Monday, August 11, 2008

sweet like honey (and clearer skin)

I've had skin problems since I was eleven years old. It started out as just your standard adolescent pimples. They'd come, they'd go, I'd forget them. I don't remember when it started happening but I eventually developed cystic acne. This was a physical and emotional burden. Cystic acne hurts. My face was swollen and throbbing throughout most of high school and even sometimes since. I would cry sob from the pain and the feeling of disfigurement. That might sound overly dramatic but if you've ever had an acne cyst, surely you can understand. I have a lot of scarring on my face from it so even now when I am occasionally acne and pimple free, my skin is still bumpy and unevenly toned.

I tried a lot of different antibiotics and other medications back then and nothing worked. When a friend would complain about a tiny pimple that would surely disappear and leave no traces behind, I wanted to scream. They had it so easy. I was even questioned about my hygiene. No less than a few times, if I ventured to talk or vent about my skin, someone would say to me, "Nora, why don't you just wash your face?" And I wanted to punch them in theirs.

Once I was out of high school, my skin cleared up a bit, thanks to my lovely birth control (yeah right like I needed that then!) skin and menstrual cycle control pills, Ortho Tri-Cyclen. I actually started getting attention from boys at college and back home after I dropped out and it was flattering and weirrrrrd! I felt pretty, and not just to my mum, for the first time. When I stopped the pills (can't remember why) my skin flared up again and for one reason or another (different types of birth control, pregnancy, breastfeeding, laziness now) I haven't taken them back up.

At my next OB/GYN appointment I'm going to ask about Yaz because (even though I think the name is ridiculous for birth control) it touts help with acne as one of its benefits. I need it again.

The other night I ran out of face wash and I panicked a little. With my skin I can't skip cleansing. I texted Gabe at work to ask him to pick some up on his way home, but he didn't have his phone on him. Without face wash the next morning, I remembered something that had recently been recommended to me by Malisa. She saves a bunch of money and pampers her skin by cleansing with honey and brown sugar! I happened to have just bought honey that week to make glazed carrots, and I didn't have any brown sugar but I'd read honey can work alone. So I tried it.

So really, this post is about using natural products on my skin now, and I also gave you a LOT of background. That's how I roll.

This is how it is to use honey on your face: delicious. Honey smells so good, and it's so soft. I worried about it being too moisturizing but so far has caused no issues that are out of the ordinary for me. My skin isn't looking amazing or anything right now (yet!), but I haven't gotten that tight dryness and little flaky patches like I would get from even the "best" commercial face wash.

I picked up brown sugar yesterday and that helped cut out some of that extra moisture I was feeling from the honey. It also exfoliates without irritating and causing redness. And it smells good to rub it on your face too. (Today when I got out of the shower I asked Gabe if my faced smelled like a cookie; he said no but I like to think it does anyway.) One surprise it gave me was, it's drawing out little blackheads that I have never even seen before, from pores that weren't even very big. Thank you, brown sugah.

So while I may not have that "My skin is glowing!" effect I had read about, the fronts of my cheeks closest to my nose are less red than usual. I am feeling good about my decision to go natural on my face. After years and years of bombarding it with various chemicals and toxins that never even fixed my face anyway, I'm ready to be kinder to it. I am hoping I do see a noticeable improvement in a few weeks.

I also decided to stop wearing my L'Oreal mineral makeup because I want my skin to breathe for a while and really heal from the honey.

Do any of you have any all-natural face and body remedies?


AndreAnna said...

Ugh, I am sorry you had to go through that. 'it seems painful, both physically and emotionally.

Birth control definitely helps my skin, and I use Cetaphil on my face - its free of everything.

I don't have any natural remedies bu the brown sugar thing sounds cool - how do you mix it? whats the ratios?

That Nora Girl said...

I am still trying to work it out to get it just right! I use about a dime-sized amount of honey (except in the shower I use a little more because I wash a bigger area reaching to my neck and chest) and a sprinkle of brown sugar. I am tempted to use more sugar but I know it isn't necessary!

caleyadams said...

Wow, we must be like, skin twins! I can totally relate to everything you said, from the emotional distress in high school to using Ortho Tricyclen to not being able to skip a cleansing, even now that I'm an "adult" and not supposed to be suffering from acne anymore. I feel your pain!!!

One thing that I LOVED about being pregnant (both times) was that for the first time in my life, I had NORMAL skin. That didn't break out. And was soft and pretty (minus the scars all over, but still). Unfortunately, it only lasted 9 months. I want to have lots and lots of babies!

I haven't tried any home/natural remedies- I've been afraid it would just make my skin worse. But thanks to your recommendation, I will definitely be trying the brown sugar and honey.

The Bee Tree said...

Help the honeybees! Prevent the loss of the world food supply.

Learn how you can help cure Colony Collapse Disorder. What is the bee tree?

Melissa said...

haha! Thank you Brown Sugah made me lol!!!

I have bad skin too! ugh. I just may try this... much cheaper too I am sure!

EthansMommy said...

I had cystic acne as a teen as well. I got on accutane. What a scary medicine. It made my skin peel off whenever I just touched something. I will try the honey and brown sugar. Malisa seems like one of the coolest girls ever. I love reading things from her.