Esthetician

Kitchen Esthetician or How to Navigate Acne DIY

Working on my Adult Acne Online Coaching program, helping
people adjust their home routines to clear their breakout issues, coming across
some kind of DIY facial oil, mask or cleansing oil is an almost daily
occurrence.  Between Pinterest, beauty
blogs and Facebook, the skincare consumer is bombarded with all sorts of advice
on how best to deal with acne in general, but particularly on how to save money
and health by making your own products right in your own kitchen.  I can’t blame anyone for trying these
things.  Who can possibly object to
saving money and guarding their health?
There are three problems with the logic here.

Depending on the ingredients, ounce for ounce you may not
actually be saving that much money.  Take,
let’s say, an oil cleanser containing coconut oil, jojoba oil and argan
oil.  You could easily spend $20 to make
a 4oz bottle of oil cleanser, and that’s just with these three oils alone – add up
to $5 more for the essential oils often added. 
More importantly, this doesn’t even come close to the money that has to
be spent afterwards on extra products necessary to clear the acne caused by the
Kitchen Esthetician Syndrome!

The scare mongers also have it wrong;
aside from the fact that
the skincare industry
is not out to get you!!
we have to be sure we’re really clear on what we
mean by “natural” and “chemical”.
  I’ve
written
extensively about this, I really think you should check it out, there’s
some great info there.
  Not all
“natural” ingredients are good, and not all “chemicals” are bad.
  Want a real scare ?  Try using a moldy product with natural
ingredients sitting in your bathroom for two weeks after purchasing because the
product is handcrafted and has no preservatives.
 Mold and other microbial infestations don’t
always have a color or odor at their beginning.
The vast majority of the time, the ingredients suggested for
DIY skincare, and especially DIY acne care, are absolutely horrific for
acne!  Here’s why:
Human skin produces oils, lipids and waxes that mix with
dead skin cells to create a special natural barrier that is meant to keep water
inside our skin while at the same time preventing it from becoming
water-logged, keep it pliable and soft, and keep many types of microbes from
invading our bodies.  Some call this
barrier the Acid Mantle, because it has a naturally low pH (which means your
skin is actually slightly acidic).
When the Acid Mantle is intact, the skin functions normally
and stays youthful.  When it becomes
dehydrated, broken or overrun with oil, bad things happen, like acne,
sensitivity and dryness.  Each of these
issues is affected by acidity level and water level in the skin, both of which
have connections to the oil we produce.  This is the crux of the matter.
Using the Oil Cleansing Method for your Adult Acne? Daniela, The Acne Whisperer, explains why this is a terrible idea!
Our skin’s oil, known as sebum,
is made up of two main types of fatty acids (among other things, but for the
purpose of this discussion, only these are mentioned here); Oleic Acid and
Linoleic Acid.  Oleic Acid happens to be
a teeny bit thicker than Linoleic Acid. 
Those of us with genetic oil over-production and acne tend to have a
lower level of Linoleic Acid in our sebum than those without breakout
issues. 
Why does this matter?  Because this is what makes natural ingredients
pore clogging or not – the higher the level of Oleic Acid there is in an
ingredient, the more problematic it will be to acne-prone skin !  Examples include all the butters, like cocoa,
shea, mango, etc, and many oils, such as coconut, wheat germ, tree nut and many seed
oils.  Using Coconut Oil to cleanse,
remove makeup or moisturize is probably one of the worst things you can do
because you’re adding a huge amount of exactly what your skin has so much of
already, it’s one of the causes of your acne to begin with. 
Natural ingredients to avoid if you have adult acne.

The idea behind using oil for so many steps in skincare are
twofold; oil dissolves oil, and where there is dryness, oil must be
lacking.  Both premises are wrong when it comes to oily skin that breaks out.  
Several trusted and brilliant colleagues of mine do believe there is something to the first idea, but in my experience dealing with adult acne for over 17 years, there is still too much oil left over for an acne skin to handle.  Sure, you can wash it off after, or include a detergent like Castile soap in with the oil, but there is the problem of oil still being left behind, plus pH problems depending on the liquid soap used.  As for the second premise, oily skin doesn’t lack oil –
when it’s dry it’s dehydrated, which means it lacks water, not oil.
 

