The Honey Cleansing Method

Whenever I mention the Oil Cleansing Method or OCM I get a little bit of a push back and fear from my readers. Which is totally understandable. When you have acne you are warned that putting oil on your face does more harm than good.

Also with oil you are never sure how it is going to react with your skin. So I generally suggest that anyone with mild to severe acne hold off until their acne is healed to try OCM.

So what do you use in the meantime? If you do not want to use OCM and using a normal face wash dries out your skin, what is your alternative? Enter the Honey Cleansing Method.

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5 Home Remedies for Acne You Should Never Try!

Doesn’t everyone have an opinion on your acne? Whether it’s a cure they got from somewhere in their tiny brains. Or something they just made up on the spot while talking to you. People certainly have their version of home remedies for acne.

I once had a very unkempt man come up to me in a book store and tell me to apply a paste of soap on my face at night. And leave the paste overnight while I slept. He even told me where I could get the soap, bless him. How nice! Free advice that I did not ask. Let me rephrase that – free dumb advice that I did not ask for!!! I would probably wake up the next day with a disaster on my hands were I to try that.

Another thing that really annoys the hell out of me, is the beauty blogger who shares her cures for acne. Flawless skin with just one spot and she thinks she has the answer for someone who has every inch on their face covered with acne. Having one spot just once a month and having 20 plus spots, every freaking day, are very, very different things.

So here are 5 home remedies for acne, which are better avoided if you want clear and healthy skin.

1. Toothpaste

Toothpaste used to contain a controversial ingredient called Triclosan which was used to kill bacteria in your mouth. The reasoning behind using it for acne was that it could kill the bacteria that caused acne. Triclosan was linked to hormone disruption so it is now avoided in toothpastes.

Toothpaste could also help acne by drying it out, but it would also dry out your skin as well. Using something for brushing your teeth for 2-3 minutes and for teeth that are made from enamel, is very different when using it on delicate facial skin as a spot treatment.

Toothpaste is not a permanent remedy for acne. It may work if you have one spot once in a while. If you have acne on a regular basis toothpaste will not work for you.

2. Baking Soda

Baking soda has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. This is why many home remedies for acne say that baking soda is good for acne.

However, baking soda can mess up healthy skin’s pH level.

The pH scale ranges from 0 to 17. A pH level of 7 is neutral. Anything above 7 is alkaline and below 7 is acidic. The pH level of healthy skin is 4.5 to 5.5. Baking soda has a pH level of 9. Using baking soda on your skin can disrupt the pH level of the skin, strip it of its natural oils and make it sensitive.

Used often it can dry out skin, make your acne worse, cause skin irritation and give you wrinkles.

So think twice next time you hear about using baking soda for your acne.

3. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice has astringent and antiseptic properties. The reasoning behind trying to use it for acne, is that it may help kill the acne causing bacteria and reduce the oil on your skin.

Used on your face when you have a lot of acne, will irritate your acne, make your skin sting like crazy and even make your acne bleed. Nothing good will come out of it. Your skin will be worse than it was before.

Would you use lemon juice on a cut? No you wouldn’t. It would burn like crazy.

Really want to use lemon juice? Squeeze the juice into a glass,top up with water, add a few mint leaves and drink it. You’ll get much more benefit this way.

4. Washing Your Face Frequently

Acne is not dirt that you can wash off. Neither is it caused by dirt. Wash your face more than twice a day and you will be left with dry skin and acne that are even worse.

The oils that cause acne are within your pores and not on the surface of your skin. So even if you wash your face 10 times a day, the blocked pores and the oil within them will not be affected.

5. Popping or Squeezing Your Pimples

I still need to put this one here because although it is not a remedy as such, I still get questions from people asking me if they should squeeze their pimples.

The idea behind this one is that you squeeze out the infection and the pimple will heal.

Instead of healing, what you do when you squeeze your pimple is you push the infection deeper into the skin, which may cause cystic acne and spread the infection. You also traumatize the delicate skin on your face.

