Gentle Ways to Come Clean: 14 Natural Face Cleansing Alternatives

This is another epic guest post from my amazing (and funny, and smart, and talented) skin care correspondent, Svea. And good news! She’s started her own blog, so check it out here


After you read this article, I swear washing your face will be as much fun as this model is making it look

Many of you guys have been asking about gentle face cleansing alternatives lately, so I just decided to write an article about it. Here it is:

You probably know that most commercial cleansers contain surfactants or emulsifiers - which is pretty much the same from a chemical point of view. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), soap and even sugar tensides (a common ingredient in many organic cleansers) strip the natural lipid layer from the skin’s surface and destroy its protective barrier.

In other words, they are simply too harsh for sensitive skin types like acne skin.

I think that‘s the reason why you are looking for a safe and effective natural way to wash your face! The good news is that there are lots of home remedies you can try! It’s fun to do your own “spa treatment,” especially one that is beneficial!

Not only are many of the natural “cleansers“ mentioned below quite inexpensive compared to most store bought stuff, they are also environmentally friendly, even after they go down the drain (apart from the cotton pads, of course …)

However, none of these natural face wash methods will make your skin feel as “squeaky“ clean as those surfactant-rich cleansing foams, creams and gels from your local supermarket. And that‘s a positive point! If your skin feels squeaky, your cleanser is probably too “strong” for you. Many people think their skin is not clean enough after washing it the natural way – but it is! I swear!

Acne or no acne, switching to a gentle, natural cleansing routine means switching to something that it is NOT provoking inflammations and something that will NOT leave your face feeling tight, dry or looking flaky. You want something gentle for your skin, something that keeps it hydrated and minimizes the amount of moisturizer you need to use. 

A gentle cleansing routine won‘t cure your acne, eczema or other skin problems like a magic potion, but you can improve your skin‘s condition a lot by NOT slashing any more chemicals on it every single day. Treat your skin as gently as you can and never rub, pull or tug your skin!

Above all you really don’t want to over-wash your face! It could be making your skin worse. Once or twice a day is enough. To avoid intolerances or even allergic reactions, always make a patch test on the inside of your arm before you apply stuff to your face – even if it‘s mild and natural stuff!

Okay, I hear you guys! I‘ll stop preaching and come to the point! These are the single cleansing methods:

Natural Cleansers

So you want your own individual look? Try a full body clay mask!

1. Clay

Clay draws toxins from the skin and can calm inflammations. You cannot only use it as a face mask, but also as a daily face wash.

There are different types of clay: red, green or white clay, ghassoul (also called rhassoul) or healing earth. You can mix clay with water or other funny stuff like aloe vera gel, organic floral waters, organic full fat yogurt, kefir or buttermilk. It‘s simple, just like cooking. Get creative!

However, please remember not to add too many different ingredients all at once! Try only one thing at a time to find out how your skin reacts to it. Apply the mixture to your face, leave it on for just a few minutes, then rinse. Don‘t let it dry!!!

This cleansing method works especially well for oily or combination skins, however depending on which color of clay you use, all skin types can benefit.

oily skin:
ghassoul / rhassoul (moroccan lava clay), green clay, bentonite clay, kaolin clay or Fuller’s
Earth

sensitive skin:
white clay, red clay

dry skin:
red clay

dull, tired, or devitalized skin:
pink clay

If your skin tends to be dry, add a few drops of oil. To enhance antibacterial properties, try to add a drop of lavender, tee tree or laurel oil, a teaspoon of manuka honey or a splash of apple cider vinegar.

You can use clay as a mask for body and hair as well! Ghassoul is a fab hair wash alternative: applied as a mask, it strips the hair of chemical build up and other residues, absorbs oiliness almost like a sponge, makes your hair shine and adds volume! Don‘t massage it too much into your hair to avoid split ends.

Don‘t try clay if you are allergic to nickel. Clay may contain traces of it.

2. Orris Root Powder

Orris root = Iris germanica, Iris florentina, Iris pallida

Orris root powder is really moisturizing, very gentle on the skin and smells just like violets! Mix with water (or yogurt, aloe vera, floral waters, … ) and apply in the same way as the clay mixtures.

You can use it as a tooth powder as well! It might be a good alternative for those, who struggle with a severe intolerance or allergy to fluoride, SLS or mint oil (in the past, it has indeed been used as a toothpaste).

Depending on where you live, orris root powder might be difficult to find. You can try to browse online shops selling herbs or ask in a pharmacy for it.

For those living in the States, you will find it by clicking here.

3. Chickpea Flour

If you have very oily skin, chickpea flour might be good for you! Mix with water, floral waters, yoghurt, … and apply in the same way as clay or orris root powder.

You can buy it in most Asian or health food stores!

4. Organic Full-Fat Yogurt, Curd, Kefir or Buttermilk

Yogurt, curd, kefir and buttermilk are the most natural surfactant-free alternatives to cleansing milk you can probably ever get your hands on! It‘s not just emulsified fat and water: Lactic acid harmonizes with your skin’s acidity, dissolves lipids and helps to remove dead skin cells.

If possible, use organic (non-pasteurized) milk products. Massage gently into your skin, avoid the eye area and leave on for a few minutes. Then rinse.

As a general rule of thumb, yoghurt and curd are a little more gentle to the skin than kefir and buttermilk. Especially buttermilk might be too strong for very sensitive skin types due to its high amount of lactic acid. For the same reason, it‘s a great exfoliator!

5. Cotton Pad and Oil

Apply just a few drops of oil (jojoba, olive, argan, almond, apricot kernel, evening primrose, …) on a moistened cotton pad and gently wipe across your face without rubbing. Splash with water afterwards.

If you aren‘t sure which oil could be great for your skin type, read the oils article first.

6. Mashed Fruit or Vegetables as a Cleanser or Face Mask

This is no recipe idea! Fact is that papaya pulp, mashed avocados, cucumbers, mangos or bananas are fantastic skin cleansers. Fresh fruit contains enzymes which will remove dead skin cells, clear pores and resolve excess oil. I think most recipes below are too complicated to become an every day solution, but you can still consider them as a mask or treatment every once in a while! Be careful though, not every skin type can deal with fruit acid. Make a patch test first!

A few ideas:

Oily skin / Combination skin:

  • Cucumber juice works extremely well as a skin cleanser. Due to its cooling effect it helps to soothe and soften the skin. Apply some cucumber juice mixed with raw organic milk onto your face. Use a cotton pad!
  • Papaya fruit is a rich source of nutrients such as carotenoids, vitamin C, B vitamins, enzymes and minerals. Papaya pulp also contains a variety of phytochemicals, including polyphenols: Massage your face very gently with a papaya slice or mix papaya pulp with raw organic honey or rose water and apply it as a face mask for 15-20 minutes.
  • Lemon juice is a natural exfoliant, skin brightener and anti-infective, whereas the starch from (sweet) potatoes will absorb excess oil: Boil some sweet (or white) potatoes, mash them, let them cool down and add a few drops of lemon into the mixture. Squeeze a real lemon! Do not use any ready-bought lemon juice gunk! Apply, leave on for 20 minutes, then rinse off with water.
  • Mix some lemon juice (from a real lemon) with raw organic (or manuka) honey and cinnamon. For some, it works extremely well to fade hyper-pigmentation marks. Leave on for half an hour, then rinse.
  • Bananas are rich in vitamin A, B and E and a good source of iron, magnesium and potassium. A fresh mashed banana facial can be great for your skin!
  • Mangos can have a nice effect on your skin as well. Mangos are rich in vitamin-A and rich in antioxidants. Use in the same way as papaya!

Dry skin:

  • Packed with healthy fats and phytonutrients, avocados and olives offer remarkable benefits for dry skin: Mix avocado pulp with olive oil to make a paste. Rinse off after 20 minutes.

7. The Oil-Cleansing-Method

I‘m not a big fan of the oil-cleansing-method. For me it wasn’t great, to say the least. The first time I tried this method, I ended up with cystic acne. It was too harsh on my skin because of rubbing too much, because of using the wrong or too much oil and because of the very hot water. That‘s why I don’t think it‘s suitable for sensitive or inflamed acne skin, so please be careful!

