How to Choose and Blend the Right Oils for Your Acne Prone Skin

Today is a wonderful guest post from Michelle from Wildly Natural Skin Care.

She’s going to tell us all about how to choose the right oils to use for your skin type and how to make oil blends that kick acne butt!

I am in love (madly?) with natural skin oils for most skin issues. Actually I have not come upon a skin issue in which I wouldn’t recommend an oil.

From oily to dry, acne to aging, as a daily self-massage (abyangha) or for the bath, oils hold the essence and medicinal properties of the plant seeds. Every oil has its own personality and properties, which are called the energetics. The energetics are super important as a guideline to choose the best oil, matching people with the best oil for their skin.

It is a big topic and I have gone into the energetics of some oils that are particularly suited for acne here. I hope that this serves you well when making your own skin oil blends.

Choosing the Base Oils

Though acne is considered a hot and damp condition in Traditional Chinese Medicine, it will be expressed differently in each person. Without getting too complicated, internally a person could be cold and deficient and yet have acne on the surface. This may be caused by slow digestion where the body is compensating by releasing too much from the skin. So, following are some general guidelines for choosing a base blend.

Use your intuition and also consider the following questions:

1) Underneath the acne, is your skin dry, or oily?

2) Are you more prone to being hot, or cold?

If more prone towards heat and oily skin:

Grapeseed oil is a dry, light and cool oil. It is a great, almost neutral base oil high in Vitamins C and E. I have used this with really good success for oily skin types that experience dry conditions like eczema. If the acne is crusty or flaky, this may be a good choice.

Jojoba oil is dry, light and cool and almost neutral oil with great absorptive properties. Jojoba also has qualities that help the skin retain moisture, preventing the skin from overcompensating with more oil production. It also has healing abilities for wounds caused by acne.

If more prone towards cold and dry skin:

Sesame oil is neutral-wet, light and warm. Sesame is one of the most balanced oils between oleic and linoleic acids. Oleic acids have a heavier quality while linoleic make an oil lighter, so the balance here shows us that this is a medium density oil.

Plum oil is wet, light and warm. Being a very sweet smelling oil with more moisturizing qualities, plum is best for people with dry underlying skin and used in small amounts. It has slightly astringent properties indicated by its perfume-like taste.

Apricot Kernel is a wet, light and warm oil. It is very soothing for inflamed, irritated skin and high in Vitamins C and E. Apricot kernel is a good general moisturizer for most skin types.

If more prone towards cold and oily skin:

Coconut is a dry, light and warm oil and is best for people more prone to being cold. It is not so good when the skin is hot and actively inflamed, as the warmth could make that worse. Coconut oil has additional antimicrobial properties and is easily absorbed when applied to damp skin.

Adding in Oils for Particular Medicinal Effects

There are also oils that are great for their medicinal qualities yet energetically not as fitting as the major part of the blend. These can be added in smaller amounts in the formula for particular purposes.

For example, in a blend for active acne, an oil that has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties will be really helpful. So for example, though castor oil is a moist and heavy oil, it is great to add in lesser amounts for its potent abilities as an anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, drawing and scar softening oil.

Neem oil is another antimicrobial oil that can be helpful in small amounts. It has a distinctive smell that borders on sulphur-y so consider that when making your blend.

Evening primrose oil is wonderful for helping to prevent and heal scarring. It is best when used at a minimum of 20% of a formula.


I find it best to formulate first by percentages and then break that down into an actual amount. This gives a great overall picture of the finished product and what you want to accomplish with it.

The base of the blend should be at least 50% or more depending upon how many oils you will be adding. I don’t go below 10% for any oil as the effects will not be noticeable at that dilution rate. One of the great parts of making your own skin oils is that you know you are using an effective amount of each active oil. Some expensive commercial brands may advertise the precious expensive oils but really they are using a tiny amount of it.

Essential oils can be added at a rate of 8-10 drops per ounce of oil for most essential oils. Take care when using really strong ones, like oregano or thyme and start out with a lesser amount (about 4 drops per ounce of carrier oil).

Example Recipes

Moisturizing Blend for Acne

Here I give percentages as these blends can be made in any amount. Followed in parentheses is the amount for 4 ounces (120 mL) of finished oil.