Also the acne that heal after you squeeze them will leave a indented scar. The only way to get rid of such a scar is through a medical procedure called subcision, which involves cutting the tissue that causes the indentation. Not worth the trouble of squeezing now is it?


The problem I have with all these remedies for acne is that they are not cures. They are best used as maybe a band-aid cure when you have 1-2 acne in a month. They are not and cannot be used for the rest of your life. This is not a permanent cure for acne.

The bigger problem is that they may cause more harm to your skin which is already not in great shape. Repairing your skin which may be damaged after using any of these remedies, may take years. It did for me. Do you really want that?

The best thing you can do when you have bad acne is nothing.

Here are 3 rules to follow when your acne is particularly bad

  • Do not touch your face
  • Do not irritate it
  • And please do not apply things on it that will make it go crazy!

It is very natural when you have severe acne to try and fight with it. However remember that acne are on your face. Treat your face like a war zone and you are also setting up your skin for permanent damage. It is like bombing your house when your house is infested with termites.

I get it, when you have acne you feel you should be doing something otherwise the acne might not go away. And you’re absolutely right. You should be doing something. Just not with your face though!

You should be drinking green tea or drinking lots of water, or eating a lot of green leafy vegetables, and avoiding sugar and dairy in your diet. Doing this everyday for a week will get you much better results than any of the remedies mentioned above. I know, I have actually done this and do this when I get a bad breakout.

I have written a few blog posts that may help you know what to do next. Just so you do not have to go around my blog searching here they are

  1. How To Calm Down a Cystic Acne Breakout
  2. Why Diet is the First Step to Clear Skin
  3. Foods That Clear Acne

The All Natural Skin Care Routine For Acne

Many of my readers have asked me for an all natural skin care routine for acne. So today, I thought I would write about an all natural skin care routine. I will also share some of my DIY recipes. They will help your acne heal as well as make your skin look good.

Having acne is bad enough. You often wonder if a new product will help your skin heal or irritate it further. More often than not, your skin reacts to everything and not in a good way. In this post you will find what alternatives to use that calm your skin and get it to heal.

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How to Calm Your Skin when you have a Cystic Acne Flare Up

If you have acne you may have been in this situation many times. Your face suddenly takes a turn for the worse. It looks red, feels inflamed and feels like it is on fire. Normal activities like washing your face, brushing your teeth and going out suddenly become these huge hurdles, you just can’t get past. Your face actually hurts because the acne are deep within the skin and cause pain. Even sleeping becomes a problem as the rubbing can cause further irritation.

So what do you do when you have a cystic acne flare up?

1. No applying products and  hands off your face

Yes, you read that right. No applying any products or any ointment. I’ve been down this road more often than I wanted to and I know that nothing works. Nothing you apply to your face at this point is going to help you. Also no touching to feel your face. It’s a common temptation when you have acne, to touch your acne to see how big they are. This does not help and only irritates your skin further.

2. No makeup

Cystic acne

As tempting as it might be to try and cover up, all you will be doing is irritating your skin even further. It will be worse when you have to wash it off and irritate your face all over again. Makeup at this point is just not worth it. You probably will not be able to cover it up. Plus your skin does not need an added irritant at this time. If you do use makeup not only will you irritate your skin applying it, you will irritate it much more when taking it off.

3. Take a Vitamin C supplement

cystic acne flare up

You need to stimulate your immune system to fight this. The best way is to take a Vitamin C supplement. You can try to increase your intake of it through diet but for your skin to calm down you need a much larger dose, more than you can eat in a day. 1000 mg a day will be fine.

4. Have a Green smoothie or eat lots of green vegetables

The best foods for acne are vegetables. More specifically green leafy vegetables which is the best food you can eat when your skin is acting up. Drink it in the form of a smoothie or add them to your diet, any way is perfectly fine. Green leafy vegetables include spinach, fenugreek leaves (methi), broccoli, kale, cabbage, swiss chard, lettuce, watercress, mustard greens.