If, after all, you are still longing to try it, grab your favorite oil and apply some of it on your dry face in a circular motion. Use your fingertips. To avoid irritation, massage your skin in the most gentle way possible – or not at all, especially in the most inflamed areas.

Massaging with oil can be very stressful for your skin and might spread acne bacteria all over your face. Just let the oil soak for about 20-30 minutes. Excess sebum will be removed anyhow and even some impurities might pop out.

You don‘t even have to use olive and castor oil as described in most online articles. Castor oil might remove too much natural sebum from your skin, so your skin might produce even more sebum to protect itself. Try jojoba, hemp or grape seed oil, if you have oily skin.

For dry skin, macadamia, canola or olive oil should work fine. Then, instead of using a very hot wet cloth to remove the excess oil, use a warm one pressing it gently on your face without rubbing. Repeat a few times. Don‘t use microfiber cloths, but only soft muslin or cotton cloths.

8. Baking Soda

Dilute a pinch of baking soda in A LOT OF water and splash your face with it. Rinse thoroughly with clean water afterwards.

Don‘t use too much baking soda and never let the baking-soda-water dry on your skin! The granules are kind of abrasive when dry.

By the way, the naturally occurring chemical compound sodium bicarbonate (baking soda = NaHCO3 = sodium, hydrogen, carbon and oxygen) can clean anything from your face to your pans and pots to your whole household. Give it a try!

9. Raw Organic Honey

Raw organic honey is an extremely mild cleanser with antibacterial and moisturizing benefits! Simply apply, leave on for a few minutes up to half an hour, rinse. Be careful with your hair!

Tracy blogged about manuka honey some time ago. Here are the links:

Why is Manuka Honey So Special for Acne and Acne Scars?

I Switched to Manuka Honey… Why Am I Breaking Out?

How I Wash My Face to Prevent Acne

For Experts:

10. Self-Made All-in-One Cleansing Milk, Moisturizer and Body Lotion

Making your own natural skin care is a fabulous way to take care of yourself, save money and have fun all at the same time. Moreover, you can avoid harmful chemicals and other substances your skin might be reacting to and still have the advantages of a creamy and moisturizing product!

All you need is a good oil, some water and a little bit of liquid lecithin. Lecithin is an emulsifier which is naturally occurring in egg yolks and oils (avocado oil contains a lot of it) and is really kind to the skin.

Even my own crazy skin gets along with it, although it easily freaks out with any other emulsifier. You can buy it in some online shops, for example,
here.

basic recipe:

  • 0.7 oz (20 ml) organic floral water (use it as it is!) or aloe vera gel (use it as it is!) or mineral water (boiled and cooled down) or distilled water (if you find boiling water is too much work!)
  • ca. 1 scoop liquid lecithin (you don‘t have to be too precise with this)
  • 0.35 oz (10 ml) cold-pressed organic oil (jojoba, grape seed, apricot kernel … ) or an oil mix

You can vary the amount of oil according to your skin type: 20% – 40% work quite well.

Sterilize a 1oz (30ml) glass bottle and any other type of equipment you might need (measuring utensils, spoons etc.). If you don‘t want to sterilize them with alcohol, boil them in a pot of water for at least half an hour and let them dry properly.

Pour the ingredients into the bottle, put on the lid, shake, and it‘s done! If the oil and water components should separate after a while, just shake the flask all over again to re-mix. If that does not help, add another few drops of lecithin. You can also add a drop of your favorite essential oil, such as lavender, manuka, chamomile, neroli, jasmine and so on.

Prepare only very small amounts, store in the fridge and use within two weeks (otherwise you‘ll have to use alcohol or preservatives).

If you suffer from very dry patches you could try to add a pinch/drop of ectoin, allantoin, d- panthenol or lactic acid (online-shop/pharmacy).

Natural Toners

Many people take the 3 steps of cleansing, toning and moisturizing as a rule to be set in stone. In my opinion the benefits of “toning“ as it is generally – and commercially - understood are questionable, but here are some very gentle alternatives for those who like to have another refreshing kick right after cleansing!

11. Water

Yes, water! I‘m not kidding! Chlorine or limescale are a common cause of itchy, red, dry and flaky skin. So if your tap water happens to be very limy, try to use mineral, filtered (or at least boiled) water to splash your face. This might make a huge difference for some people!

And, of course, water is a very natural and genuine toner! Guaranteed without perfume, essential oils and other unnecessary accessories.

12. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is an excellent choice, if you want to tone and hydrate your skin at the same time. Add one or two drops of oil to it to keep the moisture inside your skin!

Aloe vera speeds the healing process and acts as an anti inflammatory to calm down your skin. It is also a must have home first aid remedy: apply to burns, slow healing wounds, grazes, bites and stings!

However, aloe vera products available in health food stores are not always equal in quality.

Be sure that the aloe vera gel you purchase is organic and certified by the International Aloe Science Council (IASC). This label guarantees that your aloe vera gel is naturally rich in active polysaccharides and free from all kinds of skin-irritating stuff like pesticides and so on.

Nevertheless, make a patch test first, if you have never tried aloe vera before! Some people are allergic to it.

13. Organic Herbal Distillates / Floral Waters

Organic floral waters, also called hydrosols, are very kind on the skin (at least if you are not allergic to a specific flower or plant) and help to regenerate the skin‘s natural acid mantle after cleansing. There are lots of different choices: rose water, hamamelis water, orange blossom water, lavender water, chamomile water, thyme water, sandalwood water …

Floral waters are traditionally used in Ayurveda for toning the skin. Produced at high temperatures, they are somewhat acidic (with a pH between 5-6) and tend to inhibit bacterial growth. They are not however sterile, but a fresh product, just like food, and should be kept refrigerated.

Always buy floral waters in a spray bottle (because of the same reason). Spray liberally over face and body after cleansing as a toner or throughout the day to refresh and hydrate your skin.

However, be careful to choose the right type of floral water! Many hydrosols on the market are just water with a small amount of essential oils added and are some kind of a cheat! Make sure to choose a floral water made from a distillation as this extraction method retains the properties of the plant.

Have a look at the Latin (or INCI) name. True floral waters will be listed as one ingredient, e.g. ‘rosa damascena distillate‘ or ‘rosa damascena water‘ for example (rose water). Water and essential oil blends are listed as two separate ingredients (e.g. aqua, rosa damascena oil). Never use floral waters containing alcohol, as they will dry out your skin.

14. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a natural disinfectant with antibacterial properties. However, raw, natural, unfiltered and unpasteurized apple cider vinegar has some kind of “sediment,” called the “mother”, in it.

Don’t be scared – that strange substance is good stuff and contains all the skin benefits! Go for it!

Apple cider vinegar should always be diluted with some water so that it is much gentler on the skin! You can use it straight as a spot treatment though. To use it as a toner, mix one part apple cider vinegar with 8-10 parts (mineral) water and apply it on a cotton pad.

Natural Face Washes and Makeup

Personally, I do not wear a lot of makeup. Just a few dips of concealer (usually a mineral concealer) and some mascara every once in a while when I want to get all dolled up, but not on an everyday basis.

To get makeup off, the cotton-pad-and-oil method works really well. It‘s simple, but effective! Manuka honey mixed with oil (equal parts) is another great cleansing option, especially if you want to remove makeup.

Even a yoghurt-clay-mix might do the trick, but you should leave it on as a mask for at least 10 minutes before washing it off. Ghassoul has an enormous cleansing strength and works almost like a sponge absorbing oil, dirt and bacteria at the same time.

Tracy did a nice video about how to remove makeup the natural way:

What Can You Use for A Natural Makeup Remover?

Upshot

You see, there are many great options out there if you want to cleanse your skin using all natural ingredients!

So, in the end, which cleansing method is the best one? The truth is there is no single, perfect cleansing method. It is a case of trial and error to find the right method that really suits you.

On the other hand, confusing as it is, you should never experiment too many different ways to cleanse your face at the same time! I know it‘s tempting! I know! We all are impatient and want to see immediate results. I‘m not different.

However, your skin needs time to adapt and does not like to be confronted with too many different substances - even natural ones – at frequent intervals. So please don‘t overload it!

