Category: Informal Guides From Personal Experience

Getting Rid of Acne

Here’s yet another condition that seems to be a license to print money for skincare companies. I once spent 4 weeks indoors in the height of summer as my acne was so bad so I feel really depressed at the time and money I wasted trying out all the magic solutions. However I eventually worked out what needed to be done, and so far everyone I have advised has seen a big difference.

First of all, you need to split your cure into two phases. First you need to heal up your skin, second you need to prevent further spots. If you try to do both at once it just won’t last.

So first, you need to dry up your skin as much as possible to stop the P acne bacteria feeding off your skin oil (gross!) Also, you need to heal up any broken skin as these keep getting reinfected. Now I always used to think that strong remedies such as 10% benzoyl peroxide were best because more = better. However I realised that you have to be incredibly gently with skin, even if you feel like taking a wire brush to it sometimes! Skin heals rapidly, and if you keep treating it harshly then it’ll start creating scar tissue and pockmarks.

So I stopped using moisturiser, kept skin wipes with me to wipe away any grease throughout the day and started using mineral foundation instead of greasy cosmetics. This is where I accidentally found out how good mineral foundation is for acne. Because it’s pure pigment it simply sits on the skin and does not clog the pores. Also, it absorbs grease too so there’s a double bonus. You just put it on with a blusher brush and maybe touch up once or twice a day if you have REALLY bad marks. You need to get a good quality one, not the so-called mineral makeup sold in the shops. The best (and for once the cheapest) I ever found is from One pot lasts for 3 months and has great coverage.

I also used a low% salicylic acid gel at night to prevent any pores clogging up. The best one I found was the P8N8 sensitive skin serum along with the facial wash and toner, but they may be too pricey for some. So I’d say just buy something that has 2% salicylic acid and NO MOISTURISER to use at night.

So after a few weeks my skin had healed up nicely, but there were still some yucky spots that didn’t go away. These were pores that were infected internally, so they needed to have the infected stuff taken out. It’s important to learn how to pop zits properly, otherwise you leave behind the infected stuff and it creates another zits. First you need to clean your hands. Next just pop it as you normally would to get rid of the pus. Now here comes the important part; you need to get out the hard ‘plug’ of infected stuff that is creating more and more spots. So pinch the skin together a little bit and squeeze the BASE of the spot. It takes a little time but eventually you’ll get the hang of it. You’ll know if you did it correctly if you don’t get a spot the next day in the same place.

So after almost a year of this regime my skin had cleared up considerable, but I still had very dry skin as I was still not using a moisturiser. I slowly stopped using the skin wipes and started cutting down on the P8N8 serum. I just used a basic cleanser and slowly began using a little shea butter in the dryer patches. I sometimes get a few zits now and again (usually when I have eaten Poptarts for some reason) but the really bad acne has gone and the skin marks are all but faded.

I did try prescription remedies but since none of them address the problem (the bacteria and the clogged pores) they don’t cure the problem.

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Getting Rid of Eczema

As with losing weight, eczema is one of those conditions where there is a lot of money to be made by companies selling remedies and potions. Again, I think it’s important to do your research in a library and try everything to see what works for you.

My eczema disappeared when I was 17 as that is when I became a vegetarian, but in retrospect I think it wasn’t cutting out meat that stopped it but rather not being able to eat takeaway food anymore. The fats used in fast food are high in omega 6, which disrupts the balance and makes the skin break out.

I realised this when my eczema came back with a vengeance after my operation. It covered my arms and torso, and just plain did not respond to any creams. I found out two interesting things when I did a little research:

a) Cholesterol is what holds our skin cells together, so if the cholesterol in your body isn’t being converted into the ‘glue’ that holds the skin cells you can end up with high blood cholesterol levels AND very dry skin. Since dry skin cracks it’s not surprising eczema can arise, so a cholesterol test is a good idea.

b) Some types of moisturiser actually make things worse. The more expensive it is the worse it is for your skin. The ones that attract moisture to keep your skin looking smooth are actually drawing water OUT of your skin, and are especially drying if you have an air-conditioned office or home. So sticking with cocoa butter, shea butter, medical grade lanolin, Astral cream and very basic cold creams helped me a great deal. Aqueous cream is best used as a soap rather than a moisturiser.

So with a combination of cocoa and shea butter, low junk food intake (I was on the Pritikin diet) and taking a turmeric supplement to help the skin use the cholesterol properly (not sure if that worked but it made me feel better!) the eczema healed up and went away after about 4 months.

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