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Woman applying skincare imageFinding the key to solving the problem of acne-prone skin and achieving healthy skin can sometimes feel impossible. What makes it worse is that many conventional acne skin care products contain harmful ingredients. When the goal is to purify, balance, and restore health to skin, why add all that toxic gunk? To simplify your search, we’ve gathered our top MADE SAFE certified products for acne to keep your skin even, glowing, and best of all—truly healthy. No toxic gunk here.

The MADE SAFE seal means that these products are made without ingredients known or suspected to harm human health or the ecosystem. We screen for endocrine disruptors, carcinogens, developmental toxins, heavy metals, reproductive toxins, environmental toxicity, and more.

Build a Skin Care Routine

You won’t need to use products from every category below every day, but having a nontoxic product from each category will build up your arsenal to take down adult acne.

  1. Cleanse: Clean your face of impurities, remove makeup and excess oil
  2. Moisturize: Nourish your skin with a traditional cream or oil (yes, we said oil for acne!)
  3. Balance: Restore balance to your face’s naturally-occurring oils and bacteria
  4. Exfoliate: Slough away dead cells, pollution, and scum to keep skin clean and bright
  5. Treat: Keep skin crystal clear with serums, treatments, and masks
  6. Conceal: Cover blemishes with nontoxic make-up

Our favorite MADE SAFE certified products are organized by category below. Try a couple from each to find out which ones work best for your skin.

Cleanse

True Botanicals Clear Hydrating Cleanser

Instead of drying out the skin to treat acne, this cleanser keeps skin hydrated with acne-fighting ingredients. True Botanicals emphasizes that dry skin makes skin age faster, so with this cleanser, you can kill two birds with one stone: fight acne and help prevent aging. CLEANSE.

Annmarie Skin Care Citrus Mint Cleanser

Many cleansers can strip the acid mantle barrier, which keeps the skin protected and oils balanced. Annmarie’s is non-stripping and pH balanced. CLEANSE.

Neal’s Yard Remedies Wild Rose Beauty Balm

This balm is multi-purpose. Use it as an exfoliating cleanser to polish away dead skin cells. CLEANSE.

S.W. Basics Cleanser

Sometimes the best way to approach taking care of acne-prone skin is just to cut out excess junk. Take notes from S.W. Basics. Their products are impossibly simple; the cleanser contains three ingredients –  organic rosewater, organic vegetable glycerin, and organic tea tree oil. CLEANSE.

Alaffia Coconut Reishi Purifying Facial Cleanser

This gentle cleanser is made without harsh surfactants like SLS that can dry out the skin. Contains activated charcoal, which can pull out impurities. CLEANSE.

Kosmatology Lemongrass Face Products for Acne-Prone Skin

Instead of endocrine-disrupting microbials like triclosan, Kosmatology uses antimicrobial lemongrass and rosemary to help fight bacteria. Lavender can help to balance oil production, too. CLEANSE.


Moisturize

Mother Dirt Biome-Friendly Moisturizer

Many conventional cleansers wash away bacteria – both the good and the bad. This moisturizer is designed to replenish the good bacteria on our skin’s biome, because like our gut, our skin needs good bacteria too. MOISTURIZE.

True Botanicals Clear Pure Radiance Oil

Oil? For acne? It shatters everything you’ve ever learned about zits. True Botanicals wants to flip the script – though it might seem counterintuitive, the right oils can improve acne by fighting bad bacteria, soothing irritation, and regulating moisture. Try it to believe it. MOISTURIZE.

Kosmatology Lemongrass Face Oil for Acne-Prone Skin

Use oil to regulate your face’s oil production. Lavender, a key ingredient, can reduce sebum, the oily substance naturally produced by your skin. MOISTURIZE.

Annmarie Skin Care Herbal Facial Oil for Oily Skin

Conventional moisturizers can contain parabens, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances. Swap them out for Annmarie’s herb infused oil. MOISTURIZE.


Exfoliate

Annmarie Skin Care Ayurvedic Facial Scrub

This scrub exfoliates and removes dead skin, which can clog pores and lead to breakouts. If you’re still in the dark about how to exfoliate skin, aim for a few times a week. Over-exfoliating can cause damage. EXFOLIATE.

S.W. Basics Exfoliant

Some exfoliants chemically exfoliate using retinol, some forms of which are developmental toxins, and BHA, a synthetic antioxidant associated with cancer, reproductive toxicity, and developmental toxicity. S.W. Basics mechanically exfoliates with sea salt, and organic oat and almond flours. The brand recommends mixing it with yogurt for breakouts. EXFOLIATE.

True Botanicals Resurfacing Moisture Mask

This mask simultaneously exfoliates and hydrates, so your skin isn’t totally stripped of moisture. EXFOLIATE.


Balance

Kaelen Harwell Invigorating Peppermint Toner

To keep them stable on the shelf, many toners contain PEG compounds, a class of preservatives that can be contaminated with the carcinogens ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane. Ditch the harsh preservatives with this deep cleansing toner. BALANCE.

Mother Dirt AO+ Mist

Live ammonia-oxidizing bacteria improve the texture and appearance of many common skin issues within two weeks of use, including blotchiness and oiliness, by restoring essential bacteria to your skin. BALANCE.

True Botanicals Calm Nutrient Mist

Unlike many acne-fighting toners, this mist doesn’t leave your skin feeling totally parched. BALANCE.

S.W. Basics Toner

S.W. neutralizes your skin’s pH with raw apple cider vinegar, instead of toxic BHA. BALANCE.


Treat

Ranavat Botanics Kiss of Royal Tea Hydrating Masque

This mask will make you feel like royalty and zap zits simultaneously. Formulated with antibacterial honey and plant-based exfoliants. TREAT.

Anumati Naturals Balancing Herbal Serum

You gotta shake it! Instead of using harmful emulsifiers (like possible endocrine disruptor triethanolamine) to keep the ingredients together in the solution, Anumati relies on you to give this serum a good shake. TREAT.

Kaelen Harwell Green Smoothie Mask

To give them structure, some conventional masks use acrylates, the same chemical ingredients in acrylic nails. Some acrylates are known reproductive toxins. Kaelen Harwell’s masks use kaolin clay, sweet potato powder, and kale powder to give the mask structure instead. TREAT.

Kosmatology Mask Me Green Face Mask for Oily/Acne-Prone Skin

French green clay pulls impurities from the skin while natural salicylic acid from white willow bark works to kill blemishes and rosehips hydrate and soothe. TREAT.


Conceal

Rejuva Minerals Concealer, Powder and Foundation

Don’t apply heavy, toxic conventional foundations after your acne skin care regimen. Rejuva Minerals offers nontoxic makeup with buildable coverage, so you don’t feel like you’re undoing all your hard work. CONCEAL.

Annmarie Skin Care Minerals Multi-Purpose Foundation

To create your desired level of coverage, mix Annmarie’s minerals with a facial oil (like one of the amazing options above) and work to heal and conceal simultaneously. CONCEAL.

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