Over the holidays my skin went absolutely bonkers. I'm used to having fairly clear skin with the occasional spot, but for some reason - holiday treats? less sleep? more wine? long plane rides? hormones? - my skin decided to go on a spotty rampage. I decided that instead of dwelling over it, I would use this opportunity to explore some natural acne fighting products that I had been waiting to try.
I have a problem with a lot of acne fighting products. Many of them are harsh, drying and abrasive. It is more likely if you suffer from problem skin it isn' because you're not cleansing enough -- it is more likely that something inside is out of balance. It is for this reason that I believe gentle, yet effective natural products should be favoured over the conventional completely drying products.
Over a period of 4 weeks myself and a close friend of mine took to the acne fighting product lines -- here are some products worth adding into your spot fighting routine:
A few cleansers came out as effective, yet gentle, clearing products. One is gel, the other cream.
Shamanuti Activated Charcoal Cleanser Review
This was my go to problem skin cleanser during the holidays. It's activated charcoal helps to neutralize and absorb impurities. It is the perfect acne fighting product for even the most sensitive skinned lovelies. I would recommend it also to anyone suffering from rosacea and spots - it's that gentle. The ingredients are extremely soothing (Chamomile & rooibos tea) and there is a little bit of tea tree to help cleanse impurities from the skin's surface. The scent is super fresh - a little blend of citrus and berries, plus the tea tree.
My skin was left feeling super clean, but not tight and dry. Since it is a gel consistency, I used this with a facial brush in a circular motion to help lift makeup and fully cleanse the skin.
Aside from that, I'm loving this boutique brand -- quality of ingredients are high, packaging is minimalistic and modern. Just my style.
Where to Buy:
Shop a 4 oz bottle for $28 at their online shop
Niora Alpha Clear Cleanser Review
What was interesting about Niora's cleanser is that it is actually for adult acne -- so aside from fighting off spots, it also works to fight off wrinkles. Niora's cleanser is step one of their complete system, which includes exfoliant, and serums for both eye and face. The product I wanted to highlight is their cream adult acne cleanser. The reason why this is important is because it is not drying, in face it fights acne while still moisturizing. This is a great product for aging and hormonal skin that needs a little TLC. This product was tested by a dear friend of mine who has combination skin - here is what she had to say:
Niora's Clear Cleanser was a very moisturizing soft milky cleanser that gently loosens the debris from the face and skin. I was pleasantly surprised how much I like the cleanser, as I have combo skin and wasn’t sure it would be sufficient enough thoroughly "clean" my skin. However after 3 weeks of use, I have noticed my skin feels very soft with even & clear complexion. My only comment is that, this cleanser alone doesn’t remove make-up.
She used this cleanser mainly at night, by pouring a good teaspoon onto her palm and massaging onto damp skin. She used a damp, soft facecloth to remove the cleanser and thoroughly remove any debris from make-up. In the mornings she used the cleanser without the facecloth.
Niora Silk Emolient Makeup Remover for Acne Prone Skin Review
I also really enjoyed Niora's Silk Basic Emollient Makeup Remover for Acne Prone skin
. It had anti-aging ingredients
, and took of my makeup brilliantly. It looks creamy, but actually comes out in more of a gel consistency, so didn't leave the skin feeling unclean. This is the perfect tool for gals that have acne prone skin and wear makeup daily. While extremely effective, it's also very gentle - so again OK for those with rosacea . I simply applied in circular motion over damp face at the end of the day, and massaged with a muslin cloth in cirular motion. It lifted away makeup, but didn't leave skin feeling tight. The aloe vera is calming and the glycerin helps to pull out impurities.
Where to Buy:
Shop Niora's natural acne fighting products online at their E-store. The Makeup Remover is $20 USD
& the Alpha Clear Cleanser is $17
Shamanuti Seaweed Toner Review
Combining perfectly with their Activated Charcoal Cleanser was Shamanuti's Seaweed Toner. They grabbed my heart again with this perfectly pH balancing nutrient rich toner. It is packed with nourishing ingredients like kelp, blue green algae and dead sea salt, so it grabs off any extra residue while also hydrating the skin. It's a perfect and refreshing toner for travel too. I took the little bottle with me on the plane and used it often to prevent "plane face" (i.e. dry and dehydrated skin with new spots).
There is an essential oil blend in here that is so lovely. Maybe a little ylang ylang or neroli? Either way, it's fresh and it's beautiful.
Where to Buy
Shop a 4 oz bottle for $28 at their online shop here.
I've tried a lot of natural spot treatments over the years, but nothing has ever matched up to this little product by Thursday Plantation
Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Blemish Stick Review
All of their products are tea tree oil-based, but because they've focused their energies on what they know, each of their products is extremely effective and high quality. I previous blogged on their "personal wash" on a post about natural in the shower, check it out here
. Anyways, back to treating spots...
I picked up this blemish stick during the holidays in desperation for something that worked. I left all previously tested products back in Oslo, since none were effective. Well ladies, it works.
A blend of Vitamin E, Tea Tree oil and spearmint oil help to fight off the acne causing bacteria on the spot. It is clear and a gel, so it's fine to use in the evenings as well as the day. I would put it on right after I finished my cleansing and toning routine, and let it dry before I did any "concealing" with makeup. You can easily apply it to problem spots with the sponge + stick applicator, BUT
I preferred to use the sponge to put gel on a Q-tip and use the Q-tip for application directly (the sponge could get a little unhygienic after a while...even with the disinfecting tea tree oil product). I applied 2 - 3 times / day on the problem area.
While this product does contain alcohol, since it is a spot treatment, I was not hugely against it. Rather than drying out your entire face, you're focusing on one little spot.
Where to Buy
While it's not the easiest product to find, a lot of health food retailers tend to carry this brand in the less than visible shelf space. Ask for help at your local natural health food store. I paid about $12 for my 7 ml tube from a local natural foods store, but you can find it online
at through some of these global distributors.
Annemarie Gianni's Herbal Facial Oil for Acne Prone Skin
While it might seem counterintuitive to use oil on acne prone skin, Annmarie Gianni's blends
are nothing less than perfect. You've heard me shout from the rooftops about Annemarie Gianni's products before - probably from the post about how I would eat most of them
. This product is no different. While it is an oil, it actually prevents pores from clogging, and helps control breakouts.
Why? You might be asking. Well, the herbal oil blends of rosemary, willowbark, neem, bitter orange, among many others combining to create a *slightly* astringent oil that you can use on oily and acne prone skin. The beauty of this product is that it still moisturizers lightly, and the antioxidants are great for packing an anti-aging punch too! The oils actually help to balance your own skin oil - so those with oily or combination skin should not fear.
Where to Buy:
Shop for $35 for 15ml (a little bit will do you) from Annemarie Gianni's online shop
Don't forget to eat well, sleep enough and drink loads of water. Use hot compresses on painful spots and always
, be kind to yourself and your skin. For extra fun healthy lifestyle tips and posts, follow my Instagram
too :) xx
Happy Sunday from snowy Oslo, beauties!