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Laggie 03-21-2006 08:39 PM

I've had bad acne since I was around 12... And it doesn't seem to be getting any better. Anyway, I only recently became aware of the idea that scrubbing the skin can just cause more oil production and make it worse. I've started just washing with a foamy cleanser (it's from a health-food store, but some of the ingredients sound like chemicals to me), then using diluted apple cider vinegar as a toner. My skin does seem less oily on the surface, but I seem to be getting a lot of blackheads.

I'm not expecting miracles or anything, but I'm wondering what I can use that will be gentle... Or, should I just go back to scrubbing?

Alkenny 03-21-2006 09:17 PM

Use witch hazel for a gentle astringent.

Spastica 03-21-2006 09:59 PM

I've had some acne issues this past year and these are the kinds of stuff that's helping: witch hazel, apple cider vinegar, baking soda, tea tree oil, Cetaphil gentle cleanser, and green tea.

As Alkenny said, witch hazel is great for astringent and does a great job. You can also dilute apple cider vinegar (1/2 water, 1/2 apple cider vinegar) as an astringent and skin deep-cleaner (after you've washed your face). I've had better luck with the apple cider vinegar to even out the tone of my skin. Apple Cider Vinegar acts a lot like alpha hydroxy acid - it keeps your face looking young by removing old cells, evening out your complexion, and it kills acne bacteria too.

It's been researched that green tea is great for acne too, both topically and internally. You can drink green tea to rid the body of toxins, extra estrogens, and flush the liver in general to help with clearer skin. When you're done with drinking the tea, save the tea bag and squeeze the liquid out on a cotton ball and swab your face with it. Green tea has been as effective as 4% Benzoyl Peroxide, without the nasty effects (drying, peeling, wrinkling). Green tea is also anti-aging, anti-wrinkling. Lots of good stuff in green tea!

I have been using baking soda as a mild exfoliant and even as a face mask at times (make a paste and let it dry into this hard plaster on your face, then wash off). It helps with blackheads, whiteheads, and with general oiliness. It smooths out your skin as well. If you make a paste of it with water and pack it on a pimple, it'll dry it out. I've used baking soda by itself in a paste with water, or I mix a little baking soda with Cetaphil gentle cleanser (the one that you can use on babiesand can be used with or without water ), and that's been a real treat to wash my face with at night. I haven't had any open pimples, but I hear that if you have lesions on your face, baking soda can sting. I don't have open wounds, so I don't feel a thing. Just rub the baking soda mixture in circles all over your face and don't 'force' the baking soda.

Tea tree oil is good for clearing up acne. You have to dilute it or else it burns or dries your skin out. You can put a drop of the tea tree oil (found at health food stores or even at Walmart) into your Cetaphil and wash your face with that - or - you can moisten a cotton ball with some water and put a drop of tea tree oil on the cotton ball and swab your face with that. Don't rinse and keep it on all night. The smell is rather like Pine-Sol, but it's natural. I would use the Tea Tree Oil sparingly.

Some natural do-nots: Do not get Tea tree oil into your eyes or ingest it. Do NOT use hydrogen peroxide. It works on acne really well, but it has recently been slammed for creating free-radicals on your skin, which in turn, wrinkle and damage your skin. Not worth it.

I went on the ProActiv website at some point, and there are some other links for people who use Benzoyl peroxide. There is a common method to both sites that I have found helpful in fighting acne:

1) Wash face thoroughly - (Use your favorite cleanser or Cetaphil)
2) Exfoliate - (Use the baking soda - you can just mix it in with water or Cetaphil)
3) Tone - (Use apple cider vinegar, green tea, or sometimes Tea Tree oil)
4) Moisturize - use a lightweight facial moisturizer. My favorite is Oil of Olay Sensitive with sunscreen.

I usually do the above regimen everyday with the 'facial' of cleaning my face with Cetaphil and baking soda, then toning with apple cider vinegar, and then moisturizing a little. I've had luck keeping the stress and hormone related acne down recently with that. I swear, if you keep up that regimen - you'll have young-looking skin forever! The trick is gentle exfoliation without tugging the skin or using harsh abrasives, and moisturizing.

Drink plenty of herbal teas and water too.

These remedies are cheap and natural. I hope you have success with some of them!

ak33 03-22-2006 12:30 AM

I just recently started using Aubrey Organics skin care line for oily skin and I am very pleased.

I started out with their travel size pack just to see if I liked it.

Here is the link...

Also, I just ordered their Amino Derm Gel Clear Skin Complex.

I haven't received it yet but hopefully I will be as happy with it as I have been with the other products!

