A couple of months ago when the fantastic folk at Pure + Simple sent me their newest products from their sister line, Holistic Vanity, I was super excited at the prospect of finding an acne care line that actually works!
I was skeptical though on HOW well these products would work, because acne is such a finicky thing. That’s why I have spent the last two months testing the goods.
In perfect timing, I happened to have a stress-induced breakout (mainly cysts on my chin). I also happened to have a small bottle of exfoliating gel (a mix of glycolic, salicylic, and kojic acid) from my recent days training in medical esthetics. All of this set up the perfect acne-busting experiment.
I first spent some time using the acid on my breakouts (don’t try this at home!!). At night I would apply this potent acid cocktail on each pimple. Each morning I could see that the angry red bumps had slightly decreased in size and were less red. But I also noticed that the skin around my breakouts looked dry and a bit blotchy. It certainly did not look ‘healthy and clear’.
After a week or so of using the acid, I saw some improvement with the breakouts, but my skin had turned from dry and blotchy, to red and slightly raw (as I said, don’t do this at home!!).
What I learned: This cocktail of acids may temporarily reduce breakouts and pigmentation, but will damage your skin in the long term.
Next, I turned to the Holistic Vanity products. “Lucky” for me I had another bout of stress induced acne . . . I know, I’m working on it . . . anyhow it gave me the perfect canvas to test the products. I used the Pine Mint Tonic and Black Mud Turmeric Lotion during the day, and all four products (including the Black Mud Cleanser and Black Cumin Oil) in the evening. Each morning, just like with the acid, I found that my pimples were less red and slightly smaller. But my skin also felt super moisturized and actually glowed! (Despite the red spots still being there).
Cystic acne does not go away over night and so I did not expect this miracle, however the products helped significantly reduce redness, and slowly reduced the size of the cysts without drying or flaking.
The superstars for me are the Pine Mint Tonic and Black Cumin Oil. The tonic feels so clarifying and refreshing (especially if your breakouts cause pain, like mine), but is not drying. I would not recommend the Tonic for all skin types though, especially if you tend to be very dry. In this case, just dab the tonic directly onto the pimples.
The Black Cumin Oil is incredibly nourishing, anti-inflammatory (and yes smells faintly of cumin), but does not clog pores. At first I found that the oil to be quite stimulating (in other words may cause temporary redness), but I’m also quite quite religious about facial massage and spend a lot of time massaging it in. By the morning though, any redness was gone and my skin felt so plump and supple.
Black cumin oil can cause photo-sensitivity (although this one is mixed with Babassu oil to reduce the risk) but it’s best used at night. And always wear sunscreen during the day (which you should be doing anyway!!).
For anyone who has been struggling to find a skincare line that combats breakouts, but is not drying (in fact hydrates and makes skin glow!), then I highly recommend this product line. If you are only going to buy 1 or 2 products, I recommend the Pine Mint Tonic and Black Cumin Oil.
If you do try it out, let me know what you think! I always love hearing your comments!