I have struggled with stubborn acne since I was fifteen. We're talking deep, painful, under-the-skin cysts with inflammation and lots of little pimples to match. A couple years ago, I found a routine that actually worked and improved the severity of my acne, but it certainly wasn't doing the rest of my face any favors. I tried to find natural remedies/cleansers that had the same effect, while also promoting healthy skin, but unfortunately couldn't find anything that did the trick. I was finally so fed up and desperate for some relief that when an opportunity arose to try out a certain celebrity-endorsed three-step system, I jumped at the chance. This system was a "new and improved" formula that promised healthy, glowing skin along with tough acne-fighting powers. Seems too good to be true, huh? Well, indeed, it was. My skin had a very negative reaction to the popular line; it gave me an entirely new kind of acne, most likely sprouting up because of how dry my face was becoming. Yes, the road to good skin is paved with lots of trial and error. Luckily for me, I seem to finally be on my way to perfecting my daily routine with products that are not only a great defense for acne, but are also natural and good for the areas of your face that are not affected by breakouts.
These two cleansers have been life-savers for me. I discovered Lush by seeing countless pictures of bath bombs on my Instagram feed. Little did I know that they offer tons of cleansers, toners, and masks; all of which are handmade and natural. The "Herbalism" cleanser has been such a great addition to my skincare routine. It does take a while to get used to, as it does not lather like traditional cleaners. It's more like a paste, and until I learned how to get the perfect texture with it, it really didn't do much for me. But, now that I've got it down, I've noticed a huge difference in my acne and skin tone. It has an exfoliating effect, too, which is great for all skin types to really get a deep clean. This Organic Surge Cleanser is something I discovered a few years ago while working at TJ Maxx. I remember one customer in particular who would buy out our entire stock when we'd get the products in. I never paid much attention to the brand until I had my mishap with the high-end cleansing system I was using. While you can't always find it at TJ Maxx, due the nature of their inventory, I do seem to get lucky most times. But, it's also available online for a price you really can't beat; even after the shipping cost from the U.K. It is made up of essential oils that balance the skin's PH, and aid in fighting blemishes. It has a really refreshing scent to it, too!
These brands should look familiar. What can I say? Stick to what you know. When I dove into the wonderful world of Lush Cosmetics, I couldn't ignore the rave reviews on this mask. It has a rich texture that feels so good going onto the skin. You can really feel this mask working, with it's cooling effect. It's super refreshing, and always makes my skin feel so soft after I rinse it off. I use it about once or twice a week, depending on if I'm having breakouts or not. This moisturizer is another one by Organic Surge, and I can't rave about it enough. Like the cleanser, it also has essential oils that promote healthy skin. It is really creamy and thick, but never pore-clogging or heavy. I like to use it at night before I go to bed.
As for the other products I use, they are items you can find at most super markets/natural food stores. I use the coconut oil to remove my make-up. It takes literally everything off, even stubborn mascara. I like to dilute the apple cider vinegar with water to use as a toner after cleansing. It helps take off any stubborn dirt or grime that your cleanser may have missed, while balancing the acid in your skin and evening tone. I just recently started using tea tree oil as a spot treatment, and I have had excellent results. Make sure you dilute it! I found this out the hard way when I put the harsh-smelling oil straight onto my face. It left me pretty red. But, once you add some water to it, it really does the trick. I usually put it on at night, right before I moisturize.
So, that's what's currently in my bag of tricks. I'm so relieved to finally be on the right track to finding products with little to no chemicals or harsh ingredients in them. I'm very interested in learning more about essential oils and how I can add other ones to my routine, as I've had excellent results with them so far. Another thing I've done to benefit my skin is cutting out milk from my diet. I made the switch to almond milk, and have noticed serious improvements now that my body is not ingesting all of those hormones. I'm hoping to weed out dairy all together eventually. But, I'm sucker for cheese and ice cream. Woops. What are some of your favorite natural skincare products?