The 10 Best Natural Acne Treatments That Are Actually Effective
At one time or another, we’ve all suffered from acne. As painstaking and frustrating as bumps, sores, and swelling can be, there are solutions to help kick acne to the curb- for good.
If you are in need of a natural remedy to treat even the most severe acne, you came to the right place. These products are proven to prevent breakouts, decrease sebum production, and remove excess oil from your skin.
Regardless of your age, skin type, and budget- our experts took the time to curate a list of the best natural acne treatments by all skin concerns so you can find the perfect skin clearing solutions to get your confidence boosted and your complexion glowing.
Here are the 10 best natural acne treatments:
- Best Natural Acne Treatment: Zyderma - Clarifying Cream
- Best Natural Acne Treatment for Sensitive Skin: Osmia - Black Clay Facial Soap
- Best Natural Acne Treatment for Oily and Combination Skin: OSEA - Ocean Cleanser
- Best Natural Acne Treatment for Dry Skin: Odacite - Clean-icals Salicylic + Hyaluronic Acid Clarifying Serum
- Best Natural Acne Treatment for Teenagers: Odacite - BI + C Pimples
- Best Natural Acne Treatment for Adults: True Botanicals - CLEAR Pure Radiance Oil
- Best Natural Acne Treatment for Body: Nécessaire - The Body Exfoliator - Eucalyptus
- Best Natural Acne Treatment for Scars: Pai - Rosehip Bioregenerate
- Best Natural Acne Patches: Hero Cosmetics - The Mighty Patch Invisible+
- Best Natural Acne Spot Treatments: Province Apothecary - Clear Skin Advanced Spot Concentrate
Best Natural Acne Treatment
Price: $$44.95/ $59.95
Cleansers and soaps are great for keeping skin clear, but this clarifying cream moisturizer can’t be overlooked. It’s a tried and true bestseller, and it comes in as our best overall acne treatment for all skin types. Here’s why-
Zyderma is a cult-fave skincare brand focused on helping clear breakouts and soothe problematic skin. The brand stands apart from the pack with innovative ingredients proven to eliminate acne and leave you with clear and healthy skin. The signature not-so-secret ingredient? Micronized silver.
Silver has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties- meaning it lowers the levels of bacteria that cause clogged pores, resulting in pimples and breakouts. Studies have shown silver to be effective in clearing the skin of pore clogging microbes: the silver particles ionize on your skin to prevent the spread of bacteria. No bacteria? No acne!
This clarifying cream stabilizes your skin’s natural flora, is hypoallergenic and oil-free so no need to worry about greasy residues. Add a bottle (or two) to your cart, and thank us later.
Best Natural Acne Treatment for Sensitive Skin
Price: $$24/ $30.90
Sensitive skin types, rejoice! This bar of facial soap is the answer to clearing impurities without irritating your skin. We get it- traditional bar soap has a bad reputation, but this is the bar to make you change your mind, promise!
Formulated with Australian black clay and mud from the Dead Sea, this creamy lather gently washes away dirt and grime, while antioxidant-rich botanical oils help balance your complexion. Organic almond, avocado, and jojoba oil are gentle yet deep moisturizers to ensure your sensitive skin doesn’t flare up mid-wash. The bar is small but mighty, and if used correctly should last you 12 weeks or more of daily use.
Sensitivity customers love this cleaner’s ability to gently erase acne, and even treat perioral dermatitis- a common skin condition causing patches of redness, bumps, and flaky skin. Perhaps the only thing customers love more than this soap’s efficacy is the price. This budget-friendly blemish solution is your next best buy to stop acne in its tracks.
Best Natural Acne Treatment for Oily and Combination Skin
Price: $$48 /$65
Oily and combo skin types know the acne struggle all too well. On one hand, you don’t want a product that’s going to dry you out (ahem, even more oil production that our skin is far too capable of), and on the other you don’t want too much hydration. Although the task may not seem possible for your shiny skin, we’re here to show you the perfect middle ground.
