During the first few years in my twenties, my skin began going through what my adolescent peers had gone through years prior: acne. One visit to the dermatologist became two then two became four, then all of a sudden I was on a full-blown investigative search for an explanation for what was happening to me. Being told I had "adult acne" didn't quite inform me about what was actually happening to my skin or why certain treatments were recommended. Battling adult acne for years and trying both over-and-under-the-counter skincare medicine + topical / oral treatments left me feeling frustrated, self-conscious and mostly helpless. I'd find myself sharpening my Photoshop skills by clicking away every pimple and scar, and while it did indeed made me feel momentarily better to imagine my face looking smooth and free of breakouts, it didn't actually improve my situation, for obvious reasons.
The fork in the road happened when, on my last dermatologist visit six years ago, the doctor prescribed me Accutane. For those who're not familiar with this drug, it's a Vitamin-A-heavy oral treatment that has tremendous power in attacking breakouts but is also accompanied by harsh and dangerous side effects. I wanted nothing to do with it, which gave room for my journey into natural remedies and gentle regimes to sprout.
I'll begin by conceding that very few things make me feel as satisfied as DIY hacks do. Add to that skin health and we're on a worship-worthy level. I've heard stories all my life about my great-grandmother regularly greeting family members with generous gobbles of honey slathered all over her precious face. The same stories usually ended with everyone agreeing she had an incredibly supple and glowing complexion. So in the midst of searching for answers and yearning for solutions, I reached for the pantry, grabbed the jar of honey and looked at myself in the mirror and said, "This might as well happen." Fast forward six years and I'm a honey-loving DIY-er who paints her face with just about anything in the kitchen. I don't have an official motto for my intense appreciation for natural skin remedies, but if I did, it would be something like, "If it's good for my insides, it's good for my outsides." I'll work on making that sound cooler.
Let's move on to the fun stuff. This is my go-to mask when I want to:
hydrate my skin
bring the glow back
It's truly amazing and you can probably do it with what you have at home RIGHT NOW.
1/2 tablespoon honey (I use this Manuka Honey. Find it here.)
Pinch of turmeric (get the darker variety and make sure you only use a pinch)
2 drops lavender essential oil (optional)
2-3 drops of lemon (optional)
4-5 drops rose witch hazel. Find it here.
This antioxidant-packed mask helps clear acne scars, reduces oil secretion, has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, exfoliates the skin, stimulates cell growth, evens skin tone, treats pigmentation, unclogs pores and protects skin from harmful sun rays among many other benefits.
To use: Take off any clothing you wouldn't want to stain or get sticky and pull your hair back with a headband. Make a paste with all ingredients. Using either the back of a spoon or your fingers, gently lather onto skin, avoiding the eye area. Leave for 10-15 minutes and rinse with warm water. I like softly massaging in circular motion while I rinse as an added step for exfoliating. Use a clean towel or paper towel to pat the skin dry (I wouldn't advise rubbing because a- it's not good for your skin and b- the turmeric will stain fabrics).
There you have it, the ultimate DIY skincare trick I've used for years. My acne still lingers and flares up some times more than others, but natural remedies like this one have made me more in tune with what my skin adores. I hope you give it a try and please keep me in the loop on your natural skincare journey. Wishing you all a loving and radiant day.