In the era where acne treatment industry makes millions of dollars on yearly basis and goes as far as to claim that it “owns” acne, they are yet to find a cure. Of course, the most reasonable thing to do, if you suffer from any skin condition, is to find and visit a good dermatologist who will happily answer all your questions and provide treatment specific to your needs. This can change if you don’t have insurance coverage or your doctor does not turn out to be as awesome as expected, which is what happened to me. I saw few doctors, with great reputations and who did very little for me. One ruined my skin after prescribing oral hormones (which also made me gain 20 pounds and turned me into a psycho) second tried to poison me with antibiotics and third one left my skin so dry that I wished my pizza face came back as anything would be better than constant peeling which cannot be covered by any makeup. None of those doctors bothered to spend more than 5 minutes in the exam room. So I officially gave up and tried to find something that works for me and doesn’t require prescription or a once-every-three- weeks-$300 visit at a dermatology center.
First, one thing I cannot live without and that has helped to clear my very painful cystic acne: good old fish oil. I take Dr. Perricone’s Omega 3 derived from sockeye salmon. I take three a day and have been taking them for almost a year, and I can’t imagine running out of these. Not only did they help my skin, but they also help my mood and have completely eliminated any pms-like symptoms, both pain and emotional ones. I call them magic pills, because whenever I feel like I’m about to start crying or yell at someone I just take one and they calm me down (sephora.com actually describes this supplement as: “designed to elevate mood, regulate weight, and support cardiovascular health. It provides a multitude of benefits for the skin and the whole body.“) They are pretty pricey (about $40.00 for 90 softgels, a month supply if you take 3times a day), but I am too afraid to try any other Omega3’s and definitely think that these are worth every penny!
Second product that helped me get rid of cystic acne is Gunilla of Sweden Lerosett clay mask. It’s an organic product I found online, I also tried a face wash and a lotion, but didn’t like them as much. This mask literally sucks everything out of your pores and you can feel it do its job. At first, my skin broke out horribly and I couldn’t stand to have this mask on my face because it was so itchy, but the instructions indicated to continue to use at least for a month, which I did. It literally caused the cysts to mature over night (which usually takes weeks) and eventually cleared my skin. After my skin cleared I continued to use at least once every two weeks just to maintain it. Whenever I get a sudden breakout, I can always rely on this stuff, I just use it as a spot treatment and it works wonders.
Another mask that I love is Origins Clear Improvement active charcoal mask and it is great at clearing out the pores. I use it once every two weeks or whenever my skin needs a little boost. Recently I also splurged and bought the Glam Glow mud mask and I think I finally found a product that will help to get rid of blackheads (I hate this name!!!!) on my nose. It acts as a mask and a scrub and it smells amazing. After only one use my skin was so smooth and bright and it gets better with each use.
Whenever my skin gets super oily, I use Salicylic 20 gel peel. The process is quite uncomfortable and not recommended for someone who does not have any previous experience with professional entry level peels or isn’t comfortable with using such products on their skin. After use my skin is itchy for a bit but then remains shine-free for days and I also use it as a spot treatment if I have a breakout and it dries it fast and speeds up the healing process. When using peels such as this one, it is definitely recommended that directions be followed very carefully!
Finally, my two favorite moisturizers. After treatments with Salicylic peel or Lerosett mask, my skin is often left feeling tight and dry, that’s when I use my Josie Maran’s Argan Oil. Even though it is an oil, it does not interfere with acne, it actually helps the healing process and helps reduce the dark marks. I also love using it under my eyes, my hair or mixing it with my body lotion, use it as a cuticle oil, it’s a very versatile product and it never disappoints. Another moisturizer that I really like is boscia’s Revitalizing Black Hydration Gel. It’s very moisturizing, it minimizes pores, and does not break me out at the same time. It has a very soothing effect on my skin whenever it gets irritated.