That‘s all. I hope that helps! Take care, lovelies!

What does your typical face-wash-ritual look like? Have you ever tried one of the above mentioned methods? Please let us know what your experiences have been so far! Let‘s talk about any kind of face-cleansing-stuff you are using, chemicals or natural stuff, and how you get along with it!

photos by tessa watson, same old 2010, witch shoppe, rofi, missmeng, smabs, Andy Roberts

Comments

  1. says

    Awesome article!
    I have a question about sunscreen.. Next weekend I will be going somewhere with lots and lots of sun exposure and I’m so confused what to put on my skin.. I’m afraid that sunscreen will mess my skin up…
    Do you have any advice to protect my skin from burning? Thank you so much!! :)

    • says

      Well, clothing can protect you, especially a wide-brimmed hat and big sunglasses. Have your come-out a gangster!

      As far as sunscreens are concerned, try to avoid chemical sunscreens. Potentially harmful chemicals such as dioxybenzone and oxybenzone have been proven to be some very powerful free radical generators. The funny thing is that those products claim to protect you against free radicals caused by sun exposure!

      Prefer a zinc-oxide-based non-nano sunscreen instead! Titanium dioxide (no nanoparticles!) is not THAT good, but in smaller amounts it should be okay. One always has to compromise. At least it’s a lot better than those chemicals!

      To me “DeVita Daily Solar Protective Sunscreen SPF 30″ (only zinc-oxide) and “Kimberly Sayer Ultra Light Moisturizer SPF 30″ (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) seem to be the most “convincing” products so far for acne-prone skin. Light-weight, not pore-clogging, silicone-free, no white mask effect. In addition, zinc oxide has a certain healing effect (think of zinc oxide ointments for babies)!

      Or try a zinc-oxide-based mineral foundation that does not contain bismuth as a light protection (Lily Lolo, Jane Iredale, …)

      • says

        Thank you so much! And yes, I read that the chemicals in sunscreen are not something we want to put on our skin so now I am totally convinced I don’t want that.
        I will try one of the sunscreens you recommended :)

  2. Ali says

    These are all great natural methods, but my skin has tremendously improved doing the caveman regime. It is icky the first month but after that I have been washing my face like once a week, leaving all that yummy sweat fromt the gym on my skin (so good for healing acne, it’s literally a layer of goodness protecting and nourishing the skin).
    The results are pretty amazing. I’m sure once my acne is all the way gone, I will wash more often, like every three days (by just splashing some water). But for now, as my skin is healing, I need a protective barrier on it! My skin is very subtle and not dry at all which I’ve suffered from in the past.
    I was once a twice a day skin washer and it just isn’t necessary or good for you skin! Like our parents always said, less is more.

  3. Mary says

    Great list! Do you know why clay masks shouldn’t be left to dry on the face?

    I am so glad I stopped using commercial cleansers on my face. I used to have oily skin, but not anymore! I attribute this to ditching my salicylic acid cleanser and switching to manuka honey 1-2 times daily. At night, I also use jojoba/lavender oil and aloe vera gel (Lily of the Desert brand).

    • says

      Thanks Mary!

      Yours is a good question! You certainly know that clays have a drawing action. While clays are drawing impurities to the surface of your skin holding the toxins in the clay, they are also absorbing some moisture from your skin cells. That’s why letting a clay mask dry on your face might just dry out your skin a little too much and may cause irritation, especially if you have sensitive skin.

      Clay masks work even without letting them dry! It’s simply cool physics that is happening. If you mix some clay with yogurt (and maybe a few drops of oil), you most probably won’t find it drying at all, but also quite moisturizing!

      However, it’s great that you managed to stop using your salicylic acid cleanser! It probably dried out your skin a lot. As a reaction, your skin just tried to defend itself by overproducing sebum.
      To me, your new routine sounds fab!

  4. Stella says

    I love oatmeal as a daily cleanser/very gentle exfoiliator.
    It’s easy, cheap, gentle but unfortunately kinda messy. I remove my make-up with Dr. Hauschka cleansing milk and a cotton pad, wash the remains off with water and then apply the oatmeal (soaked in water til it’s soft and creamy, like in the youtube videos) very gentle and careful. After rinsing it off I put manuka honey on my face for at least half an hour up to 2 hours. In the morning I just spray my skin with Avène thermal spring water instead of tap water and pat it dry. Works for me!
    PS: My problem isn’t cystic or really inflamed acne but more like congested skin, a few small pimples and lots of comedones (I guess I have comedonal acne). While this mild daily exfoilation helps me, I guess with more severe acne it wouldn’t be the best idea to use oatmeal everyday?!

    • says

      Gosh! I forgot about oatmeal! That’s a great point, Stella! Thanks a lot!

      It’s another awesome method to cleanse your face! Did you ever try to mix that oatmeal mash with manuka honey (to speed up your cleansing routine every once in a while)?

      If you have severe acne, I’d suggest the same thing Ali just suggested: the caveman regimen. And if you simply cannot do without makeup because you’re a girl and want to feel pretty, or you spent the whole day at the beach and had to use sunscreen, I’d suggest to use manuka honey as a cleanser because of its antibacterial properties – maybe mixed with a quality jojoba oil or an oil rich in linoleic acid like evening primrose oil, hemp oil or grape seed oil. There are a few studies that confirm that linoleic acid is an effective anti-comedogenic agent!

  5. Eliza says

    These are great! Can you tell me more about using orris root powder? I ordered some from the pharmacy but I’m not sure how to use it?

    Also, how do you use ghassoul as a hair wash? I’ve been doing the no-poo thing and using baking soda and ACV. I’ve had to wash it every night because I find the “natural oils” don’t help my acne at all. But anyways, BC and ACV have made my scalp itchy and I don’t like it. So how do you use it?

    Great article!! I’m totally going to read your blog, Svea!! Thanks!

    • says

      Thanks a lot, Eliza!

      As a cleanser, orris root powder gently removes dead skin cells and can help to prevent blemishes (it has anti-inflammatory properties). Mix some orris root powder with water to make a paste (or yogurt, aloe vera gel, organic floral waters, … – or champagne, if you desire!). Apply to your face, leave for 10 minutes, then rinse. It is very mild, but can be SLIGHTLY abrasive (that’s why I wouldn’t recommend to use it as a face scrub!). Apply it just like a mask, and it will leave your skin silky soft and smooth (hopefully!).

      The ghassoul-hair-wash is similar: Mix some clay with warm water (and a few drops of oil if desired) to make a paste. Apply to your hair. Leave for 10 minutes (don’t let it dry!) and avoid to massage it in (you won’t want to stress your hair!). Rinse well!

      I hope this helps!:)

  6. Beth says

    I use only water to wash my face, the majority of the time. Very rarely do I wear make-up and when I do, it is only then that I’ll use fragrance-free Dove soap to cleanse my face.

    I have far fewer breakouts and much less irritation than I did when I used prescription acne medication and used Cetaphil to wash my face. I used to use Cetaphil along with acne medication, up until I experimented with the water-only face wash method. I haven’t look back since (as corny as that sounds).

    My skin is super sensitive and reactive. I’ve found the best complexion enhancer to be healthy food. Fruits and vegetables (esp. green smoothies, or just greens in general) are of great benefit.

    Also, whenever I breakout, I let the pimple do its thing. I leave it alone, and it eventually heals and fades away.

    • says

      Yes, it’s true, less is more! Not only using less skincare items (which means confronting your skin with far less toxins), but also caring less about it all in general!

      And yes, a healthy diet works wonders! PLUS regular exercise!

      However, I wouldn’t generally recommend soap: If you have very limy water (like me over here in Italy), it could aggravate your skin condition by forming soap scum on your skin (the substance which results from the reaction of the hardness minerals in water with common household soaps – also evident as a bathtub ring!).

      But you’re not using it that often anyway – and it seems to work for you! That’s all that counts!

      • Carybear says

        On the dove soap thing: You can use Aloe Vera as a toner to remove the residue. Just another note, Dove is not soap. It’s a Syndet bar. More people use Dove Sensitive in the world than any other facial cleanser.

