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In this article, we will focus on products for an issue that affects many: acne-prone skin.
Rather than focusing on a particular type of product, we will provide a selection of best natural face moisturizers for acne-prone skin currently available, including moisturizers, creams, and serums.
We are reviewing a comprehensive routine of the best natural face moisturizers to help tackle blemishes throughout the face and body.
Most individuals with acne-prone skin are unaware that there are products specifically formulated for them to help assist in fighting breakouts and acne flares.
Creating a skincare routine for acne-prone skin can be time-consuming and tedious, which is why we have formulated a list for you. Trying one product at a time, for several weeks to see its benefits and effects will illustrate how your skin responds to the product.
The advice provided in this article is informative only and is not a substitution for medical advice. If any of the over-the-counter products have been ineffective, it is best to seek individual-based medical advice from your dermatologist or primary care physician.
That said, here’s some of our advice on what to consider before purchasing your next moisturizer.
|ZELEN Life Moisturizer||Check It Out|
|Boscia Clear Complexion Moisturizer||Check on Amazon|
|ELEMIS Superfood Day Cream||Check on Amazon|
|Philosophy Nature in a Jar||Check on Amazon|
|Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Serum||Check on Amazon|
Before you buy: 3 Things to consider when purchasing skincare products for acne-prone skin
1. Find out if you have acne-prone skin
It is important to know if and when you may have acne-prone skin. While we all get pimples once in a while, if a problem becomes chronic and extends beyond an occasional blemish, you may have acne and acne-prone skin.
If you suffer from acne, and it affects your quality of life, you may need products that are targeted for acne-prone skin sufferers. This may also apply if you have oily skin or skin with excess oils that may lead to clogged pores and comedones (whiteheads or blackheads).
Several skin lesions are unique or are the definition of acne, including comedones, nodules, cysts, pustules, or inflammatory papules (pimples).
Determining what kind of acne you have and what kinds of skin lesions you make will help guide the best skincare regimen for your skin type.
2. If you are currently using over-the-counter treatments for acne-prone skin, do not add new products without the advice of a medical professional
To put it simply, if you are already on medical treatment for acne, including topical or oral and systemic medications, discuss the addition or change of an over-the-counter product with your dermatologist first.
Many products for acne-prone skin can be overly drying or even irritating, as many contain common ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.
While many skincare products purport to target or help acne-prone skin, it is important to seek a medical professional’s advice to see how it fits into your acne skincare regimen to minimize a bad reaction.
3. Choose what products you may benefit from
Depending on how bad your acne is or if you have acne-prone skin, you may need to switch or change your moisturizers and cleansers or add new products such as toners, serums, or creams.
Most people benefit from using a cleanser and moisturizer twice daily – morning and evening. For those with greater acne severity, they may benefit from a toner or prescription-strength treatment.
Most acne products are used in this order: cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and acne-targeted treatment. Now that you are familiar with acne-prone skin, we can dive into the best products for acne-prone skin.
The 5 best natural face moisturizers for acne-prone skin
- Lightweight, non-greasy and absorbs fast to lock in moisture
- Decreases inflammation associated with acne
The best moisturizer for:
Those with sensitive and oily skin.
The ZELEN Life moisturizer is packed with natural ingredients such as clary sage, calendula, and jojoba oil to moisturize after cleansing the skin, which protects the skin barrier.
While it reduces the oils in the skin, it also helps to hydrate oily skin as it is a non-comedogenic moisturizer and does not clog pores or contribute to comedones.
This keeps the pores unclogged and the skin soft and supple. Its properties help to reduce photoaging and encourage healing to repair skin damage from acne breakouts. It is one of the most effective ingredients in skincare for acne-prone skin and also has anti-inflammatory properties.(1)
Clary sage is an antioxidant that helps target damage from the sun, adds protection against free radicals, thus prevents breakouts and is also antimicrobial.(2)
Calendula diminishes redness and reduces inflammation that can be caused by acne and is also antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory.(3)
It also acts as an effective moisturizer and is also an antioxidant that reduces free radicals. This natural plant extract also provides photoprotection from UV A and B rays and acts best when combined with sunscreen for maximum sun protection factor.(3)
Essential fatty acids help to repair elastin and collagen to help counter the photoaging process that leads to wrinkles and is also used in dermatologic conditions in acne, psoriasis, and atopic eczema.(4)
- Anti-inflammatory properties reduce inflammation and erythema associated with irritated skin
- Antibacterial components target the bacterial contributors to acne, such as Propionibacterium acnes
- Jojoba oil helps to replenish our skin’s natural moisture that can be at stake with acne treatment, helping balance the skin’s hydration
Things to think about:
- Since it is geared toward acne-prone and oily skin, it may not be the best choice for excessively dry and irritated skin
- One of the ingredients known as calendula can contribute to more sebum production
The ZELEN Life moisturizer is the ideal hydrator for oily and acne-prone skin, as it decreases flares, breakouts, and inflammation associated with acne.
