How I cleared my skin without using harsh chemicals
For years I've struggled with acne and various skin problems. I've seen several dermatologists who have all prescribed me things but nothing seemed to work. As a young woman, having acne affected my confidence and ability to feel good without makeup. Although acne doesn't define you, it can often feel like that's the only thing people are looking at. Recently, I became frustrated that nothing was working. I knew that acne is normal for someone my age, being in college with stress and hormones, etc. but I knew that there must be a way to fix it without putting tons of chemicals on my face or spending a ton of money. For the past semester, I've been spending time working on my skin and figuring a good routine that works for me. I'm happy to say that I have finally cracked the skin-care code with an all natural approach that is extremely affordable.
1. African Black Soap
I start by washing my face with African black soap. It comes it a big block, so I break off smaller pieces to get it into a lather. African Black Soap is all natural and has exfoliating properties in it which helps to get rid of any dead skin and dirt. My skin is noticeably brighter and overall just cleaner looking. The soap isn't overly drying or oily so it's great for any skin type.
2. Dr. Thayers Rose Witch Hazel
After you wash your face, the next step is to use a toner. I use just a little bit of this on a cotton ball and it gets any extra dirt or makeup off that you might've missed while washing your face. Witch hazel is a natural astringent which helps to shrink the size of pores as well as eliminate bacteria that may cause acne.
3. Tea Tree OilTea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is also great for killing bacteria that causes acne. The best way to use tea tree oil is just as a spot treatment because it can be drying. I dilute the oil with some water or witch hazel and put it on a cotton swab. Only use it on spots with active breakouts.
For the longest time I didn't use moisturizers because I was worried it would break me out mor e, especially areas that were oily. But the truth of the matter is,however, that moisturizing is important for all skin types. Part of my problem was that I was drying my skin out too much and not adding any moisture back. Sometimes breakouts can happen from dry skin too. I use an oil free moisturizer from Neutrogena. It's really gentle on the skin and doesn't make me fee too oily.
5. Aloe Verawww.flickr.com
At first I was using Aloe Vera gel from a bottle. There's absolutely nothing wrong with bottled aloe Vera, but I began buying full aloe leaves from the supermarket and using the fresh gel from it. I found this to be much more effective for my skin. It felt fresher, more natural, and I actually saw results pretty quickly. I cut a piece of the leaf off and I cut the piece in half. I then rub the open part of the leaf with the fresh gel all over my face and use it as a mask overnight. Aloe is great for soothing skin, fading acne scars, and preventing breakouts.