Today I wanted to share the best natural cleansers for acne prone skin for all of you who aren’t quite sold on the Oil Cleansing Method yet. Hopefully today you can discover some new acne friendly favourites to help calm your skin and reduce breakouts!
As you may know I’m a huge fan of simple, alternative cleansing methods such as the Oil Cleansing Method and Honey Cleansing but I also completely understand that these natural cleansing alternatives can be a little too hippie for some and also they can be messy and impractical at times too (my boyfriend goes crazy that the bathroom taps are constantly slippery and ungrippable!)
That being said, as an acne sufferer, it’s difficult to just go out and purchase any old acne clearing cleansing lotion as there are so many horrible ingredients hidden in skin care products that can clog pores, mess with your sebum production and even disrupt your hormones!
Luckily, I’ve put together the safest and most effective natural cleansers for acne prone skin. These cleansing alternatives will fit all budgets and will leave your skin feeling fresh and clean without stripping your complexion of its natural oils. But first, I wanted to share with you all the reasons why it’s important to opt for more natural products for you skin, but also the reasons why you need to be a savvy label reader – even if you’re buying natural products!
‘The dirty six’ commonly found in skin care
There are countless toxins we need to watch out for in our skin care products but these six groups are the biggest and most common offenders for in cleansers for acne:
- SLS – Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is what makes things foam so is a really popular ingredient in cleansers as it gives that ‘squeaky clean’ feel. This harsh foaming agent is a common skin irritant as it’s pore clogging AND it strips the skin of its natural oils and causes our skin to produce MORE oil. Not good news for acne sufferers.
- TRICLOSAN – Triclosan is a synthetic, anti-microbial agent which is commonly used in skin care. There are widespread concerns that being exposed to this toxin, even a low-level, is contributing to the increase of antibiotic resistance to certain strains of bacteria and has also been known to trigger some nasty allergic reactions.
- PARABENS – You’ll find parabens in pretty much everything! Parabens are known to have weak oestrogenic activity which can potentially lead to disrupted hormone levels. Parabens won’t be labelled as ‘parabens’ on your shampoo but don’t panic, you can recognise a paraben if any ingredient contains the words “ethyl”, “butyl”, “methyl”, and “propyl” – if you see these within any ingredient then stay well clear!
- ALCOHOL – Alcohol (ethanol/ethyl alcohol) is commonly used as a preservative in a lot of personal care products. This solvent increases sensitivity and dries our skin out so we produce excess sebum.
- PETROCHEMICALS – This is an umbrella term for a huge range of ingredients derived from crude oil, including petroleum jelly, paraffin wax, silicones, and mineral oils. Petrochemicals don’t offer any benefits to the skin and in short, using them is essentially like wrapping your skin in cling film causing blocked pores and irritation.
- SYNTHETIC FRAGRANCES, & COLOURANTS – These two groups of toxins are the most common cause of skin sensitivities and reactions, they’re found in the majority of commercial personal care products and can irritate skin that is already inflamed and angry.
Are natural cleansers better for acne?
By switching to more natural cleanser you will obviously dramatically reduce your exposure to harmful toxins but unfortunately, the battle doesn’t end there! Many natural cleansing lotions and balms contain ingredients such as coconut oil, cocoa butter and other exotic oils and butters which can lead to clogged pores if we’re already suffering with troublesome skin. In fact, the only butter that is completely safe for acne is Shea butter – you can read more about that, and other pore clogging ingredients here.
I’ve gone through the ingredients list of all the products below with a very fine tooth comb to make sure that the products I’m recommending only contain light, non-comedogenic ingredients that will calm your skin, not clog it! As I stress time and time again, what works for one person may not work for another so a little trial and error might be needed for you to find your perfect routine. Also, relying solely on skin care without improving other aspects of your health isn’t going to give you the clear skin you want. Yes, it can make huge improvements to the tone and texture of your skin but a healthy skin care routine is just a small part of clearing your acne naturally.
Why skin care alone won’t clear your acne…
Acne is a condition that comes from deep within the body so no amount of topical creams or lotions can cure acne – they can only help to improve the appearance and work to calm and balance the skin. To fully heal your skin you need to heal your body from the inside out. Whether your hormones, stress levels or digestion are to blame – without addressing these key issues, you’ll never win the fight against acne.