Laggie 03-24-2006 09:08 PM

Well, when I read the comments about the baking soda I thought well, I guess that means you don't believe the idea that scrubbing the skin is a bad idea... but I tried it in the shower this morning and it doesn't feel abrasive at all - I thought it would feel like I was scouring my face but it didn't.

I think I'll try it for awhile and see what happens. I'm trying the baking soda instead of shampoo thing, so I thought I may as well try it on my face at the same time!

Thanks for the ideas...

Spastica 03-25-2006 12:56 PM

Nah, the baking soda isn't very abrasive, it breaks down into little particles when it's dissolved in water.

I used to use the apricot scrubs and THAT is harsh sometimes.

You can leave the water/baking soda paste on your face too while you're doing other things in the shower if you don't feel like scrubbbing. I actually do both sometimes, leave it on my face a little bit and then use small circles to exfoliate my skin.

It truly acts like a microdermabrasion, without the redness, peeling, and harsh chemicals.

boongirl 03-25-2006 01:51 PM

For me, acne is definitely connected with hormones and overall health. If I were you, I would see a naturopath and have some tests done to see if there is a connection for you. I have also found that the less one does to one's skin, the better. Use a gentle cleanser (cetaphil bar soap is my choice) and a gentle toner with salicylic acid (I use one by Aveda) and a gentle moisturizer (I use cetaphil). Acne is sometimes worsoned by trauma being done to the skin. Using abrasive cleaning products can make it worse. Products will salicylic acid in them will help keep the skin "newer" and less likely to form pimples on or just below the skin's surface. The aveda toner is very gentle and does not sting at all (unlike other products). Benzoil peroxide, I have found, is very harsh and just makes my skin look worse. Also, it is important to clean your skin twice a day, gently, and be aware of anything you put near your skin, like hats, that could be contributing to the acne.

Glover_Girls 03-27-2006 10:53 AM

I use organic and natural products from Juice Beauty They are a bit pricey but worth it in my view. The cleanser is apple based cleanser the clear skin serum is lavender based (which is very good for acne skin).

I have actually been bouncing from product to product lately for my skin as I try to find something to keep my recent onset of breakouts in control. I've had some minor adult acne since about 25 yrs old and I've managed to keep it under control. Since I stopped breastfeeding about 6 months ago, it's just gotten worse mostly around my jaw area. I think it's a combination of stuff: hormones (I turn 40 this year), little fingers touching my face (I'm not going to stop that) and I'm also growing my hair for the first time in 20 years so it's about chin length now. I'm finding that the less stuff I use, the better. I have always taken good care of skin since I was a teenager and stealing my Mom's Rachel Perry clay mask!

I tried the Aubrey line and I didn't really care for it. It didn't seem to get my skin deep down clean. I actually still have the whole line sitting in a box to return (whenever I get around to it).

heket 05-04-2006 03:57 AM

Just had to say that while I am a big BS fan, using it as an exfoliant dried out my sensitive/ combo skin. I guess it was too much...

So I'd just give a warning to those with combo/ sensitive skin types. Using BS as an exfoliant may dry your skin out.

Spastica 05-04-2006 07:56 AM

Heket, try using some more water and less baking soda. Rinse your face completely - until the baking soda's 'slick' feeling goes away. Also, don't forget to moisturize afterward. Most of the time, I use apple cider vinegar to tone my face, which brings the pH back of my skin back to acidic, so that it counteracts the baking soda. After I've toned, I moisturize. Soap and other cleansers can also dry out if no toning and/or moisturizer is used.

Some people use oat flour or cornmeal instead of baking soda. Oat flour and honey are a good combo too for sensitive skin.

counterGOPI 02-18-2007 01:40 PM

: thanks spastica!

memz 02-18-2007 06:04 PM

I have been washing with black soap twice a day. Sometimes I do a hiney mask and then exxfoliate with a bit of BS mixed with the honey. I use sometimes the apple cider toner, but am I the only one that finds that it has a strong smell that doesn't seem to go away? That's why I don't use it often. Also I usually moisturize with coconut oil or unrefined shea butter when I feel dryer. Now I can't say that it has helped with my acne but my skin is less dry. Too bas it didn't work with the pimples...I CAN'T STAND THEM ANYMORE!!

Laggie 03-01-2007 07:54 PM

I finally found something that works... and it's vitamin B5 aka Pantothenic Acid. I've been taking 2 to 3 grams per day, spread out through the day. I adjust the amount depending on whether I've been eating greasy food or not. And my skin has gone from humiliatingly bad to very very tolerable, with only the odd pimple here and there.

It has dried my skin a bit, but I can deal with that. I am SO happy about this, because honestly I've tried everything!

