The Best Natural Acne Fighters By Annie Walton Doyle
When it comes to fighting acne, it’s very easy to go in like you’re going to war. Only bringing in the most powerful and strongest fighters with you, on a mission to blast the inflammation away and leave a trail of destruction in its wake. You messed with the wrong face, buddy!
But lately even I (old leather-face) have been favouring a softly-softly approach. Kill acne with kindness, so to speak. And I must say, there have been some truly impressive products in this gentler quest for a baby face. Sometimes it’s nice to be nice.
Manuka Honey has been a total star of the show. I use it to mask and to cleanse. It doesn’t remove makeup, but it’s great as a second cleanse to purify and soften skin. It combines the best of both worlds in terms of hydration and antibacterial action, meaning zits are minimized and prevented without the common resultant scaly face. And if you think it’d be sticky and annoying, well, it is, kinda. But it’s by no means the most annoying thing I’ve put on my face in my skincare mission. My two favourites are from Tiptree and The True Honey Co.
As an on-the-spot treatment, something noticeably effective without causing too much flaking and sensitivity is sulfur. I’m totally in a relationship with the Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion. I tap a drop over areas of “activity,” and when skin is starting to feel like something’s brewing, I even use it like a serum. A few drops in the palms of my hands, pressed over disobedient areas, tends to keep things in check.
Tea Tree is another classic spot treatment. Although on its own it can be harsh, the Body Shop Tea Tree Overnight Mask walks the tricky line between gentle and effective. Plus, smearing green jelly over the face is an undeniably Fun Time.
Another total star is witch hazel – not as an ingredient in products but the very ingredient itself. It’s astringent and soothing, so it’ll keep pores tighter and clearer without irritating acne. I totally love to use it as a toner, but just make sure it’s alcohol free.
Zinc is another class act in terms of soothing, repairing and reducing inflammation.Rather than go for a thick, waxy ointment, though, I’ve been favouring the PaiPerfect Balance Blemish Serum with copaiba (nope, me neither) and zinc. Its smells like cake, smooths on without pilling, sits gorgeously under makeup and even feels hydrating, alongside adding an acne fighting step.
I’ve also been favouring acne treatment via oil. One in particular that’s been a total star is the Gressa Purifying Oil. Although I don’t think it particularly prevents acne, it’s great to help heal and soothe, and it helps balance out oil overproduction. Plus, there’s nothing I like more than looking glowy to the point of sweaty.
A final godsend for troubled skin is aloe vera. It’s super moisturizing and soothing, and will not clog pores or cause more inflammation. The crème de lacrème is the Epicuren Aloe Vera Calming Gel, which can be used as a calming, anti-reddening serum or even as a primer for those erring more on the oily side.
Annie Walton Doyle is a freelance writer based in Manchester, UK. Her work attempts to justify and intellectualize the choices one makes in "personal aesthetics," with a healthy dose of stupidity. When not touching makeup, she enjoys pubs, knitting, nature and mysteries."
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