5. Drink a lot of water

acne

There is a myth out there that drinking water will get rid of your acne by flushing toxins. I have no idea what these toxins are and I also know that drinking water will not cure acne. But what drinking water does is keep your skin hydrated and bring down the redness on your face.

6. No stimulants

Till your skin settles down avoid alcohol and extremely spicy foods. I am not going to ask you to cut out tea and coffee completely but do restrict the amount you drink to 2-3 cups a day.

7. Skip sugar and dairy for a few days.

Sugar and dairy tend to cause inflammation in some people. Cut them out of your diet for a few days till your face settles down. Little milk and sugar in your tea or coffee is fine but no more than that.

8. Calm your skin with cold water

Your face may feel hot and irritated. Splash cold water on your face whenever needed. Avoid excessive heat and hot showers till your skin settles down. Avoid drying your face and let it dry naturally.

 

9. Relax and Remember that your skin will Heal

cystic acne flare upAcne does tend to make us lose perspective of things and we feel really down and depressed. With a few changes your skin can heal properly. When you have acne you feel that life is unfair to you. This is completely normal. While completely understandable you do not have to give in to these feelings. Try and find something that makes you happy and do that. Give meditation a try. It can be beneficial for your life in general.

 

How to Get Rid of Oily Skin

One problem that generally goes hand in hand with acne is oily skin. Skin that looks like it has been drizzled with oil. Besides giving you a sticky feel, oily skin looks dull. You might also have this weird combination of skin being dry as well as oily. This is a common problem when you are battling adult acne. Trying to use makeup when you have this dry and oily combination skin can be a bit of a challenge.

Where does this oil come from ?

The oil or sebum is an oily substance secreted by the sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands are everywhere on your body except your palms and the soles of your feet. Coincidentally there is a greater concentration of sebaceous glands on your face. These glands may be connected to a hair follicle or open up directly onto the surface of your skin. When the pore is filled with sebum or oil it spreads on the surface of the skin to keep it moist and healthy. When the gland keeps producing oil and the pore is blocked with dead skin cells it leads to acne.

Let’s keep something in mind here. This oil to required keep your skin looking good, healthy and protected from infections. Without this oil your skin would be dry and dull and would age faster. What we want is a fresh dewy look but not the sticky and yucky feel that comes with excess oil.

Why does Your Skin Get Oily

Sebaceous glands are controlled by hormones. That is why teens generally get acne as their hormones are fluctuating and since these hormones control the sebaceous glands, excess oil is secreted. This hormonal imbalance sometimes continues or starts in adulthood due to diet, stress, genetics, environmental factors etc. There is no way of knowing which factor or combination of factors causes it. The way I see it, it is generally irrelevant what causes your oily skin or your acne. Focus on fixing the problem.

So How Do We Fix This?

What’s the first thing you do when you have oily skin? Well, wash it of course. A few hours later, your face gets oily again and you wash it again. This cycle continues. You then go looking for face washes meant for oily skin. Face washes meant for oily skin generally tend to be harsher. The cycle of skin being oily and washing continues. This is what I did. Let me tell you that this is one of the worst things you can do when you have oily skin. My skin got sensitive, red and raw. Of course I cannot blame just the washing. I have to put equal amounts of blame on the BP and antibiotics.

There is a lot of advice out there about treating oily skin, that I really do not agree with. The only thing I can say is that all this advice comes from people who have never struggled with either acne or oily skin. The advice ranges from being mildly unhelpful (like do not moisturize oily skin) to completely awful (which says to ask a doctor for Accutane). Using Accutane to stop the oiliness is on the same lines as using dynamite to blow up your house just to kill the cockroaches in it. While washing your face frequently to remove oil may seem like the logical thing to do, it does not really work at stopping the oil. The oil continues to flow to the surface of the skin and the constant washing continues to dry out the skin. The oil can’t just be washed away with a face wash.

How to wash your face

When your face is oily and you keep washing it to remove the oil, the oil glands just create more oil. There are a few ways you can deal with this. One is to stop using face wash completely and just rinse your face with plain water. Of course not everyone will like this method.

