Over-the-counter products to treat acne have been successful over the years in treating mild to moderate forms of acne. But nowadays, consumers have more choices in products containing natural ingredients, including botanical extracts.
Oftentimes, these natural ingredients have proven to be gentler on the skin while still proving effective in treating acne. In this article, we’ll cover some of the common natural ingredients and botanicals now available in acne skin care products.
Oat extracts and green tea in facial cleansers can help reduce irritation. To remove excess oil without stripping the skin completely of its natural oils, look for cleansers containing essential oils of lavender, lemon, lemongrass, or geranium. If your cleanser contains aloe vera or vegetable glycerin, then your cleanser is also moisturizing your skin. Plant-derived salicylic acid is used to clear pimples and prevent future pimples since it is very effective in de-clogging pores.
After washing your face, use an astringent to help close up pores. Be sure your astringent contains cetyl, which is a naturally derived alcohol. This has a less drying effect than the synthetic alcohols, which should be avoided: isopropyl or cetearyl.
Some other good natural ingredients in toners are witch hazel (acts as a mild astringent), sage, rosemary, horsetail, cucumber, and peppermint extracts. All of these help balance the skin. A good product to try is Earthscience Clarifying Herbal Astringent (earthessentials.com).
Look for moisturizers containing chamomile, hamamelis, and/or goldenseal. All of these help fight acne-causing bacteria.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is popular in natural products. Although it’s a bit slower in showing benefits than benzoyl peroxide, it treats acne without the dryness or possible scaling and irritation that can occur with benzoyl peroxide. Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic and is effective in treating clogged pores. It can also help prevent scarring and heal current scarring. Most health food stores will carry tea tree oil products for skin application. Please note:tea tree oil is not to be taken internally; only apply to the skin.
Natural ingredients in acne skin products can boost your fight against acne without over-drying your skin or causing irritations that are more common in conventional over-the-counter treatments. Give some of these natural ingredients a try and see which gives you the best results. Remember that an effective acne treatment must also include a nutritious diet, regular cleansing of the affected area, and other treatments suggested by your health care professional.
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The content in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice from a health care professional. Be sure to see your doctor if your acne does not improve or if it worsens.
Underwood, Brian. "Spot removers: Banish blemishes with anti-acne botanicals." Natural Health., Sep 2006. Science Resource Center. Gale. 30 July 2008