I basically called my mom for help. Except when I say mom, I mean an esthetician.
Bacne is among one of my least favorite parts of life. Mine doesn’t have any clear triggers or sensitivities, just a recurring cycle of clogged pores and pimples, and then scarring.
As confident as I am about my looks, I will do anything to detract visibility from a breakout on my face or back, my two trouble areas. One thing I know is that I simply cannot treat my back with the care that I do my face. I mean, you simply can’t reach your back with the same ease as your face.
This means that treating breakouts can be that much more frustrating in such a tricky area. Though I haven’t yet conquered this problem entirely, I know that there are a few things that I can do to help the situation, even when it’s raging back there.
When the temperature is over 80, I usually have my whole back out. I live for a good halter top, and since I rarely wear a bra, that is one of the easiest things to wear. The acne doesn’t stop me from wearing them, but I know I feel much more sexy when there isn’t a new crop of whiteheads hanging out on my shoulder. Luckily for me, shamelessly exposing these zits to the sun helps them go down.
As a vegetarian, I am always low on something. It’s just the way it is for me, but since I am not comfortable changing my diet, I need to supplement certain vitamins, especially vitamin D in the winter. When I don’t have enough, aside from aches and pains, I experience an uptick in acne on my back and forehead.
My doctor usually prescribes me some high-dose D3. After a bit of research, I decided it makes more sense for me to use a sublingual high-potency version instead of risking pill vs. stomach acid.
I've told you guys about my love of skin brushing, but I must admit, when it's cold I really slack on this. I always pay the price when I do, for just a few days without a scrub turns up a new pimple.
I dash a drop of rosemary or thyme essential oil on my hand and all over the bristles before scrubbing for two to three minutes. A scrubber with a long handle reaches all of the parts of your back that are hard to do a good job on.
Getting that dead skin off is really important. Any therapeutic treatment you apply has a harder time when it needs to penetrate through layers of dead skin first. The exfoliation also prevents dead skin cells from clogging your pores. Taking a good look at almost anyone’s back will reveal at least a few blackheads, guaranteed.
AFRICAN BLACK SOAP
I had never settled for one kind of body wash or soap until I tried this stuff. It helps with breakouts immensely no matter where they are. African Black soap is a broad term, but it is based off of a traditional recipe from Ghana involving plant ash and oils or butters. It's a common folk remedy for lumps, bumps, cysts, and even used as an all natural cancer treatment by holistic doctors. Sometimes the soap is also made with the ashes of cocoa pods, banana leaves, and shea bark. After the ashes are hydrated and filtered, they are cooked with either palm oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, or a mixture of these to create the soap.
It really does wonders. I have been using it for about two years now. It lathers fantastically, and you only need a small amount to wash your whole body.After using it, skin feels tighter and very clean, but once you moisturize you really feel a difference. Coupled with scrub gloves and a scrubbing cloth, I get my back and shoulders THOROUGHLY with this stuff.
Last but not least, I make my own body toner.
This was a game changer. Before using this, I had some seriously painful breakouts. Just one use reduced the size of the zits enough to keep me using this formula for up to three years and improving on it.
The basic recipe is 50% water to 50% ACV, but I will warn, you, if you aren’t used to it, it can sting a little, especially on freshly shaved legs or inflamed blemishes. Personally, I am used to it, but you can start at 25% dilution and work your way up to 50%.
Based on the size container you use and the level of dilution you want, (3 ounces or larger works best if you will be doing your whole body, which sometimes I do) add the following to a spray bottle:
• 50% apple cider vinegar (preferably organic and unpasteurized)
• 50% water (distilled, filtered and boiled or hydrosol)
• 10-15% l-ascorbic acid powder
• few drops of thyme essential oil
• 1tsp of vegetable glycerin per ounce of liquid (sneaky moisturizer!)
• a few mL of your favorite herbal tincture to fight acne, such as turmeric or myrrh
Although this can smell funny for a few minutes--you can add some other essential oils to combat this--but know that the vinegar scent will evaporate very quickly. This is why I just generously spray this all over my face (with eyes closed!), body, and hair.
When lemon variegated thyme is in season, it makes this stuff smell amazing! You can infuse herbs into the vinegar before making your solution by using the same principles as an alcohol tincture.
Hopefully this clears things up for you… literally.