Everyone is different, and that’s what makes us unique. It’s the same with skin, as acne can be of so many different varieties and causes - hormonal, bacterial, genetic, stress, cystic, reactive and so on.
It’s important to identify which underlying issue has caused it for you. And that's the underlying issue you need to address.
I still suffer with my skin. The severe acne has subsided but during stressful times or just other random occasions, it likes to flare up (and you can see my personal story here).
So I thought I’d talk about three products that I find work for me in the hopes that anyone else who is suffering with acne might get some positive experiences form them too. In saying that, I can only speak from my own experience and my own skin, and give a shout out to some of the products I have used throughout my journey that made my skin clearer.
But please keep in mind for more extreme cases you need to speak to a dermatologist –and finding the right one of those can also be a process. But that’s a whole other article.
Despite the cheesy infomercials featuring Jessica Simpson among other celebrity endorsers, Proactiv (from €25) is a product that I found to really make a difference. Now, it is a strong product and contains both Salicylic acid and Glycolic acid.
It's a three step process combining advanced blemish treatment, skin smoothing exfoliation and hydration that certainly help with clarity. However this is not a product to be used for long periods of time because the acidic properties can thin the skin with prolonged use. If you're using it for longer than six to eight months approx, you should certainly speak with a professional.
- Vitex Agnus Castus
So this one is great for the 'hormonal' acne sufferers. It’s a medicinal plant, and should be taken daily. There are many different brands around the world which come in either tincture or tablet form. The one that I have is Premular and it sets me back about €40.
Essentially what it does is balances your hormones, so if you suffer from PMS also, this one’s for you. It does take a while to kick in which is the only downfall; you most probably will be waiting three to four-months before you notice the effects.
And when choosing your brand the most important thing to be aware of is to ensure that “Vitex Agnus Castus” is one of the first listed ingredients. This basically means there is a lot of the correct “active ingredient” in the product and not as much bulking agent'.
Understanding your products and what your buying is so important. Try getting used to reviewing the ingredients list of products before you buy them as you would with food.
- Do-Terra Lemon Oil
This one is a recent find for me, and I have to say my most favourite. I picked it up from the mydoterra website and it cost the princely sum of €8. Essential oils are currently a hot topic when it comes to DIY skincare (among many other weird and wonderful natural solutions to health care).
Do-Terra offers a medical grade quality essential oil, so pure in fact that you can drink it. It’s basically oil, cold pressed from lemon rinds which preserves its potency.
There are many ways to use it. The first is to dampen a cotton pad, put a few drops of the lemon oil on it and then use all over the face as a toner on a clean skin (this is my personal favourite way to use). The second method is best if your skin is at all sensitive. Mix the oil with a pea sized amount of coconut oil, and massage onto clean skin.
It also helps if you drink it in your water- you can have up to 15 drops a day. But it literally removes all the petrochemicals from your body targeting the acne from both the outside in and the inside out. As my sister said when she tried it, and it cleared her skin after a week “Why doesn’t everyone know about this!”.
There are a plethora of products out there and also many different skin and acne types. The most important thing to be aware of is to find the one that works for you (through trial and error if necessary) and to ensure that the ingredients involved are of good quality and not full of chemicals, bulking agents and perfumes.
If any of you have any other products you have found that worked wonders for you, we’d love you to share them. To the comments!