  7. eva says

    Wonderful! You mention clay! Just a week ago I ordered samples of green, red, pink, yellow and ghassoul. The first one I tried was the pink one, it felt great and gentle, only my face was dyed pink afterwards and even after excessive washing with water my towel got stained pink..I used the ghassoul for my hair last time I washed it and finished with ACV rinse, it worked great. I’ve been doing no-poo for 5 weeks now, first tried baking soda, then egg, then conditioner only with lemon juice, then kaolin, but nothing really worked so great, especially baking soda was way too drying. this ghassoul I got now is wonderful and very fine and made my hair shiny!

    • says

      Thanks a lot for sharing your experiences with us, eva! I’m sorry that your towel looks like a birthday cake right now, but everything else sounds really great!

      I like ghassoul as a hair cleanser too! It’s actually my favorite one!

  8. Sampson says

    Note about Lecithin (specifically soy lecithin): Lecithin is kind of a ubiquitous compound which can be found in both animals and plants. Although I don’t recommend anyone eat soy products, lecithin from soy or canola or whatever isn’t much different than lecithin from animal fats and so I don’t worry when a food has a “soy lecithin” or any type of lecithin as an ingredient.

  9. says

    Thanks for sharing this Svea.

    My skin was getting worse when I was using tons of products on my face, then when I simplified it things started to massively improve.

    I have now called me new routine the”K.I.S.S. ROUTINE” keep it simple stupid routine.

    While I do test many products to help people make a decision on what is the best, my main skin care routine now only consists of a few key products.

    The products are honey, green clay and Argan oil.

    I am definitely going to be trying a few of your suggestions above, especially the Chickpea Flour as my skin is getting a bit oily these days.

    Just checked out your blog also and it really good. Can’t wait to see what else you have to share.

    Bobby Thomas

    • says

      Wow, “K.I.S.S. ROUTINE”! That sounds great! However, I’d rather translate it in “keep it simple superlunary routine” or something like that. Why “stupid”? It’s cool!

      My regimen is quite similar at the moment: green clay + yogurt for cleansing, two drops of rosehip oil for moisturizing (if necessary). That’s all.

      And thanks you so much for your compliments! I’m kind of honored, especially because you have some great information to share as well!

  10. says

    The stupid is just the end of the quote. I never made up the K.I.S.S quote. I just thought it sounded good for the name of my current routine. You are right though I may change the last word.

    Wow your routine is almost exactly the same as mine ha. Never used yogurt, what kind of yogurt do you use?

    It’s fine thanks for the compliment back. I do try to share things that will help people. Did you see the challenge I will be starting soon?

    Bobby

  11. Sam says

    hey, i reallly appreciate this post, but i was wondering.. what cleansing method would you suggest for little clogged pores… my whole forehead is covered in these little bumps… im trying to eat healthier and stoppped taking antibiotics.. Now im just curious, what cleansing ingredients would be good for this stubborn bumps? :)

    • says

      Hey Sam,

      that’s difficult to say – everyone’s skin is so different!

      Anyway, here are a few ideas (no miracle cure, just ideas!):

      Try RAW honey or clay as a cleanser. Both substances can help to draw toxins and impurities to the surface of your skin. In addition, raw honey contains enzymes that will help to remove dead skin cells, clear pores and resolve excess oil. Try to leave the honey on your skin for at least half an hour.

      In addition, urea or lactic acid could be quite useful for your little bumps on your forehead. Both ingredients allow a free flow of sebum and can help you to reduce blackheads, whiteheads or general congestion – but only if you don’t clog your pores with too many film building agents at the same time! Glycerin, silicone, mineral oil and so on are quite a bad idea! You could try a LIGHTWEIGHT moisturizer containing urea or lactic acid (but no paraffin, glycerin or silicone). Or apply a yogurt mask (lactic acid) twice a week (for 10 minutes). Or mix yourself a simple toner:
      - 30 ml (1oz) mineral or distilled water,
      - 1 pinch urea (or 1 drop lactic acid),
      If you are using urea, add a few DROPS of apple cider vinegar to the mixture.
      Shake well and store in your fridge. Use within 10 days.

      As an alternative, look out for a high quality organic and cold pressed (or CO2 extracted) oil that is rich in linoleic acid (hemp oil, grape seed oil, rosehip oil, evening primrose oil, borage seed oil, …) and use it as a moisturizer: There are a few studies that confirm that linoleic acid is an effective anti-comedogenic agent!
      http://thelovevitamin.com/3103/that-oil-is-ours-basic-skincare-with-oils/
      However, avoid these oils before sun exposure. These oils are not very resistant to sunlight and can contribute to hyper-pigmentation!

      That’s all. Just keep in mind that it may take a while before you really notice your skin seeming smoother. Try to stick to the same regimen for at least 4-6 weeks in order to see if it works for you.

      I hope I could help you a little bit!

  12. Sam says

    Thanks for the quick response! And ill be sure to try some of these methods. I think i’ve been struggling with these bump for about 2 years now…Could i buy this urea or lactic acid from a Health Foods store? And right now as a moisturizer im using Lilly of Deserts aloe vera gel, i guess that has some “firm building agents, cause it has chemicals in it…Ive never actually used oils before, because my skin already seems oily enough, but im willing to give it a try :)

    • says

      Hi Sam,

      you can ask for urea or lactic acid in a pharmacy or try to find an online shop selling ingredients for do-it-yourself cosmetics, soaps and stuff like that. It shouldn’t be an expensive buy! :D

      Your aloe vera gel doesn’t contain any film building agents (these are usually glycerin, mineral oils, petroleum derivates, silicones, many emulsifiers, etc.). But it contains – apart from all those chemical preservatives – a thickening agent, which can clog your pores. Depending on how long you’ve been using this gel, it might be one of the reasons, why you (still) have these little bumps on your forehead. You could try a different brand. Aubrey Organics has a pretty good one, for example: no chemical preservatives, no gunk. It’s pricier though and has a quite runny texture. But you can still have a look out to find some other good brands – or buy an aloe vera plant! You can also add a pinch of urea to 30 ml (1oz) of your aloe vera gel (approx. 3% / the amount of 1 knife point).

      Oils can actually be pretty helpful to “combat” oily skin: oil dissolves oil. Apply only 1-3 drops of it to damp skin – or wash off the excess oil, patting your skin with a towel afterwards. You’ll see that it’ll be absorbed completely. Hemp oil, grape seed oil, evening primrose oil or borage seed oil should be great for oily skin.

      So, that’s the theory! You still may have to experiment and see what works for you! Make sure not to try too many things at the same time to avoid your skin to freak out.

      Good luck! :D

  13. Navi says

    Why dont we let the clay dry out before washing it off? I recently got the Aztec Secret: Indian healing mask, i’ve read some pretty good reviews on it so looking forward to it. Have u ever tried it out?

    • says

      “Why don‘t we let the clay dry out before washing it off?”

      I already answered a similar question, so I just copy’n’paste it for you:

      “… clays have a drawing action. While clays are drawing impurities to the surface of your skin holding the toxins in the clay, they are also absorbing moisture from your skin cells. That’s why letting a clay mask dry on your face might dry out your skin a little too much and may cause irritation, especially if you have sensitive skin. Clay masks work even without letting them dry! It’s simply cool physics that is happening.”

      I’ve never tried this “Aztec Secret – Indian healing mask”, but it’s nothing else than pure calcium bentonite clay (= green clay). Green clay is stuff I’m using regularly, and for me it works great, especially mixed with yogurt: that way it‘s much more moisturizing!

  14. yvette says

    Wow! Information Ive been looking for all weekend. I used the aztec bentonite healing clay for the first time, however i had not read your info about not letting the clay dry. However, to the clay i added: apple cider vinegar, green tea. Once this concoction dried i tried removing the hardened clay mask by using a cotton ball soaked with aloe vera juice, not the gel. This removal was to slow so i hopped into the shower and let the water rinse the clay off of my face. Since i had lotsa clay left over i added organic steelcut oats to use as a body scrub for my entire body. Immediately i notice my skin which is dry on my body but combination on my face was feeling refreshed. I didnt think i needed body lotion but used some shea butter lotion on my body after my shower. I put nothing else on my face. Amazingly, my face skin still feels good. It feels so good that im scared if i wash it i may lose the great feelig i have following my mask. I guess im now following the caveman regimen…thanks for putting a name to this routine. Sorry this was so long. Im just so excited to find this site and learn so many options for beginning my clearskin journey….thanks for listening. Y~

    • says

      Hi Yvette,

      thanks a lot for sharing your insights on your clay experiment! It was fun to read!