I also do a weekly facial that consists of:
1. olive oil/castor oil cleanse
2. steam with herbs (I like lavendar, chamomile and goldenseal)
3. extractions with a blackhead removal tool from the drugstore
5. clay mask

And things are going really well. Daily I just use a gentle cleanser, I think I'm going to try cetaphil because I was just using a diluted acne cleanser that I had left over.

zerooooopa 10-15-2007 12:45 PM

hi spastica.. i just found this website.. i would like to try your regimen.. i have oily skin.. do i really need to moisturize after toning? by the way what skni type do you have thanks

Spastica 10-15-2007 04:08 PM

I used to have combination skin - where it was oily or kinda oily/skin-crusty (sorry, TMI) around the T-zone (forehead, nose, chin) and it was dry or normal the rest of my face.

I was using local honey for a while to wash my face, but with fall allergies, the honey and most cleansers are adding to the allergies on my face. So, for now, I'm using commercial products again (like Cetaphil gentle cleanser at night or my Dove green tea/cucumber body bar soap when I'm in the shower).

I still exfoliate with baking soda or brown sugar and I still moisturize. I use Physician's Formula mineral makeup and Oil of Olay Sensitive Facial Moisturizer and/or some coconut oil before putting on makeup or anytime after I wash my face. I rarely tone since the Cetaphil is pretty darn gentle and I'm pretty darn lazy. I don't ever forget to moisturize though. For mineral makeup, the moisturization process (overdoing it is actually good) is very crucial to make sure the makeup sets to something and the makeup doesn't feel itchy, powdery, or just sits on your skin and looks weird. With a moisturizer, mineral makeup looks flawless and you have that glow that you see faked on celebrities and models (that dewy-ness you see is extra moisturizer under their makeup).

The main philosophy in this forum is that even if you have oily skin, it's because you dried your skin out to start with when you used a harsh cleansing solution or overscrubbed your face or otherwise got overzealous with it. Moisturizing your face, even if it's oily seems to 'teach' your skin that you're there to the rescue and that you're not being mean to your skin by getting rid of all the protective oil. Your skin seems to like that you're not torturing it and it lays off the oil-production bonanza.

I hope this helps.

In another website, a lady mentioned something about a Face Reading and acne. I've never heard about it, so I looked it up. It seems almost like an accupuncture/accupressure-like approach or philosophy, where your facial acne and blemishes can pinpoint what kind of health problems you have.

I'm not entirely sure it's totally true, but considering where I get the most blemishes and zits, looking at the chart, I would say that it's pretty accurate because I have had uterine issues (pretty much due to choking my liver with too much bad stuff in the past). I have since modified my diet so I am not so insulin resistant and my body doesn't have to work so hard to shove all the hormones and toxins through my liver.

Check this site out:

zerooooopa 10-15-2007 05:40 PM

im not sure about make up and stuff.. im a guy hehe. thanks for the reply!

well.. i dont think im being harsh with my face though.. well maybe before when i used to use those OTC products.. till i stopped using them since its really not working for me.. at that time when i stopped using cleansing products.. i only use warm water on my face, thats it.. my face got better but i still have occasional pimple and i cant seem to get rid of my blackheads.. so im kinda sick of my face not healing i already did this for quite some time (years) so i decided to use some soft soap like cetaphil(the normal to oily one).. and there seem to be no major improvement.. still oily :/ .. flakey.. and i got minor seborrhoeic dermatitis! geez! i havent started doing your regimen but i will when i get back to the states.. i always thought that in time it will heal.. but i guess i need help.. LOL..

bout tha moisturizing.. do i need to? i do have oily face huhuhu..

sphinxie 10-15-2007 05:51 PM

Zeroooopa, skin is also affected by your internal health. The skin is one of the body's organs, but it is the only one we see. Sometimes if the skin isn't healthy, it indicates that some of the internal organs are in a similar state. I saw this clearly when I saw the skin quality of a few severely bulimic people. How is your diet? How is your digestion? How does your body and energy feel? Some people are more sensitive to nutritional problems than others--my DH can thrive on a diet of ramen and nothing but ramen, while for me even a regular balanced diet isn't enough. So judge more by how it's working for you, how you feel overall, than by what other people around you eat.

For blackheads, I've found that a castor oil facial works well, and sometimes I spread a gentle antibacterial ointment over my skin and leave it on all night, that works well too.

For the flaky skin, try Spastica's tips on exfoliating. Also, moisturize with a light product.

Spastica 10-15-2007 06:17 PM

I agree with sphinxie.

