Skin Deep: Homeopathic remedies for acne

By Dulce Ros |

Before I came to college, I thought I was prepared for anything to come my way. Among my arsenal of agendas, laundry kits and zipblock bags, I brought mutiple bottles of the ProActive system. I had been using it regularly throughout high school and it although it kept my skin a bit dry, it kept most of my zits contained.

Then two months into the second semester of freshman year, the entirety of my cheeks, which had been absolutely clear, developed severe cystic acne. I was dumbfounded, and a couple months later my entire back broke out. Although I did not have the perfect diet, I still never drank milk or rarely ate cheese, which were the usual acne culprits.

For about a year, I tried everything, and always came back from the dermatologist with another dissapointing prescription. I had since given up Proactive, but when my dermatologist suggested Accutane as the only resort, I vehemently refused, and decided to look into homeopathic remedies.

As I investigated further, I read about the different chemicals contained in popular systems. The reason behind their popularity was because they actually worked in the short term, but it seemed they could leave your face in a worsened state. In addition, natural remedies were often thought to be too weak or ineffective because they did not have any pharmaceutical companies backing up their benefits in clinical studies. This did not deter me, and I began to look for alternative topical treatments.

It was at that time that I found out about the healing powers of soaps in Antoinette’s Bath House, located on 111 King St. Upon consulting Jennifer Elliot, former esthetician and current employee, her top recommendation for skin troubles was the “In Your Face” soap, comprised of tea tree oil, activated charcoal and clay used to pull out impurities. Not only does it gently suppress oil production in the area of application, it works well for eczema and dry skin.

Another tip Elliot gave me was to moisturize oily skin. For that, their Coconatural soap, which also fights scarring and dryness, came in handy. Other tested and true ingredients found in the shop’s repository included oatmeal milk and honey, seaweed extract and essential oils. Unlike internal cleanses, such topical remedies usually produce no adverse side effects, and begin soothing symptoms immediately.

The next step is to fight acne from the inside (since it is often a symptom of an internal issue). For this, one may consult Chinese and aryuvedic body maps. By locating the acne and pinpointing the possible cause (such as back acne being closely linked with the respiratory system) it is possible to find appropriate herbal supplements. The Healing Waters Herbal Clinic on 26 St. Clark St. offers a wide variety of remedies upon consultation. In my case the herbologists suggested probiotic and digestive pills combined with boswella powder to reduce inflammation and support the detoxification system.

However, as crucial as proper cleansing and herbs are in a holistic healing system, it is equally important to ask you doctor for blood work to find any mineral or vitamin deficiencies. Vitamin D deficiency, which is relatively common, even in sunny Florida, is a core cause that can easily be solved through softgels as prescribed by a medical professional.

Perhaps the simplest, yet most difficult part of the process is letting your skin be and learning to trust it. No more picking, constant magnifying and thinking about it. This process proved to be a huge success for me, as my face stopped producing cysts and my back continues to clear up.

Embarking on a holistic acne recovery requires patience, something that many of us are not used to with the fast acting compounds from drug store brands. The results, though they may take a couple months, are worth it. Following these methods I found I could heal not only my skin, but also my relationship with myself.

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