      I also hope that the caveman will work out for you. Lots of good luck!

      Svea

  15. Ashley says

    Hi Tracy,

    Just stumbled across your website and like many others have found it to be a great source of information, inspration and comfort.

    I am currently trying to ditch my traditional cleansers in favor of something more natural and gentle for my irritated oily acne skin!

    I tried manuka honey and had a terrible reaction (boils all over my face), after some searching alternate solutions , I’ve begun to use plain organic yogurt and oatmeal to wash my face with…. So far so good!!

    You mention yogurt to consume internally, but wondering if you’ve tried or what your thoughts are on using yogurt and or oatmeal externally.

    Thanks!

    • Tracy says

      Yogurt is fantastic – I mention it in my ebook as a good thing to use on the face. And I’ve heard other people say they have had success with oatmeal. Sounds like you may have a good combo there :)

  16. df says

    i have really dry and sensitive skin (even rosewater makes my face angry!) but I also wear mineral sunscreen and mineral makeup daily. It’s been kinda tough finding a cleanser that my skin tolerates but also removes my sunscreen/makeup well. I’m still looking for a toner that my face can tolerate also but will search your site for ideas….I have bentonite clay and will try mixing in honey and avocado oil as a cleanser…hopefully it works!

  17. Ian says

    A good website to browse for natural products with cleansers, essential oils, cold pressed oils, floral waters, moisturisers is rawgaia.com (based in the UK)

  18. Julia says

    Hiii Svea! I have made many different homemade acne cleansers. All seemed to be too messy and just didn’t seem to be realistic with my busy schedule. So I bought storemade facewash that was of claylike material. At the time, I hated it and I immediately returned it because it didn’t make my face feel like (as you said) as clean as the general facescrubs that make your skin feel all awake and fresh! Now that I’m reading this I don’t know if I need to run back and buy that face wash again. However, I wish there was a natural face wash that woke people up, because I have to have that feeling in the morning. Some people have their coffee, and I have my facewash leaving my skin feeling all tingly and awake. So my question is, out of all these do any of them leave you feeling awake? I’d love a mint facewash but I don’t know if it’d be effective at cleaning. Thank you for spreading your knowledge. –

    • says

      Hi Julia,

      you could try to add a drop of essential mint oil to that clay stuff in the morning. Or you could mix a few drops of it into some floral water or aloe vera gel to spray on / apply after cleansing.

      Love, Svea

  19. Adel-Alexander says

    Hey Tracy! I wanted to ask you, what is the best way to start a new skin care routine.. Without having the skin freak out the moment you use the new skin care product the first time? I bought some stuff from Fran’s web shop and to be honest.. I am expecting to break out a bit (the cavemen regimen isn’t really doing it’s trick for me to be honest.. ;() And I was wondering if there was a way I could.. ”minimize” the chances of a breakout to happen?

    • Tracy says

      Hi Adel,
      Hmm, you know.. I don’t know if there is any way. Or if there is, I don’t know what it is! Maybe Svea’s got some ideas

      • says

        Hi Adel,

        there won’t be any guarantee that you won’t break out at all, but usually the best idea is starting slowly with new products. Our skin simply doesn’t like radical changes. So please don’t start with all the products you ordered all at once. That’ll make your skin freak out for sure. Introduce only one product at a time and use it for two weeks to let your skin get used to it, then introduce the next one for the next two weeks, and so on.

    • says

      Hi Adel,

      I’m sorry, but that depends a lot on where you live. For instance, if you live in America or Australia, it wouldn’t make much sense for you to order from a European online shop. The shipping costs would be waaaayyyyyy to high :( . Maybe you could try to make some google research…

      • Adel-Alexander says

        Actually I do live in Europe. :) And I don’t mind ordering from another continent. I did that once from Austrlia.. And America haha!

        But I found a company that seems to sell organic products. It’s called Raw Gaia.

        • says

          Raw Gaia is cool but expensive. ;) :(

          Online shops selling ingredients for do-it-yourself cosmetics are less expensive and usually have some good quality stuff as well. The packaging might be less appealing, but I just don‘t care that much about it. I like to order from a few shops in Germany: behawe.com, baccararose.de, …
          You have to speak German though – in order to understand what you’re ordering :D .

          Anyway, I’m sure there are lots of similar shops in many other countries as well!!! I simply never bothered to do some research about that.

          • Adel-Alexander says

            Hmm.. I have a fairly high income. It shouldn’t be a problem. :) But I like the fact that their clays/face masks contain a lot of antioxidants. On Seppo Pussa’s website, he talked about the benefits of Skin care products with antioxidants.

            And Raw Gaia’s Raw Chocolate Face masks contain about.. 356% more antioxidant than a regular chocolate face masks. Must be because it’s raw. :) Any ways, I purchased the trial size along with the green clay. I’m excited to try it out! :)

            • says

              Hi Adel,

              well … green clay will still be green clay, even if you’re ordering it from another source selling good quality natural stuff. Actually, most clays are sun-dried like the one Raw Gaia sells. The amount of antioxidants won’t be different at all. I don’t even think clay contains that many, but you could mix it with other substances like green tea powder to give your skin an antioxidant boost. Raw Gaia’s packaging is extremely lovely, but it‘s still just green clay. Really. ;)

              As far as the chocolate face mask is concerned: it’s cool, smells divine and your skin will be VERY soft and smooth after using it, but it’s also kind of coloring. I had a very “suntanned” (or “sun-stained”?) face after trying it once. However, my skin tone is actually quite fair!!! :D

              • Adel-Alexander says

                Haha. :P I still can’t wait to get my hands on it though, I like eating foods with a lot antioxidants, so putting them on my face sounds like a good idea as well. :)

                I actually can’t wait to use the chocolate face masks, I don’t really worry on the suntanned or sun-stained face, My skin is slightly darker than fair-skinned people, but I’m still white in color haha. But I look pretty pale so if the chocolate masks can bring some colour.. Then I got no problem with that!

                  • Adel-Alexander says

                    Wow! How lucky, they sent me the wrong order, I got somebody else’s order, it was 5 bags of Spirulina!! Which I’ve heard is a fantastic super food. :P

                    Now they’re sending me the Green clay and chocolate face masks for free to me + I get 15% off on my next order haha! Awesome!

  20. says

    Hello,

    I just turned 47 and have never had skin or acne problems but just recently my forehead has started to get little bumps filled with liquid (just my forehead-nowhere else on my body). I have not changed anything in my lifestyle so I don’t have anything to contribute it to. Firstly, which method do think would be best for me and secondly, I tried hydrogen peroxide and all that did was give me a headache so I don’t know what to do. I would greatly appreciate your help!

    • says

      Hi SJ,

      I’m sorry to hear that. Did you ever check if it is really acne? I think it sounds a little more like eczema or an allergic reaction. A food sensitivity maybe? I know, you said you didn’t change anything in your lifestyle, but some kinds of sensitivities just show up later in life, apparently without any logical reason.