  • Grapeseed Oil 50% (2 ounces/60 mL)
  • Sesame Seed Oil 25% (1 ounce/30 mL)
  • Evening Primrose Oil 15% (0.6 ounce/18 mL)
  • Neem Oil 10% (0.4 ounce/12 mL)
  • Vitamin E 0.5% (10 drops)
  • Lavender essential oil (optional) 20 drops
  • Oregano essential oil (optional) 10 drops

Anti-Scar Blend

  • Jojoba 50% (2 ounces/60 mL)
  • Apricot Kernel 20% (0.8 ounce/24 mL)
  • Castor 15% (0.6 ounce/18 mL)
  • Evening Primrose 15% (0.6 ounce/18 mL)
  • Vitamin E 0.5% (10 drops)

To use simply pour a small amount into your hand and apply it to damp skin, gently massaging the skin. Excess oil can be rinsed off with a quick splash or patted off with a towel. I like to leave my skin somewhat wet and allow it to air dry.

I would love to hear your experiences with using these or any other skin oils! Also, what questions do you have about oils and using them for acne?

[UPDATE from Tracy] – I’d like to thank Michelle for being so wonderful with answering everyone’s skin care questions in the comments below. However, from now on if you would like Michelle to give you personal recommendations and one on one time to go over a skin care plan for you, please visit her services page. Thanks!

Bio: Michelle Czolba, M.Sc. is an herbalist and the owner and writer at Wildly Natural Skin Care, where she shares her knowledge of truly natural skin care.

She has crafted all sorts of natural skin care products, including for her work as an herbalist and previous hand-crafted skin care company, and is particularly intrigued by the power of skin care oils. Check out her e-course, Wildly Natural Skin Care Oils!

How to Remove Makeup without Cleansers, Oils, or Makeup Remover

A question I get asked often is: How do I remove my makeup without chemicals or harsh cleansers?

This question usually comes to me after someone has switched to a more natural skin care routine that I recommend – particularly that they’ve started using raw or manuka honey to wash their face. While most people have no problem with this, some people find that it doesn’t seem to completely remove their makeup.

I tend to suggest in this case that you use a cotton ball doused with a little bit of natural oil to remove your makeup before you wash your face. Something like jojoba oil will do a great job at dissolving the oils in the makeup, which then can be easily washed away.

However, some people find that even using an oil as a makeup remover doesn’t work! Or they just don’t like using oils, for whatever reason. Or just haven’t found one that agrees with their skin. Whatever it is, some people want to know – is there anything else that is safe, natural, and non-irritating that they can use to remove makeup??

Well, I may have found the answer for you, and it’s called the Jane Iredale’s Magic Mitt. Using it, you can completely remove your makeup with nothing but the mitt and some warm water. 

How Does it Work?

It’s a microfibre cloth that is super gentle. The fibres are so small – apparently many times thinner than human hair – that they are able to penetrate oil films. This breaks the tension of the oils that bond the makeup to the skin and emulsifies it all into something that can be easily wiped away by the mitt. And that includes eye shadow, mascara, lipstick, blush, as well as foundation and powder.

Now, I have to give the disclaimer that I have not personally tried this purportedly magical mitt because I don’t wear any makeup anymore. But I’ve read lots of reviews of it, and it sounds like it’s gentle enough for acne prone skin, unlike, say, a regular washcloth. And it really does work, much to the surprise of many that couldn’t believe that something could effectively remove their makeup using only water.

How Did I Come Across the Magic Mitt?

Well I was reading through some old comments from when my blog was a wee newborn, and I came across the following comment in which the Jane Iredale product in question was mentioned. I thought, hey – this might be the answer people have been looking for to the ol’ “how do I remove my makeup?” question. Decide for yourself if the Magic Mitt is something you want to use, but I wanted to make sure you knew it existed.

Hi Tracy,

First off I’d like to thank you for sharing such VALUABLE, honest, sincere, good hearted information with a lot of people suffering out there with poor health. When it comes to skin issues, I have had a horrible skin breakout this past year due to POOR health. I’ve gotten back to my old lifestyle which I followed during my modelling days, and voila, in 2 months they are gone. When it comes to skincare, I honestly have to say the idea of using honey to cleanse skin CAME FROM YOU! And I am sooo grateful to you for that, it was like the final touches for lifelong healthy skin.

