A lucky handful of us get to kiss acne good-bye forever when we grow up. Me? Not so much. Particularly during periods (pun intended) of hormonal flux, I find myself fixated on the lumps and bumps that congregate around my chin.
I’m not alone. According to Total Beauty, 54 percent of women over 25 suffer from acne, in some form or another.
Unfortunately, most of us resort to a harsh chemical acne remedy to treat it. But it just doesn’t make sense that blemish-free skin would come from an acne remedy made with chemicals that irritate it, right? Or maybe it does, if you’re selling products to consumers that create the exact problem you’re claiming to solve, thus creating a perpetual market for what you’re selling. Hmmm…
Fortunately, I’ve found a skin-care regimen of kinder, gentler acne remedy products that actually work—without toxic chemicals.
It just doesn’t make sense to me that blemish-free skin would come from an acne remedy made with chemicals that irritate it. First of all, you want to avoid triclosan, an antibacterial agent associated with endocrine disruption, organ-system toxicity and, ironically, skin irritation. Also, stay away from polyethylene, a binding and bulking agent that’s also a known organ-system toxin and skin irritant. Add to the hot list parabens and synthetic fragrance—two of my favorite red flags to watch out for. Unfortunately, I’ve never seen a conventional acne remedy that isn’t loaded with ’em.
Then look for a cleanser with a high concentration of salicylic acid, like Burt’s Bees Acne Purifying Gel Cleanser, which I use daily. Because salicylic has been used for so many years in conjunction with chemical-based skincare lines, it gets a bad rap by association. But the substance is actually a plant hormone, chemically analogous to aspirin, which in its natural state regulates growth and fights germs. It works by speeding up skin cell turnover, preventing pores from clogging up and allowing room for new cell growth.
The trick is in the regimen:
Suds up at night to get the cleanest skin possible—no milky cleansers, please.
Follow by toning with something that cuts the oil but doesn’t dry out the skin. (I like the convenience of Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes)
Once or twice a week, exfoliate with brown sugar after cleansing.
Once or twice a week, slather on raw organic honey and let it sit on your face as a mask for 10 minutes—it’s a miracle for calming irritation and hydrating skin without clogging pores.
Every morning, tone without washing first. Then, get ready to glow!
Photo: Total Beauty