Despite what many commercial anti-acne products promise, there is no such thing a ‘quick fix’ or a miracle cure. To fully heal your acne you need to adopt a holistic approach to your diet, your skin care routine, your supplementation and general wellbeing. All of these elements combined will help you achieve clear, healthy skin that will last a lifetime. These healthier changes to your lifestyle will not only clear your skin, but will also reveal a healthier, happier and more vibrant you. So, as well as adopting a skin care routine that’s safe and gentle on your skin, it’s also vital that you harness the power of food as a medicine and learn how nutrition can help prevent your acne from returning and heal your skin from the inside out.
The best natural cleansers for acne
Whether your want to treat yourself to your luxury skin care product or discover an everyday essential – these are some of the most pure and best natural cleansers for acne on the market!
This is a great everyday natural cleanser that’s great value for money and packed full of certified organic ingredients. It contains a blend of acne-fighting ingredients such as Sage, Larch, Green Tea, a potent acne fighter and an amazing source of antioxidants which help to fight free radicals, protect the skin against oxidative stress and combat acne (one study shows topical Green Tea can reduce sebum production by up to 70% after 8 weeks!) alongside Black Willow Bark which is a rich source of natural salicylic acid to smooth the skin and enhance skin turnover!
This is my favourite non-OCM cleanser, it’s the perfect mixture of affordable and luxury. It’s a thick gel that turns into a light foam to clear the pore and regulate the skin. It is formulated without harsh detergents and harnesses the power of detoxifying sprouted green juices – who doesn’t want a green juice for their skin?! This cleanser also contains acne-fighting anti-bacterial essential oils of sage, grapefruit, tea tree, Manuka and salicylic acid which give it a deliciously citrus scent while helping to decongest the skin and dissolve excess oils and impurities from the skin.
If you’re looking for something really simple and non-fussy then this cleanser is the one for you. A light cleanser that removes the day’s impurities and grime – they say it’s even gentle enough to remove eye make-up – although I still prefer Hemp oil and a warm cloth to remove my make-up. It’s enriched with organic rose geranium leaf essential oil which can help promote wound healing and soothe inflammation.
As I mention in this article, honey is an incredible ingredient to use in your acne care routine and Therapi have harnessed the power of honey within a purifying gel cleanser which is aimed at oily/combination skin. The zingy scents of lemon myrtle and grapefruit leave you feeling ultra refreshed while honey and yucca gently remove grim and impurities and leave your skin soft and smooth.
Although we’re now heading into luxury beauty territory, there are some pretty cool ingredients in this gel cleanser from Amala that may make you want to splash out on a luxury natural cleanser. For example, this product contains white clay that helps to clear pores, absorb impurities and remove dead skins cells while Green Tea is a potent antioxidant that has been shown in clinical studies to reduce sebum production by up to 70% and acne count by 50%!
YÜLI Skincare – Halcyon Cleanser | $52 US | £52/€62 UK/Europe
Another cleanser that falls into the eco-luxe category is this detoxifying cleanser from YÜLI Skincare, it contains a herbal infusion of anti-inflammatory ingredients including Green Tea, Red Clover, Chickweed and Sweet Olive Flower to calm and nourish the skin while an unusual addition of Colloidal Peptides derived from Amaranth Seeds gently foam to help cleanse while also aiding skin to heal and repair. Alongside these acne fighting ingredients you’ll also find Hybridized Fruit Enzymes derived from Papaya and Pineapple and Zeolite clay to remove surface impurities and dead skin cells and also promote deeper cleansing and more refine skin tone.
Even if you don’t want to spend the big bucks, you can still enjoy the awesome benefits of Papaya and Pineapple enzymes through regular face masks, they’re a great way to clear pores and keep your skin looking super fresh and dewy. My favourite way to mask with enzymes is to buy some papaya or pineapple enzymes and mix with a bit of clay/yogurt/honey and apply to my face for 10 minutes, alternatively you can just use mushed papaya or pineapple but this method can get a little faffy and messy, not to mention wasteful! Check out this post for more info.
Are there any natural cleansers for acne prone skin that I’ve missed out from this list? Let me know your favourites in the comments below!
Peace, Love & Clear Skin