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Hi there, Jeanster!

I also had adult acne for about 6 years that's finally cleared up - I think my BC pills were causing part of the problem, but there's other factors as well. I'm 33 years old now, so it's been a while since I've felt confident about my appearance. Here's a little background on my experience:

Skin is naturally acidic. Bacteria on the other hand prefer an alkaline environment - soap, unfortunately, is alkaline in nature. Getting rid of the oil on your face is the last thing you want to do because it destroys the acid mantel and dries out your skin. That's why scrubbing the skin often causes more problems...your skin then goes into overdrive and produces too much oil which can block pores. The best thing I've found so far is vinegar - preferably apple cider vinegar as white vinegar is a bit too astringent for already damaged skin, although I do use white vinegar for maintenance. It all depends on your skin's tolerance. The best cleanser I've found (quite by accident) is Oil of Olay Foaming Face Cleanser. It specifically says "soap free" on the label and the fragrance-free type is even better.

Every night after I wash my face I splash vinegar into my hand, dilute it halfway with water and rub it all over my face. Yes, it does smell strong, but if you're like me then it's worth it. If you have irritated skin or open sores, the vinegar [I]will[/I] sting. But as the skin heals, the stinging will go away. Vinegar, being highly acidic, repairs the acid mantel and causes your skin to actually absorb and retain water from the air and even flaky skin problems seem to go away. I used to have dry, flakey, bumpy skin on my face as well as oily patches and now it's uniformly baby-bottom soft and totally clear. I use a little aloe vera gel (Banana Boat or Fruit of The Earth is good, but get the kind that's clear, not colored) for additional moisturizing. If you have a painful sore, pure lavendar essential oil is good for the pain and it heals too. Be sure it's pure essential oil tho - artificial fragrances cause problems. I get mine in 1/4 bottles directly from my local herb store at around $4 each - they pour it per purchase so I know it's fresh. A good way to test for purity is to dab a little of the essential oil on a piece of plain dry toilet paper and let it sit overnight. If there's no oil stain in the morning, you're good to go. True, unadulterated essential oils evaporate completely and don't leave residue. And I don't care what anybody says...if you see a core (whitehead), push it out 'til it bleeds. Otherwise the pore stays blocked and the pimple will just come back again. If the pimple is just red and there's no core visible, acne treatments like 5% benzoyl peroxide do help to dry it out quickly. But only use it long enough to shrink the pimple down to a reasonable size. Herb-store quality powdered goldenseal (not the pre-packaged kind at the grocery store)is also good for pimples, visible core or not - dampen the affected area with water and apply the powder directly. Goldenseal turns dark brown and crusty when it dries, so I only use it before bed and I leave it on all night.

I hope that helps - let me know if you want to know anything else. If you start using the soap-free cleanser and vinegar route, you should notice results very quickly. I have very, very sensitive skin so I'm all about natural remedies! :)

-Robyn





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