If you want a gentle, creamy cleanser that turns into a light lather to leave skin fresh and clean- this is the one. Infused with acids to gently slough away dead skin cells without stripping or tightness, this cleanser brings oily skin back into balance. Star ingredients include red algae, lactic acid, juniper, and jasmine oils, this ultra-fresh formulation will leave you with clear pores and a glowing complexion.
From the glass bottle to the light, captivating scent, this acne treatment will take the frustration out of your day and put a bit of luxury back into your routine. This cleanser will curb your bad habit of reaching for overtly drying products to reduce your oil production.
Best Natural Acne Treatment for Dry Skin
Price: $$68/ $90
Sick of over the counter acne treatments that leave skin parched and tight? Dry skin types should be steering clear of benzoyl peroxide and harsh astringents to clear up blemishes. Believe it or not, acne treatments do come in hydrating formulas!
Clean-icals is the new dual capsule from Odacité combining clean ingredients with clinically backed science. A serum combining salicylic acid and hyaluronic acid are perfect for combating acne while hydrating dry skin. Salicylic acid helps to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores, as well as penetrate deep into your pores to break down sebum. Hyaluronic acid is vital to keeping skin hydrated, moisturized, and bouncy. It locks hydration into your skin, reducing sebum build up and helps signal to your body not to overproduce oil. For dry skin types, this duo of acids is key for keeping pimples at bay.
This serum can be used a.m or p.m, but it is recommended not to use at the same time as vitamin C, as the pH levels will be less balanced, making the vitamin C less effective. Save your products and alternate between the vitamin C and this clarifying serum.
Best Natural Acne Treatment for Teenagers
Price: $$36 / $45
If you couldn’t tell by its name, this Odacité serum is designed to target pimples and blemishes for a fast-acting acne solution. Winner of our Best of Green Beauty awards, this active serum has hundreds of glowing reviews from acne-stricken customers.
This active serum blends potent purifiers with soothing Vitamin E to improve the overall complexion without harshly drying out your skin. Black cumin and cajeput are the main ingredients in this acne fighting formula, and are old world ingredients with origins in Eastern holistic medicine for wound healing and general skin care. Black cumin is rich in linoleic fatty acids, which helps flush unwanted build up and oils from your pores, and replaces it with rich vitamins and antioxidants to keep skin nourished and clear. Cajeput is an antiseptic, antifungal, and antibacterial oil that helps smooth and brighten the skin to reduce the appearance of acne scars and redness.
A little goes a long way- add 2-3 drops to the palm of your hand and distribute evenly over your face, or add to your fave moisturizers to calm breakouts. If you're in need of a quick-fix spot treatment, add a drop directly to any problem areas. We love this serum as an acne solution for all age groups, but it is an especially affordable option with top quality ingredients for teens looking to combat pesky hormonal acne.
Best Natural Acne Treatment for Adults
Price: $$110 /$114
Review: 4.6/5yourself still breaking out? You’re not alone. Adult acne can be especially frustrating- whether it’s due to stress, hormones, or diet, life happens and you need an acne solution that works.
Our suggestion? The CLEAR Pure Radiance face oil. It may seem counterintuitive to solve your acne woes with more oil, but hear us out: this purifying oil fights off blemish causing bacteria and provides skin with a boost of hydration to keep skin clear and balanced.
Its MVP ingredient is helichrysum, a plant extract in the sunflower family, that purifies pores and contains arzanol: an anti-inflammatory that helps heal bothered skin. In combination with nutrient-dense hemp, pumpkin, and grape oils to ease impurities, and algae extract to fortify the skin, this face oil works wonders in only a few uses.
True Botanicals is a celebrity-loved brand (Olivia Wilde, Brooke Shields, and Lizzo swear by it) that uses luxurious clean ingredients backed by chemists. With a slightly steeper price tag, this oil proves its value with a generous 30ml size (you only need a few drops) and hardworking biocompatible ingredients.
Best Natural Acne Treatment for Body
Price: $$30 / $45
Got bacne? Your body has less sebaceous glands than your face, which means oil production is less of a factor for body blemishes. Although body acne may take a bit more time and patience to cure, we have a solution that’ll take care of those pesky and sometimes painful bumps.
