Many of my readers have asked me for an all natural skin care routine for acne. So today, I thought I would write about an all natural skin care routine. I will also share some of my DIY recipes. They will help your acne heal as well as make your skin look good.
Having acne is bad enough. You often wonder if a new product will help your skin heal or irritate it further. More often than not, your skin reacts to everything and not in a good way. In this post you will find what alternatives to use that calm your skin and get it to heal.
Even if you do not have acne you can still use some of these routines. They are all natural. Designed with acne in mind they can help almost anyone achieve better looking skin.
The advantages of an all natural skin care routine is that it is very gentle on your skin. Much too often, commercially available skin care for acne dries out your skin. This makes your skin fight back.
So now not only do you have acne but you have sensitive skin as well. It takes a while to heal skin that has been damaged by acne creams.
Our goal here to to help your acne heal as well as take care of your skin.
So the main components of any skin care routine are and should be done in the order as follows
- Exfoliating ( done once or twice a week )
- Face masks
Depending on what stage your acne is, I will let you now which option is the best. In the box like the one below you’ll get to know which one is the best.
Note : If you have cystic acne please do not try any of the remedies below. In fact you should not put anything on your skin when you have cystic acne. Try and get your acne under control with diet first. Check out the clear skin diet here or the best foods to clear acne here. This green smoothie will also help clear up your skin.
Cleansing is the most important step in any skin care routine. You need to clean your face of makeup, dirt and pollution. In this section I am going to give you 5 alternatives to face wash. You’ll get to know how to use them.
This one is my personal favorite for a reason. You see honey was one of the first things that helped heal my acne. Besides being gentle it helps heal your acne as well as moisturize and heal your skin at the same time.
It cleans your skin without stripping it of all moisture and leaving it tight and itchy, which is what face washes generally do. Honey also has anti-bacterial and moisturizing properties which make it a great cleanser for skin with acne.
It is best to use honey when your acne is bad. This is when your face needs the most gentle care and products.
How to use it – Take a coin sized amount in your palm. Add a little water to make it easily spreadable. Apply this all over your face gently. Massage it in for a while and wash off. Remember to keep your hair back from your face as it gets stuck to the honey on your face very easily.
You can also apply a thin layer of honey all over your face and leave it on for about 1/2 an hour before washing it off. This way you use it as a mask as well as a face wash.
The antimicrobial properties of aloe vera make it ideal to use in your skin care when you have acne. It helps reduce the redness and inflammation caused by acne. This helps with healing as well. Which is of course exactly what we want.
Aloe vera also helps fade acne scars. It also has moisturizing properties. You can’t go wrong with aloe vera!
It is best to use aloe vera to clean your face when your acne is healing or your acne is mild.
How to use it – You can use pure aloe vera gel you get commercially. It is best though to use the gel directly from the plant. Apply a layer of the gel and leave it on your face for 20 minutes or till it dries. Wash off with water and pat your face dry.
Cleopatra used to bathe in milk to keep her skin soft and smooth. While that would be a big waste of milk you can use it on your face only.
Milk soothes your skin, removes dead skin cells, shrinks pores and moisturizes your skin.Now why wouldn’t anyone want to take advantage of all these good things that milk has to offer.
It is best to use milk to clean your face after your acne has healed.
How to use it – All you need is some cotton wool and some raw milk. You can even use plain yoghurt or cream. Dip the cotton wool in the milk and apply it all over your face. You can leave it on for about 10 minutes before washing off with cool water.
Oatmeal makes a healthy and filling breakfast. However you can also use it in your skin care as an alternative to face wash. Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
It is ideal for sensitive skin and is extremely beneficial in the treatment of acne. It helps relieves dry itchy skin. This is great to treat acne prone skin that is irritated after the use of acne creams.
Oatmeal is best used when your acne has started to heal or when you have mild acne.
How to use it – Grind some oatmeal and keep it in a jar in your bathroom. You can mix it with water or even better, with honey. The anti-bacterial properties of honey with help soothe and heal your skin. Rub this mixture gently all over your face. Wash off with water.
OCM (Oil Cleansing Method)
Oil Cleansing Method or OCM is basically just using oil to dissolve dirt on your skin and then wiping it off with a damp cloth. One thing I learned is that over cleansing is bad for acne. Trying to dry out the oil on my face because I was so scared it would lead to more acne, actually lead to more acne. Not the result I was hoping for!
The thing I was doing to prevent acne actually caused more acne. The more I tried to remove the oil on my face, the more oil it created.
Our skin produces oil naturally because it needs too. Oil keeps our skin healthy and protects it. The oil is what gives our skin a healthy glow. It is not something we should fight against. Working with our skin rather than against it, is what will give us healthy clear skin.
The basic reason to use oil is that oil dissolves the oil on your skin that has hardened along with the impurities on your face and is blocking your pores. The process of massaging your face with oil removes these hardened plugs that will later on block your pores.
Best time to use OCM is when your acne has healed. I do not recommend using it while you have active acne.
How to use it – The best oil to use for OCM are jojoba, avocado, castor, olive, grapeseed and hazelnut oil. Of course this list is not complete and you can use any oil you like. Just make sure the oil is pure. You will need oil, a soft face cloth and some hot water.
Pull your hair away from your face with a headband or scarf. You do not want your hair getting oily. Splash some water on your face. Take a pea sized amount of oil on your palm and massage it gently all over your face.