I wanted to tell you that people who wear makeup and are saying honey does not clean it off properly, instead of using oils you should mention the MAGIC MITT from JANE IREDALE. It’s a way to cleanse your skin with NO CLEANSER. Just gently pat/wipe off the makeup with this cloth, the difference between this cloth and other ones you can get is that it has very very tiny threads that work in and loosen the makeup. Trust me I have tried the regular wash clothes (none work as best as this). If you Tracy still do wear a bit of makeup I recommend you go pick up some of the Jane iredale pure pressed base and just put a bit of that on spots, it’s mostly natural, has about 6 ingredients in it, and is EASILY removable with the magic mit, and then follow up with your honey to really get the face clean. That way you don’t feel so guilty of even putting any kind of makeup on your skin :)

Anyway that’s one tip I just wanted to share with you. Take care of yourself and God Bless you for helping others in their struggles.

How to Use Your Magic Mitt

Steps to using the Jane Iredale Magic Mitt:

  1. Put the Mitt on your hand, and run it under warm water
  2. Gently use a circular motion on your face to remove makeup
  3. Wash the mitt with soap and water and hang to dry. The mitt apparently becomes sterile once dried out, and can be reused over and over.
  4. Cleanse face with honey or other natural face wash (or don’t use anything, as I don’t strictly believe cleanser is necessary for healthy skin)

Here is a demo video I found on youtube so you can see how it works:

Watch Me Talk About the Magic Mitt:

If you wear makeup, what do you remove it with?

How I Cleared All My Clogged Pores in Less Than Three Weeks

How I cleared all my clogged pores in less than three weeksAre you sick of clogged pores stuffing up your skin? Whiteheads, blackheads, and little bumps?

Well you might want to listen up – I have managed to clear pretty much all the congestion off my forehead within a couple of weeks by doing a very simple thing that takes me less than 10 seconds a day.

What Is It? What Did You Do?

Well, if you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll know that I’ve been doing the caveman regimen for the last seven months. That means doing nothing to my face – no washing it, no moisturizing, no nothing. I don’t even let water touch it 90% of the time.

This has reduced the amount of inflamed acne that I get, but I can’t say it has necessarily prevented clogged pores. I wouldn’t say it’s made it worse – I’ve always had some pretty persistent congestion on my forehead – but it hasn’t really improved it either.

I’d been noticing that my forehead was looking particularly bumpy with whiteheads lately, which I assume is because I’ve been a bit more slacker with my diet over the summer. For me and many, it seems that forehead acne is linked to digestion.

Anyway – I’ve really been enjoying not doing anything to my face at all on the caveman regimen, but I decided maybe a little experiment was in order. 

Okay, Tell Me

Well, I just got out my bottle of cold pressed jojoba oil that I had lying around from before my caveman days. Once a day, I’ve been putting a very tiny amount on my finger, and taking ten seconds to gently rub it into my forehead.

That’s it.

I still don’t wash my face or do anything else. All I did was add this little thing in.

Now almost ALL of the clogged pores on my forehead are gone, and it’s way WAY WAAaay smoother.

Why Does Jojoba Oil Unclog Pores?

Other oils may work to do the same thing, but jojoba oil is renowned for this particular task because it’s the oil that is the closest resembles our own sebum. So it gets in the pore, mixes with the hardened sebum plug, dissolves it, and unclogs the pore. It also reduces oiliness by tricking your pores into thinking it’s produced enough oil already.

It doesn’t happen right away though. The first couple of weeks, nothing happened. No improvement was to be seen anywhere. And many people often note that things seem to get worse when they start using jojoba oil – there is a purging period where they break out in tiny whiteheads and small pimples.

Slowly but surely, things started to get better though. And it really works! It’s been three weeks now, and my forehead is so smooth. It’s great!

Will This Work For You?

After getting tons of feedback from people about jojoba oil, I get the impression that jojoba is best suited to oily-ish, prone-to-clogs skin types, as it can be slightly drying. That’s why it works so great on my forehead, which is this skin type.

However, while jojoba doesn’t make it worse, I don’t think jojoba oil provides any miracles for my chin, which is more prone to dry, inflamed hormonal acne – not oily cloggy skin. Which is why I’m not bothering to use it on that part of my face. Read this article to get a better idea of which oils might be better suited for dry-ish skin types.

