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For me, there is nothing better than stumbling across a secret ingredient that very few people seem to be talking about. It seems like once the word about a new product gets out, it spreads so quickly. Whether it is something you consume, like charcoal drinks, or a natural skin care ingredient, like licorice root, it is usually just a matter of time before EVERYONE and their mother is talking about it.
A while back, I found a string of threads in an old beauty site forum. (If I could remember the site, I would share it. :-)) A few people had started a discussion about hormonal breakouts and cysts, and someone mentioned PRID. I did a quick search on PRID, and found that it is a drawing salve used for splinters, blisters and ingrown hairs.
I was instantly intrigued. If this drawing salve is safe for skin and draws out impurities, wouldn’t it be perfect for cystic breakouts? And, aside from just a spot treatment for acne, could this be incorporated in a face mask? And finally, why is no one talking about using drawing salve in a face mask?!
I will admit, the first picture that came to my mind when I read the words “drawing salve” was the black, tar-looking stuff. You know, the kind that you see headlines for where someone rubs it all over their face and their nose falls off…
I did some research and black drawing salve and drawing salve like PRID are two different products with different ingredients. Black salve has bloodroot (sanguinarine) and zinc chloride and essentially burns off your skin. Because of this, it’s used controversially in alternative cancer treatments.
Drawing salve, like PRID doesn’t actually “draw out” anything from your skin. It contains ingredients like ichthammol, arnica montana and vitamin E. I have seen Ichthammol salves too at the drugstore that serve the same purpose. Ichthammol softens the tissue around your skin, aiding in the “drawing” process. It essentially makes it easier for your skin to get rid of a splinter, zit, or ingrown hair. Arnica Montana is a natural herb commonly used for healing bruises. It is also in PRID and encourages blood flow and reduces pain. The other ingredients (like Vitamin E) are antioxidants or moisturizing ingredients.
Before I created a recipe for a mask, I wanted to try PRID by itself. I scooped a little out with a q-tip and put it directly on a breakout that was forming under my skin. I would definitely recommend using something other than your hands to get the salve out of the container. It is super thick and sticky. I made this mistake the first time and had to use an oil-based cleanser and really scrub to get it off of my fingers.
A few things– for optimal results, you really have to leave this stuff on a spot overnight. A couple of hours will really make some progress with a cystic bump, but you cannot draw everything out in that amount of time. Also, it is kind of disgusting. It really draws the oil to the top of your skin, which means you literally have oil running down your face as it pulls the bump to the surface. This means if you are leaving it on overnight, you should use something like a band-aid to protect your pillows and to keep everything contained.
While this is all great for those of us who get the occasional cyst, it really isn’t practical. I don’t have time to sit with this nasty stuff on my face, and I’m not too thrilled about the idea of wearing a band-aid on my face to bed. This made me think about other ways I could use PRID effectively in a shorter amount of time. I thought about other ingredients that could repair and “draw” out breakouts quickly and decided to experiment with some clay and tea tree oil.
There are a few mask ingredients for breakouts that I really love. To get rid of blackheads, I love using charcoal. Check out my charcoal mask that uses a secret ingredient to prevent staining.
For deeper issues below the surface, like hormonal or cystic acne, clay is my go to ingredient. Certain types, like bentonite clay, bind to toxins and remove impurities. By itself though, bentonite clay can really strip the skin. Even with very oily skin, bentonite clay can be too drying and irritating.
Combine equal parts of bentonite clay powder and kaolin clay powder in a bowl. For a single use, you really only need about 1 tsp of each. Add in 1 ounce of water and blend until smooth. Be careful not to use a metal fork or whisk when blending.
Once the mixture is smooth, add in two drops of tea tree oil. Scoop out about 1/4 of a teaspoon of PRID. If it is not pliable, you can soak the closed jar in boiling hot water until the salve becomes easy to work with. Blend, blend, and blend some more. As long as the PRID is in a pliable state, it is really easy to incorporate into the clay mixture.
Your final mixture should be thick but easy to spread. Using a mask brush or a flat foundation brush, apply the mixture to any area where you have a cystic or hormonal breakout. Unless your skin is very oily, I would only apply it to problem areas. I use this on my chin or lower cheeks whenever I feel breakouts starting underneath my skin.
Leave this on for about 20 minutes and gently rinse off. I use a cleansing sponge for easy removal. Be careful not to scrub harshly when removing.
You should always follow a clay mask with a heavy moisturizer. Between the bentonite clay and the drawing salve, this will take a lot of oil from your skin. Oil is your skin’s natural way of moisturizing and it can be produced when your skin is too dry. To avoid more oil production, keep your skin clean and hydrated after using this mask.
I always recommend doing this at night and once a week at most. My face is always slightly red after I use any kind of clay, so test a small patch if you are using this before you go out.