The Body Exfoliator by Nécessaire is a great way to slough off dead skin cells and clear pores for a silky smooth finish. Unlike some body scrubs, this one is not overtly gritty and harsh, so it won’t break pimples open, causing the bacteria to spread and making troubled areas worse. Pumice and bamboo charcoal are the main exfoliants, known to detox and draw out impurities from pores, while the glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids gently clear bacteria and promote a brighter complexion.
Try not to overdo it! It’s recommended to use this exfoliator 1-2 times a week for optimal acne clearing results that won’t dry out your skin.
Best Natural Acne Treatment for Scars
Price: $$44/ $49
Acne scars occurs when there is breakage or trauma to the inflamed skin. It can occur naturally, but is exacerbated by bursting or picking at pimples. Regardless of how the scarring occurred, there are ways to help treat acne and help repair areas impacted by previous damage.
Pai’s hero product is undoubtedly the Rosehip Bioregenerate oil, with hundreds of 5 star reviews. Its namesake ingredient, cold-pressed rosehip seed oil, is lightweight and contains vitamins A and C that glide onto the skin to brighten areas of dark scarring, and alleviate swelling caused by breakouts.
You will start to see the appearance of uneven texture and discoloration lessen after 6-12 weeks, and with continued use you can protect your skin from future breakouts and scarring.
Apply a few drops of the oil to damp skin and let the allstar ingredients work their magic. It’s important to always apply oil onto damp skin as it helps lock in moisture (the water already on the skin’s surface) for an even and effective application.
Best Natural Acne Patches
Price: $$18/ $25
Acne patches are a newer innovation and have been all the hype this year. Consumer’s love how easy they are to apply, and the no-fuss solution is fast-acting on all types of breakouts.
These hydrocolloid patches adhere to the problem area and absorb bacterial drainage to prevent the breakout from spreading. Hydrocolloid simply means the bandage draws gunk and oil from the blemish, and retains it by creating a gel capsule so the bacteria doesn’t continue to sit on your skin. If you are one to be tempted to pop pimples, these patches are a great solution for physically preventing you from breaking the skin.
We especially love these invisible patches because they can be discreetly worn out of the house for treating acne on-the-go, and work for any skin tone.
The only con is the patch size. For a few sparse pimples, these patches work wonders, but if you are experiencing clusters of acne, it’s much harder to tackle with individual patches. Opt for a liquid spot treatment instead.
Best Natural Acne Spot Treatments
Price: $$32/ $32
Sometimes it’s not worth starting a whole new skincare routine just to take care of one pesky pimple. Instead, spot treatments are a great solution that target those problem areas and get skin back into balance ASAP.
This powerful spot treatment purifies acne without over-drying. Gotu Kola speeds up the skin’s healing time, while turmeric and calendula extract are anti-inflammatories to bring down redness and swelling, while soothing irritation and hydrating the skin. Province Apothecary conducted a study, and 88% of users saw clearer skin and less breakouts.
One drop is all you need! Dab onto the inflamed areas and wait 2 minutes for the liquid to dry. Apply the spot treatment once daily to minimize the appearance of imperfections.
What ingredients are effective in stopping acne for good?
You may never be able to totally eliminate acne for good, but there are ways to prevent acne causing bacteria that lead to breakouts. Here are some of the best ingredients and natural remedies for clearing your pores:
Rosehip Seed Oil: Not considered to be an essential oil, rosehip seed oil is a hardworking ingredient used to treat acne and scarring. It's a lightweight oil that won't clog pores and helps to brighten, purify, and cleanse your complexion.
Jojoba Oil: A soothing oil with antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, jojoba oil prevents acne development by eliminating bacteria at the source. While it's great at preventing acne breakouts, it's also a great moisturizer.
Salicylic Acid: Often found in acne fighting products, this gentle acid improves overall skin health by unclogging pores and removing dead skins- two of the main causes of acne.
