Recycla entered her 40s last year and, surprisingly, she does not mind her age one bit. In fact, she has found it to be somewhat liberating. What she does mind, however, is her skin. While she did not have acne when she was a teenager, she does now. Hoo boy, does she ever. Some days she wishes she could just wear a mask to cover her entire face.
Way back in the 80s, a teen’s skin care options were for the shock-and-awe variety: of the small selection of items available, they all zapped the heck out of one’s skin. Oh sure, the skin around that zit might dry out and flake off too, but at least you wouldn’t suffer the embarrassment of a huge zit on your chin at the Homecoming dance. (Oh no, that particular joy was for the prom…)
In the past few years, as Recycla’s skin has betrayed her repeatedly, she has done a fair bit of research into skincare products and has been delighted to find that there are a lot more options, including products for “mature skin.” However, those are all conventional products, which means that virtually all contain ingredients that she’s not wild about.
So what’s available for us Eco Warriors? Luckily, a combination of lifestyle changes and eco products can help you have blemish-free skin:
First of all, be aware of the relationship between your diet and your skin’s condition. Drink lots of water so as to flush out your body. Eat a diet high in fruits and veggies and unprocessed foods. It’s a myth that chocolate and pizza alone are responsible for oily skin, but fatty foods and refined sugars in general can cause problems.
Next, stress is also a factor in your skin’s condition. Get enough sleep and find ways to relieve stress — exercise and yoga are two ways. Chamomile is known for its ability to relax the body and this herb can also calm inflamed skin.
Unfortunately, hormones do come into play, so you might not be able to avoid zits altogether. When they do pop up (so to speak), keep your hands off your face! While it will be tempting to mess with zits, the dirt and germs on your hands will add to the mess that’s already there. Instead, wash your hands with soap and water and then soak the offending bumps with a warm-to-hot wet washcloth. Even if this doesn’t cause the zit to open up, it should provide a bit of relief from the discomfort.
As for products to apply directly to your skin, tea tree oil has natural antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties, making it useful for combating bacteria on the skin that cause acne. A 5% solution works similarly to benzoyl peroxide but without causing your skin to dry up and flake off. Recycla has been using tea tree oil for a few years now and is pleased with the results.
Another product to try is witch hazel, which contains high levels of tannins that make it good for a variety of skin conditions. Witch hazel can tighten pores and veins on the face, reducing inflammation and minimizing pores, while gently cleansing the skin. Unlike so many conventional products, witch hazel won’t dry out your skin.
Finally, an important thing to remember is to keep your skin clean. Wash your face every night before you go to sleep in order to wash off your makeup and the day’s general grime. Repeat in the morning to remove oils that built up overnight. Recycla uses a basic bar of face soap that she found at her local organic grocery store and a wash cloth to help exfoliate and remove dead skin cells.
Hopefully, these tips will help you have really great skin!