I am not sure there is a really mild face wash out there so I suggest using a home made face wash to clean your face.

Plain Honey

Honey is great for acne prone skin when used as a mask or as a face wash. You can apply honey all over your face. Leave it for 15 minutes then wash. If you do not have time just apply a coin size amount all over your damp face, rub gently and wash off. If the honey is too stick mix it with a little water.

DIY Face wash with Honey

Here’s a face wash you can make with honey.

how to get rid of oily skin

1/2 cup honey (preferably organic)

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon jojoba, rosehip, avocado /  1/2 teaspoon tea tree oil

Mix all and keep in a glass jar. Shake well before use. To use apply a coin size amount all over your damp face and wash off.

Oatmeal Face Wash

You can also wash your face using oatmeal. Oats are very soothing to the skin and are often used in creams to provide relief from dry itchy skin. Grind oatmeal and keep it in a jar. Mix one tablespoon of the ground oatmeal in 2 tablespoons of warm water. Rub the paste on your damp face gently and wash off with warm water.

Oil Cleansing Method (OCM)

You can also wash your face using the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM), which although sounds counter-intuitive actually works. This is a bit scary for anyone doing this for the first time. Just keep it as an option though. You can try the above 2 methods for now.

Face Masks for Oily Skin

Honey Face Mask

My favorite face mask for acne, acne scars and oily skin is the one I normally recommend to most of the people who ask me what to use. This is the honey face mask which packs a huge punch.

Clay Mask

how to get rid of oily skin

The other masks that help with oily skin are clay based masks. The best clay for acne prone oily skin is bentonite clay. This clay actually helps control the over production of sebum and unclogs the pores. Over time it even shrinks pores, gives your face a glow and reduces the appearance of scars. Adding green tea to the mask also helps reduce the oil and tone your skin. This is optional.

1 teaspoon bentonite clay

1 teaspoon raw honey

2-3 drops rosehip oil

Water to make a paste ( or green tea )

Mix all the above to form a thick paste. Apply on your face and leave it on for 15 minutes or till it dries. Wash off with warm water.

Do you need a toner?

Most people with oily skin are told that they need to use toner to close the pores to prevent excess oil formation. Most toners contain alcohol which dries out the skin. You do not need a toner. If you feel you really need a toner you can use green tea or rose water. Or try any of the following DIY toners.

Green Tea and Rose Water Toner

To make this toner add equal quantities of rose water and green tea and store in an easy to use bottle in the refrigerator. Use whenever needed. make small quantities as it is better to make this fresh.

Mint toner

Grind a handful of mint leaves and strain the mix. Dilute the mix till it is transparent. Store this in a bottle and use as needed.

Ice Cube

Rub an ice cub all over your face. This has the same effect as a toner does.

Apple Cider Vinegar Toner

I personally would not use this one because I do not like the smell of vinegar. Combine 1 part of apple cider vinegar with 3 parts of water. So for one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar you need to add 3 teaspoons of water.

Does Oily Skin Need Moisturizer?

Many people say that oily skin does not need a moisturizer. Makes sense as your skin is oily enough. But in truth your skin does need all the moisture it can get. So please do use a moisturizer. If you do not want to use it during the day, use it during the night. Any light moisturizer will do fine. Stay away from heavy cream based moisturizers.

Improving Your Diet

Overactive sebaceous glands are due to a hormonal imbalance. This imbalance can be greatly improved by cutting out sugar and dairy from your diet. The side effects of using diet to balance out your hormones are all good – great skin, great hair and good health. Once you cut out sugar and dairy I promise your skin will be a lot less oily.

You do not need to cut out oil from your diet. Oil in your diet does not cause oily skin. Make sure you drink at least 2 litres of water everyday. Adding the juice of one lemon into this water will also help in bringing down the oiliness of your skin.

To conclude it does not take much to reduce the oiliness on your face. A few simple steps go a long way in getting rid of excess oil on your skin.