Witch Hazel: A natural astringent and anti-inflammatory, witch hazel brings down the swelling and irritation of breakouts, and clears excess oil from building up and clogging pores.
Tea Tree Oil: Perhaps one of the original holistic home remedies, tea tree oil is another antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory acne fighter. However, it is an essential oil and can cause irritation if applied directly onto the skin. It's best to mix tea tree oil with a lighter carrier oil to avoid skin irritations and reap the full acne combatting benefits.
Green Tea: This popular morning beverage may be contributing to your skin health. Green tea and green tea extract can be consumed orally or topically, and has a breadth of health benefits as part of a healthy diet. It can reduce inflammation, and is packed with antioxidants to help fight off free radicals- which in turn will help curb breakouts.
What Ingredients should acne-prone skin types avoid?
Probably the most used ingredient in over the counter acne treatments, benzoyl peroxide is an ultra-drying compound that temporarily eliminates acne and can cause severe irritations. Although it may appear to clear acne quickly, it is not a good long term solution.
In the process of killing bacteria, benzoyl peroxide forms oxygen that binds to the sebum in your pores and creates a substance called squalene peroxide- a highly comedogenic compound that blocks pores. Benzoyl peroxide creates a vicious cycle where your acne will temporarily be relieved, only to come back yet again.
Benzoyl peroxide is a harsh chemical that can cause redness, irritation, and dryness that leads to the skin showing signs of accelerated aging, as well as making acne worse. This is definitely an ingredient best to avoid!
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS):
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, or SLS, is an emulsifier generally found in soaps and cleansers that cause them to form a frothy lather. The problem with SLS’s are that they strip skin of essential oils, and damage the skin barrier, disrupting your pH balance. Although you may feel squeaky clean, you may be causing more irritation and acne in the long run. When skin is stripped of essential nutrients and protectants, it leads to clogged pores. For those prone to skin irritation, this stripping is especially dangerous as it can cause contact allergies and irritations leading to further skin problems.
Aside from being a known pollutant, SLS’s have been identified by the World Health Organization as chemicals that are able to penetrate deep into the body and remain in vital organs causing the potential for long term health problems.
Parabens are added to acne treatments to increase their shelf life and help prevent the growth of bacteria. They are known hormone disruptors that are capable of interfering with the body’s natural hormone balance and can cause excess oil production- leading to breakouts. Parabens are a synthetic ingredient, and can be avoided by opting for formulas with natural preservatives and organic ingredients.
Alcohol is prevalent in acne products because it helps to dry the skin and create a matte-finish complexion. Unfortunately, this strips your skin of its natural moisture, causing your sebaceous glands to kick into overdrive. Alcohol may feel like a good temporary acne solution, but it’s a likely cause of unwanted breakouts. Most popular in toners and astringents, alcohol can be avoided by swapping to a micellar water, or alcohol-free toners that use ingredients like witch hazel and aloe vera, to soothe inflamed skin and unclog pores.
Using acne treatments with strong scents? It may be doing more harm than good. Synthetic fragrances are known to be comedogenic and clog pores, making the ingredients for fighting acne in the treatment essentially useless. Instead of causing skin inflammation and irritation with perfumes, opt for naturally scented products that use pore clearing ingredients like fruit seed oils, and floral extracts that help in treating acne.
Apple Cider Vinegar:
Touted as an 'acne hack' and home remedy, apple cider vinegar has undoubted health benefits, but it may not be the cure for your acne. Apple cider vinegar is highly acidic, and although it contains bacteria fighting lactic acid, it is too harsh to safely use topically on your skin. It will temporarily dry out oily patches, but there is no evidence that supports apple cider vinegar as a solution to acne and breakouts. Save the vinegar for the kitchen!
How We Selected These Products
These acne treatments were meticulously curated by our team of experts based on their innovation, performance, and buzz-worthiness. At the Detox Market, all of the products we carry have pure ingredients, exceptional performance, and cruelty free formulations. We've been the trusted clean beauty experts for over a decade, cutting through the clean beauty noise and providing you with nothing but the best in green beauty. You can learn more about our commitment to clean beauty here.