Choosing which skincare products to use on acne prone skin can be a confusing and time-consuming process. However, a well-formulated organic face wash can be a useful tool in combating current blemishes and preventing future breakouts. Below you can find top five organic face washes for acne prone skin:
- Derma E Hydrating Cleanser With Hyaluronic Acid
- Paula’s Choice Earth Sourced Perfectly Natural Cleansing Gel
- Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser
- Block Island Organics – Organic Purifying Facial Cleanser with Antioxidants Vitamin C and E
- Era Organics Cleanse + Restore Natural Face Wash
Read more below as to why these natural face cleaning products stand out…
What to Look for In Organic Face Wash
Here are some important things to consider when choosing an organic face wash.
Know your skin type – Everyone’s skin is different and has different needs. Determining your skin type and specific concerns is the first step in choosing the right face wash for your needs. If you are unsure, WebMD has a helpful summary of skin types to help you determine what your skin type is.
- Oily/Combination – Most blemishes result when excess oil, combined with dead skin cells, becomes clogged in a hair follicle. Therefore, oily skin is very common amongst acne-sufferers. Removing excess oil and makeup with a gentle cleanser without over-stripping the skin is important. Since oily skin is already naturally moisturized, consider using a face wash in a foam or gel form.
- Dry – Dry skin with acne can be difficult to treat since many products designed to combat acne tend to dry out the skin even more. A gentle organic face wash with more emollient features in a cream or lotion form can be a good option. Even dry skin should be cleansed regular of impurities, but keep in mind that you may only need to wash your face once per day if your skin is very dry.
- Sensitive – Sensitive skin often reacts strongly to various skin care ingredients resulting in localized irritation and inflammation, which in turn lead to increased oil production and acne. In this case, the use of common anti-acne ingredients; such as benzoyl peroxide, can actually contribute to the irritation and make matters worse. For sensitive skin, it is critical to choose a very mild face wash with skin soothing ingredients; such as aloe vera, and to avoid any potentially irritating ingredients (read on for a list of common culprits).
Consider active ingredients – Some washes contain ingredients known to treat specific acne-related problems. Salicylic acid, for example, helps to exfoliate the skin and prevent clogged pores, while benzoyl peroxide works by killing the bacteria associated with acne. Take care, however, if you have sensitive or very dry skin, as these ingredients can be irritating when present in higher concentrations. Furthermore, be sure to check if other products in your skincare routine; such as toners, serums, and moisturizers, contain active ingredients. You don’t want to overwhelm your skin through overuse of active ingredients.
Say no to irritants – Regardless of your skin type, one thing all acne sufferers want to avoid is irritation and the accompanying inflammation. Unfortunately, many cleansers, even many of the natural or organic ones, contain harsh and irritating ingredients. Some of the worst and most common offenders are fragrances and alcohols (specifically benzoyl or SD). Although we are huge fans of natural and organic products, it is important to recognize that some natural ingredients; such as witch hazel and peppermint, are powerful irritants and should not be included in skin care products in high concentrations. Here you can find a more thorough list of potential irritants.
Use it well – In order to reap the most benefit from an organic face wash, it is important to use it in the correct way. The American Academy of Dermatology advises using the fingertips to gently apply face wash twice a day with lukewarm water and avoiding the use of rough washcloths or sponges, which can inflame and aggravate the skin.
If you wear heavy make-up, consider using natural cleansing wipes or a very soft cotton cloth to gently remove any remaining cosmetics without scrubbing. Although it can be tempting to wash the face often, washing too frequently (i.e. more than twice a day) can actually stimulate oil production, thus perpetuating a vicious cycle. If you suffer from extremely oily skin, consider using oil blotting papers throughout the day instead of resorting to frequent washes.
Complete your routine – Even a great, gentle product cannot counteract damage or inflammation caused by other harsh or poorly formulated products. Boost the beneficial effects of your face wash by ensuring all your skin care products are gentle, effective, and suited to your skin type. If you need some help in designing a suitable skin care routine, WebMD has a useful slideshow on the basics.
Best Organic Face Washes for Acne Prone Skin
This is a great option for those with normal to dry acne prone skin. While it does a good job at removing makeup and impurities, the hydrating ingredients ensure skin isn’t over stripped. A slight downside is the slight amount of fragrance in the product, which could potentially be irritating to those with extremely sensitive skin.
- Hyaluronic acid helps to retain moisture in the skin
- Green Tea plus Vitamins E & A provide antioxidant properties
- Cleanses thoroughly and removes makeup well
- Contains small amount of fragrance which may be irritating to some
All of Paula’s Choice products are free from potential irritants or fragrances. This cleanser, from their line of Earth Source natural products, has a lightweight gel texture ideal for combination or oily skin. Although we do wish they had included a few more beneficial ingredients in this product, we can’t complain about the results. It cleanses thoroughly and leaves skin beautifully clean and calm.
- Soft gel texture ideal for oily skin
- 100% fragrance free
- Simple, effective cleanser free from irritants
- Contains only 99% natural ingredients, which may be off-putting for some
- Doesn’t contain many additional beneficial ingredients like antioxidants or anti-irritants
This gentle cleanser from Neutrogena is a more budget friendly option and a great choice for those with acne-prone skin. It contains a natural derivative of salicylic acid found in Willow Bark, which acts as an anti-irritant and may help to prevent acne-causing inflammation. Neutrogena Naturals use at least 90% natural ingredients, which definitely leaves room for improvement. However, this product is a suitable choice for those on a tight budget looking for mostly natural ingredients.
- Natural form of salicylic acid
- Rinses clean and leaves no soapy residue
- 90% natural ingredients
- Small addition of fragrance may be irritating to some
This vegan formula is a great option for all skin types, even those with sensitive acne prone skin. It contains an impressive mixture of natural skin soothing botanical ingredients; such as rosehip, chamomile, burdock, and avocado. In addition, it provides skin with antioxidant and antimicrobial benefits. We love that this product also received a positive rating from the Environmental Working Group’s cosmetic database. One gold star for Block Island Organics!
- Botanical ingredients provide antioxidant properties
- Contains no parabens, petrochemicals, phthalates, dyes, or fragrance
- Vegan formula
- #1 rating by the Environmental Working Group (EWG)
- On the more expensive side
- Doesn’t lather as much as some might prefer
This beautifully formulated gem of a cleanser gets an A+ in our book. Having a skin similar pH of 5.5, this gentle wash won’t over dry or strip skin of its protective barrier. With the skin soothing anti-irritant aloe vera and antibacterial Manuka honey, this is an all around excellent option for inflamed acne prone skin.
- Skin similar pH of 5.5
- Contains Vitamins A, B, C, D and E
- First ingredient is soothing aloe vera (no water fillers)
- Antibacterial/anti-irritant properties of Manuka honey
- Entirely fragrance free
- None to report!
While all the products listed above are good options, the Era Organics Cleanse + Restore Natural Face Wash is our clear favorite and a perfect example of an excellent, organic face wash for acne prone skin. It gets top marks across the board as an effective, fragrance free cleanser with skin beneficial ingredients, anti-irritants, and antioxidants. Furthermore, its skin similar pH and non-stripping formula makes it suitable for most skin types. Perfection-in-a-bottle? We certainly think so.
Remember, when choosing skin care products for acne prone skin, simply choosing a product labeled “natural” or “organic” is not enough. Certain naturally derived products can be damaging to the skin, causing inflammation and contributing to acne. Fortunately, there are also some great natural options out there. Just remember to always consider your skin types specific needs and be sure to closely examine the ingredient list for potentially irritating ingredients. Your skin will thank you in the end!