Surprise! I have acne! There is a confession I never thought I’d make online…
I pride myself on being transparent on social media, but I doubt many of you know about my friend acne who has been living with me since I was a tween.
The thing is… I don’t like thinking about it or even talking about it with my closest friends, let alone shouting it out to the vast universe that is the Internet.
I’ve never been ashamed of the way I look, but it took me until the age of 22 – more than a decade of sporting unflattering red blotches on my face – to go out in public without makeup.
And even now it’s something I do rarely and reluctantly. But there’s a first time for everything, so here we go…
This is me without makeup. I don’t have full-blown cystic acne but I get plenty of painful flareups and purplish discolouration on my face, particularly around my chin.
The thing is – it used to be a lot worse. I’ve used a myriad of ointments, from retinol gels that made the skin on my face peel off like a snake’s to chemical-laden creams that made it more irritated than ever before.
Refusing to be stuck in a vicious cycle of feeding my body poison, this year I’ve decided to go down a different route. I decided to try natural remedies for acne… and they work.
If you are struggling with problematic skin, this one is for you!
7 Natural Remedies for Acne
1. Coconut oil cleanser
I’m in love with the coco! I’m pretty sure everyone on the Internet is bored of hearing about coconut oil. But I can’t stress enough how much of a life-changer it has been for me.
If you’re nervous about putting oil on your face, don’t be – not even if your skin is oily. A small amount of coconut oil warmed in your hands will take off even waterproof makeup, leaving your skin smooth and moisturised but not excessively shiny.
2. Tea tree oil spot treatment
Whenever I feel a spot forming, I dab it with diluted tea tree oil which dries it up and minimises the redness overnight. Magic!
3. By All Greens™ Mask
I decided to try the By All Greens™ Mask mask by Origins after reading about it on a beauty blog and being very intrigued. It’s a mask, but it’s also a cleanser. It’s creamy and contains clay, but it also foams up and hydrates your face.
I have lots of products sent to me for review but most of them never make it onto the blog. But this one? I’m sold on it!
I’ve been using it for two weeks now and noticed it draws out impurities from the skin and brightens my complexion. The best part though? It’s not a chemical minefield like most of the products I used in the past.
Origins products are free of parabens, phthalates, mineral oils, paraffin and animal ingredients. This particular mask contains green tea, spirulina, spinach and lots of healing essential oils. It’s basically a giant green smoothie for your face!
4. Green tea and apple cider vinegar toner
I make my own toner, mixing green tea with apple cider vinegar in a 3:1 ratio. Apple cider vinegar is really good at closing up pores, balancing the skin’s pH and exfoliating it. Green tea is full of antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory ingredients.
If your skin is oily you might want to work your way up from the 3:1 ratio, but that concentration is a good place to start.
5. Sea salt and honey scrub
Sea salt + honey = amazing face and body scrub. Honey has incredible antibacterial properties – and in general the darker its colour the more powerful these are.
Don’t use the scrub too frequently though and make sure the sea salt isn’t too rough in order to avoid skin damage.
6. Cut out dairy and processed food
It took me an embarrassingly long time to realise I was lactose intolerant. When I was younger lactose intolerance just wasn’t as ‘cool’ as it is now and substitutes not widely available.
Unsurprisingly cutting out dairy drastically improved the condition of my skin. But even if you are not lactose intolerant, cutting out dairy might be helpful as it contains pore-clogging inflammatory substances.
Processed food is just as bad for your skin, if not even worse. So say goodbye to E numbers and say hello to nicer skin. Side effects include a flatter tummy and more energy, but it’s a risk worth taking.
7. More omega-3s and zinc
Healthy fats are really important to your skin’s health, so load up on foods high in omega-3s. The good news? This includes all kinds of delicious fish and grass-fed meat. It might be harder to do if you’re vegetarian or vegan, but flaxseed and chia are both great options.
Similarly, zinc keeps your skin – as well as hair and nails – in check. Some examples of zinc-rich foods include pumpkin seeds, spinach and seafood.
I used to think my acne would just go away with age, but as time goes by I’m beginning to accept that my problematic skin might be here to stay.
With that in mind I’m really glad I’ve switched over to natural remedies for acne. No more poison, just healthy ingredients and a better diet.
The best part? Aside from clearing up my acne, this regimen makes me feel good about myself inside out.
What did you think of these natural remedies for acne? Do you have any good tips for me? Let me know in the comments below!