Acne, the reason behind self esteem issues, the cause of teenage insecurities, and the aftermath of lifetime facial scars. Acne is not fun and I understand all of the above because I have been there and done that. I have spent so much money since 15 years old on countless products and “home remedies”. I have done Proactive, all of the over the counter acne products like: Neutrogena, Burt’s Bee Acne, Alba Acne line, etc.), antibiotics ointment and pills, have done all of the topical creams from my dermatologist. All of these only helped temporarily.
At the age of 25, I finally mastered what I have been doing wrong. My skin routine is much more easy and less expensive than what I was trying in the past and I can guarantee that it will help you as well.
First off, let’s define acne. According to Dictionary.com, acne is an inflammatory disease of the sebaceous glands, characterized by comedones and pimples, especially on the face, back, and chest, and in severe cases, by cysts and nodules resulting in scarring.
Now, I’m not an expert or doctor, but it’s obvious that the treatment of acne is treated from the inside or outside of your body. In my case, I had to treat it on the exterior and avoid specific items. You read that correctly, I stopped taking antibiotics and began treating it myself.
I first began looking into products for my skin at Sephora. When I first began to treat my skin, it was dry, rough, and sensitive because of the acne. I googled numerous remedies but none worked so I decided to take matters into my own hands and figure out what ingredients at Sephora would help with breakouts.
Salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and sulfur are the most common chemicals to treat the acne. It is very important to see which of these chemical works best for your skin. You will only know which one works best by asking a doctor or trying them out. I would advice you to see your doctor first. In my case, I first tried salicylic acid but it did not work. It only dried my skin which began to produce more oils and made me breakout more. Second, I tried benzoyl peroxide creams and they worked, but my skin was super sensitive to the sun, so I gave sulfur a try. My skin reacted so well to sulfur. It didn’t dry my face as much as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide did.
Sulfur made my acne disappear, but it still did not control my breakouts so I realized that I had to treat it from the inside. I did some research and went to Sprouts (a grocery store in Southern California) and purchased some sulfur pills by the brand Hyland’s. You can also try Wholefoods in the United States. I asked the store manager if the product sold well and in all honesty he said it always sold out. That for me was a good sign because it is a high demand product from the acne section of the store.
When I began taking the pills, I followed the instructions and took as many as the bottle recommended, via under the tongue. The sulfur tasted like sugar and powder because it dissolved. My results to taking Hyland’s sulfur pills was great. They worked! My acne was almost gone, but I still had one or two a week.
I began taking the “Hyland’s Sulphur Pills”, at the same time, my aunt was in town for Thanksgiving. After seeing me without makeup on she asked me what I was using for my face. I told her that I was using willow bark and witch hazel cleanser, a witch hazel toner, Hyland’s sulphur pills, and an oil free moisturizer. I noticed that after I told her what I was taking, she was more interested in something else. She then asked if I was eating dairy and junk food with sugar (chocolate+sweet candies filed with sugar). I replied with a guilty yes, not knowing where she was going with the questions. She then told me how my cousin’s acne disappeared after trying something for 2 months. Which was also recommended by his Naturalist doctor.
She had ALL of my attention. I was so curious and desperate for her answer and after I heard it, I was confused and not willing to do what she requested of me. My aunt challenged me to stop eating all dairy products and sweets. I am very challenging so I accepted her challenge.
After Thanksgiving I quit all dairy products and moved to coconut and soy based products. I also stayed away from cakes, pastries, chocolate, and sugar items. I did not cut out all sugar, but stayed away from all junk food. After one month, I kept the same products for my skin routine and noticed that I was not breaking out no longer. I was so shocked and thought it was just a good season but in reality, it was the discipline on dairy and sugar.
I was so proud of myself that I would not eat dairy or sugar for about 6 months. After being acne-free for so many months, I was confident enough to cheat and began eating chocolates, milk in my coffee and cereal every morning and ate the sugary junk food. After one week, my skin broke out. The first week was just about five pimples. Then after the second week I began to break out with zits. I know. GROSS! I was so upset and I began to avoid photos all over again, as well as meet ups because I didn’t want people to think I photoshopped my photos (since my photos on my blog are blemish-free).
After a few weeks of eating horribly again, I changed my eating habits and cut everything out again. It took two weeks to see a change. But after one month my acne cleared again and I was back to my happy and confident self.
It is so insane how sugar and dairy is poisonous for my skin. If you have breakouts and nothing works for you, I highly recommend speaking to your doctor and giving this a try. I am VERY passionate about helping others with their acne and really want you all to feel good and confident. Below you will find a list of products I used. Please ask your doctor if the products will work for you and make sure you are NOT allergic to any of these products. This article is just products and solutions that worked for me. 🙂
1. Wash Face (morning and night)
- Foreo Cleansing Face Device $199 or mini for $139
- silicone facial device that deep cleans via innovative T-Sonic technology
- anti-aging benefits (boosts collagen)
- removes dead skin cells and removes makeup residue
- unclogs pores of 99.5% dirt and oil
- 87% users experience healthier skin
- battery lasts months
- no other purchases needed to use (unlike the Clarisonic brushes)
- deep cleansing
- natural ingredients (botanical amino acids, hydrangea leaf, green tea, and geranium)
- hydrates skin
- clear completion
- natural ingredients (no GMOs, parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances or dyes, petrochemicals)
- has saw palmetto (provides antiseptic properties
- controls excess oil
- salicylic acid to shed skin of skin cells and blackheads
- mint to rejuvenate and purify pores
2. Exfoliate (1-2 times a week)
- natural ingredients (free of: paragons, sulfates, synthetic fragrances & dyes, GMOs, phthalates)
- ultra gentle exfoliator
- resurfaces and refines complexion
- oil free exfoliator
- clay based with algal earth (exfoliates and detoxifies skin
- improves impurities
- refines pores
3. Mask (2 times a week)
- lasts 3+ months
- resurfaces the skin (reduces pore size and visibility, makes skin glow & soft)
- magic in a bottle
- chemical free (made in Tata Harper’s Virginia garden)
- acne treatment
- non drying as salicylic acid
- absorbs oil and impurities
- natural clay
- oil controlling peel off mask
- cleans pores
- smooths skin texture
- natural ingredients
4. Toner (morning and night)
- hydrates skin
- awakens dull skin
- soothes skin
5. Moisturize (day cream)
- natural ingredients (free of: parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances & dyes, GMOs, phthalates)
- hydrates skin
- reduces skin (mattifying)
- refines skin and skin texture
- perfect for excessively oily skin
- worth every penny (if you have breakouts)
- chelating complex (naturally clears-up breakouts)
- paraben free
Moisturizer (Night cream)
- perfect night cream
- natural ingredients (free of: parabens, sulfates, phthalates)
- hydrates skin
- face feels like babies butt
- refines skin and skin texture
6. Protect (with makeup- once a day, without makeup- every 4 hours)
- weightless formula
- prevents UVA/UVB damage to face
- matte finish
- great for dry skin & perfect for oily skin
- no side effects
- treats acne skin