As many of you have been seeing on my Instagram and Instagram Stories, I have been testing out new better-for-you skincare products to help heal my skin. For a long time (since I was in high school), I’ve had issues with my skin. I have very oily, acne-prone skin and have envied those with clear, perfect and shining skin. My acne was so bad at one point I even had to take Acutane in high school because it got so bad on my back. YIKES, I know. I’ve become obsessed with finding out the root causes of my acne and what I can do to keep it at bay, in a better-for-you (none of that nasty stuff that can negatively affect your health) way.
As I become more and more educated on the subject throughout the years, I’ve narrowed down my acne causes and contribute it to the following:
1. Waiting too long after I workout to shower- this is when the little blackheads and whiteheads pop up on my face and chest. When you sweat majorly during a workout, the sweat can interfere with normal bacteria on your skin and clog your pores. I’ve also noticed larger breakouts on my shoulders and back when I do not shower or rinse off right when I am finished working out.
2. Unbalanced Gut Microbiome- This is one that as alluded me for the most part for most of my life. With my increased education on the subject in the past year, I’ve learned that your gut bacteria regulates literally almost EVERYTHING in your body. Your immune system, your brain, your skin, and much, much more. I’ve found when I am eating a clean diet with a lot of probiotics and fermented foods (hello Kombucha!), my skin looks glowing and at it’s best.
3. Bacteria on top of the skin- I just found out that your skin itself has loads of bacteria on it that you can wash away with harsh chemicals. This type of bacteria is actually good for you. I’ve added in a clay mask from the Earth to put this type of bacteria back onto my skin to balance it out again. Too dry and too harsh can cause acne flare ups and make your skin look more read and damaged than before.
That being said, as part of my new routine, I am testing out Alba Botanica®’s Acnedote line. Products in this line are vegetarian, cruelty-free, biodegradable, and botanically-based. The products use plant-based ingredients to gently address problem skin.
In my routine, I use the Face & Body Scrub on my body and chest right after a workout. I have seen my arms and shoulder acne clear up, but I do have to add lotion after using this since it does dry the skin and make it squeaky-clean.
Next, I use the Clearing Gel Peel once a week to get into the pores and clean them out. This gel has some key ingredients such as Salicylic Acid, Willow Bark Extracts, Active Fruit Acids — Apple, Blackberry, Orange, Grape, and Lemon. The Salicylic Acid helps clear acne (I’ve found better results with this ingredient than ones without) while the other ingredients help reduce inflammation and keep from over-drying the skin. Most importantly, this gel has 100% vegetarian ingredients; no animal testing; no synthetic fragrances; no artificial colors; no harsh sulfates; no parabens or phthalates. AMEN.
Finally, for problem spots, I use the Pimple Patches. These help reduce swelling and shorten the length of the pimple.
The main area that I’ve noticed a difference from using these products is on my chest, arms, and back. The gentle Face and Body Scrub has enough Salicylic Acid to make a difference, but enough of the clean ingredients to balance the harshness. This is something I haven’t found in a lot of body and face washes and I’m really excited about it!
Let me know in the comments what you all have been using if you have acne-prone skin! I’d love to know what has worked for you and what hasn’t!
*This is a sponsored post in partnership with Alba Botanica® and Her Campus Media. All words and opinions are my own
*Photos by Ali Folster