Sorry about the femme-based remarks, more often than not, there are women in here, but I shouldn't assume - for that I apologize

A sluggish liver, due to diet filled with processed foods, sugars, blah blah blah, as well as stress, can cause skin problems, as sphinxie said.

As mentioned before - sometimes combatting oily skin with some light moisturizer will make your face eventually calm down and it won't feel the need to pump out more oil because you're giving it a hand. Sometimes skin produces more oil to compensate for the fact you're taking it away.

To be a bit generalistic, and again - if this doesn't apply to you, ignore - most guys don't wash their face after exercising/working out or after coming home from work all day. If that sounds like you, try washing your face at night too (and moisturizing). Why, you may ask "I don't wear makeup like women, so I have nothing to wash off!" - wrong. You have gone all day with dirt, pollen, oil, and pollutants from the air, in traffic, and just from general working and breathing all day. It sits on your face all day and it'll eventually clog your pores overnight, especially if you're not exfoliating and cleansing your face.

Hope that helps.

zerooooopa 10-18-2007 05:21 PM

sorry its been hard to access a computer! lol thank u again!

i can say ive been eating healthy and only drink water or some fresh fruit juices nothin else.. well maybe i lack exercise.. lol

first i **** have to do your regimen next week, cant do anything now since im still travelling.. i guess you are right about moisturizing.. ill do that too.. what light moisturizer should i buy? for guy skin/face

and should i apply it twice a day? do i apply it over the apple cider/ tea tree oil mixture? or should i wash it off first.. sorry im really not good at this..

Spastica 10-18-2007 07:11 PM

I am not quite familiar with the guy's brands of moisturizer - they probably are a little bit thicker to compensate for shaving. I know Nivea makes a line of guy's products, but again, it may be heavy.

A guy friend of mine uses the same thing I do - Oil of Olay Sensitive skin facial moisturizer with SPF 15. It doesn't smell girly at all.

So buy the following - you can get all of this at Walmart, or you can purchase separately at combo of stores and health food stores:

I do this at night only. In the morning, you can wash your face with the Cetaphil and moisturize with Oil of Olay.
  • Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser (blue label, flip cap)
  • Oil of Olay Sensitive Skin Facial Moisturizer with SPF 15
  • Baking soda box, used for baking (not cleaning)
  • Tea tree oil (in Pharmacy section, next to the hydrogen peroxide, iodine, etc)
  • Either Dickenson's witch hazel (also in pharmacy aisle) or Apple cider vinegar (ACV for short -in the baking aisle).
  • Cotton balls

I personally am too lazy to tone after washing my face, but I have seen that I haven't really needed to with the Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser (it's a really mild soap). If you think it will help you to tone with witch hazel or ACV, you can use it - especially if you have a lot of dark marks or acne.

So here goes:

1) Wash/Rinse
2) Tone
3) Moisturize


- Make sure your hands are clean. Clean hands help with preventing acne.

- Mix about a quarter sized dollop of Cetaphil with about a dash of baking soda (about 1/4 teaspoon) in the palm of your hand. You can add a drop of tea tree oil, if you'd like.

- Wet your face and put the mixture on your face, scrubbing with small circles with your fingers, all over your face. Pay special attention to your nose, chin, forehead and hairline. Don't scrub too hard, be gentle.

- After about a minute, rinse of thoroughly.

- Pat dry, but no need to get too dry by rubbing. Keep face sorta dewy.

- Pour some ACV or witch hazel onto a cotton ball (enough to give you ample coverage on your face, but not so much that the cotton ball is dripping). You can put a drop of tea tree oil if you'd like. Swipe your face all over, including your neck.

- You can wait a few minutes or you can just moisturize with some Oil of Olay at this point. Put the lotion on all over your face and neck.

  • Make sure you wash your pillowcases often - oils from your hair or face can aggravate acne and it builds up on your pillowcases.
  • Sometimes shampoos and conditioners can aggravate acne - try switching to a more natural shampoo. Avoid conditioners with silicones (ingredients ending in -cone or -one).
  • Drink lots of water. Green tea is also great.
  • B-Complex, A, C, and E vitamins help with acne.

sphinxie 10-19-2007 01:02 AM

Cetaphil makes its own moisturizer too, I think it's light and unscented, and the packaging isn't girly if that matters

zerooooopa 10-20-2007 12:45 AM

thank u for taking time! muuwah! will post after a month or somthn hehe

cloudswinger 10-23-2007 04:09 PM

I get oily about once a month. Is there anything special that I can do for skin care around that time, since it's obviously a hormonal thing? Would you change skin care for that period of time, and then return to whatever normal routine for the rest of the month?

kms1 11-08-2007 08:37 PM


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