either it's too oily (usually in the summer) or too dry (usually in the winter), prone to breakouts, dark spots, weird marks, blackheads, large pores, etc etc. sometimes it's really sensitive and a seemingly innocent cream will set my skin on fire, or sometimes i can slather my face in full-strength retinol cream and not feel a thing. sometimes i'll let a cat nuzzle up to my face and end up suffering with itchy welts along my jawline, and sometimes i'll snorfle a cat and be fine. it's completely unpredictable and annoying.
the thing that has always bothered me the most about my skin are breakouts. i've never had super bad acne, but i'm pretty sure i've always had at least a few bothersome zits on my face at any given time since i first began experiencing breakouts as a teen. i hate it - i want perfect, smooth, glowing, flawless, airbrushed magazine skin (who doesn't?). i figured that once i got through my 20s, i'd surely finally stop breaking out, right? not so much.
i've tried everything (besides a prescription) in the hopes of getting good skin: masques, proactiv, toothpaste spot-treamtents, aspirin poultices, lots of moisturizer, no moisturizer, jojoba oil, every drugstore brand treatment, fancy department store treatments, toner, etc. etc., you name it. i wasn't sure if i either was confusing my skin and not giving it enough time to adjust to a regimen in order to work properly, or if it was getting too used to the creams, washes, etc, and acquiring a resistance to them. (clearly i'm no dermatologist.)
nothing i've tried has really worked all that well. proactiv worked the best, but the smell is vile, it was kind of drying for my face, it's not cheap, and i hated the thought of rubbing all those chemicals into my skin every day and night.
about a month or so ago, i saw some people i follow on twitter mention using apple cider vinegar to treat breakouts and it piqued my interest, so i did a little research. apparently there are two ways to use it - either topically (full strength or watered down), which seemed like a bad idea for me, or as a drink diluted in water. also, you have to use the "good stuff", and apparently bragg's brand is at the top of that list.
i decided to go for the drink option. i've been drinking 1 tablespoon of bragg's ACV diluted in about 8 ounces of water every day for about a month now and i have to say - my skin is definitely better.
i'm SUCH a huge skeptic about stuff like this, trust me. i call bullshit on this sort of thing all the time, but i really think it's working for me. i have way fewer breakouts, even when i, ahem, should be breaking out. my skin isn't flawless, but it's definitely not as bad as it normally is. it's also smoother and maybe a little brighter?
i'm going to keep using it and see what happens. it doesn't taste good, but i don't find it gag-inducing (as long as i don't think about "the mother". ughughuguhguhhh it just sounds so gross) and it doesn't upset my stomach. i drink it through a straw to minimize the amount of acid that touches my teeth (hello, precious enamel!) and i also drink another glass of water afterward. (note: i've always been a good water drinker, so i don't think that was ever the source of my skin problems.)
i'm really just happy to have found something natural that works. it's also nice that it's inexpensive, not full of chemicals, and might even have other added health benefits.
here are the other skincare products i use on a daily basis. i have been using these same products long enough that i can safely say that the ACV has made an additional difference.
- cleanser: l'oreal youth code foaming gel cleanser
- toner: lush tea tree water
- moisturizer: olay complete all day uv moisturizer for sensitive skin (i always rub the excess into my hands since it contains spf and i'm paranoid about my hands aging)
- cleanser: sephora collection supreme cleansing foam
- toner: sephora collection instant refreshing toner
- moisturizer: garnier nutritioniste skin renew clinical dark spot corrector, or in the winter when my skin is really dry, i slather my face with the old standby, nivea creme
- etc: roc retinol correxion sensitive eye cream (i rub the excess into my frown lines because i figure it can't hurt.)