Acne forms when the hair follicles on the skin’s surface get clogged with dirt, dead skin and oil. Acne facial is a good therapy to undergo which can reduce the symptoms of acne. It can be done at home or performed by a dermatologist or skin care specialist. Those who suffer from acne have oily skin and the skin could be dehydrated. So, most acne facial treatments must address these problems. We will look at some of the steps involved in an acne facial before looking at some ideas for home acne facials.
Stages in acne facial
The first step as in all facials is to cleanse the skin from dirt, makeup etc. Gentle cleansing milk can be used for the cleansing process since acne prone skin is inflamed, sensitive and dry. Drying soaps are usually not recommended for they can aggravate acne symptoms by stripping sebum from the skin and the body will need to produce more sebum. When excess sebum gets clogged with dirt, dead skin cells, debris and bacteria, acne breakouts occur.
Desquamation can be done to loosen the blackhead and whitehead (comedone) plugs and clears the skin. Acne facials are not meant to treat inflamed pustules, papules or cysts. Steam can be applied to the skin that softens comedones and help with their removal. Steam also clears the skin of all impurities. Steam is beneficial only in mild outbreaks. The next stage is a gentle extraction to remove comedone plugs. This helps to release the trapped sebum and the area can then be treated. Pustules cannot be extracted.
After extraction, a facial mask using different products can be used. This soothes the skin and clears all impurities. Masks are usually made of clay or similar substances. Topical creams can then be applied depending on the severity of the acne.
Facials using essential oils
It seems like a contradiction to tell you to apply essential oils on the skin for acne since the cause of acne is due to excessive oil secretion. Yet, it has been shown that facials using certain essential oils when they are combined with suitable carrier oils can reduce acne outbreaks.
The following are some suitable carrier oils for acne facials:
- Hazelnut oil is an astringent that softens skin, moisturizes and is suitable for all skin types
- Grapeseed oil has similar properties to hazelnut oil besides having excellent antioxidant properties
- Tamanu oil is a wonderful skin regenerator. In can heal both acne and associated scars.
- Aloe Vera liquid is an excellent carrier if you do not want to use base oils
The following are some of the best essential oils for acne facials:
- Blue tansy oil reduces inflammation and swelling. It can be applied directly on acne blemishes, cuts, scrapes or bug bits. You will find redness disappearing overnight when you use this oil.
Home acne facial using essential oils
1) Cleanse the skin with grapeseed or hazelnut oil. Add Tamanu oil if the outbreak is recent for it can regenerate skin. Gently massage in the oil with a circular motion and then wipe off using cotton balls.
2) Exfoliate using a face mask or scrub. This is a good recipe for a face mask:
- 1tbsp finely ground oatmeal
- 1tsp Grapeseed-Hazelnut-Tamanu oil blend
- 1tsp honey
- 1tbsp water
- 15 drops wild lavender oil
- 1tsp bentonite clay
Mix this and apply to the skin avoiding lips and eyes. Leave for a few minutes until dry and then wash with lukewarm water.
3) After exfoliation, you must moisturize the skin using a toner. You can use the following recipe for a good facial toner for treating acne:
- 1oz high proof vodka (to keep oils emulsified)
- 3oz of Witch Hazel hydrosol
- 10 drops of grapefruit oil
- 5 drops (each) of tea tree and cypress essential oils
Mix all these ingredients, shake well and apply using a cotton ball. You can increase the quantity of Witch Hazel hydrosol if you leave out vodka.
4) Finally an optional treatment is to mix 2 drops of Blue Tansy oil with your moisturizer and apply it at night. This reduces blemishes and inflammation.
For hundreds of years, honey has been used for curing various skin problems. An acne facial using honey is a popular treatment and there are different combinations that can be mixed with honey to provide effective facial masks. Those who prefer safe home remedies to expensive and harmful medications can try these honey masks. Some popular honey masks are:
- Pure honey mask has anti-microbial properties. The waxy nature of honey softens and smoothes skin and keeps it glowing. You just spread a thin layer of pure, filtered honey on the affected areas and wash off.
- Apple-honey mask using organic apples
- Milk-lemon-yoghurt-honey mask
- Cinnamon-honey mask
- Aloe Vera-honey mask
- Kelp-Aloe Vera-honey mask
- Tea tree-honey mask
- Aspirin-honey mask
It is recommended that you use organic ingredients as far as possible and freshly prepared masks. Manuka honey is said to be the best for acne facials as it contains anti-microbial properties.
Inflamed skin must not be treated with facials. Acne infected by bacteria must be treated by a dermatologist. Massaging acne skin is also not recommended since this can further irritate the skin and cause the infection to spread.