Acne. Oh how I loathe you in all your gooeyness.
Oh and this will be my very last post from China! Enjoy!
Those of you like me, who grew up with acne, be it severe, moderate, flare ups, or just the random spot here and there, know what I am talking about. Everyone- doctors included- said not to worry that it would clear up once you became an adult. You get to be an adult and WHAMO! There they are. Hello bumpies! You get older. And they are still there! They may change from white heads, to cystic, to hormonal, or willy nilly just go all over the place. Then you’re sprouting grey hair and you’re still getting break outs! And then the wellness babe’s and the internet quacks all tell you that adult acne is just a modern thing because of all the processed foods we eat. Or the gluten. Or the water. Or the pickles you forgot to rub on your pits. Or that you eat GMO. Or you smoke. Or you don’t eat enough Tom Foolery.
Yeah. No. Acne has a long and well established history (hello Pharaohs! You got the bumpies too! Let’s be friends! We have so much in common!) Oh and the smoking thing? I don’t know what they are talking about. I have had more acne since I stopped smoking than I did whilst smoking. They say what you eat shows up on your face. But unfortunately, like most things out there on the internet, that’s not always the case!
Acne is a common but serious skin disease, which affects approximately 80% adolescents and young adults in 11–30 age group. 42.5% of men and 50.9% of women continue to suffer from this disease into their twenties. –PubMed
If you have any further doubt that acne can haunt you as an adult? There is an actual YouTube channel dedicated to a board certified dermatologist who posts videos of pimple popping. Ew. Yeah when that one fell on my desk? Gross. But I couldn’t stop watching. Three hours of my life wasted!
So now that we’ve established the horrible yuckiness that we might be stuck with acne for the rest of our lives… what can you do about it? This company and that company tell you to use this or that brand or this or that bottle of magic for clean, clear, and brighter skin. DIY enthusiast/bloggers say the same thing; I know early on here at Scrub Me Down I did say a certain product is anti-acne or such, but in my learnings, I’ve decided to stop saying such words, and explain why I chose this ingredient over that ingredient instead.
So, we’ve spent the month of May talking about neem. Soap, face cleanser+mask, toner, light hydration booster and I had to try to figure out which recipe to post for the last week. I was torn between a lotion with some new ingredients or a blemish stick. And since it is getting warmer and I am using lotion less and less, I decided on a stick- er I mean a wand.
I decided to make this Neem Wand a little more on the solid side as the weather is getthing warmer I don’t want anything melting!
The key ingredient in this is a combination of neem oil and castor oil. Both of these oils have a impact on scar treatments, blemishes, and can possibly assist in lightening skin pigmentation. Castor oil in high amounts help to dry out the skin, and with its naturally occurring antibacterial properties, here’s hoping that it can help with blemishes too!
I used beeswax for its tacky nature, and for it’s ability to seal in moisture to the skin.
But… if I leave this recipe with just these three ingredients, you will be left with some shine from hell. So went back to the drawing board to try to find an ingredient to leave a dry touch finish. Arrowroot was too problematic to work with. Mango butter works, but it is better suited for winter. Then I tried some stearic acid. But didn’t leave the finish I was after. Duh! Cetyl Alcohol. Bingo! It leaves a dry powdery touch finish. No shine going on here!
I was originally planning to use the tea tree essential oil and chamomile essential oil from the Hydration Booster recipe, but I forgot!
To use Neem Wand, apply to your blemish. Be sure that the area is clean before application. Gently massage into your skin.
Are you ready to get the last of your neem on? I can tell you this, I will be coming back to play more with neem oil ratios in products in the future! So stay tuned!
- Prepare your work space and your equipment by wiping everything down with ISP 70% rubbing alcohol. Turn on your double boiler to a barely there simmer.
- Weigh in your beeswax, cetyl alcohol, neem, and castor oil in a small beaker, and place into your double boiler.
- Remove your beaker from the double boiler once everything is melted. Stir.
- You want your mixture to be thin enough to pour, but not yet opaque.
- Decant into your tubes, and allow to cool for at least 24 hours before you use.
Note: I would strongly suggest only making about 10g of product, that will give you 2 5g tubes of product.