Whether you’ve struggled with acne for years or have stumbled into an uncharacteristic (and unfortunate) outbreak, acne is never fun to deal with. While your instincts may tell you to run for the harshest products you can find and wage a full-on war with your blemishes, there are plenty of gentle-yet-strong natural and organic products that are effective—no need to douse yourself in harsh-smelling, stinging chemicals! Here’s a roundup of some of our favorites, and a three-step routine to get your facial freak-outs under control.
Sophyto’s Deep Pore Cleanser, a foaming cleanser with bio-compatible fruit acids and enzymes or Saaf’s Organic Pure Face Cleanser, which has a purifying blend of natural ingredients in an ultra-gentle formula.
Step 2: Tone. Using toner on a clean face will improve your skin’s quality and texture, particularly with oily complexions. If you find that using a toner is drying out your skin, switch to a gentler formula or switch to using it every other day instead of every day. Two to try: Dr. Hauschka’s Skin Clarifying Toner, a great daily toner for oily, irritated skin, or skin with large pores. We like it for its ability to help prevent and minimize the appearance of blemishes and blackheads, and shrink pores, and Exuberance’s best-selling product, the Believe Balancing Facial Tonic, with sugar maple and Vitamin C to help brighten and balance skin while fighting aging and acne.
Step 3: Moisturize. Even oily skin needs to be moisturized; it will keep dry skin from drying out and oily skin from over-producing oil. We recommend Suki Balancing Day Lotion, a lightweight, greaseless day lotion to calm and soothe the complexion, or Saaf Organic Complexion Boosting Serum, with purifying botanicals that clear breakouts, balance oily skin, help to eliminate blemishes, and improve skin tone.
Bonus treatments: When you’re suffering from a breakout, have a big event coming up, or want a little something extra as an acne preventative, pamper your face with a little something extra. We love the smoothness we get from facial masks, and how much smaller (and clearer) our pores are after a facial steam bath. Try the Dr. Hauschka Facial Steam Bath, an herbal steam bath that opens pores and helps soften blackheads and impurities with extracts of nasturtium, daisy, and witch hazel, leaving your skin perfectly prepped for a clay mask like the (vegan!) Suki Transformative Cleansing Clay Mask with soothing lavender and antibacterial zinc to combat blemishes, or the John Masters Morrocan Clay Purifying Mask, with balsam copaiba resin (an anti-inflammatory), lavender, sunflower, and aspen bark.