High End / Mid End / Niche / Skincare / Skincare

The Guide to All-Natural Acne Treatment

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As longtime readers will know, I’m borderline insane when it comes to skincare. And—by way of delusional quid pro quo logic that doesn’t actually work—I expect my perpetual obsession to deliver nothing less than flawless skin. So perhaps you can understand why I go ballistic over the stray blemish. A mild breakout, like the one I’ve been experiencing for the past month? Simply unacceptable.

Of course, while I’d love to wage full-out war on my face, that’s simply not how things are done. I’m no esthetician, but even I know hitting skin with harsh ingredients will do more harm than good in the long run. With that in mind, I turned to Dr. Sarah Villafranco, founder of one of my favorite all-natural skincare brands. Her first tip?

“In general, I think some focused attention on your diet can make quite a difference. Dark, leafy greens, protein rich grains like quinoa, and lots of water, while limiting sugar, dairy and wheat are good goals. Make sure you are cleaning your face really well before bedtime, every night.” P.S. It’s also imperative that you use a clean towel to dry your face and sleep on a regularly laundered pillowcase.

Ok, so we know how to care  for our complexions from the inside-out—but that’s only half the battle (isn’t it delightful?). The all-important step is creating a regimen that diminishes breakouts without stripping your face. “That has been a big flaw in skincare for a long time, I think,” Dr. Villafranco told me, “Like when we all used to eat fat-free foods and feel chubbier than ever?? You have to work with the skin and its function, not against it. It’s supposed to secrete sebum and create a barrier to water loss, so if you are forever stripping its oils away, it will just get mad and make more—a lot more.”

While I’d highly recommend that you shop her line for the solution to all of your problems (more on that in a bit), here are some ingredients to look for in blemish-fighting products: antibacterial essential oils like thyme and lemon, soothing ones like lavender and parsley seed, and healing oils like rose hip seed and evening primrose (in small quantities to help blemishes heal with less scarring). For Osmia girls, she recommends a thorough cleansing with her Black Clay Facial Soap followed by the Facial Calibration Serum and Detox Mask (all three reviewed here) once a week. As for directly targeting breakouts, nothing is better than her Spot Treatment, the chicest rectangular rollerball that somehow vanishes my hairline problem spots like nothing else.

And with that, I impart upon you her final words of wisdom. Just call this your new anti-breakout bible:

  1. “Do. Not. Pick. Let me say that again. Do. Not. Pick. This includes popping, unless there is a clear white head on the pimple, and this process is not done in your car in the middle of traffic, but with clean hands, after steaming and cleansing skin, then using tissue and gentle pressure. If it doesn’t come out on the first try, it’s over.”
  2. “Don’t touch your face except to wash it and apply product with clean hands. The rest of the day, hands off.”
  3. “Normally I don’t like to use super drying products on pimples. In a pinch, though, dab a bit of Purell on the blemish—it can control bacteria until you get home to your better, gentler acne products.”

Full Disclosure: The product(s) featured in this post were submitted by PR for editorial consideration and review. For more information, please refer to my disclaimer.

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21 thoughts on “The Guide to All-Natural Acne Treatment

  1. Hmmm…interesting. I am going to tell this to my daughter for she is currently suffering from acne. She is really bothered about it and I think this product is the one she needs. i will also tell her your tips as well.

  2. Hey MM, oh I really mus lay my hands on some Osmia! I TRY not to touch my acne, but sometimes I do fail. Most of the time I slather on a blob of La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo before bedtime and wait for it to work its magic when I’m asleep though :)

  3. I’ve always followed tip #1 to the letter. On the rare occasions where I get a zit, I don’t touch it at all. It usually goes away in a day or two. :P

    Though I have had a few times in my life where I get a patch of acne that just won’t go away. I like those diet tips. I’ll keep that in mind next time. (Hopefully there isn’t a next time, though!)

  4. Just wondering, do you use shampoos with sulphate? I had a lot of hairline pimples and a bit of bacne, switching from sulphate and silicone laden shampoos to non sulphate and non silicone ones made a world of difference. My face is still work in progress, though.

    • Nope! I’m ‘cone free/SLS free because my skin can’t handle either one of those. I do use conditioners with dimethicone though since I only use those on my ends and they don’t come anywhere near my face.

  5. Yeah, that do not pick and do not touch rule. I can never stick to it. I’m lucky I don’t get much breakouts. Even when I did when I was younger, they were only mild little ones. *knock on wood* *I did not just jinx myself*

  6. Yea….I tried to squeeze a couple clogged pores a month or so ago and it was NOT. GOOD. Lesson…learned? (god knows we try and fail on this account). I NEEEEED to put in an order to Osmia already! Makeup what!? All I want right now is organic skincare :D :D :D

    • You definitely should! It’s good over time too, helps clear away those problem areas and really heal them. Sorry to hear that Aesop treatment is only semi-working out though, but hey at least it’s not a total bust? :)

  7. As a self-professed skin care junkie, I find these tips very useful. I know I shouldn’t touch my face whenever I’m outside the house but I still do it, hence, the occasional appearance of pimples here and there. I’ve never tried Osmia before or any spot on treatment in general and this product seem like a good way to start. I usually get pimples on my chin before I get my period then they get even worse when I try to pick them out whenever I feel like it. Thanks for the thorough review ;)

  8. I can’t stick to the “hands off” rule! Do you have any tips on how I can break this habit? Sometimes I feel like I should tie my hands on my desk to avoid doing it. I’m currently using the On-the-Spot® Acne Treatment by Neutrogena and it works just fine. I’m actually looking for a “natural” alternative so I think I’ll give this one a try.

    • Hi Vanessa! I don’t know if these are available where you are, but I really love the Nexcare Acne Patches for helping you stick to the hands-off rule. They basically adhere to your blemish and suck all the bad stuff out over the course of the day, plus you literally can’t touch the skin underneath.

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