Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday

I have teenagers and "teenagers" means acne, at least some of the time.

Over the counter medications are pretty good--you can't find much from a prescription that beats this:
1. Cleanse with Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash in the orange tube (2% salicylic acid)
2. Moisturize with Clean and Clear Dual Action Moisturizer (oil free, also contains salicylic acid)
3. Treat spots individually with Clearasil (10% benzoil peroxide)

The problem is acne on the chest, back and shoulders, because both salicylic acid and benzoil peroxide bleach out fabrics and ruin them, and you may notice that they are the active ingredients in the entire regimen listed above. We can live with ruining our washcloths, towels, pillowcases and sheets. But it is a sad thing to ruin all your clothes.

I have come up with a solution that I believe is actually worthy of a Works for Me Wednesday post: Homemade Acne Wipes.

To make these, you need:
  • a small rectangular plastic storage container
  • plain white paper towels
  • isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol)
  • pure water (if your water is iffy, use distilled)
  • tea tree oil
  • vitamin E capsules (200 IU USP)
Cut each paper towel in half and fold each half like a tissue, to fit into the plastic container. Make sure that the top edge is folded to only somewhere in the center of the wipe, not all the way to the edge of the container, so it will be easy to grab.
Put the folded paper towel things into the container one at a time. To each one, add:
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1 tsp rubbing alcohol
  • approximately four drops of tea tree oil
  • the contents of one vitamin E capsule, snipped and squeezed out
I think it is important to apply the ingredients to each wipe separately, to ensure the best absorption of the proper ratios. I always make these in multiples of seven, so they last through weeks nicely. Store, covered tightly. Both the alcohol and the tea tree oil will naturally preserve these wipes for much longer than it takes to use them up.
To use, cleanse the area affected with acne with a wipe two times per day. Do not rinse off. This solution is perfectly safe for your clothing.
In addition, once per day, apply a mask of Neutrogena Clear Pore Mask/Cleanser (3.5 % benzoil peroxide) for 10-20 minutes. Wash off in the shower, using the Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash as a body wash over the affected area.
Before bed, after cleansing, apply a layer of pure tea tree oil to entire affected area.
Also, take a good multi vitamin and be sure to drink 64 ounces of good, pure water every day.
This system will take 2 or 3 weeks to show thorough results, but I have been amazed at what I have invented here. My kids say I should market it and make a lot of money. If only I had some entrepreneurial spirit. I'm too sharing and giving.
I have to say, we had gotten to the point where we spent over $125 on a prescription ointment, but it didn't work at all, and these wipes have been wonderful.
Check out more WFMW posts at Rocks in My Dryer.

10/19/2016 -- Update
I've since found that nurturing your skin and caring for it very gently is even more effective.  One of the worst things for skin, in my experience, is SLS (Sodium laurel sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate--this is in virtually all facewashes and most bar soaps).  My current recommended skin care routine is this:

Morning: (1) Wash with Yardley Oatmeal and Almond bar soap. (2) Apply lavender EE, arnica gel and calendula gel to any blemishes.  (3) Moisturize with St. Ives Timeless Skin Collagen Elastin Facial Moisturizer.

Evening:  (1) Use raw honey as a mask on your face: apply and let sit for 3-20 minutes depending on how long you have, then rinse off with warm water.  (2)  Apply lavender EE, arnica gel and calendula gel to any blemishes.  (3)  Moisturize by pouring about 1/4 tsp. castor oil (yes the laxative) into your palm and adding a couple of drops of lavender EE.  Massage this into your face and neck.  If you are having blemishes, you can add a drop of tea tree oil to this mixture.

The wipes above are still good for body acne, but if you use Yardley Oatmeal and Almond bar soap in the shower, you may not need them.


Lisa said...

I have found another way to treat acne that is inexpensive as well.
Using a Qtip put Listerine on a zit and it will decrease in size greatly by morning. I have tried this and I know it works. I am allergic to Benzoyl Peroxide and have been since I was a teen. I am 40 now and still get the occassional pimple. I started using the Listerine and have found it to work very well.

It kills the bacteria in you mouth so why not your face?


ruth said...

It is probably the alcohol in the Listerine that works. I suppose you could also try Windex ("My Big Fat Greek Wedding"). I've never been able to bring myself to that, though.

Peach said...

sassafras tea is something that really helped me when I was a teenager with acne. :)