Use your fingertips and be gentle. Use circular movements. Once you have covered your entire face, dip the cloth in the warm water and rinse. Place this cloth over your entire face and let it sit there for 10 seconds. The steam helps open up your pores.
Take of the cloth and wipe off the excess oil from your face with it. Repeat this twice. Finally splash cold water on your face to close your pores. Initially try OCM just once a week. Give your skin plenty of time to get used to it. This also gives you time to observe how your skin reacts to it.
Toners help balance the PH level of your skin, they make your skin smooth and close your pores.
Here are 5 toners gentle enough to use on sensitive skin. They have no alcohol so will not sting nor dry out your skin.
Cucumber and Mint Toner
Cucumber has a calming and cooling effect on the skin. This makes it useful in treating the redness and inflammation associated with acne. Cucumber juice is an astringent and it will help lighten the appearance of acne scars. Mint helps heal acne and removes dead skin cells from your face.
This toner can be used when you have active acne.
- One cucumber
- A handful of mint leaves
- 1/4 cup water
- 2-3 drops tea tree oil
Wash the cucumber well. Do not peel. Chop roughly. Soak the mint leaves in plenty of water to loosen any dirt. Wash well. Blend the cucumber and the mint leaves in a blender or food processor. Add the water to get it going. Strain this mixture through a strainer lined with a fine cloth to ensure that all solid particles are removed. Store this in a bottle in the refrigerator.
Apply on your face with cotton wool. If you have acne gently dab the cotton wool on your face.
Rose water has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the redness associated with acne. You can apply normal rose water on your face as a toner. Try and get good quality rose water. Do not use if you have active, cystic acne.
Apply on your face gently with cotton.
Green Tea Toner
Green tea contain powerful antioxidants which are very helpful when it comes to treating acne. Applying green tea topically helps reduce inflammation caused by acne.
You can dab used green tea bags on your face or can make the toner below which you can store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
You can use green tea when you have acne. It will help you heal and reduce the redness on your face
- 2-3 green tea bags or 2 teaspoons loose green tea
- 1 cup water
Cut open the tea bags and put the content into a clean saucepan. Add the water. Put the saucepan on the fire and bring it to a boil. Switch off the heat and let it cool. Strain into a glass bottle.
Aloe Vera can be used a cleanser as well as a toner. A thin layer of aloe vera gel applied to washed skin serves well as a toner. You can also use pure aloe vera juice instead. This will keep your skin healthy and will not dry it out.
Aloe vera can be used when you have acne
If you do not have any of the above ingredients on hand you can use a simple ice cube to help your skin look calm, even toned and sooth. Simply run an ice cube all over your face after washing it.
If you have active acne, an ice cube might hurt your acne or break them. Use this once your acne is on the path to healing. Use the cucumber and mint or green tea toner at this time.
Exfoliating when you have acne can be tricky. The last thing you want is to further irritate your skin. For sensitive skin you need to use something that is soft and gentle and will not irritate your skin. You should exfoliate just once or twice a week.
You should avoid exfoliating if you have active acne. Leave this for when your acne is healing or completely healed.
The 2 best things to exfoliate your skin are oatmeal and green tea. In fact you can combine your cleanser and exfoliant with the recipe below.
Oatmeal/Green Tea and Honey Scrub
- 1 tablespoon ground oats / 1 tablespoon loose green tea
- 1 teaspoon honey
Mix both the above ingredients and apply on your face. Leave for 15 minutes. Then gently rub the mask into your face in circular movements. Use only your fingertips and be gentle. Wet your hands with water if the mask is too sticky. Wash off completely.
For a complete guide on exfoliating when you have acne, check this article here.
I use only oil for moisturizing my skin on most days. I experiment with coconut oil these days as my skin has gotten quite dry. Steer clear of coconut oil when you have acne. When you have acne prone skin, it is better to stick to oils with a comedogenic rating of zero.
My suggestions for using oils to moisturize your skin : It is better to wait until your acne had healed completely before trying out this one for the first time. There are a lot of opposing views when it comes to using oils in your skin care when you have acne. If you want to try it, start by using a drop at a time and observing your skin over the new few days.
The best oil to try fist is rosehip oil. This helps fade acne scars and is great for acne prone skin. Additionally it is very light and gets absorbed into your skin very quickly without leaving an oily residue.
You can also try hemp seed oil which has a comedogenic rating of zero. It helps balance out the oils on your skin and also reduces inflammation and redness.
Face Masks for Acne
My favorite mask for acne is honey. I am a bit biased, but with good reason. Honey literally helps flatten out acne. You can use honey as a base and literally mix anything with it to make an acne mask. Even applied on its own honey does a great job.
Here is the mask I generally use for acne
Honey Mask for Acne
- 1 tablespoon raw organic honey
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg powder
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1-2 drops rosehip oil ( optional )
Mix all the above ingredients. Wash your face and make sure your hair is tied back and off your face. Apply the mask with clean fingers. Leave it on for an hour or more. Wash off gently with plain water.
You can also mix honey with
- aloe vera gel
- a paste of mint leaves
- a paste of basil leaves
- bentonite clay
- green tea
Use any of the above mixed with honey as a face mask for acne.
I think I have covered all aspects of a skin care routine. Comment below if I have missed anything or you have something you use that you would like to share with everyone.