When I was a teenager, I carried the burden of the occasional break out. Something that no teenager wants to deal with but something that most experience (thanks a lot hormones). But nothing compared to the skin tornado that happened when I hit my early 20’s. This unfortunate breakout was partly due to ending my relationship with the Birth Control Pill and it took some serious shots at my self confidence. I literally tried everything in my power to tame the acne that had erupted all over my face but nothing was working. I went as far as taking the drug Accutane, which requires monthly blood tests to ensure your liver is processing it properly (yikes). While this “wonder drug” did give me clear skin for a year or so, eventually it came back and with a vengeance. I was at a loss of what to do and enlisted the help of my Naturopath who referred me to a holistic aesthetician. I am so grateful that I met this amazing woman for so many reasons and her knowledge of natural skin care is one of them. She started by assessing my skin and eventually came up with a skin care regime for me. This is what the regime looked like:
(1) Replace harsh cleansers with an Oil cleanser.
(2) Replace astringent and drying toners with a hydrating Hydrosol toner.
(3) Replace all pharmaceutical prescriptions and toxic face creams with a Facial Oil.
I was so hesitant to try this regime as I couldn’t get past the idea of adding oils to my skin. Wasn’t acne caused by too much oil? Was this going to cause me to break out even more? The opposite was actually true.. I learned that your skin will produce more sebum when it is lacking hydration, and oil dissolves oil. I needed to add healthy oils to my skin to balance its over production of pore clogging sebum. After doing some research and learning all about the magical effect that oils can have on your skin I was, still hesitantly, ready to try this method. I am so glad I did. Within a few months, I noticed big changes and shifts in my skin. Break outs were lessening, my skin tone was evening and my complexion was nothing short of luminous. It had worked! I kept at it, and over time my skin improved to the point where all I ever experience is the odd small pimple here and there during my period. To this day, I still use the Oil Cleansing Method with the use of hydrating hydrosols and facial oils to keep my skin happy. I have never had better skin and I don’t suffer from embarrassing and painful break outs. I realized in retrospect that my skin was craving hydration, nutrition and simplicity. We forget that our skin is working hard all day to filter out environmental toxins, stay balanced during seasonal weather shifts, and process hormonal shifts in our bodies. Rather than stripping the skin of its nutrients and moisture (which many conventional skin care companies will try to have you believe) we should nourish our skin from the inside out. There are so many ways to combat acne instead of depleting our largest organ of its food. Before you reach for pharmaceuticals or astringent toners, try looking at a few of these additional things first:
- Drink More Water (help your liver and skin flush toxins)
- Avoid Toxic Make up
- Avoid Toxic Shampoos and Conditioners (These products come in to contact with your skin in the shower and can cause some unpleasant break outs. Find my natural shampoo and conditioner recommendation HERE).
- Avoid beauty products with the ingredient ‘Bismuth Oxychloride’. This is an ingredient commonly found in mineral make up which is deemed “natural” but this ingredient has been wreaking havoc on many faces. It has been studied and found to have a direct link to acne. This happened to me years ago when I was using a certain mineral foundation. It took me a long time to realize that I had been taken by a company using “green washing”: when a company makes claims or statements that their products are natural but are actually not.
- Birth Control Pills (these can cause acne during their use and also cause acne when stopping them thanks to hormonal shifts that occur)
- Avoid Toxic skin care products
- Hydrate your skin
- Simplify your skin care routine (too much fussing with your skin will only anger it)
It’s so easy to read articles listed with recommendations on how to cure that stubborn acne but it tends to end there. I found that many times I was left unsure what to buy or use regardless of how well the article was laid out. So, I decided to list some of my favourite products for acne prone skin. I have used them personally and have never experienced a break out as a result of any of these brands (they are really amazing). This list may be overwhelming due to its length, but it is meant to provide you with a list of resources to further research and choose whats right for you. Everyone’s skin is different so be sure to look into each product through the links provided to choose your best fit! Each product name listed below is a link to the product page so you can have access to the products themselves and their ingredient lists (simply click the name of the product). I am happy to answer any questions in the comment section below!
