From home remedies to medical procedures, acne-prone skin types are always looking for the best way to clear their skin. Giving acne the boot is a tricky game. Maybe it’s always been there, or perhaps it lays dormant — only rearing its ugly head during hormonal flare-ups or high stress situations. To complicate plans for acne treatment, the products you thought were helping your skin could actually be making matters worse.
The claim to fame for most acne treatments? They zap pimples with highly astringent, harsh alcohols and acids. While it may sound like the most hardcore, sure-to-work plan of attack, these treatments are actually major offenders when it comes to long-term skin health. Harsh burning, sudden dryness, and even increased inflammation can become long term side effects of too-harsh acne treatments.
Skin-Stripping Acne Ingredients
Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are two of the biggest names in acne treatment. We’ve been trained to look for these active ingredients when shopping acne care. While they do have a track record for treating acne, they’re not without their side effects. These extremely potent active ingredients can cause dryness, redness, and burning.
Salicylic acid is a potent skin exfoliator that reduces acne inflammation. However, many products made with salicylic acid can actually be harsher than your skin needs. Salicylic acid works well to eliminate acne-causing oil. This is because it strips skin of ALL oils, even the healthy ones that keep your moisture barrier healthy and your skin supple and glowing. A common myth is that this acid is good for a quick fix. The truth? That salicylic acid can take weeks to show results. That means more you’ll need to apply daily, creating prime conditions for excessive dryness.
This bacterial killing ingredient is often enlisted to kill acne-causing microbes, bacteria, and fungus. Benzoyl peroxide can quickly dry up acne by removing inflammatory bacteria, but it’s got its own pitfalls. Surprisingly, more irritation — not from bacteria, but from dehydrated, moisture-stripped skin. This acne-treatment can also worsen post-pimple dark spots, since it’s so often misused. Instead of applying sparingly, only when needed, benzoyl peroxide is applied sometimes multiple times a day by those desperate to treat their acne.
Natural Acne-Fighting Ingredients
We believe in using gentle, but effective, herbs and hydrosols to create the best natural acne treatments for all. Harsh chemicals used to be all the rage, but these natural ingredients can be just as effect on acne — without the unwanted side effects.
As one of the most famous natural ingredients for treating acne, tea tree definitely earns its leading spot in our natural acne treatments. Its antibacterial properties dry out pimples and blemishes, while penetrating and purifying pores. We pair ultra concentrated tea tree oil with tea tree water to ensure skin stays well treated, without being stripped by the pure undiluted oil.
While this ingredient is more commonly praised for its anti-aging benefits, it serves as a potent natural acne treatment, too. Retinol gently resurfaces the skin to reveal fresh, younger layers and break apart spots of hyperpigmented skin. By breaking apart this top layer of dry or damaged skin, retinol effectively helps to remove debris and dead skin which clogs your pores. Cleaner pores means reduced symptoms of acne.
Honeysuckle Flower Extract
More than an elegant white flower and potent natural preservative, honeysuckle has its own anti-acne benefits. It’s an antibacterial that naturally cleanses skin, and offers skin-soothing properties for calming the skin. The antioxidant found in honeysuckle is also essential to post-acne skin recovery.
Willow Bark Extract
Salicylates extracted from willow tree is a natural substitute for traditional salicylic acid; it is as effective on reducing inflammation while being a more gentle option. Willow bark’s gently exfoliating properties can deep cleanse pores, contorl sebum, and kill acne-causing bacteria. It also helps stimulate cell regeneration for healthy and glowy skin. You will find your pores looking clean and refined in the long term.
3 Natural Acne Treatments
These 3 non-stripping natural acne treatments combine the power of anti-acne herbs and florals with skin nourishing ingredients. Most drugstore acne treatments are all about full-force attacks on eliminating acne. They’re not meant to nurture skin or act as aftercare post-harsh acne treatment. For the sake of skin health, best to invest in products that can do both. Check out our top products for treating acne!
Your first step in any skin problem is to always cleanse! If you find you conventional acne cleanser leaving your face dried out and tight, it’s probably stripping your skin’s moisture barrier with harsh chemicals. Do skin a favor by switching to a natural acne cleanser. Enter Tea Tree & Willow Acne Clear Cleanser! It contains concentrations of antibacterial tea tree and willow to wash away excess oil, makeup, impurities, and bacteria that clog pores and trigger breakouts.
Step two in your acne routine? Use a lightweight toner to treat acne without fear of drying out your skin. With just a few pumps on a cotton ball, this anti-inflammatory toner can nourish, hydrate, soften, and purify without stripping, dehydrating, or irritating. Antibacterial and antiseptic herbs soothe and clarify acnegenic skin, while helping to fight against future breakouts. With a refreshing feeling (no burning, here) and pure herbal scent, both you and your skin can get some much needed relief from breakout stress.
Last but not least, treat your skin with a concentrated serum that helps skin recovery. Use this serum in the PM and let the potent and stabilized vitamins do the magic overnight. Vitamin C boosts collagen and elastin production to help fade post-acne dark spots, while Vitamin E protects skin from free radical and other environmental stressors. The last major anti-acne benefit of this serum? Its high dose of retinol resurfaces skin and purges pores of the excess dirt, debris, and dead skin cells that can cause pore blockages and related acne.
Check out our guide to healing and concealing acne, and remember to choose the right products for your skin type to avoid unnecessary breakouts!