The Best Natural Products for Acne

Best Natural Products for Acne Prone Skin

I’ve talked about my acne-prone skin time and again, and one of the questions I get asked most often on social media is, “What products should I use for acne/oily skin?” Over the years, I’ve tried seemingly hundreds of products, but it’s only been in the last year that I switched all of them to natural ones. In this day and age, there’s no reason to put unnecessary chemicals all over your skin unless you need to. So here is my list of tried and true natural cleansers, toners, moisturizers, spot treatments, and masks for acne prone skin.

A good natural cleanser for acne-prone skin is harder to find than you might think. A lot of them dry you out or simply don’t work without the harsh chemicals. Luckily, I’ve tried a whole lot of product, and will share my favorites with you now.

Steal: I actually prefer the cheaper product here. I’ve sworn by Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash for years (I always use it with a Clarisonic), and it’s never let me down.

Splurge: While I usually stick with my usual face wash, sometimes it’s nice to feel a little fancier. John Masters makes a great oil free cleanser that comes out in a foam that makes you feel squeaky clean. And it smells insanely delicious too!

I use a toner after every single wash. My technique is to pour toner directly onto a cotton round, then wipe the round all over my face and neck. I let it dry before I apply moisturizer.

Steal: Try Thayers Witch Hazel Original Formula. I randomly discovered this at Fairway one day and fell in love. It’s not harsh, and keeps my skin super clear. Plus it smells amazing and clean.

Splurge: My all-time favorite toner for acne-prone skin is SW Basics 5-ingredient toner. It’s made with apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, and essential oils. That’s it! It smells a little vinegar-y but is so worth it for the results, trust me.

I only moved to a natural moisturizer for the first time this fall. I was so obsessed with the one that I had been using for years, that I was scared of changing things up and breaking out like crazy.

Steal: I have been using Acure Oil Free Moisturizer for about two months now and haven’t seen one breakout since I started. It’s hard to find a good moisturizer that actually moisturizes but keeps my skin clear. This one does it for a great price! I found it by asking a team member at Whole Foods randomly one day.

Splurge: Man if I could use only Tata Harper products for the rest of my life, I’d be a happy camper. Sadly, my wallet doesn’t always allow for it, but once in a while I go for the splurge. The Tata Harper Clarifying Moisturizer is one of those products that I’ll shell out the big bucks for every so often. I prefer it in the summer because it is super light.

Spot Treatment
No matter how well you take care of your skin, if you have acne, it’s going to pop up every now and again. Ahem, once a month perhaps? When the time strikes, I immediately turn to spot treatments to dry out the blemish (or blemishes) without drying out my entire face.

Steal: I use this product Desert Essence Blemish Stick whenever I’m starting to break out. I’ll dab it on after cleansing and toning, and then let it dry before applying moisturizer. It’s made of only tea tree oil, so you know it’s a clean product.

Splurge: I love the brand Herbivore, so decided to test out their Herbivore Blue Clay Spot Treatment last month. It’s a little more work than the roll on but works insanely well. I put it on what I thought was going to be a zinger

I never really understood the importance of masks when it comes to oily skin until I started using them. My favorites were all laden with chemicals, so it took a while to find great natural options that did the same job. Luckily, I have two great product suggestions for you that are, in my opinion, better than any mainstream mask.

Steal: Don’t let the super low price point deter you from trying Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay. For $10, it delivers serious bang for your buck. When I first moved to New York and could barely afford groceries, let alone fancy beauty products, this clay mask saved me. It also lasts forever.

Splurge: The Tata Harper Purifying Mask is a game-changer. It’s a little pricey but man does it work. It leaves you glowing and clean. I use it once a week without fail. If the price is a little high for your budget, buy it and use it once a month. It will last a lot longer that way!

What are your favorite natural acne products? I’m always looking for new ones to try!

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  1. Have you ever tried Lush products? I swear by them, and one of the reasons I do is for their natural, fresh ingredients!