And to find out which type of jojoba oil I use and how to choose a good brand and quality, read this past article of mine:

How to Choose the Right Jojoba Oil for Your Acne Prone Skin

My Jojobes-On-Forehead Technique Live Demo:

Have you managed to find an effective way to clear your clogged pores? Share in the comments below. 

Non-Conventional Advice on How to Treat and Prevent Milia

Milia – not exactly acne, but it kinda looks like it!

Either way, milia is another unsightly and annoying skin “disagreement” that we would like gone (at least that’s what I gather from those who have been asking me for an article on it!)

I guess I am lucky that I have only ever encountered one milium seed on my own face. So I don’t have a ton of personal experience with milia, but I have done some research to help you get rid of these little guys.

What is Milia?

For those of you don’t know what I’m talking about, milia look like hard white balls – almost like a tiny pearl – that sit just below your skin’s surface. They are most commonly found under and around the eyes, but can also appear any where on the face. They are essentially dead skin cells that get trapped in pockets near the skin’s surface, keratinize, and become hard like a little seed. The difference between them and acne is that they do not grow in a pore. Therefore, they can’t be popped or squeezed out.

How Do I Get Rid of These??

Well, here’s the thing – you could probably just google milia on the internet and every site you come across will tell you the following things. It will say this is what causes milia: 

  • Heavy, rich, pore-clogging skin care products
  • Sun damage
  • Not enough exfoliation
  • Bad genes

and so as prevention, they say avoid these things. Avoid heavy, rich, pore clogging skin care products (I agree with that one). Avoid the sun. Exfoliate more. Sucks to be you with your bad genes.

To get rid of existing milia, they say:

  • Wait it out till the top layer of skin wears away and it escapes
  • Exfoliate
  • Get your dermatologist or beauty therapist to lance them out of your face

Much like acne, the conventional information that circulates on the internet about milia is pretty lame. It’s bland, it’s generic, it probably does work in plenty of cases, but mostly it’s all just fluff coming out of the medical community’s ass.

Sounds like the truth is that no one really knows squat about milia. Including me. And because I haven’t had a lot of milia, I can’t infuse this post with plenty ‘o’ first person wisdom about how I got rid of them (my solution to my one milium was to lance it out of my own face with a pin. Which frankly worked pretty well!)

I did come across one site that was also skeptical about the conventional milia wisdom, and had a different perspective to share. While I can’t personally verify that their suggestions work, it will give you some food for thought if you’ve already tried it all and your milia persists.

From The Health Wyze Report:

It is widely believed that this condition is due to an exfoliation problem, whereby tiny flakes of dead skin clog the skin’s pores. Our research indicates that this is likely only half of the equation.

The other half is an excess of cholesterol in the skin, where the body frequently deposits its excess cholesterol. This in turn, leads us to a third contributing factor, which is a deficiency of sunlight. A body removes its excess cholesterol in the skin using sunlight, which begins a process of converting it into vitamin D3. Sunlight does not cause this condition, as some other health-related sources have claimed, and in fact, sunlight can cure it in some cases.

and their recommendations for treating milia naturally are:

  • Take frequent showers.
  • Exfoliate the skin.
  • Supplementation with niacin is the single most effective treatment for some sufferers.
  • Avoid sunscreens. (when reasonable)
  • Avoid heavy facial cosmetics.
  • Get moderate sunlight exposure frequently.
  • Reduce high cholesterol foods.
  • Supplement with biotin, because many sufferers find that biotin supplementation alone cures their milia.
  • Do not take vitamin D supplements. *
  • CoQ10 is produced by the body during intense exercise, and is found in meat and fish.  It is used by the body to emulsify oils, and to increase energy.  Emulsifiers make oils water soluble (like soap), which assists in their removal, and thus reduces milia.

* The part about avoiding vitamin D supplements may be shocking to some readers, but people with milia are in a special category. Their bodies need to remove excess cholesterol from their skin, and it does this by converting that cholesterol into a form of vitamin D following sunlight exposure.  If these people have excessive vitamin D, then this process will not occur, and the cholesterol build-up in their skin will continue.

So there you go – if you are a long time milia sufferer and none of the conventional recommendations work, then maybe some of these left-of-centre tips will sort them out for you. I wish you the best!

