Most drugstore acne face washes contain either salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. The later is a harsh chemical that, according to a report published by the European Commission, can promote skin tumors. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agrees. The government agency warns both benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid can cause life-threatening allergic reactions.
Although this happens only in rare cases, harmful side-effects such as burning, drying, itching, peeling, redness, and swelling are all too common. If clearing acne is your main concern, the biggest downside in even the most mild forms of irritation is the fact that irritation signals the body to activate the immune system.
Clearly, it’s time to ditch the store-bought acne face wash. Here’s how to make your own alternative using only natural ingredients:
Daily Aloe Vera Face Wash
- 4 tablespoons pure aloe vera gel
- 2 1/2 teaspoons jojoba wax or jojoba oil
- 2 1/2 teaspoons liquid castille soap
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon white cosmetic clay
- 1 drop lavender essential oil
Combine all ingredients, with the exception of the clay, into a plastic bottle and shake. Next, add the clay and shake again. You’re done! To use the face wash, first wet your face with water. Then, using your hands, gently scrub a dime-sized amount of face wash into your skin using circular movements. Rinse with water and pat dry. Follow with a gentle moisturizer.
Why It Works: Aloe vera soothes the skin, actively repairs damaged skin cells, fights inflammation (aka acne), and helps retain moisture. Jojoba contains proteins and minerals that work like collagen to keep the skin smooth and supple. White clay works to exfoliate the skin without drying it, and lavender soothes any irritation.
Sensitive Skin Face Wash
- 3 tablespoons organic extra virgin coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon raw honey
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
In a small bowl, stir the coconut oil with a spoon until creamy. Add honey and stir well. Then, add the baking soda and stir well once more. Spoon the face wash into a container with a lid and store at room temperature. To use this three-ingredient face wash, use a small spoon to scoop out the product and, using your fingers, apply it to the skin, working in circular motions. Allow the product to soak into the skin for a few minutes. Then, use warm water and a wash cloth to rinse the face.
Why It Works: The saturated fats, lauric acid, and vitamin E in coconut oil work wonders to preserve moisture in the skin, protect against acne-causing microbes, and infuse the skin with antioxidants. The antibacterial, probiotic and healing properties in honey made one beauty expert’s skin soft and completely blemish-free. Baking soda is useful in this home remedy because it works as an exfoliant to scrub away dead skin cells.
Charcoal Skin Cleanser
- 1 cup organic coconut oil
- 6 activated charcoal capsules (available at pharmacies and health food stores)
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- 5 drops lavender oil
- 5 drops rosemary oil
Carefully break open the charcoal capsules and empty their contents into a small container. Mix together the coconut oil and baking soda with the charcoal powder. Next, add the lavender and rosemary and mix well. Pour the face wash into a container and you’re good to go. To use, moisten the face using a warm, wet washcloth. Then, massage a small amount of the cleanser into the skin. Rest for a few minutes so the skin can absorb the product. When you’re ready, use a washcloth to remove the cleanser.
Why It Works: Charcoal cleanses the skin and removes blemishes, while coconut oil moisturizes and protects. Both essential oils have antimicrobial properties that fight infection- and inflammation-causing microbes. Plus, they have the added benefit of making your skin smell delightful.