- Unclogs pores
- For blemish-prone skin
The best moisturizer for:
Those with dark spots.
This lightweight moisturizer is geared toward achieving a blemish-free complexion in acne-prone skin. It contains willow bark extract to help prevent acne flares, reduce irritation and inflammation.
It is formulated for acne-prone skin and blemish-prone skin types.
Its key ingredients are willow bark extract, rosemary leaf extract, sweet orange fruit, and lemon fruit extract.
Willow bark extract is a natural beta hydroxy acid and salicylic acid (salicin) from the willow tree which unclogs pores and exfoliates the skin to refine appearances and minimize dark spots from previous flares; it has anti-inflammatory and anti-aging.(5)
Rosemary leaf extract is an effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory with anti-bacterial benefits that assist in circulation and helps reduce pores; it is also an antioxidant with anti-aging benefits.(6)
Lemon fruit extract and sweet orange fruit provide natural chemical and enzymatic exfoliation that stimulates circulation, clarifies blemishes, has released toxins, and is historically medicinal.(7)
The signature botanical blend contains jojoba and willowherb, which prevent free radicals, nourish the skin, calm inflammation, and reduce irritation and redness.
- Vegan and cruelty-free; also contains natural ingredients and fruit extracts to fight inflammation and prevent breakouts
- Willow bark extract helps reduce post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and to clarify the skin
- Formulated for blemish and acne-prone skin
- Natural ingredients are also anti-bacterial and assist with circulation
- Ideal for all skin types
- Key ingredients include: sweet orange fruit and lemon fruit extract, rosemary leaf extract as well
Things to think about:
- While willow bark extract helps to reduce dark spots or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation in the skin, which is commonly associated with acne, individuals who suffer from more severe acne scarring, atrophic pitting, or nodulocystic acne may need to consult a medical professional such as a dermatologist for more aggressive treatment.
The Boscia clear complexion moisturizer is a lightweight hydrator that provides essential nourishment for the skin, avoiding irritation, and helping to prevent acne breakouts in acne and blemish-prone skin without unwanted irritation.
- Moisturizes with antioxidants
- Contains a vitamin-packed super green complex
The best moisturizer for:
Promoting the skin’s microbiome.
The ELEMIS superfood day cream moisturizer is packed with vitamins and matcha tea for nourishment and hydration.
This lightweight cream contains rich nutrients such as omega-rich extracts such as goji berry, broccoli combined with antioxidants such as ginger and matcha tea that replenish the skin.
The key ingredients include: ginger, goji berry extract, and matcha tea.
Ginger oil has anti-spasmodic and warming properties. It is used in various medical conditions and ailments such as ulcers, as it improves wound healing with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.(8)
Goji berry extract is rich in antioxidants, sterols, essential fatty acids, and vitamins that protect the skin barrier with health benefits prevents free radicals with immune and anti-cancer properties.(9)
Matcha tea contains powerful antioxidants that help inactivate free radicals in the skin, is an anti-inflammatory that helps calm redness in conditions such as atopic dermatitis; it also has anti-carcinogenic properties and is used widely in dermatological and cosmeceutical products.(10)
- Rich in antioxidants and vitamins to provide essential nourishment and replenishment
- Pre-biotics are combined with matcha tea, goji berry, and ginger to refine complexion and add protection
- Contains vitamins and high potency nutrients
- Promotes good microflora of the microbiome in the skin
Things to think about:
- Some of the reviews mentioned that the product appears geared towards oily, acne-prone, and combination skin, but it may not be ideal for super dry skin. Individuals with overly dry skin or underlying irritation or dermatitis may need to consult a medical professional, such as a dermatologist, to target their underlying irritation or dry skin dermatitis.
- Some users reported that the ingredients within the product also appeared to be drying when applied.
The ELEMIS Superfood Day Cream is a pre-biotic day cream with antioxidants and vitamins geared to moisturize and balance skin with oils and a green complex. It aims to replenish, nourish, and protect the skin barrier in acne-prone skin.
- Improves texture, tone, and resilience in the skin
- Contains beneficial antioxidants, enzymes, and plant vitamins
The best moisturizer for:
Promoting antioxidant benefits and limiting oxidation.