      Let me try to help you:

      It seems that where your get acne or eczema on your face, can give you some clues about what the root cause of it may be. Make sure to read this article:

      http://thelovevitamin.com/5335/where-your-acne-is-and-what-it-looks-like-can-tell-you-whats-causing-it/

      In addition, try to treat your skin as gently as possible. The good news is that our skin has the amazing strength to heal itself if treated with love. You could give jojoba oil a go, it is a great moisturizer for sensitive skin. Tracy had some pretty persistent congestion on her forehead and was able to clear it up A LOT simply by massaging a tiny amount of jojoba oil into her forehead every day. Read this:

      http://thelovevitamin.com/5643/how-i-cleared-all-my-clogged-pores-in-less-than-three-weeks/

      If you don’t feel like doing the caveman regimen like Tracy does, try to cleanse your face with yogurt, regular raw honey (in your case I wouldn’t choose manuka honey since it can be very drying), a few drops of oil on a damp cotton pad or the “magic mitt” (a microfibre cloth that is super gentle):

      http://thelovevitamin.com/5457/how-to-remove-makeup-without-cleansers-oils-or-makeup-remover/

      I know, searching for a reason, why you‘re breaking out right now, won‘t be easy and sometimes it can be pretty frustrating. Did you read Tracy‘s latest article about the psychological link between emotional stress and different kinds of skin problems? I think, reading it might be helpful for you as well:

      http://thelovevitamin.com/8382/skin-trying-to-tell-you-something/

      AND: I‘m sure, your forehead will heal! ;)
      Just give it some time.

      Lots of love,
      Svea

      • says

        Hi Svea,

        Thank you so much for your reply. Your answer along with the Chinese face mapping article you sent helped me more than any of the other research I have done. Thank you again. I greatly appreciate your help!

        Thanks,
        SJ

        • says

          Hi SJ,

          thank you for your lovely words! Your reasearch doesn’t seem to have been that bad after all. ;)

          If you have any questions, just feel free to ask me again. I’ll be always glad to help you out!

          Svea

  21. vivien says

    So happy I bumped onto dis site. pls I wanna know if peau de lune floral plus is purely made from natural product cos the ingredient reads floral water with juice of natural plants

    • says

      Hi Vivien,

      I’m sorry, but I’ve never heard of this brand before. Which product do you want to know about? And how’s the ingredients list, exactly?

      I just googled it and read something about “whitening” effects. Doesn’t sound that natural…

  22. Sameer says

    Hi Svea,
    I need ur help. My age is 27 yrs old male and my kitchen wardrobe has these items always (apple,banana,yogurt,lemon,honey).My skin is bit oily and have some pits from acne on cheeks.
    Can u suggest me two facial fruit packs? One in Morning and one in evening.
    I want to apply honey and lemon pack in morning for 30 min. In the Evening, i would blend apple,banana,honey,yogurt and apply on face for 30 min.
    Need ur input on this regime? Is it ok to follow this regime daily? If not,please share ur thoughts.Im confused with so many method and Im in search of a one pack.

      • Svea says

        Hi Sameer,

        simply try out a few of these things and see what your skin likes best. I wouldn’t recommend to do a lemon/honey mask every day though. That would be very irritating on the long run. However, I think, doing it only once a week should be okay. You could do a straight honey mask on all other days. Try not to overload your skin. Less is more. Maybe you could do only ONE mask, ONCE a day…

  23. Berlin says

    great article! thanks so much for sharing these tips. i am 17 and i’m currently struggling with all types of skin problems. i have dry skin but i also have acne prone skin. i rarely get pimples, but i seem to always have TONS of small blackheads on my nose. there are too many to count and they are deeply embedded and seem to just always be stuck there. so frustrating. i also have pretty sensitive skin, so store bought products don’t do me much good. i have tried the oil cleansing method, but my skin didn’t like it so much. i probably would need to spend more time getting the ratios right, but it just seems quite tedious. i am about to start taking a multivitamin made for teenage girls to help with hormones and i really believe that will help. other than that do you have any ideas of an all natural cleansing routine that might help? hoping this is just a phase and that my skin will clear up soon!

  24. Amanda says

    Svea,
    Before reading this article I tried the traditional oil cleansing method using jojoba and castor oils. The first week my skin was amazing, my mild acne was clearing up, the redness and swelling dissipating each day. Then maybe two or three weeks into it I got the absolute worse breakout of cystic (which I never had before) acne, and my mild acne now became severe, it seems similar to your experience with OCM. I have since switched to raw honey and after about 2 and 1/2 months my skin is finally almost back to normal, minus many pigment scars. I want to now use a natural makeup remover, but am scared to death to put oils on my face again. Why do you think the OCM was such a disaster, was it the oils used or the method of hot water, ect? Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks! :)

    • Svea says

      Hi Amanda,

      I’m sorry, I saw your comment only now. I don’t know why, but some email notifications just arrive in my spam folder. I should check it more often.

      I personally do not like the oil cleansing method. It can be kind of harsh for sensitive skin types. Not the oil itself is the problem, but the hot water to remove it. Then, massaging your skin every day is pure stress for your skin and might even help to spread bacteria from existing pimples.

      Instead, you could try the “magic mitt” (a microfibre cloth that is super gentle) for removing makeup. I swear, no oils needed!!!

      http://thelovevitamin.com/5457/how-to-remove-makeup-without-cleansers-oils-or-makeup-remover/

  25. Berlin says

    thank you for your reply! no worries about the delay. i have tried putting egg whites on my nose and leaving them on for a bit, but have not tried the nose strip technique. i will definitely give it a shot. thanks again for your help.

  26. Romelia g says

    Ok so Iam struggling with acne as I think it’s that I’ve been having a lot for the past year I’ve tryed everything from expensive brands to store brands to whatever they tell me ill do it n it’s not working I’ve never suffered of acne till this past year Iam turning 30 in oct n this acne don’t go awey Iam not inhormonals any more Aaaa Iam desperat wat can I do so it will go awey n to top it off Iam getting black head meeeee omg Iam just fusteraded already pleas help

    • Svea says

      Hi Romelia,

      unfortunalely there is no miracle recipe against acne that works for everyone. However, it seems to me that you did a lot of product hopping over the last year. PLEASE DO NOT DO THAT. Our skin does not like change at all. In addition, most over-the-counter and even medical skin care products are kind of harsh. Try something simple like honey or the magic mitt for cleansing
      http://thelovevitamin.com/5457/how-to-remove-makeup-without-cleansers-oils-or-makeup-remover/
      and apply just a few drops of oil to your damp skin afterwards (or nothing). You could try jojoba oil in the beginning since it does not feel sticky and absorbs quickly. Choose a mild regimen that appeals to you most (be intuitive!!!) and stick with it.

      Moreover, try to treat your skin holistically. Eat a clean diet. EXERCISE!!! Get enough sleep.

      I can see that your skin is stressing you out like hell: I know that it’s easier said than done, but try to diminish your stress levels as much as you can (exercise, yoga or meditation might be an option). Socialize. Go out with your friends. They don’t define you by your acne, I swear! Find out what your skin is trying to tell you:

      http://thelovevitamin.com/8382/skin-trying-to-tell-you-something/

      In addition, consider taking a good DIM-supplement:
      http://thelovevitamin.com/6855/treat-female-hormonal-acne/
      This post discusses vitex as well, but personally I’d rather suggest you to avoid it:
      http://www.henriettesherbal.com/blog/vitex-not-pms.html

      It’ll be a long way, but I can assure you that it’ll work on the long run. Your skin will heal, don’t hate it! Treat it with love instead, and try to believe in yourself! ;)

      Lots of love!

    • Svea says

      That depends a lot on where you live. If you live in the US, you can buy it from Mountain Rose Herbs. If not, try to google it, and I’m sure there’ll pop up some online shops.

  27. Taylor says

    Ok thanks! Also, my face skin is very strange because as soon as I get out of the shower, even without using face products, my face gets really dry. Thankfully after about an hour the dryness subsides. Yet at the end of the day, my face is super oily. It doesn’t quite make sense to me how I can start off overdried, and end up super oily. Seems like I have two different problems here. What would be your recommendation?

    • Svea says

      Hi Taylor,

      try to tackle down water temperature as much as you can. It might even be better not to wash your face while showering and wash it separately with lukewarm water (preferably more on the cooler side). Did you ever check your water quality? If it’s very limy, try to wash with filtered water instead.

      In addition, I think that your skin is lacking straight moisture. That‘s why it‘s dry after washing and gets oily later during the day. Your skin is trying to protect itself against water evaporating from it.

      Do you use products containing emulsifiers? Try to stop them. Every time you wash your face you will wash out moisture and sebum that have emulsified with the product you applied. Over the time, this washing-out-effect will get worse and worse, your face will get dryer and dryer after washing and oilier during the day.

      Personally, I‘d also avoid green clay. It‘ll be too drying for you.