    1.31.17 · Reply
  2. jenny said:

    Tula is my favorite. It’s the only thing that keeps my dry yet acne prone skin in check and balanced all year round! Their prices are pretty affordable but it’s also so high quality you don’t need much at all.

    And anything from Eminence!!

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  3. Does the Thayer’s Witch Hazel toner have alcohol in it? I’ve been looking for an alcohol-free toner but haven’t had much luck. I tried the SW Basics toner but felt like it didn’t really work for my skin.

    1.31.17 · Reply
    • Jayme Evans said:

      Dickinson’s makes an alcohol-free Witch Hazel. It’s also hydrating! You can find it at Wal-Mart for a steal!

      1.31.17 · Reply
      • Ahh! Good to know! Thank you so much!

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      • I tried Dickinson’s but didn’t like it as much as Thayers. I might have to try again 🙂

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    • The Thayers is alcohol-free as well! It’s much gentler than any other toner that I’ve used. You should try it out!

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  4. Ashley Burr said:

    So exicted by this post and can’t wait to try everything!

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  5. Stacey said:

    Do you have a good sunscreen recommendation for acne prone skin that’s still natural?

    1.31.17 · Reply
    • That’s been really tough for me. I actually stick to chemicals with sunscreen just because I’ve never found one that both works AND doesn’t break me out. I use PCA Weightless Protection ( But if you find a good one, please let me know!

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      • Brittany B. said:

        Julia – I too, only use natural beauty products (makeup and skincare). I have searched far and wide for a good face sunscreen that in non-chemical. After trying multiple products, I LOVE Kypris Heliotropic Pot of Shade (Primer / Sunscreen – Zinc Oxide SPF 30). It acts a dual sunscreen and makeup primer. It doesn’t break me out and its amazing. A little pricey, but a little goes a long way. I believe some bigger Anthropologies sell Kypris. I bought mine at Credo (a natural beauty store in San Francisco – locations on the east coast as well in NYC).

        4.5.17 · Reply
    • amycjes said:

      I like Coola mineral face spf 30 matte cucumber. There’s almost no scent to it, it really does mattify and the formula is pretty clean. I have yet to find a sunscreen that *never* irritates my skin but this comes close (unless I’m out in the sun and/ or sweating like a pig). I mix this with Sunday Riley UFO oil (3 drops) and it makes a great makeup primer & is enough moisture for me super oily acne-prone skin.

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  6. Virginia Merati said:

    Bookmarked! Thanks so much for sharing. I struggle with hormonal acne which is so difficult to control, but lean towards natural products as well whenever possible. There are definitely some good tips here!

    I used to use prescription acne treatments but have stopped due to harsh side effects as my husband and I are trying to conceive. I share your love of the Tata Harper resurfacing mask, and it works so well for me that I’ve replaced my prescription with it! I use it as a spot treatment at night and apply a thin layer all over my chin where my breakouts typically are. So far, so good – and it does wonders for scarring as well!

    PS – do you use any anti-aging products, like an eye cream?


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  7. Viola said:

    I just bought a Clarisonic and was wondering what type of cleanser to use with it. Thanks for the recommendations!

    1.31.17 · Reply
    • I use the Desert Essence one that I mentioned above. It works great with the Clarisonic!

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  8. Victoria said:

    For the winter, I love to use fig and yarrow organic facial serum-it has jojoba oil, rosehip oil, and a blend of other oils, its moisturizing but not heavy and doesn’t clog my pores.

    2.2.17 · Reply
  9. Stephanie said:

    There is a newish store in Westport that I have been dying to check out called Organichs. It is all natural makeup and skincare. Have you been??

    2.4.17 · Reply
  10. Ashley E said:

    I’ve been trying out the dessert essence cleanser, Thayer’s witch hazel, and acure moisturizer this week and I’ve already noticed a positive change in my skin, so thank you so much for this! I had been using Proactiv+ for the past six months and it dried out my skin horribly. I was wondering if you have a recommendation for a natural exfoliator to try as well?


    2.10.17 · Reply