It happens every year, and nearly every season. As the weather begins to change, my skin totally freaks out. The result? A delightful mix of super dry patches, and acne that seems to pop up out of nowhere. Does this happen to you too?
Causes aside, I find that most seasons, switching up my skincare routine and products (i.e., more hydrating formulas in colder months, not using as hot of water, abiding by these tricks to avoid breakouts) can typically clear up any problems. But this autumn, for whatever reason, I’ve had a hard time kicking the little blemishes that have cropped up. Maybe it’s stress, or not getting enough good quality sleep, but my usual switch-ups weren’t having the desired effect. So, it was time to bring in a blemish treatment.
Deciding on a more natural acne treatment was a bit new for me this year, as it’s not something I’ve struggled with since switching to a primarily natural/non-toxic beauty routine a few years ago. Benzoyl Peroxide, a common chemical used to combat acne in many drugstore beauty products, is super effective, but for me, super damaging. I used it throughout my teenage years over acne on my forehead, and kind of wish I hadn’t. My skin is pretty sensitive to it now (becoming inflamed, red, itchy, and usually peel-y), and from what I’ve read, BP has been reported to cause increased sun sensitivity, and generate free radicals. I’ve also noticed that the skin on my forehead appears to have aged faster than anywhere else — it seems thinner, with lots and lots of fine lines, and correspondingly, this is the only place I applied a BP treatment for years at a time. Hmmm. I have no official way to confirm that BP caused that aging, but it makes me wonder, you know?
For me, going down this hard-line pimple defense route meant turning to salicylic acid, another common blemish medication — primarily because it can be derived naturally from willow bark. This made it much easier to locate a more natural product that relied on willow bark extract. And, I found it in Burt’s Bees Spot Treatment.
You probably know Burt’s from their great lip balm treatments, but many people aren’t familiar with their skin and hair care products. This little vial has been liquid gold — almost literally! The formula is a mix of alcohol, herbal extracts, and of course willow bark. You can dot a little of the liquid on your fingers, or put some on a q-tip and then apply to your blemish (it took me a few weeks to figure that one out…doh). I find the formula shrinks pimples quickly, and can eradicate them almost entirely within a day or two. It’s dramatically reduced the severity and number of blemishes on my skin.
Downsides? The smell is a little strong, though I found it dissipates within a few minutes (and especially if you apply regular moisturizer over the treatment). And, I really do recommend using a q-tip to apply, otherwise, you end up getting a lot of the treatment on your fingers, and it soaks in so quickly you end up using more than you need to. I wouldn’t recommend applying this over large areas of your skin, but for that zit that just appeared out of nowhere, it’s a good product.
More beauty reviews to come…I’ve been playing around with a lot of new fun skincare goodies lately!