How to combat adult acne without all the harsh chemicals
Oily Skin, Hormones, Stress, Why Is Treating Acne So Hard
Oh the joys of being a teenager, I remember those years, maybe not so fondly. My kids are at the age when hormones and puberty start so we are in full on acne combat mode in our house. I had (well, still have) oily skin and I can remember how awful acne made things. Who spent the night before picture day trying to figure out how to get rid of the big red one on their face!?!
As my luck would have it, my acne never seemed to go away. Middle school, high school, college, after college, Adult acne, why oh why!?! I always seemed to have a red spot or two on my face. It really does suck to have pimples, zits, craters, whatever you want to call them, come and go and feel like you have no way to control it. You feel helpless and it takes a toll on your self-esteem. Looking at all your peers around you with the most beautiful clear skin while you’re ready to throw on a full facial mask, it sucks donkey doo doo.
I am not a medical professional, nothing contained in this article should be construed as medical advice. Information provided is based on my personal experience only.
What Causes Adult Acne?
That’s a good question! I’ve heard:
- fried foods
- junk food
Actually, none of these do.
Basically, acne is caused by puberty or hormone changes that stimulate oil glands that are attached to hair follicles.
The hormones cause excess sebum production in the oil glands, bacteria gets in and infects the hair follicle and you end up with a big ole fat zit! How about that!?!
So what the heck is sebum? Its oil that your body produces to keep your hair and skin moisturized but too much is not good.
Just like everything in life, it needs to be balanced. Too little isn’t good and too much isn’t good.
So you can make it through puberty but then hormonal changes can bring back that unwanted acne. Been there, done that! In my early 20’s I developed cystic acne and let me tell you, if you’ve never had that, it’s AWFUL! I must have had some major hormone changes going on because those suckers were not kind to me. It seemed nothing I did would get rid of it. I resorted to taking Accutane. If you’ve heard of Accutane, you know that stuff is not for sissies. The list of side effects is horrifying (I have no idea why I thought it was a good idea but thankfully, I came out ok on the other side). Aside from clearing up my acne, two things happened, my skin was no longer oily (hallelujah) and my body didn’t sweat much, kind of odd!?!
How To Treat Adult Acne
Everyone has their own tried and true method for treating acne. Obviously some work better than others. There are tons of products on the market today, back in the day the two most popular options were Clearasil or Oxy. You could also just wash your face with soap and water but that didn’t make for a good television commercial or magazine ad so no one used that. The downfall of all the products is they strip away the natural oils on the skin which just causes the skin to produce more oil. Then the cycle starts over. You can see where this is going.
3 Ways to Treat Pimples Naturally
- Essential Oils – Lavender, Melaleuca (Tea Tree Oil) and Frankincense combined in a roller bottle with a carrier oil have worked quite well for me. Lavender helps with the inflammation, Melaleuca has antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties and Frankincense tightens the skin, reduces inflammation and dries out acne. I apply to the offending pimple before bed and it’s noticeably better in the morning.
- Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) – vinegar is acidic and our skin is naturally acidic. Using soap and cleanser disrupts our bodies ability to protect from germs, bacteria, pollution, etc. Using ACV as a skin toner helps balance the skins pH which enables the body to protect against acne. To make your own toner: dilute raw, organic unfiltered organic ACV with warm water. Start with a ratio of 1 part ACV to 2 or 3 parts water. Apply to a cotton ball and apply to your face. If your skin is sensitive, you may need to dilute with more water.
- Lemon Juice – the acid in lemon juice is a natural astringent and antibacterial agent. It can also help to reduce redness. To use: wash face with a mild cleanser and pat dry. Squeeze half a lemon into a bowl, dip a cotton ball into the juice and apply to skin. Let the lemon juice sit on skin about 20 minutes and then rinse with water. Your skin may sting a little, that’s normal, if it’s painful, splash with cool water.
You can plug into Pinterest or hit up Google and find a gazillion methods that people claim to be “tried and true” for getting rid of acne overnight. After living a good portion of my life with acne, I don’t buy the overnight cure claim. We live in an immediate gratification culture but with some things, you’re just going to have to be patient. Once you treat the pimple of the day, shift towards stopping them before they start.
How To Prevent Pimples
*Disclosure: I am a Norwex Independent Sales Consultant, I will earn a commission off anything purchased via the links on this page. All opinions stated here are my own and not to be confused as company statements.
Instead of always playing defense, let’s switch to offense. What can you incorporate into your lifestyle to prevent pimples?
- Stop using harsh soap and cleansers – use a mild cleanser that doesn’t contain alcohol. Better yet, stop spending money on facial cleansers and use a *Norwex Body Cloth. This has been a miracle for me. All you need is water and the cloth, nothing else. They are great for all skin types, the microfiber removes all the dirt and makeup (even mascara) while exfoliating the skin and not stripping it of its natural oils. Find out how Norwex rocked my world right here. My kids have been using Norwex Body Cloths for a few years now and if a pimple crops up, we treat it with the roller bottle of essential oils.
- Read Labels – if you have oily or acne-prone skin, make sure the products you’re purchasing are free from things like fragrances, shea or cocoa butter, lanolin, jojoba oil, etc. No sense in putting stuff on your face that’s only going to make things worse. As with everything, the fewer ingredients, the better.
- Lineolic Acid – I can’t vouch for this one but I found this post extremely interesting. I wish I had known this back in the day, I most definitely would have given it a try. It makes total sense to me but y’all know how I am with science, insert glazed over eyes. The post goes into great detail explaining the science behind the theory but I’ll summarize it for you. The basic concept is acne prone skin is deficient in an essential fatty acid called Lineolic Acid. Oils like hemp seed, grapeseed, and rosehip seed contain this acid and are what you need to balance out the deficiency.
- Probiotics – science is telling us more and more that if our gut isn’t happy, our body isn’t going to be happy. Skin problems like acne are the body’s what of telling us something’s not right. Start taking a good probiotic, even if you don’t have skin problems.
- Moisturize – make sure to keep your skin moisturized with a water-based moisturizer. Don’t forget sunscreen! Always, always, always wear sunscreen!
Do you suffer from adult acne? How do you treat it?
Make it a green day!
What is Sebum?