The 17 Best Natural Face Washes For Acne in 2021
PUBLISHED: 07/02/2019 | LAST UPDATED: 01/17/2020
Organic and natural face washes can be just as effective (if not more effective) at treating acne-prone skin than their conventional counterparts. A high-quality organic acne cleanser should be packed with gentle ingredients that soothe your acne from the ground up.
There’s a myth that oily and acne-prone skin types need to use potent soaps and astringents in an effort to completely remove every drop of oil from the skin. As a result, many conventional cleansers are loaded with very powerful detergents and astringents like sodium lauryl sulfate and denatured alcohol. In reality, this is the exact opposite of how you should treat your acne.
Acne is a skin condition when the oil glands become overloaded with sebum and dead skin. These clogged pores become breeding grounds for the bacteria responsible for breakouts. There are many causes behind excess sebum production (hormonal changes, oral contraceptives, naturally oily skin, or stress) and many of them are temporary occurrences such as stress. While you may think that removing all of the oil on your skin is a good idea, aggressive cleansing disrupts the skin’s protective acid mantle and pH balance. This actually causes your skin to overproduce oil in response and can lead to further acne breakouts (1).
By incorporating a natural face cleanser specifically designed to fight acne into your skincare routine, you’ll be removing excess oil, clearing away dead skin, and killing acne-causing bacteria every day without stripping away the beneficial oils which keep your skin in balance. Use the right cleanser twice per day and you could seriously reduce the frequency and severity of breakouts.
Our team of beauty experts have put together this guide to the best organic facial cleansers for acne. Whether you have dry skin, oily skin, combination skin, or sensitive skin, this guide will help you find the perfect natural cleanser to combat your acne breakouts.
How Do Organic Cleansers Fight Acne Effectively?
Instead of those harsh soaps and alcohols that we discussed, organic cleansers fight acne by using gentle yet potent ingredients. Some of the best acne-fighting natural ingredients include tea tree oil, neem oil, black cumin seed oil, blue tansy, honey, rosemary extract, and willow bark (contains natural salicylic acid) (2, 3, 4). Aloe, green tea, oatmeal, and probiotics help to soothe redness, reduce inflammation, and heal wounds (5, 6, 7,8). Tamanu oil is a fantastic ingredient to treat acne scars as it penetrates the skin deeply to repair damage. Ingredients like rose oil and vegetable glycerin are useful for maintaining moisture levels and fading acne scars (9, 10).
Which Type of Organic Cleanser is Best for Your Acne?
The two types of facial cleansers: foaming cleansers and non-foaming cleansers. Foaming cleansers are fantastic for oily and combination skin types. The foaming action helps to break up oil and dirt to give you a nice clean feeling without stripping the skin. Dry skin types will benefit from using a non-foaming or oil-based cleanser. These creamy cleansers (often called cream cleansers, cleansing milks, or cleansing oils) dissolve away dirt, excess oil, and can even remove heavy makeup without causing dryness. In fact, they leave your skin feeling silky smooth and soft. If you have dry skin and haven’t tried a non-foaming cleanser, then you’re in for a real treat when you do!
Organic Skin Care Tips for Acne-Prone Skin
The key to natural skin care is to use high quality products and give your skin time to heal. Excessively cleansing, exfoliating, and treating your skin will only make your acne worse. Follow this simple skin care regimen for acne-free skin:
- Cleanse your face with an organic cleanser for acne
- Use an organic toner after cleansing to remove any grime left behind after cleansing, fight bacteria, and prime skin for your serum.
- Apply an anti-acne serum or spot treatment to breakout areas
- Finally, apply a lightweight organic facial moisturizer for acne.
Follow this routine twice per day (morning and night) and watch your skin improve each day. If you want to take this routine a step further, then use an organic mask once per week for deep pore cleansing and exfoliation.
How to Find the Best Organic Cleansers for Acne?
The internet is filled with companies claiming to have “all natural” and “organic” products. Unfortunately, many of those products are filled with ingredients that are neither organic nor natural. Petrochemicals, sulfates, parabens, phthalates, synthetics, fillers, and industrial detergents are amongst some of the cheap fillers, preservatives, and additives you may find when shopping for a new cleanser. As experts in identifying authentic organic and natural skin care products, we went out and did the heavy lifting for you! After researching and testing hundreds of cleaners, we designed this top list of the best natural face washes for acne. Enjoy!
1. (2017) Skin Surface pH in Acne Vulgaris: Insights from an Observational Study and Review of the Literature; The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5605222/
2. (2017) Tea tree oil gel for mild to moderate acne; a 12 week uncontrolled, open-label phase II pilot study; Australasian Journal of Dermatology https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/ajd.12465
3. (2011) Honey: its medicinal property and antibacterial activity; Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3609166/
4. (2013) Comparative Antibacterial Activity of Different Plant Extracts in Relation to their Bioactive Molecules, as Determined by LC-MS Analysis http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.844.8955&rep=rep1&type=pdf
5. (1999) Aloe vera: a systematic review of its clinical effectiveness. British Journal of General Practice https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1313538/
6. (2016) Anti-inflammatory Action of Green Tea. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27634207
7. (2007) Colloidal oatmeal: history, chemistry, and clinical properties. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17373175
8. (2019) Studying the Skin Microbiome and the Potential of a Topical Probiotic Cream for Patients With Acne; U.S. National Library of Medicine https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03469076
9. (2018) Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils; International Journal of Molecular Sciences https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5796020/
10. (2002) A double-blind study comparing the effect of glycerin and urea on dry, eczematous skin in atopic patients. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12013198