A lot of you guys on Instagram DM’d me asking for solutions to acne problems after my recent blog post on skincare and insta stories about face masks. While I’m in no way an expert, I personally have suffered through acne all through my teens and well into adulthood. I had a major stint with facial acne during my school and college years. Now, it is under control. I do get pimples around the time of my period or if I pick my skin too much and the scars that I get now usually last longer as well. My major concern now, however, is back acne. Up until last year, I had major active back acne. I’ve been following a few steps for the past few months that have helped control the active acne. I still have residual scars of course, but have also devised a routine to deal with those.
Here’s what I did and used:
1. Neem water
If you read my last post, you know that I drink water of boiled neem leaves first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Neem is a blood purifier that has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. It makes the blood more alkaline and gets rid of toxins at the same time, hence also helping clear acne.
I also put this in my bath water to also use it as a topical treatment. It also helps prevents skin infections in the summer.
2. Tea-tree oil
This is my go-to for all active pimples. It helps dry up pimples pretty quickly and prevents new ones from forming. For the longest time, when I was trying to get my active back acne under control. I used it as a toner all over my back and face. Then I applied my regular moisturizer on top. It worked wonders.
I use The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil.
3. Glycolic acid
Ever heard of chemical peels? Glycolic acid is one of the substances used in the chemical exfoliation of the skin. It is basically a naturally occurring substance, which is used in skincare products as an exfoliator to get rid of the skin’s top layer without the action of scrubbing. In the right concentration, it is safe to use even on sensitive skin and is known to be among the most effective exfoliators.
I have been using a glycolic acid cream (6% and 12% concentration for the face and back respectively) for the last five months to treat acne scars. And it has worked wonders! It is one of the most effective substances I have used for scars. It also prevents my skin from drying out if I use other topical acne treatments.
I use the one by Micro Labs Limited, and I purchase it at my local chemist. One tube costs around Rs 150. There are a few options available on Amazon as well, but they cost way more and I haven’t tried them. But still sharing the link for reference or if you don’t find it at your local chemist.
4. Clindamycin & nicotinamide gel
This is another chemical gel that I use. This is mostly as a spot treatment for active acne or if I get a terrible bout of acne over a particular area of the skin. Clindamycin is an antibiotic that kills the acne bacteria and prevents them from spreading. Nicotinamide or Niacinamide is basically an active form of Vitamin B3 that helps lighten scars. So this gel has a two-way action. It dries up active acne and also prevents scarring.
This is the one that I use. This also I buy at my local chemist and one tube costs just Rs. 70. I go through the tube pretty quickly, so I buy in bulk. Amazon sells a pack of 6 for Rs 420, which is a good deal.
Pro tip: A nicotinamide-only gel is great for getting rid of sun tanning if you’re into that kind of thing. However, if you’re sun burnt, please consult your doctor before applying this.
5. A Healthy Gut
This is perhaps the most important step of all. If you read about acne in Ayurveda or Chinese medicine, you will find that root cause for most acne (unless it is hormonal) lies in your gut. If your digestive tract is functioning properly and the waste is being eliminated on time, you are less likely to have acne problems. I have been doing bi-weekly colon cleanses and consuming probiotics for the past six-months. It has not only helped my acne, but also considerably improved the condition of my skin otherwise. It is clearer and more supple.
Do any of you have any hacks that have helped your acne struggle personally? If so, share them in the comments and help out fellow readers.
That was all for this time peeps!