Since age 11, I've had problem skin. I remember a photo taken of me at the Fall seventh grade dance that ended up, to my great misfortune, in the back of the school yearbook. The picture (which used flash, mind you) zeroed in on my frizzy hair, my rainbow clothing, and, perhaps most embarrassing, an ultragreasy T-zone and preadolescent pimples dotted along my forehead and cheeks, aggravated by the sea of sweaty bodies in which I was engulfed. Good times.
The next year, my acne issues only intensified. As an inexperienced preteen — this was before YouTube hit the social media market, so beauty tutorials were virtually unavailable — I had no idea how to apply makeup. Every morning, I used Physicians Formula to powder my face to certain death. Needless to say, it didn't help matters much. (Note: after years of practice, I currently adore Physicians Formula — it makes a mean bronzer.)
I eventually signed up for an appointment with a dermatologist, where I was prescribed an acne pill that I took every day until my late teens. The appearance of my skin noticeably improved, though I still battled bouts of angry zits here and there. And the redness issue never really went away.
Fast forward to 2016, and I'm a 21-year-old with a mild yet constant case of adult acne. Some days, it's viably worse than others (usually the week before that special time of the month). Though I don't have as many big blemishes as I did in seventh and eighth grade, smaller breakouts frequently pop up along my jawline and the sides of my cheeks. And by the end of the workday, you can bet my face is shinier than a freshly polished disco ball.
That said, I make an effort to stay away from unnecessary pills — especially when there are topical solutions out there waiting to be tested. I've recently become a big fan of Etsy skin care. The wide selection of all-natural products tend to work better than big-name brands, and I can actually pronounce the ingredients!
In the hunt for a solution to my difficult skin, I came across this rose essential oil apple cider vinegar toner. I use apple cider vinegar for other health purposes but had never thought to apply it to my face. The product is under $10, and I love supporting small businesses, so I ordered it in the sprayer style without another thought.
After more than three weeks of misting the stuff on my face morning and night, I can safely say it's worked wonders for me. ACV balances the pH levels of your skin, which prevents it from getting too dry or too oily. It removes dead skin cells, opens up your pores, and contains antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. You can even substitute it for your face wash or shampoo!
Altogether, I've noticed diminished pimples and redness, and my skin immediately feels tighter and cleaner after a couple spritzes. Apple cider vinegar has also improved the dry patches beneath my jawbone, which I could never seem to get rid of. The only downside? ACV naturally smells a bit sour, but the scent fades after a minute or two.
If you struggle with acne or any sort of problem skin, I suggest giving apple cider vinegar a go. You can mix your own solution or swoop some up from Etsy. Here are a few more of my favorite picks containing ACV:
- Acne-Fighting Magic Eraser Toner ($16)
- Handmade Face and Body Soap ($8)
- Clarifying Skin Astringent ($10)