Having worked in the beauty industry, Peony loves discussing science-based skincare, as well as Korean and Japanese beauty secrets.
For reference, I have very oily skin—not just the T-zone, but essentially, my entire face. It literally takes about an hour after I’ve cleansed for the slick to form.
I also suffer from whiteheads, blackheads, and deeply embedded comedones (clogged pores) on my cheeks, chin, nose, and occasionally my forehead. I was also blessed with body acne. Sarcasm implied.
In a nutshell, my skin was oily, dehydrated, acne-prone, and sensitive. It was a combination that was inconvenient and demoralizing. I wanted to but was too self-conscious to wear backless dresses. I would go makeup-free, but I felt the need to cover up with concealers—which created a vicious cycle of product irritation on my already sensitive skin.
Power to all the boys and girls who are brave enough to be okay with their bare skin even when they know it’s not perfect. My confidence was just not at that level yet.
So, in this article, I will talk about my skincare regime and the natural products and methods I have used that worked wonders for me. I would be happy to answer any questions regarding my experience, so ask away in the comments below.
Natural Remedies for Acne Problems
It seemed like many people were having success with natural home remedies for acne and problem skin. I figured there’s really no harm in trying since the ingredients were easily obtainable (and often found around the average kitchen pantry).
However, I would admit that they were not overnight successes and do take time. But natural acne cures are unlike harsh chemicals that go in with a vengeance to kill. These home remedies heal your problem skin with a gentle touch over a period of time. Diligence and patience is a virtue.
How to Unclog Pores and Shrink Them
To clear my pores and rid the junk from under my skin, I used Aztec Secret calcium bentonite clay. It is a healing and detoxifying clay that is completely natural (made of volcanic ash) and relatively inexpensive. For less than $10, you can get a substantial 1 lb./450g tub, and because all you’ll need each time is just a small amount, my tub lasted for several months.
How to Use Bentonite Clay for Acne
Depending on my mood (and the mood of my skin), I mix the clay powder with various liquids like raw, organic apple cider vinegar, honey or lemon juice to create a wash-off or peel-off mask for both my face and back. It purges the skin of impurities and soothes any angry red spots that I might be having. As a bonus, I found that it helped shrink my pores too!
When you first try using a bentonite clay mask, you might experience some breakouts. It only happens to some people, so not everyone will, but it is perfectly normal. Bentonite clay is toxin-drawing, so it’s bound to suck out all the junk that has been lurking beneath your skin. After all, that’s what you want to do, remove all the clogs, and it has to come out someway eventually. Fret not; persistence is your (new) friend.
Acne Blemish and Scar Care How-To
There are a couple of methods I use to even out my skin tone from all the acne marks/blemishes—also known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (or PIH). I switch it up so depending on what I have on hand, and also because I want to enjoy the benefits of different methods.
After gently rinsing off the bentonite clay mask with warm water, I add the freshly squeezed juice from half a lemon to some raw honey and apply it to my face. After 10–15 minutes, I'll rinse it off with cool water before moisturizing with jojoba oil.
Lemon juice is a citrus extract that is a natural bleach and mild exfoliator. So, the logic of using this for fading acne scars is:
- Exfoliation: This sloughs off dead skin, whisking some of your old scars away and promoting skin renewal.
- Lightening: This fades hyperpigmentation from PIH over time.
If manual exfoliation is more satisfying for you, another mask I recommend and use is honey (again, 'cause it's just that effective) and some ground oats to create a physical scrub. Gently massage the scrub on your cleansed face and wash off. Easy. The important part is to always be gentle. The skin on the face is thinner than the body, so treat it as such.
Oats have been scientifically proven to calm sensitive skin—some doctors even recommend a soothing oat bath for children when they have chicken pox.
Caution: Oats are not recommended if you have Celiac disease unless you are using gluten-free oats—most “normal” oats have gluten.
Tone and Moisturize Acneic Skin
I tone with witch hazel and rose water mix. Witch hazel is a natural astringent with anti-inflammatory properties and is great for reducing redness. It also locks in moisture to improve skin hydration. When your skin is properly hydrated, it functions at its prime and heals faster.
Rosewater, on the other hand, is suitable for all skin types; it is calming and soothes skin irritations. Furthermore, it has been reported to fight signs of aging. Get yourself rose water that is made from rose petals and distilled water only; it's simple but effective and free of chemicals or irritating ingredients. Just remember to get rose water and not rose syrup!
So there you have it. Together with a healthy lifestyle, balanced meals, and drinking plenty of water, these were the natural ways that got my skin on the road to recovery and, eventually, clear of acne.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2013 Peony
Peony (author) on August 30, 2019:
@Wuzi jay - Without knowing your current skin condition and lifestyle habits, it's hard to say how slow or quick healing might take. If you feel that what you've been doing is working, then keep it up! Don't worry too much about it returning (stress causes breakouts for some) if you've already got a tried and tested way which fits YOU and keeps YOUR skin happy. Hope that helps!
Wuzi jay on August 29, 2019:
Thank you so much the egg whites are working but i fear it might come back and how long is it gonna take to heal cause i cant wait
Peony (author) on September 01, 2013:
@ Shelly - Thanks (:
I wouldn't say that I was very strict about it (I don't normally eat a lot of oily or junk food prior to this, and I still had skin problems), but I did make a conscious effort to drink lots of water and to up my veggie and fruit intake!
shelly on August 31, 2013:
Great article. :)
I have some questions though: How about controlling your diet? Did you avoid oily foods and junk?
Peony (author) on August 14, 2013:
@ Rosie writes - Thanks for reading! Yes, please do, I still use it as a mask now after my skin's all cleared. It has awesome deep cleansing powers.
Audrey Surma from Virginia on August 14, 2013:
Excellent advise here. Thanks for sharing your personal remedies. I had read about the Bentonite Clay and will be trying that out.
Peony (author) on August 13, 2013:
@ jammin009 - Thank you for mentioning that! It almost slipped my mind how amazing aloe vera is (even for hair), I'm glad that your acne is under control, I know how great that feels (:
Peony (author) on August 13, 2013:
@ younghopes - Thank you! I agree, and it smells so good too (:
jammin009 from visayas on August 13, 2013:
Great article! Thank you for the informative and detailed steps. Will surely try some of these natural remedies. Currently, I'm taking a high dose of vitamin A to keep my acne at bay and it works great. You might also want to try fresh aloe vera. It is great as a face mask.
Shadaan Alam from India on August 13, 2013:
Rosewater is surely the best toner and it really makes the skin glow, useful hub, voted up