Watch This Article in Video Form

Have you ever had milia? Share with us what you have done to treat and prevent them!

photo by knoxderm

6 Ways to Banish Oily Skin Forever

Do you have oily, acne prone skin and wish it would just go away?

I have a combination skin type with the lower half of my acne prone face leaning much more towards the dry side, and my forehead leaning toward oily – however, I’ve luckily never had to deal with a complete oil slick up there.

But, sadly, I know some of you are battling some serious grease, and you want to know what to do about it.

So what’s the secrets?


I know this seems counter intuitive to everything you’ve ever been told about oil and acne prone skin, but washing too much and with harsh, drying products is probably making the situation much worse.


Because sebum (your skin’s oil) is not inherently a bad thing. It’s there to lubricate your skin and protect it. When you constantly strip it of its oils, it learns that it must over produce it and it ends up producing so much that you kind of look like you smeared bacon grease on your face. Fun!

So as crazy as it sounds, you really need to cut down on the washing and switch to super gentle, natural products. Absolutely do not wash your face more than twice a day. Personally, I’d recommend  washing only once a day, or you can even quit washing altogether if you’re brave. 

For natural, non chemical, non drying products to use, I recommend manuka honey or just plain raw honey, or any of these natural options.

At first, your skin will definitely be really oily and you may be crying to wash it, but DON’T DO IT! Soon your skin will learn that you won’t be stripping it bare assed naked against its will all the time, and will begin to naturally stop producing so much oil.

PS – This trick also works for your hair.

2) Only Wash with Luke Warm Water

Hot water is super drying, and also irritating to acne prone skin. Using it will encourage over production of oil. So only wash your face with tepid water, and try to turn the heat down a notch in the shower if you can.

3) Improve Your Diet and Lifestyle

If you have already cut back on all the washing and products and hot water, but still find yourself a bit oily, then you will have to dig further to resolve the problem. This is because oil production is triggered internally by hormonal reactions that are influenced by your diet and lifestyle.

Improving your diet means cutting back on processed foods, eating more fruits and vegetables, and a few other tweaks depending on your situation. You may also want to try cutting dairy out of your diet for a while, as for many people, the hormones in milk products can have a big influence on acne and oil production.

Other lifestyle factors to improve include getting more exercise, lowering your stress levels, getting more sunshine, and sleeping better.

If you want more help with all this stuff (because it sounds oh-so-simple in a little paragraph like this, but obviously takes much more to really put into action), check out my ebook Ultimate Secrets to Acne Freedom.

4) If You Use Moisturizer, Cut Back or Stop

If your skin is already full of moisture, why bother putting more on there?

5) Instead of Conventional Moisturizer, Try Using Oil Instead

Yes, yes, I know. Much like the tip about “stop washing so much”, it may seem completely counter intuitive to want to put MORE oil on your already oily skin.

But despite what it sounds like, it’s not like dumping gasoline on a campfire.

Oil can do two things for your skin:

  1. Trick your skin into thinking that it’s already produced enough oil, therefore, getting it to stop overproducing it, and
  2. It can mix with the hardened sebum in your pores and dissolve it, allowing plugs (whiteheads and blackheads) to disappear for good.

Think about it – oil and water don’t mix, so how do you expect it to get into your pores and unclog them? Oil can do that. Like dissolves like.

My personal recommendation for an oil to use is jojoba oil. It’s especially suited for oily skin, and has a great track record for helping with acne. However, there are tons of other oils you can use, and so I suggest you read this article here for more ideas.

6) Try Using Milk of Magnesium

This quirky little trick is inexpensive and easy to use, and you can find milk of magnesium at any run-of-the-mill pharmacy or drug store. Just shake the bottle, apply a layer to clean, wet skin, and rinse it off 5 to 10 minutes later.

Apparently it works like a dream for oily skin without making it a flakey, gross mess on top of the oil. This is all according to this lady, anyway, which is where I got the idea (and also where I stole the picture at the top! Thanks!)

Get This Info In Video Format:

I made a video of all this for the youtube crowd, so if you prefer to watch rather than read, you can do that below. Note that it’s pretty much the exact same info as above, so don’t bother if you’ve already read it!

Oil No More

Okay, I hope you enjoyed this article :) Don’t forget to share it around the interwebs if you did.

Do you have oily skin? If so, have you found a magic formula for keeping the oil away?