So why does it seem to work for so many people?  Because after years of harsh cleansers and
meds drying the skin out, softening it up with anything lubricating, even
something as pore clogging as coconut oil, can start to let much of the
backed-up oil in your skin loose, which temporarily allows your congestion to
clear a bit.  You just don’t hear so much
about it months later when they start breaking out like mad.  But I do ! lol
There are several oils that are ok for acne skin; sunflower, safflower, castor, hemp, evening primrose, rosehip seed and jojoba are great examples.
Sunflower, non-GMO safflower, hemp, jojoba and castor are
all oils that have lower levels of Oleic Acid and are therefore ok for oily
skin.  Sunflower oil, in fact, has a high
enough level of Linoleic acid that
it’s actually good for oily skin.
Our sebum also has a naturally low pH.  When too much of our oil gets taken away, the
pH of our skin gets thrown off, and the skin will overproduce oil to rebalance
it.
  This is why it’s so important for
cleansers not to have too high a pH.
 
It’s what we mean when we call a cleanser “harsh”.  As everyone knows, harsh cleansers strip the
skin’s oil too much which leads to dryness.
 
Well, guess what DIY ingredient has a really high pH.  Baking Soda! 
Talk about stripping?  I have had
clients come to me practically crying because their skin has been so ripped
apart by making a scrub using baking soda and water paste as a scrub.
  Adding lemon juice to lower the pH doesn’t do
enough to get it to a point where it won’t harm the skin, in fact it makes the skin even more irritated.
  Cleansers for oily skin do have to have a pH
slightly higher than the skin to work well, but not too much higher, otherwise
it rips the skin apart.

So what can be used from your kitchen to help with your
Adult Acne ?
  I’m actually not here to tell you that there is never,
ever,
ever any DIY masks or oils that
can be used on acneic skin.
  Just
remember one thing very important :
  Your
skin needs WATER to function better.
  It
doesn’t
need more oil.  Only ingredients that attract and bind water
to your skin are really meaningful when it comes to making your skin soft,
supple and clear.
  One of the things that
actually makes it easier for your skin to function better, including getting
the water it needs, is gentle exfoliation, particularly when AHAs get
involved.
  Here’s where DIY can be
helpful.

 

Making masks in your kitchen and even a scrub is not only
totally ok for acne-prone and oily skin, but can do it a bit of good.  Here are a few ideas :
Sugar can be too scratchy during inflamed breakouts and
should be avoided for use as a scrub. 
Try corn meal.  It’s like little
round beads.  If you want to mix with
honey, it’s better to use a type called Manuka honey, which is better for the
skin.  Just be aware that very oily skin
with breakouts doesn’t do as well with a scrub – an exfoliating AHA and enzyme
mask is better.
AHA Mask – Congested skin with few inflamed breakouts

Place ½ cup oatmeal flakes in a blender dry, pulverize until
you have a powder.  
(You can also use plain Aveeno oatmeal bath, since that’s
all it is – powdered oatmeal)

Add 1 strawberry, ¼ cup plain non-fat yogurt and 2 1-inch
cubes of papaya.
Blend well, apply as a mask for 15 minutes, then rinse.
Leftovers should keep for 2-3 days.  Very congested skin can use this mask 2-3
times a week.
AHA Mask – Inflamed skin with congestion

Place ½ cup oatmeal flakes in a blender dry, pulverize until
you have a powder.  
(You can also use plain Aveeno oatmeal bath, since that’s
all it is – powdered oatmeal)

Add 1 tablespoon plain non-fat yogurt and 2 tablespoons very
strong brew of green tea, chamomile tea or both.  Then add 
½ the contents of the tea bag you used
to make the tea.
Blend well, apply as a mask for 15 minutes, then rinse.

Leftovers should keep for 2-3 days.  Sensitive and inflamed skin can use this mask 1-2
times a week.

Your acne problem has a source, and clearing your skin requires finding that source and either eliminating it or healing it.  You can start that right now by filling out my Eval by Email® Online Skincare Consultation Form created specially for ages Gen-X to Baby Boom!

Eval by Email, Virtual Skincare Coaching specially designed for acne sufferers ages 24 and up.

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