Recommended Oil Cleansers: (click product name to shop)
1. MUN Akwi purifying cleanser ($60.00 USD): Of all the oil cleansers I have tried, this cleanser is the one that feels the most like a traditional face wash. You cannot tell that you’re washing with oils which may be palatable for anyone who is just starting out in the world of oil cleansing. I personally enjoy the feeling of oil cleansing but this may be due to years of practicing this skin care ritual. MUN is high end luxury skin care and this cleanser will love your skin feeling soft and refreshed. This product is partially Non-GMO and certified organic, meaning that only a portion of the ingredients denote this standard but are all naturally derived.
2. Maya Chia ‘the great cleanse’ ($38.00 USD) This oil cleanser is one of my personal favourites as it includes one serious super power, ‘supercritical chia oil’. Maya Chia is well known for its extraction process that doesn’t diminish the benefits of the chia seed oil found in their products. This cleanser denotes some of the best skin care ingredients including supercritical chia seed oil, roman chamomile essential oil, Non-GMO vitamin E and many more. This cleanser has an amazing texture thanks to the oils they have selected. It isn’t too heavy and leaves the skin feeling supple and glowing. Full blog review HERE.
3. Lewin & Reilly Kukui cleanser ($44.00 CAD) Lewin & Reilly are a natural skin care company that caught my eye due to the exotic ingredients they create their products with. This cleanser in particular is made from Kukui nut oil which is rich in oleic and alpha linoleic acids which assist the skin in retaining its hydration (a key component in fighting acne). Their products are 99.6% organic and wild harvested making this oil cleanser an incredibly nutritious choice for your skin.
Recommended Hydrosols: (click product name to shop)
1. Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator ($32.00 USD) This hydrosol not only locks in moisture but has a plethora of hydrating ingredients that will also boost your skins moisture barrier astronomically. Besides the fact that this magical potion smells like cream soda (delicious), it is one of the most carefully thought out ingredient lists I have seen (as is the case for all of Josh Rosebrooks products, he truly is a master of his craft). I use this particular hydrosol at night after cleansing and before serums/oils/moisturizers to add a boost of hydration. It is the best hydrosol for harsh weather conditions as it protects the skin from the elements and I use this to set my make up too!
2. Live Botanical Fleur de terre calming toner ($18.00 USD) This toner is a simple blend of Melissa and Calendula. These ingredients are powerhouses when it comes to reducing inflammation and redness, two very pesky qualities of acne prone skin. This toner has been a God send when my skin has decided to flare up in warmness and lean more towards redness than even tone. It calms my skin significantly when used daily and is the perfect soothing spray for anyone who experiences painful inflamed break outs. Break outs tend to require a simplified skin ritual and a hydrosol that contains only two powerful ingredients at potent levels is sometimes the best thing you can give your angry skin. I would strongly recommend this hydrosol for anyone who currently experience acne break outs that are red and inflamed. Full blog review HERE.
3. Verdura Naturals Lotus Spray ($48.00 CAD) This spray is a beautiful lightweight hydrosol that adds the perfect touch of moisture to your skin to start your day. I use this hydrosol in my day time routine before applying make up as it doesn’t sit too heavy on my skin. It smells like a bouquet of flowers is jumping out at you with each spray and leaves the skin glowing and hydrated before applying moisturizers or oils. This blend of organic wild botanicals and Aloe vera juice will add a veil of protection and hydration to your skin and is also an anti-septic with anti-aging properties.
Recommended Facial Oils: (click product name to shop)
1. Maya Chia Super Couple ($85.00 USD) The Super Couple in Maya Chia’s luxe beauty line up has been raved about by beauty bloggers, skin care experts and customers everywhere. It has had an amazingly successful launch and it is so deserved! I am in love with this serum/face oil for so many reasons. It’s main ingredient is, of course, Maya Chia’s supercritical chia seed oil and it’s secondary ingredient is astaxanthin. Astaxanthin has been studied via University research to be 65x stronger than vitamin C and 14x stronger than vitamin E at fighting free radicals in the skin. This oil is amazing for anyone who has experience sun damage, photo aging, premature aging, and of course, acne prone skin. It sinks directly into the skin upon application which means it won’t disturb make up application. I use this oil religiously and it has been key in fighting some lingering skin issues I have had, read all about my skin transformation from this oil HERE.
