I didn’t always have acne. My skin used to be quite blemish free. But after I was diagnosed with SLE…I don’t know if it was the medications or what…but my skin exploded. I had blemishes everywhere. I’d wear tons of makeup in an attempt to cover it up…but little did I know that this was actually making the problem WORSE, especially since I finally figured out that the makeup I was using was simply making my skin worse.
I was one of those people who tried everything on the market. I tried proactiv, murad, clean and clear, obaji…the list is essentially endless. My skin simply was not responding.
I finally found something that made my acne go away, but there was a problem. It made my skin look dull and lifeless. I thought to myself…oh well, my skin may look dull and lifeless, but at least I don’t have bumps on my face. I can easily cover up the dullness with makeup! But the last straw where that product was concerned was when I accidentally got some of this product on my pink t-shirt…and the spot on my t-shirt where the product landed changed colour…like bleach! If this thing can bleach my clothes..what is it doing to my skin?? (It was benzoyl peroxide, by the way).
I decided to take a more natural approach. I tried OCM (the oil cleansing method). You can read about the oil cleansing method HERE. I really liked the idea of OCM but it did more harm for me than good. It caused several little bumps to pop up on my forehead, an area that was usually not heavily affected by blemishes. I read that this could happen and that there was a “purging” stage that I would have to get passed…but I believe that I gave it a fair enough chance. I had to find a way to reverse the damage that had been done.
After doing a lot of research which included a great deal of trial and error, I finally put together my own routine which seems to work quite well for me.
First, I wash my face both morning and night with African Black Soap. There are a lot of soaps out there claiming to be African black soap, but you want to get something that is 100% black soap. I personally got mine at Black Onyx World. The soap from Black Onyx world comes in a big bar, so your best bet will be to break it off into pieces (perhaps just slightly smaller than the size pictured below. When the bar I bought from Black onyx world is finished, I will use the black soap that my parents bought me when they went to Nigeria.
In the morning, I would just dry my face and put a few drops of grapeseed oil in the palm of my hand along with some Solar protective moisturizer SPF 30+ (bonus: This sunscreen does NOT TURN YOUR WHOLE FACE WHITE when you put it on!!!)
|African Black Soap|
In the evening, I make a mask with the following ingredients:
|Lemon Juice (half a teaspoon)|
|Raw Honey (1 tablespoon)|
|Rosenary Oil (one drop)|
|Vitamin E oil (2 drops)|
|Brown sugar (half a tablespoon)|
|I keep a set of measuring spoons in my washroom to use just for my face.|
When everything is combined, it’ll look like this.
|I forgot to take a picture before I slathered it all over my face, but you get the idea!|
1. Put the brown sugar and the honey into a small container and mix it well until combined.
2. After it has been combined, add the rosemary oil, vitamin e oil, and the lemon juice.
3. Mix until combined.
4. Apply to face and massage it in.
5. Look as pretty as possible until you are ready to wash it off!
After it has been on your face for a while, rinse it off with warm water. After it is all washed off, give your face a quick rinse with cold water to close up those pores. I then moisturize with a few drops of grapeseed oil and Cerave lotion.
Why these ingredients?
Brown sugar: works as an exfoliant in this recipe
Vitamin e: some say that it is an anti-oxidant and good for acne scarring
raw honey: natural antiseptic (anti-bacterial), soothes and heals your skin while keeping it moisturized.
rosemary essential oil: astringent
lemon juice: good for lightening dark spots, rich in alpha hydroxys-great for exfoliating skin
black soap: reduced my outbreaks, kills bacteria, does a great job of removing makeup (and it is inexpensive!)
This routine has done wonders for my skin. (Yes, I have makeup on in this pic, but no amount of makeup could make my skin look like this based on the pictures above…!)
Now, for my foundation, I use mineral foundation by Valana Minerals. This makeup not only matches my skin colour perfectly, but it does not break me out because it is made of all natural ingredients. I am wearing it in the above picture. Another benefit is the fact that I do not get that “grey-ish” colour that I would sometimes get from the flash of cameras which would make my skin colour look “off”. I bought samples first before figuring out that I am “Gentle Amber” during non-sunny months and a mix of Gentle Amber and “Red Amber” in the summer time. You only need a little bit and it has lasted me a long time.
Where do I buy all this stuff?
Organic Honey, Rosemary Essential Oil, Vitamin E oil, and grapeseed oil can all be purchased online at vitacost.com. It doesn’t really matter which specific brand you buy (i.e. you don’t have to buy EXACTLY what is pictured), just as long as you buy the above things. Except, of course, the Solar Protective Moisturizer-that’s a very specific name LOL.
The above is a referral link; it will save you $10 and get you on your way to hopefully find something that works for you as well as it worked for me.
For my Canadian friends, the Cerave can be purchased and delivered for free to your home from Well.ca. If you spend over $40 on other stuff, you can get $10 off of this as well! Just use the following coupon code:
For the African Black Soap, you can purchase that at Black Onyx World Online, or your local African store.
For the Valana minerals makeup, you can purchase some samples and check it out by clicking HERE.
I hope that this post helped you out a bit and will make you think a bit differently when it comes to taking care of your acne prone skin and the scarring/hyper-pigmentation that comes along with it. What I like about the products above is that they can be used for other things. Rosemary smells great and I use it in my hair steamer when I steam my hair. I use my grapeseed oil in addition to regular body lotion on my skin after I take a shower, etc. I think it is all worth it. And, the icing on the cake is the fact that most of the above products are organic, raw, natural, etc. Even the Solar sunscreen is a much more natural sunscreen than others on the market…and it does NOT make your skin white!
All of the items mentioned in this blog post were purchased by me with my own money and I was not asked or approached to endorse anything. The above routine worked quite well for me. After that benzoyl peroxide bleaching my shirt fiasco, I asked myself..how can I cure/fix/get ride of my acne without chemicals? I think I may have found the ticket!
Extra bonus: the hypergranulotic dyscornification that my dermatologist diagnosed me with seems to be becoming less and less noticeable! Hurrah for the fading away of annoying white spots!!
Definitely post any questions you may have below so I can try and answer any questions you may have!