Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My Current Acne Treatment Regimen

I was inspired by my recent honey post, and this post over at Temptalia.  I commented on what I've been doing to combat my acne, and I thought it would be fun to expound on what I've been doing lately and why.

I have instituted some criteria in choosing my products.  They must:
  • Contain natural and/or organic ingredients wherever possible.
  • NOT contain harmful chemicals.
  • Be cruelty-free.
My current process, from start to finish:
  1. At night, I take off my makeup with Yes to Cucumbers Cleansing Towelettes.  These contain only natural ingredients, are cool and refreshing on my sensitive skin, and remove all the junk from my face so the cleanser can get in and work its magic.  I get mine at Target or Walgreens.  They cost the same as the Neutrogena towelettes I used before, but the ingredients are so much better for my skin.
  2. I wash my face with my purple Clarisonic Mia, morning and night, with a gentle cleanser. I am still trying to find a cleanser that works for the long term, but the Clarisonic is a God-send.  I was using Neutrogena Acne Stress Control Scrub before the Clarisonic, and had good results with that so I started using the cream cleanser with the Clarisonic.  I want to purge chemicals and animal-tested products from my routine though, so I recently picked up some Pangea Organics Egyptian Calendula and Blood Orange facial cleanser, which I love so far and hope it works out, because my skin is so soft and smooth right now!  I just need to see how it works over the next few weeks.  It's a little pricey, but I'm willing to pay a little more for the right cleanser.
  3. Next, I spritz on a homemade toner of 2 parts witch hazel, 1 part Lush Tea Tree Water, and 1 part Boots Botanics Organic Rose Water. I chose these ingredients because they are known to be helpful for fighting acne; they have astringent and antimicrobial properties that make them effective against it. The rose water is also an effective anti-inflammation and balancing agent. What's even better is that they are all inexpensive, and variations can be found in your local drugstore. I spritz the toner on my face morning and night, letting it sink into my skin before moisturizing.
  4. Twice a week, after toning my skin, I apply a honey mask that I leave on for 20 minutes. I just open a jar of honey and spread it over my face. As I've explained, honey is antimicrobial and soothing on the skin, and the results have been wonderful!
  5. I have been moisturizing with MAC Studio Moisture Fix with SPF 15.  It's lightweight, hydrating, and gentle, plus it provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection.  At night, I add a drop of Pangea Organics Himalayan Geranium and Pomegranate Balancing Oil.  I've only been using the balancing oil for about a week, but I am very please with the results.  I was afraid it would break me out (oil on acne-prone skin just doesn't sound right), but I tried it anyway because I read glowing reviews.  I am happy to report that it has done the opposite of break me out ... a lot of the large pores on my face are smaller, and I have fewer blackheads since I began using it.  The ingredients are astounding; I've never seen such a healthful, nourishing combination of essential oils and extracts.  I'd say the same for all their products.  I'm very pleased with what I've tried so far, and hope to try more in the future!
Note:  Around “that time” of the month, I usually feel a cyst forming on my chin. As soon as I feel it, I wash my face with Lush Fresh Farmacy, concentrating on the area of the cyst. I do that once a day for a few days.  After washing with Fresh Farmacy, I put Neosporin on the cyst. I do that in the morning and at night. Neosporin is actually the best acne spot treatment I have used (and I’ve tried a million of them). Since I started using the Fresh Farmacy/Neosporin combination, the cyst doesn’t fully form and goes away within a day or two.

So that's my current facial regimen.  It's kind of exhausting sometimes, but it's working!

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