This is a nourishing cica cream moisturizer that is ideal for dry and sensitive skin. It restores moisture, soothes the skin barrier, and reinforces tone and texture, improving hydration.
It is unique formulated with organic natural ingredients and does not contain sulfates, parabens, or phthalates. It is vegan, and cruelty, and gluten-free. It is also made out of recycled glass and carton.
Key ingredients include: cica, shea butter, agave, and prickly pear fruit extract.
Cica, also known as tiger grass, is a natural plant that tigers use to help heal their wounds by rubbing against this plant and also eating its leaves to gain strength.
It is also used in the management of scarring and hypertrophic scars as a safe and effective treatment option.(11)
Shea butter is from the nut of the African shea tree. It absorbs rapidly in the skin, is hydrating due to richness in fatty acids, and reinforces the skin barrier by providing hydration; it is also used as a moisturizer in atopic dermatitis.(12)
Prickly pear fruit extract is also known as a cactus fruit, as it does from a cactus. It is also known as an Indian fig, barberry fig, nopal, tuna, and nopales and historically is used in a variety of ailments. It is an antioxidant and also has antimicrobial and wound healing properties.(13)
Agave is from semi-arid areas and is used as part of traditional medicine and food as an antioxidant as well.
This product uses a unique cryoextraction process that freezes the plant itself and extracts its active parts from the fresh frozen plant, which limits oxidation and preserves the most delicate components, including vitamins, polyphenols, and enzymes.(14)
- Restores and nourishes dryness in the skin, restores the skin barrier, and reinforces the skin’s resilience to improve tone and texture
- Created with Cica to calm sensitive and dry skin, agave cryoextract and prickly pear extract as antioxidants, shea butter for moisture
- The cryoextraction process utilized helps preserve the plant’s vitamins, polyphenols, and enzymes to use the active components
Things to think about:
- While customers rave about the product and it has great reviews, some of the customers felt the price point was a bit stiff, although the product appears to be effective as a moisturizer and has a pleasant feel and fragrance when applied to the skin.
- The cica complex recovery component of the moisturizer may make the moisturizer appear heavier than other moisturizers, which is excellent for a night cream but may feel too thick for daytime use.
The Philosophy Nature in a Jar moisturizer functions as nourishing to the skin, improving tone and texture to restore its barrier and resilience. Its ingredients, such as cica cryoextract, are antioxidants, while cryoextraction preserves vitamins from plants and aids in enzyme preservation to benefit the skin.
- Soothes and nourishes the skin
- Clarifies pores and works to exfoliate the skin
The best moisturizer for:
People struggling with blackheads and whiteheads.
The principal ingredients within this serum include apple and lemon extracts. These include alpha-hydroxy acids that minimize pores and reduce bacteria associated with acne flares and blemishes.
Lemon juice extract is an antioxidant that works in anti-aging and hydrates the skin, reduces the tendency towards scarring and pigmentary alteration, and contributes to hydration through increased skin turnover and improvement in blood flow.(15)
It also contains willow bark extract, a natural ingredient with salicylic acid, commonly used as an over-the-counter product to exfoliate acne-prone skin.
It has been used extensively for years as a well known beta hydroxy acid in the treatment of mild acne and large pores; it is also an antioxidant and is anti-inflammatory and assists in bacterially-induced or aggravated skin conditions.(16 )
It also prevents bacteria from further contributing to acne and multiplying and reduces keratinocyte stress that contributes to acne flares.(16)
An excess of keratinocytes and dead skin cells overlying large pores can clog these pores, leading to whiteheads and blackheads, the central lesion of acne. It also helps to prep the skin for any subsequent products that are used.
Aloe vera and vitamin C minimize inflammation and promote wound healing as vitamin C works on keratinocytes and collagen, both significant in the structure of the skin and our pores; vitamin C also assists with hyperpigmentation and photoaging through its antioxidant properties.(17)(18)
Coenzyme Q10 also helps to reduce wrinkles and fine lines and improves our overall skin health. It contains natural antioxidants to reduce free radicals, help repair any damage, and to help counter the natural aging we experience with time.(19)
- Willow bark extract helps the skin absorb subsequent acne treatments or serums on the skin, allowing for greater efficacy.
- The combination of vitamin C and aloe vera promotes healing and reduces inflammation, which aids in decreasing discoloration and acne scarring.
- The presence of alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids helps rejuvenate the skin, remove oiliness, and minimize pores.
Things to think about:
- If you have more aggressive acne with nodules and cysts, please seek medical advice from your dermatologist as you may need a more targeted skincare and treatment regimen.
