Acne happens, it's natural, but here's how to treat it
By: Raquel Van Ry
Real talk: Acne is normal. Just about everyone gets it. It sucks, but it’s about time we normalize textured skin. I’ve struggled with acne since I was 16 years old. I’d get painful cystic acne around my mouth and chin, on my back and booty, and had an endless spread of zits and black heads on my forehead and nose. While my fellow classmates had a year or two of acne before it cleared up, I struggled as it grew worse and worse and was convinced the whole world was judging me for it. I tried all of the over-the-counter acne creams under the sun and absolutely NOTHING worked.
I went to a dermatologist and they prescribed me harsh prescription creams and my skin grew worse and more sensitive. It wasn’t until I resorted to the revered Accutane for an entire year that I noticed a decrease in my acne, but not without side effects like dry eyes, sensitive skin and some liver damage. I don’t regret my decision to use Accutane as it did what it I wanted it to, it’s just that the side effects are extra baggage that I didn’t sign up for, and I wish I’d tried natural products before and during my Accutane journey. Since completing Accutane, I vowed to myself that I’d embrace my natural skin and do my body a favour by trying natural products first, and boy am I happy with the results! While Accutane was effective in eradicating most of my acne, I still do get a breakout from time to time, and I’ve learned to effectively treat my acne with natural oils, here are my favourites.
Chances are you’ve seen a facemask or a facial cleanser with the words “tea tree oil” on it, and chances are the product left your skin dry and sensitive and didn’t do much to treat your acne. Many products out there have fillers and harmful sulfates that do more damage than good, which is why sourcing out single key ingredients like tea tree essential oil is the best way to go. Tea tree has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, so it kills acne-causing bacteria on contact and prevents it from spreading and creating new modules. Additionally, tea tree dries out acne nodules and helps to unclog pores so that blemishes can heal. Just remember that essential oils are extremely potent and should never be applied directly to your skin. To use, dilute 2-3 drops of tea tree in 1-2 pumps of an acne-safe oil like hempseed oil, and apply it to the affected area(s). The tea tree oil will combat acne while the hempseed oil keeps the skin healthy and balances your skin’s oil production.
Lavender isn’t just a pretty scent, it also has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It kills bacteria and speeds up the healing process of blemishes while soothing redness and painful acne nodules. Unlike pretty well every other essential oil, lavender essential oil is safe to apply directly to your skin, although it can be diluted in a carrier oil like jojoba oil for additional healing and moisturizing benefits and to balance the skin’s oil production.
While the above oils are the best acne-fighting oils out there, patchouli essential oil is the best oil for everyday use. It’s a natural fungicide and it effectively disinfects open wounds, while speeding up healing and adding moisture to the skin. A common misconception is that acne needs to be “dried out”, but this is false – when our skin is dry, it sends messages to the brain to send out more moisture which results in additional oil production and more clogged pores (aka. Acne). Long story short, if you’re treating acne, make sure you target the individual acne nodules without over-drying your skin. Oils like patchouli will naturally cleanse the skin to prevent acne growth while simultaneously calming any blemishes or irritation. To use, dilute 2-3 drops of patchouli in grapeseed oil for extra moisture, and leave it on the affected areas overnight.
Want to up your acne care game? On our website you can shop by skin type, just click “Shop” then “acne-prone skin” to see all of the acne-friendly products Vellum has to offer. Shoot us an email or comment below if you need any help determining which products are best for you.