      Have you ever tried oatmeal for cleansing? That‘s super gentle.

      • Taylor says

        No I have not tried oatmeal but I definitely will! Also after reading more, the raw honey route sounds very simple and appealing. If I were to apply honey, would I do it every day for a few minutes? Or every day for 30 minutes? Or once a week for 30 minutes?

        • Svea says

          Every day for a few minutes should be enough for regular cleansing. Sure, you can apply it once or twice a week for 30 minutes as an extra treat: it’ll act like a very gentle enzymatic peeling that will make your skin soft and supple.

  28. Taylor says

    So I want to try the Lemon, honey and cinnamon mixture. How much of each do I need? And do I just mix it all together at once?

  29. Wendy says

    I used the OCM beginning in April and stopped after 3 weeks due to the horrible cystic acne it caused. I am still attempting to heal from this disaster.

    Does anyone have any tips on how to recover form this nightmare? The caveman is out of the question due to how horrible my skin is at this time.

    On a side note, I am 43 years old and my acne was very minimal when I did OCM. I was simply trying to ditch my salycic acid wash for something more natural.

    Thanks in advance….I am VERY discourged. :(

    • Svea says

      Hi Wendy,

      I’m sure your skin will get better!!! Just give it some time. You should treat your face with love now: avoid hot and warm water (lukewarm water is best) and try not to rub and tug your skin too much. When I tried OCM, I developed exactly the same horrible cystic acne you describe.

      Here’s what helped me: cleansing with raw honey, leaving it on for a while (10-20 minutes once a day). After that rinse your honey mask and pat your face dry (gently!!!). Personally, I didn’t even moisturize until my skin had settled down. Apple cider vinegar helped me as well. Just mix it with 8-10 parts of mineral water, apply it on a cotton pad and gently dab your skin with it (that could be your morning routine).

      I used a zinc based mineral foundation to cover all pimples as good as I could (which was nearly impossible) and I took it off with just 1-2 drops of jojoba oil on a cotton pad before applying the honey. Be as gentle as you can. When I tried NOT to cover up the whole mess every single day (only in important occasions), it started to heal even more quickly.

      And: try to get 5-15 minutes of pure sunshine every day, depending on your skin type. The sun and vitamin D have an extremely healing and anti-inflammatory effect. However, be careful and don’t exaggerate sun exposure.

      Lots of love,
      Svea

  30. Wendy says

    Svea,
    Thanks so much for your response! I would love to try your recommendations, but I am absolutely terrified to use any oil on my face right now, but I can’t find any other way to remove the make-up that is covering my nightmare. Honey frightens me, also, as I know others have broken out from this routine. :(

    I am very tempted to see a dermatologist, but REALLY don’t want to be put on antibiotics to fix it.

    • says

      Hi Wendy,

      you could try the “magic mitt” (a microfibre cloth that is super gentle) for cleansing (without oils!):
      http://thelovevitamin.com/5457/how-to-remove-makeup-without-cleansers-oils-or-makeup-remover/
      BUT: please be as gentle as you can with it. In the beginning, one tends to underestimate the cleansing power of microfiber cloths. After that you could apply the apple cider vinegar mixture. It kills bacteria in a very gentle way and clears chalky deposits from your face (water). Apple cider vinegar is chemically related to glycolic acid, which is often used in skin remedies to treat acne, although it‘s much more delicate. It‘ll make your skin feel quite soft after a few applications.

      And yes, go and see a dermatologist. Not all of them are our enemies. And if he or she wants to put you on antibiotics, just don‘t take them. But maybe they‘ll have some good advice for you as well?

  31. Maria says

    Did bentonite clay make anyones acne worse? I have only used it three days and my acne seems way more inflamed (more redness). Could it just be an initial reaction? I am very concerned please let me know if you know! thank you :)

    • says

      Hi Maria,

      the “drawing action” of bentonite clay is very strong, so it could be an initial breakout. On the other hand, clay can be extremely drying as well, which might result in additional inflammation and redness. Please don’t let it dry until it’s rock hard…

  32. Navdeepika Insa says

    I have question about my skin. I’m 30 years old unmarried indian woman. I have dark hyper pigmentation over all on my face. I tried dermatologist, all kind of hydroquinone or bleaching creams. But now my face is worst. I feel very embarrassed, Now i’m using lemon and honey every night for 5 minutes, as my skin excessively oily and sensitive skin. Please suggest me the good natural skin routine, and tell something to evenout my skin.. please!!! thankyou so much

    • says

      Hi Navdeepika Insa,

      I can understand you, believe me, I know how that feels. It sucks!!! :(

      But maybe you’re just doing too much? You say that you have sensitive skin. It could well be that applying all those chemicals and bleaching creams prevented your skin from healing and made your skin a lot more susceptible to sun damage (= further hyper-pigmentation marks).

      Please take a step back. Lemon + honey every night is too harsh for your skin. Try to apply honey on its own and let it sit a little longer, maybe for 10-30 minutes. Honey has great skin lightening properties, but it takes time for your skin to improve. There’s no over-night miracle.

      Anyway, the best treatment for you in the first place is staying out of the sun as much as you can and to protect your face with sunglasses, woven fabrics or a wide-brimmed hat – or some mineral sunscreen (or mineral foundation) SPF 30. You can create your own honey face wash by adding a few drops of oil (coconut, jojoba, sesame,…). This way, you’ll be able to take off your makeup or sunscreen in the evening.

      A few other things you could try:
      http://chienna.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/how-to-get-milky-white-skin/

      However, please don‘t try everything all at once – or your skin will probably freak out even more…

  33. sin says

    I have acne. I am on antibiotis and topical cream. I have rash? could be fungal? since I am on antibiotics causing this coulb be fungal rash, no one seems to understand this, mu question how do I treat naturally ACNE with out breaking dry skin?
    I like natural products, using chick pea flour and honey?
    thanks
    sin

  34. Lindsay says

    Hi! I am really confused about using baking soda on your face. I hear some people say it is great, and other warning people not to use it. What is the deal?

    • says

      Hi Lindsay,

      the deal is that you have to try it. Everyone is different and reacts differently to different substances. If your tap water is very hard, I wouldn’t recommend using baking soda as a cleanser, since it’s pretty alkalic. If that is not the case and you want to try it, make sure to dilute it with A LOT of water as described above in the article (this way it works pretty well and is NOT irritating to your skin). Avoid these “make-a-baking-soda-and-water-paste” recipes.

  35. Navdeepika Insa says

    should i use honey mask every night? cuz i don’t wash my face with any facewash now, just with mineral water! as my skin is super oily, so honey would be good?? Also i heard that gram flour mask with lemon and rose water is good for oily skin…how many times in a week should i use these homemade remedies?? and i don’t use any mineral sunscreen either..i used all kind of good sunscreen but no sunscreen suits my skin cuz it makes my skin oily greecy looking…i used no oil sunscreens mineral sunscreens too…now i just try to block my skin from sun!! please suggest me my skin routine…and thankyou so much for your valueable time!!

    • says

      Hi Navdeepika Insa,

      yes, you can do a honey mask every night ;)
      It’s great for your skin (at least as long as you’re not sensitive to salicylates). A mask containing lemon and rosewater might be very helpful to combat oily skin as well, but please don’t apply it more often than once a week (it’s a little too acidic for everyday use).

      That slimy oily look is a well-known “side effect” of sunscreens, especially the water-resistant ones. Have you tried the new Badger aloe vera based sun lotions? You could also try mineral makeup with a high SPF.

  36. Sarah says

    How do you feel about using oatmeal (oats saturated in water) as a natural cleanser? I noticed it wasn’t on this list, yet I’ve read many times that it is good for acne-prone skin.

    • says

      Hi Sarah,

      oatmeal is great! It’s awesome for extremely sensitive skin and for soothing away all kinds of little skin issues like redness and inflammation. It contains saponins, an extremely mild cleansing agent that absorbs dirt, oil and sebaceous secretions like a sponge. At the same time, it is moisturizing and protecting (beta-glucan), it has very strong anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (phenols, vitamin e), it is antifungal and antimicrobial (avenacins) and it helps remove dead skin cells.

