(...also known as how my cystic acne healed.)
It's not a secret I've struggled with acne for over ten years. You might be surprised to hear that, since my skin always looks so radiant. Most of my acne-plodden years were accompanied by prescription creams and face washes. Not natural, obviously, but the only solution that consistently showed results. As a teenager, my acne started out as the occasional whitehead, some blackheads and an oily t-zone. My dermatologists were quick to prescribe me a sulfur based face wash, Ziana and Aczone. These worked for years and through college no one was the wiser my skin had a mind of it's own.
I'm not going to lecture you on how everything you put on your skin enters your bloodstream, because you already know that. So did I. I tried several times to wean myself off the prescription creams and replace it with a more natural routine. I tried Relogy, lemon juice, harsh exfoliators, and the like. Every time I abandoned my Rx I cried because my skin just got worse. The last couple years have been a rollercoaster for my face- red bumps, whiteheads, blackheads, irritated, good for two weeks, back to irritated. It didn't help I have a terrible habit of picking at my skin which only exasperated the issue.
In the last year or so, a new kind of visitor has been making an appearance- the dreaded cystic bump. You know him. He's the one who lingers under the surface, hurts like hell and takes his ever loving sweet time to take over as much surface area as possible. When you try to shoe him away he sends a painful pulse to the rest of your face. For a minute, you feel like your face is a club because the beat is so loud. Just, ugh! And you can't pop him- NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO. Because then he wages war and tells all his other cystic friends to pop up in the same place so that you have not one but three painful bumps. I think you get the picture.
It's important to take a pause and remind everyone acne is a sign of something going on internally. The answer isn't always "You just have acne. No reason". It could be hormonal, diet, medication etc.. and it's worth it to look into why your skin is acting up, especially if you notice something out of the ordinary. No one knows your skin like you do, so just be aware of any changes. It might be no big deal, but it never hurts to get checked out. Reading this book by the girl behind Vegan Acne Sufferers in particular was so helpful, and it's available on Kindle Unlimited if you are a subscriber.
Lapis Facial Oil
Perusing Sephora online aimlessly I started gawking at the $80 bottles of facial oil. I've been using Argan and Jojoba oil on my face and body for a few years which come a whole lot cheaper. I never believed in paying so much for facial oils, although I've seen the elusive and fancy bottles adorn Sephora's shelves for years. "What fool would pay so much money for moisturizer?!" Turns out, that fool is me.
Lapis Facial Oil by Herbivore Botanicals is a blue/green oil in a decadent glass bottle with a dropper.
In short? It's supposed to calm irritated skin and nourish it with bacteria fighting powers. The end goal is clear, smooth, supple and even skin.
Before buying this vegan oil, I read every single review on the internet for it. Literally. Every. Single. One. I prayed to the skin gods that what everyone said ("holy grail!" "solved my skin issues!" "cleared my acne!") was true. I waited with great anticipation for this oil to arrive.
It appears blue in the company's picture but mine came green. This is totally normal due to the natural nature. Unless you get a bottle of purple liquid- then you should call them and ask for an exchange.
I use several oils (argan, jojoba, coconut) on a regular basis and was expecting a similar "oiliness". Not at all! The Lapis Oil feels a bit greasy at first on your hand then sinks right into your skin as you pat or massage it on. My face literally soaked every drop up. Keep in mind, my skin isn't overly dry. This oil is just pure magic! The "color" doesn't transfer to your skin either so you don't have to worry about looking like part of the Blue Man Group.
My routine is cleanse skin with Clarisonic and Pacifica Kale Fash Wash, pat dry, then massage the Lapis Oil in lightly.
Within one day, my skin appeared calmer and my acne appeared less noticeable. Within a week, it looked like I got a whole new face. The myriad dark spots on my skin (scarring, picking, ugh) became lighter and my overall texture became more even.
The picture on the left is a "before", but on a good skin day. It doesn't do my horrific skin state justice. On the right, taken only a week after using the oil morning and night, you can see how radiant, even and supple my skin is.
After three weeks, my pores are smaller, whiteheads nonexistent and that stubborn cystic bump on my chin has been shushed.
I only need about 6 drops for my whole face and neck. My skin drinks it up in a matter of seconds so it's not oily but soft to the touch.
You can put this on your chest and back too which I sometimes do to calm my sensitive skin. When I say I have sensitive skin, I am not kidding. For one, it's so light that it's practically transparent. Two, a scratch will leave a red mark for a day. Three, it's easily irritated. Lapis Oil is my savior in immediately calming any redness.
Overall, very little is needed per application and I see the bottle lasting me two months or more.
I additionally used, alongside this oil, the uber popular Aztec Indian Clay Mask. This itself warrants a review but has also played a role in calming my irritated, acneic bumpy skin. I only used this clay once a week and followed up with the Lapis Oil but the two are one powerful duo!
To sum it up, I am in lapis love! Like other users, this has become my holy grail beauty oil. It has kept my skin clear, even and radiant and moisturized when nothing else could. Naturally! I can't believe it but I'm not complaining. I understand the feeling of not wanting to leave your house because you're having a bad skin day but I truly think if you haven't tried this oil it's totally worth a shot. It's changed my life... for the better!
And because I'm a Broadway freak I liken this newfound feeling to "For Good" from Wicked. Enjoy all you theatre buffs.