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Monday, 11 October 2010


Acne need not be a blight on your life - learn how to cope with it using the help of Mother Nature.

Acne can plague even the most beautiful of complexions during certain times of life. Adolescence being the most common. There is no absolute cure for acne or the accompanying blackheads. However I do believe that science has advanced quite a bit with some pretty powerful drugs - but surely only to be contemplated for the most extreme cases.
For many people these few teenage years are simply to be endured and time eventually cures all. For those going through adolescense the best advice that can be given for coping with this difficult period is healthy eating and absolute cleanliness. Keeping a cheerful outlook and not drawing attention to your faults is also to be encouraged.
Before you sigh and then click the back button in disappointment - I was blighted in my teenage years with the most dreadful spots and boils, on my face especially, so I do understand that ‘keeping a cheerful outlook’ is not necessarily helpful advice. And I seem to remember that healthy eating was the most difficult regime to follow, chocolate and cake can fill a void in our lives that we simply don't understand.
It's only now that I am in my 50th decade that I truly understand the connection between appearance and eating well. Plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and lots of water to drink is a very good start. Followed by regular exercise and sweating to cleanse the pores and rid the body of toxins.

But what about when acne doesn't go away after your teenage years are long behind you? This is now attributed to a hormone imbalance - which I assume could be controlled by using, once again, strong medication. Which is not something we all want. I cannot assure you of success by following any of the advice here... but since it is all natural then you have little to risk by giving it a go.Keep yourself spotlessly clean and try not to touch your face so much. You will be suprised how much we paw our faces with dirty fingers! Acne is usually accompanied by very oily skin. To keep this in balance you may wish to use a natural face wash especially if you add sebum regulating essential oils to it. This on it's own could make a lot of difference but better still to use several approaches to ensure the maximum benefit and prospect of hitting on the one that works for you. By the way I have been asked why I won't include pictures of people with acne on this page? Well the answer is simple... it is not for me to diagnose your acne. If you think you have it, check with your doctor or healthcare professional.

Use a natural face wash during the day to remove excess oil. A small amount of cotton wool and the face wash in a little plastic container will suffice (and not take up too much room in your handbag) I suggest the following as a very basic but wonderfully effective face wash.

Hamamelis virginiana - Witch Hazel
Do not be tempted by the witch hazel sold in the chemists shop... these are usually laced with alcohol and are extremely drying to the skin. The real witch hazel is amazing stuff, and not so harsh. It reduces swellings, itching, rashes and scaling of the skin. It is very good for soothing excema and psoriasis and will heal cracked or blistered skin. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Is wonderful on teenage acne but is also very good for mature and dry skins and is considered one of the most useful waters in the fight against signs of aging.

Get Rid of Those Blackheads!

Regular deep cleansing is required in order to free the skin of blackheads. Open pores are prone to accumulate dirt and grime all the time, so frequent deep cleansing may be necessary, whether this is by using a face mask or a gentle natural skin peel or a regular facial sauna. Stubborn black heads can be removed in the following manner. Take a small amount of vegetable oil (any type will do) and massage gently over the blackhead. After a few minutes of this, take a couple of pieces of tissue paper and covering your fingers, gently squeeze on either side of the blackhead. If it does not come out straight away, do not worry. And do not force it you will only scar your skin. Simply repeat the massage with vegetable oil and then try again. If it does not come out on this occasion, allow your skin to calm down for at least 24 hours before trying once again. Repeated attempts will eventually yield success. In between times the rule about strict cleanliness is paramount or you will simply encourage more blackheads to form.

Take a look at my post on Mud Masks for the last word on natural deep cleansing and for a simple recipe that can be tailored to your own requirements.

Why some people get bad acne

...and others do not is surely down to inheritance and the genes that we carry. I understand how debilitating the condition is and would not wish anyone to feel guilty at resorting to the chemical options offered by modern science.There is a temptation while the skin has a propensity to over produce oils, to use harsh products that will totally denude the complexion of all its natural oil. If you do this, the result is that of encouraging the skin to over produce even more in an effort to make up the difference. It's a catch-22 situation.
Although natural remedies can be slow and painstaking and you may be past your teenage years before you see much improvement if you can cope with it in this way it has got to be preferable to using harsh drugs and skin damaging creams. And remember what looks like a Vesuvius erupting on your face to you, will dwindle to insignificance in the eyes of all you meet if you maintain a cheerful disposition.


  1. My boys both have bad acne. Getting better as they grow older but still bad. My eldest suffers terribly from acne on his back which has left big scars.
    We have been several times to dermotologists who gave them pills to take and cream to use, but it only lasted a couple of months. their only solution was to take the very strong treatment with lots of side effects. We all decided they would prefer to live with the spots.
    You talk about witch hazel, where can I buy that from. I am coming back to the uk in a couple of weeks so maybe I could get some.
    We have found thet Dove soap works as well as anything else we have tried.
    I would love to make soap but feel a bit scared of starting. What would you recommend for my boys if - no - when I have a go?
    Love your new blog and good luck. If I lived in the UK I would have a half day course with you.
    Maybe you could look at doing something on skype??

  2. Hi Nearly 50 and trying to be Frugal - I do sympathise, one of my son's was exactly the same and although nearly 30 still has outbreaks - you can get real witchhazel water from most essential oils suppliers (I am pretty sure you will get it in most pharmacies in France - they are quite hot on hydrosols, which is what this is) you should ask for Hamamelis Virginiana. I would recommend a regular use of Rhassoul Mud - this has proved invaluable to my son. It comes from Morocco and I would be suprised if you couldn't get it in France - but you can get it from That's the Sheabutter Cottage site run by Akua Wood (who is a lovely lady and very helpful). It's just the scary bit with the Sodium Hydroxide that people feel they need a helping hand with and unfortunately if you did it through skype you would still be doing it on your own... :-( There are some courses in France... if you would like to know some addresses let me know (courses in English that is).

  3. Yes I would be very interested if you know anyone in France - either in French or English
    I will ask in the pharmacy next time I go if they sell witch hazel
    Thanks for your advice


  4. Hi nearly 50 and frugal - I have listed a couple of courses in France on my post about courses, alas I think they may be quite a distance from you, france is BIG isn't it? But I do recommend them both as excellent courses.


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