      Anyway, I’m sure, there are many more great natural cleansing substances I just didn’t mention. ;)

  37. Sarah says

    Hi Tracy!

    The majority of my acne is around my mouth, on my chin, and along my jaw, as is the common placement for “hormonal” acne. However, this acne isn’t necessarily cystic, it’s more like congested and clogged pores, and I have never noticed any kind of fluctuation or increase in the amount or severity during or around my period. Does that mean that while it is in the place that hormonal acne is typically found, it is not necessarily hormonal acne? I’m asking because I’m unsure whether Estroblock would help me to get rid of it if it really isn’t hormonal acne. (I know that all acne is technically hormonal, but I’m talking more about the fact that it isn’t affected by my period and isn’t cystic.)
    Thanks!

  38. Ian says

    When using oatmeal as a cleanser should it be cooked and then allowed to cool or just soaked in cold water, if so how long should it be soaked? Regards Ian

    • says

      Hi Ian,

      just let it soak in lukewarm water for 5-10 minutes and use it. ;)

      I like to splash my face with the oatmeal water only for cleansing (I just let the bigger particles sink to the bottom of the bowl, but you can also fill some oatmeal into tea bags). If your skin is extremely sensitive and you want to use it as a very mild peeling or face mask, it’s best to cook it and let it cool down before applying it to the face.

    • says

      Rolled oats are fine ;) – just let them soak a little longer.
      And if you want, you can always grind them down to the consistency of flour…

      • Janani says

        Is using oats as a facial cleanser okay, twice a day? I tried the OCM a few times this past week with olive oil – that has made my skin pretty irritated and dry? So I stopped that and tried washing my face with honey which cleansed well but didn’t do much in the way of moisturising my now dry skin. So I blitzed up some softened oats and water and have been using for the past 2 days, it’s very soothing – I just don’t want to overdo it. It won’t make me any drier right?

  39. Limor says

    Another great and non-expensive post-cleanser is chamomile tea. I say post-cleanser because it shouldn’t be used instead of a cleanser, but is marvelous for purifying and moisturizing naturally. I got this tip from my homeopath and it’s great: Two tea bags + two cups of lukewarm water, and then just splash it on your face when it cools down a little (but it shouldn’t be cold).

    Also, a question: What do you think about calendula soap as a daily cleanser? It seems to be easy to get here in Israel and not pricey, but I wonder how good it is for acne-prone, oily skin.

    • says

      Hi Limor,

      yes, chamomile tea is an awesome post-cleanser, especially if you have oily skin. It might be a tad too drying for other skin types though.

      Calendula is great and soothing as well. Soap a little less. If your tap water is very calcarious, try to avoid soap at any cost. You won‘t want to have your pores clogged up by soap scum… Weleda Calendula Baby Wash could be a nice ph-balanced alternative, but I‘m not sure if you can buy it in Israel.

  40. romy says

    I’m 34 yrs old. My skin is little sensitive n dry. N i hv a line n wrinkles n dark pigmentation so plz suggest me what will be the best natural way , plz help me

  41. khan says

    hi like your artical…i don’t use any face wash or any moisturizer because of my really bad acne and oily skin…plz suggest me which home remedy can be best for my skin?

  42. Jessica says

    Hi Svea,

    I was cleansing with a mixture of organic kefir and oatmeal for 2 weeks. At first my skin felt soft and it seemed to be getting less oil during the day. However after the two weeks my skin started to get really congested on my temples and forehead. Why could this be? Would you suggest trying organic yogurt?

    On another note, I’ve had success with clay masks in the past. I am considering using clay as a daily cleanser. Is it too drying?

    • says

      Hi Jessica,
      No, clay is not necessarily drying. Important is that you don’t let the clay masks dry completely, that you choose the right type of clay for your skin type and that you apply the clay as a daily cleanser for a very short time only (as described above in the article).
      If you don’t get along with kefir as a cleanser, organic yoghurt would probably cause a similar reaction. You could try oatmeal without any other additives but water: I don’t think it’ll cause any new breakouts.

  43. Stephanie says

    Great post, very informative and helpful.

    I have used a lot of commercial cleansers before, proactive, clinique, and none were working, so I gave up and have been using dove for quite some time and trying to find a natural way to clean my face for quite some time. I find my acne is better, however not gone and I would like it to be.
    My skin is very dry, and our climate is likely a contributor to this as I live in Alberta, Canada.

    Altough there was great information, I find it a little overwhelming, and hard for me to know what to use on my face.

    I generally only wash once a day, that is at night to remove makeup and dirt from the day.
    I am wondering if only doing one of the things above will do everything I need? Or if i still need to do a 3 step method?

    I like to save time as I am very busy, so if I could remove makeup, cleanse, tone and mosturaize all at once that would be great.

    Would love any input and advice.

    • says

      Hi Stephanie,

      the best thing for you to try would probably be just a good quality cold pressed oil. Take the one that instinctively sounds best to you: olive, almond, argan, macadamia or avocado oil are all great for dry skin (macadamia and avocado oil being even a little heavier). Just rinse your face, put a few drops of oil into the palms of your hands, apply the oil to your face, then rinse again for a few times to cleanse your face. Pat dry and you’re done ;) ! It’ll feel different and a bit oily to begin with, but the water washes away dust and other particles while the oil dissolves sebum and clogged pores. No other products needed!

  44. Sweetpea says

    I’m have very oily skin/scalp. I have blackheads, whiteheads and the occasional cyst. I’ve tried Accutane, antibiotics, Retin A, Proactiv and dozens of other OTC and prescribed meds. After 21 years of suffering, I’m desperate for a natural and affordable face wash and/or treatment that I can make at home. I would love to try some of your recipes. What do you recommend? Thank you in advance!

    • says

      Hi Sweetpea,

      well, honestly, I do recommend lots of physical activity prior to using any type of natural face wash or treatment. It’s the one thing that helped me most to get rid of acne. No prescribtion medicine can be that powerful. In addition to providing oxygen to your whole body and skin, a better blood circulation helps carry away waste products, including free radicals, from working cells. Studies show that the sebaceous glands, which produce oil in the skin, are also highly influenced by stress hormones. Regular vigorous and sweaty exercise has also been shown to ease stress.

      Adding to that a healthy whole foods diet and a gentle face wash (it doesn’t matter that much which one since hormones play a very important role in getting acne or not: facial cleansers won’t work all by themselves, unless that facial cleanser could alter your hormone levels…). Try the cleanser that appeals most to you. It’s more a matter of taste than real science.

  45. Sara says

    Hello there. I just finished reading your article and I have so many questions on the orris root powder. Is it safe to use on the face? I heard orris root powder contains many chemicals…. Is that true? If I use it as a facial cleanser, will it be safe? I mostly have a dry and oily t-zone area, well mainly my forehead area. The rest of my skin is normal. Also, if I use orris root powder as a toothpowder, will I see improvements with the results? What are the benefits in terms of results for cavities, bad breath…. If you’ve ever tried orris root powder in your face and teeth, please reply to this comment with a depth review on orris root powder. I want to try it but I’m scared it’ll be risky…. Also, I was wondering if I should try this facial cleanser from etsy? I wanted to save money and have a product for both teeth and face, that’s why I went with the orris root powder. Will it hydrate skin? Thank you.

  46. Sara says

    Also here’s the link to the etsy facial cleanser…. I’m scared to use it because not a lot of natural stuff works on my face. What do you think of the etsy face wash? I’ve used soap all my life for my skin and I know it’s bad for your skin… But I feel like the soap is decent for my face, just the forehead area. It dries out my forehead most of the time. And that’s why I need a new facial cleansing product (organic) to keep my skin hydrated and nice…

    Here’s the link for the etsy facial cleanser: https://www.etsy.com/listing/165047167/organic-face-wash-milk-honey-dead-sea?ref=sr_gallery_6&ga_search_query=Honey+and+milk+facial+cleanser&ga_ship_to=US&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery

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  1. […] food. It is wonderful on burns and, it turns out, a great facial cleanser. I found a site called The Love Vitamin, where  the blogger writes about fourteen different facial cleansers. Number nine being […]

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