Now that I’m nearing the end of my 20s, I’m hearing a lot of my friends complain about adult acne. I can relate: While rarely cursed with a zit all through high school, my skin suddenly rebelled in my mid-20s. It was never too horrible, but definitely noticeable and irritating. I could go right on an infomercial with my “I tried everything” list: over-the-counter products with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, prescription medication, careful attention to soap and detergent ingredients, keeping my phone away from my face, the Zeno zit zapper, drinking more water, vitamins, expensive microdermabrasion, chemical peels, you name it. The only thing I wouldn’t try was a beauty routine a spa tried to sell me, and that’s because it cost over $400 altogether. Here are the only two things that HAVE worked for me:
1) Tea tree oil – It will dry up acne super fast. I use a roll-on stick called Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil which I buy at my local Giant grocery for 8 bucks. You can apply up to 6 times a day, but be careful if you already have very dry skin. I had never thought to use it before because I didn’t associate the word “oil” with anything acne-fighting. It turns out it’s a natural antiseptic. I have read that it is also useful for dandruff.
2) Eliminating dairy from my diet – This was suggested by a doctor at a medical spa I visited. She took one look at me and said, “You drink a lot of milk?” According to her, the ingredients in milk cause many adult women to experience breakouts. She suggested I stop all dairy consumption immediately. I decided to try her suggestion and was shocked when my breakouts stopped – just like that, with no further changes in my routine. My skin completely smoothed out and was clear. Making this change was easier than I thought at first. I swapped out cow’s milk for soy milk, stopped getting cheese on my Subway sandwiches, and used a non-dairy creamer in my coffee at work. But as time went by, this change has gotten harder. The main problem is cheese and chocolate. I cannot seem to stay away from either one. Sure enough, as I’ve started giving in to my desire for cheese, my skin has shown the consequences. The connection is so unbelievably obvious to me that I figured I had to get the word out. I’ve had a huge bounce in traffic to my blog since I switched to WordPress — close to a hundred hits on some days — so I thought some of my newer readers might appreciate the advice! (Or maybe not, if they love cheese as much as I do … 😦