2. Back to Basics Skin care Rosehip Radiance Oil ($48.00 USD) This facial oil has been in my routine for a while now and I am happy to say that it has created the most beautiful glow for this tired Mama’s skin. Rosehip oil is one of those ingredients that I can’t live without as it is a fantastic ingredient to prevent aging and help boost your skins natural glow. The rosehip radiance oil is a blend of many high quality oils that are fantastic for uneven toned and dehydrated skin. This oil can be used both day and night as its not too heavy and sinks well into the skin. This oil certainly does what its named for, it creates the most luminous radiant skin! Full blog review HERE.
3. Live Botanical Fleur de Terre calming serum ($42.00 USD) This serum is the perfect side kick to the Live Botanical Fleur de Terre hydrosol listed above. They both contain ingredients that will calm angry and warm skin which is common in acne prone skin. This serum is a base of chia seed oil with many wild harvested botanicals that work to reduce inflammation and redness. I love the texture of this oil and how it feels on my skin. It has been a great oil for winter months when hydration profile is low and skin can become dry, flaky and red. Full blog review HERE.
UMA Face Oils: I adore UMA for so many reasons but mostly because they have the most wonderful method of sourcing their ingredients, they grow them themselves! This is one of the most potent line of face oils I have used as the essential oils and carrier oils used are grown organically on their farm land in India and are not processed the slightest bit. They are 100% organic and, in my humble opinion, 100% effective! UMA Oils come at a steep price but are considered an investment in your skin.
4. UMA Anti-Aging Face Oil (Ranges from $95.00-$175.00 USD depending on size) I have noticed beautiful results using the Anti-aging face oil as of late. Not only has it kept breakouts at bay but it is helping to reduce fine lines that have come about from sun exposure and use of drying products in the past (side effect from my old attempts to fight acne).
5. UMA Deeply Clarifying Oil (Ranges from $70.00-$125.00 USD depending on size) The Clarifying Oil is one of the top choices for those currently facing acne breakouts. This oil contains ingredients that will help reduce inflammation and pimples by feeding your skin with a healthy dose of nutrients. It will not dehydrate your skin like many acne-specific products on the market and is a winning choice for anyone looking to combat breakouts.
Recommended Additional Treatments: (click product name to shop)
1. UMA Deeply Clarifying Face Mask ($70.00 USD) -OR- UMA Ultimate Brightening Mask ($70.00 USD) Masking has been a great addition to my skin care routine, especially during times of acne break outs. It helps give the skin an extra boost of health and vitality. Similarly to when we drink an extra green juice or smoothie during our day to give our body some additional vitamins. The Clarifying mask is a beautiful mix of acne fighting essential oils (such as tea tree and clove), neem leaf extract, aloe vera, golden turmeric and so much more. It really is a powerhouse when it comes to blemish prone skin and will be the best side kick to your beauty ritual. The Brightening Mask is not necessarily created to fight acne but it is a beauty cult favourite and one of my top choices for masking. It does have ingredients that fight break outs but it also has ingredients that will fight pigmentation or scarring left on your skin from break outs. This mask is a bit of a multi-tasker and one of my top choices for skin care.
2. Lewin & Reilly Purity Zeolite Mask ($44.00 CAD) I have recently received and fell in love with this mask. It is a fantastic mask for acne prone skin for two very important reasons: a) It is a natural (non-manual) exfoliator for the skin which isn’t too harsh for skin that is acne or redness prone, &, b) Zeolite clay naturally pulls impurities from beneath your skin and locks them into its “cage like structure” to remove them from your skins surface after removing the mask. This mask will leave your skin soft, resurfaced, and with less impurities that can be a culprit for break outs.
**Disclosure: Affiliate links were used in this post**