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Whether you’re a teen hit with puberty, or have late-stage acne, everyone wants clear skin, and no one wants to suffer through pimples and blemishes that hang around forever. These natural acne treatments help balance your skin’s pH and clear up troublesome skin problems.
Follow the Basic Steps of Skincare
We were astounded when we did an informal poll (VERY informal) and found out just how many people (mostly of the male variety) who are unfamiliar with the notion of a skincare routine. If you have acne, a daily routine is the first place you have to start.
Don’t be afraid.
It’s only three steps. They are:
We’ll get into what you should be using to clean, tone and moisturize with, but marry yourself to these three steps every morning and evening. The results won’t be immediate, but this is the most important method to have healthy skin for a lifetime.
Step One: Wash with Sensible Face Wash or Face Cleanser
This may seem obvious but if you’re washing your face with bar soap, stop. Please. Stop now. Find a mild cleanser that deep cleans without completely drying you out. Brands like Burts Bees, The Body Shop, Alba, Aveda, Honest Company, and Arbonne all pride themselves on using natural ingredients. Here’s the thing: you’re going to have to experiment. Try one out for a month, or maybe two at the same time and see which one you like better. You want your face to feel clean but not overly dry after you wash. Everyone’s skin is a little different (this is an understatement), so get ready for a little adventure in product testing. Don’t worry. You’ll eventually settle on a brand you like.
Step Two: Toner
Toning balances your skin’s pH and prepares it for your moisturizer. (One thing NEVER to do is use isopropyl alcohol. NEVER use this on your skin.) Witch hazel is a great natural toner. Apply witch hazel directly on a cotton ball and swipe all over your skin, paying special attention to your T-zone (forehead, nose and chin). This clears up any excess oil and left over residue from your cleanser. If you’re a teenager, and you’re feeling especially oily during the day (look, we’ve all been there, okay?), we recommend having a tea tree oil blemish stick to apply directly to pimples or problem areas. You can also use a drop of tea tree oil diluted with 1/4 teaspoon of witch hazel once or twice a week to give your skin a special deep clean.
You can also make your own homemade apple cider vinegar toner. Mix one part apple cider vinegar with three parts water and apply to your skin with a cotton ball after you cleanse. Vinegar a great astringent, like witch hazel, and also helps balance skin pH. Try a few different treatments and see which one you like best. They’re all affordable and, more importantly, natural.
Step Three: Moisturize
This may sound somewhat counterintuitive, but if your skin is too dry, your glands will make more oil to compensate for the dryness. Most acne treatments tend to dry skin, which is fine, but a nice clean moisturizer during the day and at night help balance skin pH. We recommend experimenting with the brands listed above. You need to find a day cream and a night cream that you like, and, again, some of this is based on personal preference and chemistry. If your skin is extra oily, look for an oil-free formula. Don’t be afraid to experiment and ultimately, just listen to your skin. If you want to try natural oils: try jojoba oil as a day oil and coconut oil as a night cream. Older women will love the hydrating power of coconut oil and the citric acid can do wonders for mid-life acne.
Bonus Step: Exfoliate
One to three times a week, it’s time to scrub off the dead skin to prevent your pores from clogging. Face scrubs made with natural ingredients like ground apricot seed (St. Ives is always a classic) are gentle and widely available. Check out a nice clay mask which also removes that top layer of skin and reduces the size of pores to help clear them of the oil and bacteria that causes acne. We love this affordable clay mask from Alba. Try it out once a week for a little day spa treatment at home.
Bonus Step Two: It’s Time for a Steam
Steam opens up pores, triggers your sweat glands, and helps your body purge toxins. If your skin is feeling particularly broke-out prone, boil water on the stove, pour 2 cups (or so) into a large bowl. Place the bowl on the kitchen counter and bend over, covering your head with a regular-sized towel to trap the steam. Hang out here for about five minutes. We recommend doing this right after you cleanse for optimal results. Feel free to go back for a second round. After you’re done, splash your face a few times with ambient-temperature water from the cold tap. The cold water helps your expanded pores shrink and improves circulation. Pat your skin dry gently and let it rest for about 30 minutes before you moisturize.
Do you have any homemade remedies you’d like to share or have any natural acne treatments you swear by? We’d love to hear from you! Post your success stories in the comments to help your fellow acne sufferers.