- Always look at the expiration of your skincare products, typically 1-2 years of shelf-life, due to their natural and organic ingredients. Make sure you always choose a newly packaged product for longevity.
This is an excellent serum for anyone struggling with comedonal acne – which includes whiteheads and blackheads. It is also helpful if you are struggling with mainstream zits and pimples that characterize more typical acne vulgaris.
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How we chose these products
To formulate a list of the best natural moisturizers for acne-prone skin, we searched for products with the highest quality that are formulated to target oily skin and acne blemishes.
These contain ingredients to decrease excess oils and to help minimize symptoms that accompany acne. Also, they are free of synthetic chemicals that can irritate the skin unnecessarily.
While investigating the best products for acne-prone skin, we tried our best to cover skincare products that are useful, including serums, moisturizers, and creams. We chose brands with a well-known reputation and high-quality formulations.
Each of the chosen products helps hydrate and moisturize the skin and create an effective skin barrier that makes it easier to tackle and recover from acne breakouts.
Each product discussed is free of sulfates, parabens, and petrochemicals. The quality of each one was assessed by reviewing and researching the efficacy of the ingredients included through clinical studies and reviews that have been conducted in the medical field, as well as evidence-based medicine to help investigate the properties of each ingredient and how it can affect acne-prone skin.
Each brand and item on the list is from a trusted company that is known in the dermatologic and skincare community. The accuracy and integrity of consumer reviews were also researched thoroughly to ensure that customers have had a positive experience with the product.
All of this information was synthesized to ensure that consumers are informed and able to make the best decisions in the skincare regimen to help manage acne-prone skin.
In this manner, we hope that you are able to choose the best products for acne-prone skin in a cost-effective way and with less of a struggle, in hopes of giving you better skin and a greater chance at reducing acne flares as well as the post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, pigmentary alteration and scarring that often accompany acne.
Frequently asked questions
What is acne-prone skin?
Acne-prone skin is a skin type in which the skin is prone to pimples, zits, and acne flares more than normal skin types.
If persistent or uncontrolled acne is a problem for you, or if you experience more acne flares than you would typically consider normal in someone of your age group, you may likely suffer from acne-prone skin.
How should I manage acne-prone skin?
Skin types that are prone to acne should consider using products that are oil-free and non-comedogenic when choosing skincare and hair care products, makeup, and sunscreens.
Sometimes mild conditions can be controlled effectively with over-the-counter products. Regardless of whether you need prescription-strength treatments from a dermatologist or not, most people still need over-the-counter skincare products.
For example, sunscreen to prevent photodamage and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Also, serums and moisturizers to hydrate the skin effectively and avoid irritation.
These can be used alongside more aggressive prescription-strength treatments if needed, to complement a comprehensive skincare regimen.
What if my acne-prone skin is out of control?
Suppose you cannot control your skin effectively with over-the-counter products.
In that case, it is important to seek the advice of a medical professional such as a dermatologist, who may then consider prescription-strength products or medications to help you overcome this condition.
A dermatologist will also be able to evaluate your overall treatment regimen taking into account the over-the-counter and skincare products you already use and how these factor into your skincare regimen along with possible prescription therapies.
Acne-prone skin is one of the most common skin types and skin problem encountered. It can be found in anyone and is not unique to adolescence or youth.
Acne-prone skin is prevalent, and research continues to investigate the best ways to avoid acne flares and prevent flares of one of the most common skin concerns in people.
We have covered the most essential points to think about before buying skincare for acne-prone skin.
Thus, it is important by assessing your skin: is your acne severe enough to be considered in the category of acne-prone skin? How bad are your blemishes, and how severe is your acne?
Being honest about your level of acne and whether you have acne-prone skin will help you choose what kind of skincare items you need to battle this condition as well as the best ingredients to fight it.
We have provided readers with tips to assist. It is important to understand that you do not need to suffer with breakouts, and you can find relief in acne-prone skincare.
At the same time, it is also crucial to know when to seek professional help from a dermatologist if over-the-counter products are not enough as acne is one of the most common dermatological conditions we treat.
Please share your journeys or battles with acne-prone skin below: what helps? What has or has not worked for you?
If you know someone with acne-prone skin, please feel free to share.
And, if you are looking for other natural acne products to complement your next moisturizer, check out this selection of the best natural and organic skincare products for acne.Did you find this article useful? Enter your email to receive subscriber-only skincare advice to help you perfect your routine and achieve radiant skin. Get tips and tricks, how to's and exclusive offers direct to your inbox...
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