So here's the deal:
Both of these will fit in my purse, but only one will make my skin pretty!
As a teen, I never had a face full of acne -- just, you know, crooked middle fingers, knobby elbows and doubled jointed knees that landed me the nick-name “banana legs.” I got the occasional zit here and there, but nothing extreme.
So imagine my surprise when, at 22, I got slammed with a terrible case of adult acne. I'm not talking blackheads or a bit of spottyness. I'm talking rush to the mirror and scream like Kevin in "Home Alone" acne. My face was raised, red and seriously angry.
Recently, Rebecca wrote about how having adult acne isn't as big a deal as having teen acne. I do agree that when you're a teen, being insecure in your own skin and seriously worried about how you look -- how that acne is probably the worst.
But it also sucks when you're 24 and trying to meet with a client, run a meeting or heck, even pick up a dude at the bar, and your face looks horredous, you know? You've got more important things to deal with -- things that aren't made any easier with pores so oily they could dress a salad.
Plus, strangers already think I'm 15 -- I just look young like that. A face full of cystic acne does not help matters.
I (purposely) kept no photos of my acne, so here is me as a Rejected Cartoon, courtesy of Don Hertzfeldt
Now, I like to handle my health problems holistically. So at first, I tried chugging water, minimizing stress, keeping my fingers far from my face and all sorts of things that don't involve chemicals -- or, help get rid of acne, apparently. Thanks for nothing, Mother Nature
My acne started to grow acne, and scars began to emerge. I kept resisting the dermatologist, because I knew they would over charge me and try to put me on medication that would make my butt bleed. I know, this story is getting grosser and grosser. But that's the point! It was traumatic, man!
When it got to the point that I had removed every wall mirror in my apartment because the sight of my own skin made me nearly-burst-into-tears-miserable, I threw in my crunchy (sorry; gross again) towel and went to a dermatologist. And another. And another.
After seeing three different doctocs and spending zillions on prescription topicals -- none of which worked -- I found a new derm who practiced both medicinal and holistic medicine.
My new doctor put me on a combination of vitamins that were supposed to make my skin lovely within eight weeks -- the typical length of time it takes for your skin to completely regenerate.
I spent the next two months literally glaring at my face. I'm so impatient! I live in America, where we get what we want NOW!
Just like my doctor said, about nine weeks in, I started noticing less new acne. At about 10 weeks in, the old stuff started to go away. And now, about 16 weeks later, my acne is pretty much gone. The scarring is still there, but it is fading.
Me, 16 weeks after starting my happy skin cocktail! No acne here!
I still get a few new flares every now and then -- usually when I am stressed -- but the acne that once made me remove all the mirrors is no more.
SO. What are the magic pills I was prescribed? Just a combo of vitamins specifically designed to help skin rejuvenation, and one special magic oil that I love so much I would make one of those infomercials featuring me in my pajamas. For free! Seriously.
Here is a run-down of my happy face prescription. (Note: My doctor told me to take this little vitamin cocktail, so it might be best for you to check with yours. Don't OD on vitamins and then say XOJane told you to do it...) [Mwahahahahaha! This is the safest, most precautionary thing an xoJane writer has ever written in any beauty-related article; how charming! Kudos, dear. -- CAT]
VITAMIN A This stuff is magical for your eyes and skin. I have heard rumors [This is not a...rumor, exactly. --Cat] that Accutane is just some weird chemical version of Vitamin A in whopping doses plus butt-bleedy [ENOUGH WITH THAT; UGH! --Cat] chemicals. My vitamin A pills come in a dose of 5000IU. You can overdose on Vitamin A, in which case it will become toxic, but not from the recommended dose.
ZINC I take 50 mg of chelated zinc a day now, and it is wonderful. However, make sure to eat with this pill, or you will vomit. I like to take all my pills before bed with a snack so if I do get a bit queasy, I will be asleep.
The first three weeks on it, I was taking them before breakfast, and was so nauseous by my second cup of coffee I thought I was pregnant and took a frantic pee test in the gym locker room. Yikes!
BORAGE SEED OIL Oh heavenly borage seed oil! This stuff is full of the essential fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid, which reduces inflammation, and slaughtered all of my nasty acne. But the bottle says not to take it while pregnant ... so don't!
VITAMIN E PILLS I know Vitamin E oil is good for putting on top of your skin to clear it from scars, but if you have acne, putting oil on your skin is probably not the way to go. But Vitamin E is an anti-inflammatory, so taking it in pill form can work wonders for acne.
This mix of vitamins is way cheaper than the dermatologist, or whatever creams you're slathering on your face on the reg.
SO, how do you handle your acne? Naturally? Have you ever used borage seed oil or any of this other stuff? Share in the comments section, please!