A few weeks ago, I went to my facialist with a blemish-free, fairly happy skin and got a microdermabrasion. The next day was fine–but two days later, I was breaking out like crazy. I had eaten eggplant for lunch (it’s highly inflammatory and I have a sensitivity to it), but I also didn’t know if microdermabrasion had something to do with it. Some pros at my local clean beauty boutique, CAP Beauty, told me that indeed, facials–and especially exfoliating ones like microderm–can take off the top layer and allow deeper congestion to rise up to the surface.
That is to say, it’s not *causing* your breakouts (they would have come out eventually), but they can unveil them. Anywaysss, it was still really frustrating because it wasn’t the result I wanted, right?!
By some miracle, however, I spotted Acne Answer by Marie Veronique at CAP Beauty, and Dumplings, this little green book has changed *everything* for me. It was one of the best uses of my $20 ever!! To go deep into the Marie Veronique protocol requires another article altogether. A former chemist and current natural skincare brand CEO, Marie Veronique lays out exactly what causes adult acne and even rosacea from a biochemical and microbiological standpoint.
It felt incredibly cathartic to feel understood by a scientific authority that I’m not just imagining my problems–Marie confirms that the number of adult women reporting adult acne and rosacea is increasing, and points to factors like stress, pollution, even climate change and electromagnetic fields (Wifi, cellphone) as additional culprits. So it’s not just that I’m incorrigibly inept and have malfunctioning epidermis–it feels good to be able to blame other things, gah.
What’s more, I started using her natural remedies that day and my skin showed immediate improvements. Last night, however, as I was finishing up work on my couch, I felt itchiness on my cheek and looked up to see an angry zit forming. (Could be because of PMS, or 1.5 cocktails I had earlier…sigh). I closed my laptop and jumped to do my Acne Protocol. And I swear to you, when I woke up this morning this baby monster zit was nipped in the bud, and my cheek was porcelain clear.
When you feel itchiness, redness, inflammation–aka the first signs of a breakout, stop everything you’re doing and follow these steps for clear skin.
Acne Protocol for Clear Skin Overnight
- Cleanse with yogurt–first, wash your *hands* thoroughly with water and soap. Towel dry your hands. *Then* dip your clean finger into the yogurt cleanser (I will go over how to make this, below). Dab about a teaspoon onto your face and massage well for 1-2 minutes, paying special attention to your problem areas, nose, chin, and blemish. Note: It’s not necessary to use any other cleanser or even to wet your face before, if you’re using this yogurt as a cleanser and not a mask. It’s enough to take off all your debris and makeup in one step unless you’re wearing eye makeup. Rinse thoroughly with tepid water, pat dry.
- Mist with a calming antioxidant-rich toner–acne-forming bacteria love a pH of neutral to basic. Healthy skin is slightly acidic, which is why it’s important to set your pH with toner. Don’t skip this step.
- Add serum and moisturize as usual–you can use your normal products here if you have good ones you like already, going from more hydrating formulas to more oily formulas.
- Spot-treat with zinc oxide / calming oil combo–I’ve written before several times about my love of Earthwise Beauty’s Farizad’s Veil, which is pure zinc oxide plus aloe leaf powder, among other botanicals. Turns out Marie Veronique confirms what I already experienced about how it makes my skin *better* instead of clogging it up like other sunscreens–zinc oxide is a major anti-inflammatory agent. Mix a pinch of Farizad’s Veil or another zinc oxide powder, with a noncomedogenic oil with anti-inflammatory properties on the back of your hand. I used Aimee Raupp Blemish Be Gone oil, which is olive oil based with tea tree (antibacterial, antifungal), parsley (antibacterial, anti fungal), blue chamomile, willow bark (aka natural salicylic acid), etc. Another oil I can recommend is Desert Essence Blemish Stick. Both of these are under $10 and work like magic. If you want, you can also add a drop of tea tree essential oil to your all-purpose facial oil and use this to mix zinc oxide.
- Feel free to spread your zinc oxide mixture to anywhere you experience redness, rosacea, or eczema, because the formula I’m giving you is actually designed to treat all those. Go to sleep in peace and wake up to your beautiful, calm skin!
According to Marie Veronique, people who suffer from rosacea or advanced acne have higher demodex folliculorum (microscopic mites) population than normal. Yes, most adults have tiny mites living inside our pores, and I don’t know why this isn’t more widely known. Here’s a BBC article if you don’t believe me–the most serious name in journalism! The yogurt cleanser I describe above is actually designed to kill these mites, and can be used as a mask. If using as a mask, simply put on a clean face and let dry for 15 minutes, then wash off.
Mitecide Yogurt Mask / Cleanser
What you’ll need:
1 Cup Non-dairy yogurt with live probiotics (I used So Delicious brand coconut yogurt, unsweetened because you don’t want sugar, trust)
10 drops tea tree oil (Marie suggests you look for Australian tea tree oil for the best effect)
1 TBSP mung bean powder or chickpea powder (I used chickpea flour which is what I had at home already, phew)
- Mix all ingredients together and keep in a glass jar. I use a mini Mason jar–super cute.
Do you have any secrets for naturally treating acne?
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