a natural remedy. What results have you been getting from the Annabellina Vinegar toner since you started using it? I've never heard about Helichrysum and if it really is the most potent anti-inflammatory essential oil then I will definitely have to look into it. Have you seen any big changes on your skin since you started to use it?
At the moment, I am looking into getting some Jojoba oil as it too seems to have a great reputation but it's quite hard tracking it down so will order it online. Hope you continue to see great results from those natural products
Where do you get Camellia oil? I have seen jojoba, emu oil etc at various health stores but I have not seen Camellia oil? Also where do you get Paula
s choice products? A lot of people say they have had success with various essential oils? Why do you think I shouldn't use it if I have bumps? Will it make it worse?
The fact that people have had success with essential oils does not necessarily mean that they use it WHILE they have ACTIVE ance/bumps. I think they use it AFTER their skin is cleared up. The oil, e,g. camellia oil which is the closest to our natural sebum, can balance your skin's PH level and oil production, make your skin more healthy and therefore less prone to problems like acne in the future. The only oil I know that can treat acne/bumps is Tea Tree oil which has strong anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
I buy the Silkia camellia oil on the Internet, sometimes on eBay to save a few bucks. Paula's choice products are also available only through her website. A lot of people use her AHA/BHA products to treat acne. If you don't want to bother ordering from her site, you can try Tea Tree oil first. It's widely available in stores. Then after your skin is cleared, you can use essential oils like camellia to hydrate and soften it (Tea Tree oil may dry out your skin a bit). Good luck.
Have any of you seen the products by ZenMed called Derma Cleanse? Have a search for it, I haven't used it, but the products are all made of natural ingredients and work from the inside out - one is like a vitamin tablet that you take. Looks interesting, but where I live it costs a lot of money to ship out. I am going the natural way after wasting 3 months on accutane which I found out would not help the type of problem skin that I have. I am so mad at my bad dermatologist.
I used emu oil for about 3 months. The first month it worked pretty well, fading the scars on my face and really softening and smoothing my skin. But after a month I started getting little bumps all over my face. And after I read your post it all made sense to me. I also used tea tree oil, it worked for about a week then the bumps came back. I used jojoba oil and also addes the tea tree since I had been using it straight from the bottle which I found wasn't good. The jojoba by itself started workign right away making the bumps go away. But after a week and a half after adding the tea tree oil and some vitamin E, I got the bumps back. Now, I bought another bottle of jojoba oil and plan to never add anything to it. And I got coconut oil because when I was little, I'm 19 now, I remember watching Oprah and some older woman was on she was about 80 and looked 40 eyars old, her face was absolutely amazingly smooth and young-looking. since then I have vowed to use coconut oil on my face to see if it really works. I just bought it today, haven't used it yet.