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Natural Skin Care Secrets

     
Lately, I have noticed that my skin is getting worse. I have been breaking out much more frequently than usual. These breakouts are not hormonal, and although it has taken me awhile, I had to break a few bad habits. I started eating healthier by cutting out the junk food, soda, and late-night eating. Exercise has replaced laziness (sometimes), and I have been drinking at least two water bottles a day. Despite these changes, I have not seemed to conquer my acne and it is beyond frustrating, as most of you know.

     I have been to the dermatologist who helped somewhat. However, most of you know insurance companies cover hardly anything and we are poor college students. Who can afford the medication? My last choice was to self-medicate myself with acne-control from companies like Biore, Neutrogena, Botanics, etc. Nothing seemed to work, until I read online that acne could be taken care of with natural ingredients. This article is not to bash on these products, if it works for you, more power to you. I am no expert, however some of these remedies have helped myself and others. This article is for those who may want to try a different skincare routine.

Oily Skin
     The first possible skincare routines are natural masks for those who have oily skin. Oily skin is especially irritating because blackheads are more likely to appear. The following masks can be mixed with one another and be left on for 10-15 minutes.

     Honey-According to benefits of honey.com, honey is antibacterial, has antioxidants and absorbs moisture in the air, which is essential for those with oily skin. It also softens up your skin. Mix a tablespoon of honey (or a bit more if you feel it’s not enough) and an egg white with a drop of your favorite essential oil. Egg whites, especially combined with honey help tighten up pores.

     Tea Tree Oil-Tea tree oil is anti-bacterial and fights off infections, bacteria, and helps reduce acne. However, it is strong and can be irritating for those with sensitive skin. According to Allnatural28 on YouTube, you can dilute tea tree oil and still have it be effective. Take one part tea tree oil to nine parts of water. This does not need to be washed off unlike the other masks.

     Turmeric Powder-According to Healthdiaries.com, turmeric has many beneficial uses for the body as well as skin. It is anti-inflammatory, naturally antiseptic, antibacterial, and much more. Mix a bit of turmeric powder with chickpea flour and add a bit of plain yogurt which helps minimize pores. But be careful, it stains.

Dry Skin
     Dry skin can be painful, itchy, and make your skin look red and flaky. A few of these remedies have been known to help

     Tea tree oil-This can also be used on those with dry skin. Switch water with aloe Vera gel and follow the same steps as in the oily skin routine.

     Avocado-Not only is avocado delicious and nutritious, it is also an excellent moisturizer that helps maintain skin tone, says Andrew Chevallier from Encyclopedia of Medical Plants. Mash and mix ½ avocado and ¼ of honey for ten minutes, then wash off with lukewarm water.

     Dark Chocolate– Chocolate has proved once again that it can do no wrong. Dark chocolate is full with antioxidants and helps keep your skin smooth and firm according to Sabah Karimi of DivaVillage. Break a bar of your dark chocolate, place it in a double boiler, and let it melt. Once melted, mix in one cup of milk and 3tbsp of salt. Once cooled, apply the mask to your face for twenty minutes. Once done, rinse your face with both water and soap.

Acne Scars
     Acne scars are like stretch marks. Once there, they are permanent, hideous, and embarrassing. While natural remedies may not be able to cure acne scars, they can help treat them.

     Tomato Juice-Tomatoes in general are good for your skin. They help in shrinking pores, healing acne, work as a sunscreen, help protect against cellular damage, etc. Squeeze out the juice from the tomato. Then, just dip the tip of your finger and rub over the area. For a more effective method, try mashing up the tomato with avocado and add a bit of lemon.

     Ice Cubes– Ice cubes are cheap and easy to get. It also works on any skin type and helps with inflammation, as many of you know if you have ever had an injury where ice was used as a healing method. This is a quick fix.
     
     Olive Oil– It would be better to use Extra-Virgin Olive Oil to help soften up the dead tissue on the affected areas. Olive oil has been known as an anti-inflammatory agent and helps get rid of dirt. Massage olive oil over the affected areas and rinse away with a towel. You can also mix a few drops of olive oil and mix it with three drops of tea tree oil.

*Those who do not have sensitive skin may also want to use rosewater mixed with sandalwood paste as it helps clear up acne as well as fade away scars.

     There are many more acne type problems out there that natural ingredients can help cure. Remember that everyone has different skin and if none of these ingredients work, there are much more natural ingredients you can search on the Internet. Although natural medicine can be just as effective as chemical-based medicine, it does not work for everyone. If you see no changes in four weeks and your acne is severe, a dermatologist may be better suited for you. With any product, if any of these ingredients irritate your skin, discontinue it immediately.

     Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes when it comes to skin care. You must be persistent, no matter which skin-care path you choose in addition to properly cleaning and moisturizing your face. Remember that drinking plenty of water, eating a good diet, and getting enough sleep will be more effective with any product. As long as the product works for your skin and it makes you feel comfortable, nothing can hold you and your glowing, refreshed skin back.
 

Samantha Saenz is a senior at Pitt. She is a Communication Science and Disorders major with a theatre minor. Sam loves movies and great TV shows and will probably write about it at least 90% of the time. She is in Pitt Ballet Club and has enjoyed her time with the girls from HerCampus Pitt.
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