Stuck at home? Just kidding — we know you are. Same — and unfortunately, a sudden onslaught of adult acne has recently added to our woes.
If you’re experiencing more breakouts than usual during quarantine, you’re not alone. Although we’re wearing less makeup, which would intuitively result in fewer clogged pores, there are a number of lifestyle factors that could be to blame for blemishes. For one thing, stress levels are at an all-time high, which has been scientifically linked to exacerbating inflammatory skin conditions like acne. But even beyond increased levels of stress hormones like cortisol, there are plenty of lifestyle factors that also contribute to breakouts.
Missing out on deep-cleansing facials (especially ones with lymphatic drainage massage), losing access to our gyms, foregoing sweat sessions in the sauna, and changes to our diets all possess acne-causing potential. Without our regular forms of physical detox, our newly sedentary lifestyles can translate into a build-up of toxins in the body. Why? Because less movement overall can equate to a sluggish lymphatic system, too. This leads to poorer detox and, consequently, acne.
If it feels like you are sitting and waiting for life to return to normal — but your skin is only becoming worse — the good news is that there are a number of ways to treat problem skin from home. Naturopathic doctor Stacey Shillington, N.D., founder of Naturopathic Beauty, explains how the organic food in our kitchens doubles as excellent skincare products.
“Using raw and food-grade ingredients is incredible for your skin because not only are you using a high concentration of an active ingredient, but the ingredients are fresh and high quality,” Shillington begins. “Often you cannot be sure how much of a good thing you are actually getting in skincare products, nor can you be sure of its origin.”
By taking matters into our own hands — in our own kitchens — you are harnessing nature’s most potent nutrients and delivering them straight to your skin. We at nécessité are no strangers to letting food be our medicine, and the very same principle applies to our faces. Just as raw, organic foods are especially nutritious for the body, so it is with the skin, as well.
Below, Dr. Shillington shares four DIY acne masks for the skin that can be whipped up in your kitchens during the quarantine. Then cleanse, tone, apply, and rinse — then repeat throughout the week.
For Inflamed Acne
If you are dealing with painful, inflamed acne, Shillington suggests combining a few tablespoons of manuka honey with five to ten drops of colloidal silver. This concoction can be left on for as long as you would like — including while you binge-watch Netflix. “Honey is a potent anti-microbial [that] is used in hospitals worldwide to heal diabetic ulcers and serious burns,” she explains, adding, “It is more than capable of healing acne.”
Your face is red, irritated, peeling, dry — and you have acne
This situation calls for two tablespoons of soothing oats — ground up in a clean coffee grinder — and two tablespoons of full-fat yogurt, which can be left on for ten to twenty minutes. “Oats are used for many different skincare conditions, especially when there is redness and irritation,” Shillington notes of their almost immediate, soothing effects. She adds that aloe vera gel is another great ingredient to pair with oats, leaving the skin soothed and nourished beyond belief.
For super-oily skin with acne
If your skin is slick with sebum, an absorptive clay mask will become your new, balancing go-to. “Clay is amazing at absorbing oil. This means that it can be overly drying if overused, but for reducing oil and pore size, it is great,” she shares. To make this mask, simply combine two tablespoons of green or white clay with two tablespoons of aloe vera gel. You can adjust the quantities to achieve your preferred consistency, then apply it and allow the mask to dry before washing it off.
Anti-bacterial skin repair for all types of acne
This two-ingredient skincare mask is transformative for acneic skin and uses only two ingredients: organic green tea and manuka honey. Green tea provides anti-aging, UV-protective, and anti-bacterial support, but the true rockstar is its DNA-reparative EGCG. To make the mask, allow a cup of green tea to steep for an hour. Then place the contents of the teabag into a pestle and mortar, and grind them up into a green paste. Add a few tablespoons of manuka honey until you have achieved the right masking consistency, then apply it to the face for fifteen to twenty minutes at a time. Save the leftovers and use this mask up to four times per week for even better results.