Myth: I have oily skin, and so I must, by all means necessary, eliminate the oil on my face by using salicylic acid to dry it out.
Fact: If you dry out your skin with harsh agents like salicylic acid, your skin will actually end up producing more oil to counteract the dryness. The trick is to meet your skin half way by mixing a range of natural remedies to control your oil while also combatting the acne.
Step 1: Get yourself a bottle of Bentonite Clay. I’ve had my two-pound jar for over 3 years and I am just hitting pan on it. Bentonite clay is the vacuum cleaner your acne stricken face has asked for Christmas every year since puberty but you were too blinded by its basic-ness to get it. A one pound jar will cost you about $5.
Step 2: Get yourself a bottle of raw Apple Cider Vinegar. I’m sure you’ve all read and seen the pictures of people trying to get clear skin via acid peels. If done by a spa with a professional, acid peels can indeed help you to peel off the first layer of skin to reveal a softer, smoother, and firmer skin underneath. For those of you who don’t have monetary access to a spa or are too scared to purchase the over the counter acid peels from Amazon and risk burning your face, Mother Nature created her own natural accessible acid via apple cider vinegar. A 16-ounce bottle costs about $3.
Step 3: Get yourself a bottle of organic, unrefined, coconut oil. You must have seen this one coming! Dry skin? Coconut oil. Boyfriend acting strange? Coconut oil. Oily skin and acne? Coconut oil too? Girl, yes!
I chose coconut oil because I’ve found it to be lightest oil in comparison to the thick castor oil, or grape seed oil, or even jojoba oil. The problem with mainstream acne treatment solutions is that they focus on drying out the skin without replenishing the moisture back into the skin. Whether you have dry skin, normal skin oily skin, or super oily skin, you still need moisture in your skin, and most over the counter face creams are formulated with parabens and petroleum jelly that will only block your pores and leave you with an oily film on your face after you’ve spent all that time cleansing your face.
Step 4: Keep calm and understand how your face works. Just because you saw a convincing before and after testimonial on YouTube or Instagram or a blog doesn’t mean that you should take their recommended form of acne treatment for face value. It is important to understand exactly how these formulas work on your face and for you to decide if you are okay with that method of treatment on your skin.
Alright, now that you have the necessities, let’s get on our way to acne-free and moisturized skin!
- Get a glass or plastic bowl and a glass or plastic spoon. Do not use metal with the bentonite clay mask because it will react with it.
- Add one spoon of raw apple cider vinegar to the bowl.
- Add half a spoon of the bentonite clay to the bowl.
- Mix the mixture until you get either a Greek yogurt texture (heavy treatment) or a regular Yoplait yogurt texture (light to medium treatment). For first-timers, I recommend using a Yoplait yogurt texture. If you jump into the Greek yogurt texture your first time, the pain will surely deter you from trying the mask again! If you have extremely dry skin, you should add a dab of coconut oil to this mixture so that the mask does not end up over drying your face.
- Wash your face and pat it dry.
- Add the mask evenly to your face with your spoon or your fingers. Avoid adding the mask to your eyes, the area under your eyes, or your mouth area. Once the mask is pulsating and tightening, these areas tend to be more sensitive to the pulsation. Don’t forget to add the mask to your eyebrows if you also get those annoying eyebrow pimples.
- Wait for the mask to dry completely. Depending on the texture of the mask you created, you may have to wait between 10-30 minutes for the mask to completely dry off.
The waiting part will not be fun at all. If it is your first time using the bentonite clay mask, prepare your facial nerves for some intense tightening and pulling sensation. It will feel like every pore in your face is being thoroughly vacuumed clean. You will be tempted to go to the bathroom after 5 minutes and wash your face but alas! You will miss out on the butter-soft skin that awaits you if you make it until the end of the treatment. Resist the urge!
Tip: Open a couple of tabs and drool over pictures of Charles Michael Davis. Also, TRY YOUR BEST NOT TO LAUGH WHEN THE MASK IS ON YOUR FACE. Actually, you won’t be able to laugh because your face will be so tight.
- Once the mask is dry, wash it off with warm water. Do not dry your face yet.
- Take a moment to feel how soft and smooth your face is. Look in the mirror and say bye-bye budding pimples, bye-bye to black heads, and hello to smaller and tighter pores. Now that you have thoroughly cleansed your face, you have to restore the moisture balance or else you’ll be back to square one trying to battle a face that overproduces oil because it’s dry. The next step will sound crazy but TRUST ME ON THIS ONE. With your face still wet with water, apply a dollop of coconut oil to your face and thoroughly massage the oil into your wet face with your fingers. You should feel the supple skin right about now.
- After massaging the coconut oil and water mixture into your face, thoroughly rinse your face with water (no soap). Be generous with the water and rinse and massage the water to your face. The idea is to “rinse” off the excess coconut oil from your face but of course because oil and water don’t mix, you cannot actually wash all the coconut oil off.
- After “rinsing” the coconut oil off, use a paper towel and lightly pat your face dry. You want to pat away the water not the oil. Do not rub the towel into your face!
- Feel the soft, supple, and beautifully moisturized face that belongs to you! If you followed these steps correctly, your face should not feel like it has an oily film over it nor should your face feel dry. Your face should feel perfectly moisturized, smooth, and soft. You should not add face cream after this.
The more you repeat the bentonite clay mask, the more your face will get used to the tightening and pulsating sensation. After about five masks, it won’t feel as uncomfortable when you use the mask.
When I am trying to combat aggressive breakouts, I do the mask every night (you don’t want to do this mask in the morning or during the day because your face will surely be flushed with a hint of red after the deep cleaning!) For maintenance, I do the mask one or two times a week. As for the coconut oil as a moisturizer part, I do that every morning and every night to keep my skin’s oil production balanced!