Natural Homemeade Skin Moisturizer
How to Make a Moisturizer That Gets Rid of Acne
Your skin is your body’s biggest organ. It contains many glands and ducts (pores) surrounding your hair follicles.When these pores get clogged, it results in acomedone, also known as a blackhead (if it’s open) or a whitehead (if it’s closed). If you have acne, you may have tried many expensive lotions and creams that promised to get rid of acne but did nothing. Fortunately, you can make a skin-soothing moisturizer at home using natural ingredients that will help clear up your skin and avoid irritation.
Preparing Your Moisturizer
Choose a natural, non-comedogenic oil as a base.We’re used to thinking that oily skin causes acne, but your skin has natural oils that protect, moisturize, and keep your skin healthy.Sebum, one of these natural oils, can build up and clog pores, but you can use another oil to dissolve it. A gentle natural oil will clean and moisturize your skin without stripping it like soap can.
- “Non-comedogenic” means that the oil will not clog your pores and cause acne. (You should also look for the “non-comedogenic” label on cosmetics and anything else you put on your skin.) Choose a pure, organic oil that is cold-pressed for best results.
- The American Academy of Dermatology uses a ranking from 0-5 to determine how likely a substance is to clog pores. 0 will almost never clog pores, and 5 will very likely clog pores.
- Hemp seed oil (0) is rated a 0 out of 5. It is a relative of the cannabis plant and contains sterols, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids, but very low levels of THC (the “active” compound in cannabis).
- Shea butter (0) needs to be gently heated before using and is usually sold as a wax. It is high in vitamin E, an antioxidant.
- Sunflower oil (0) contains polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E.
- Argan oil (0) is rich in vitamin E, carotenes, and essential fatty acids. It is also used to treat skin infections.
- Castor oil (1) can treat inflammation. It contains essential fatty acids and a natural anti-microbial acid. It may be drying to some people’s skin.
- Calendula oil (1) may help reduce the appearance of acne scars.
- Almond (2), hazelnut (2), and olive oil (2) are non-comedogenic for most people.
- Experiment with a few base oils. Your skin may react differently than others’.
Choose an antibacterial/antiseptic herbal essential oil.There are several herbal essential oils that contain natural antibacterial or antiseptic qualities. These can help kill theP. acnesbacteria on your skin that causes inflammation. You can find these oils at most natural or health food stores.
- Always rub a very small amount of the oil onto the inside of your elbow and wait for a few minutes to determine whether you have a sensitivity to it before using any essential oil on your face.
- Do not consume any essential oil internally. Many, such as tea tree oil, are toxic when consumed.
- Oregano oil is naturally antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.
- Tea tree oil is naturally antibacterial and anti-fungal.
- Lavender oil is naturally antibacterial, and can calm and soothe as well.
- Rosemary oil is naturally antibacterial and is especially effective againstP. acnes.
- Frankincense oil is naturally antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.
Combine the base oil and the essential oil.Pour 1-3 fluid ounces of your base oil, such as sunflower oil, into a small bowl. Use an eyedropper to add 3-5 drops of essential oilper fluid ounceof base oil. Stir well to combine.
- Do not make too much moisturizer at once, as oils can become rancid (spoiled) over time. Make a fresh batch as you need it.
- Store your moisturizing oil away from light in a dark brown or blue bottle. Keeping the oil away from light will help it stay fresh.
Use glycerin and aloe vera in place of the base oil.If you cannot use oils or you can’t find any of the suggested oils, you can use glycerin and aloe vera gel as a substitute for your base. Mix equal parts of glycerin and aloe vera gel together, then add 3-5 drops of herbal essential oil per ounce of the base.
- Mix thoroughly and store away from the light in a dark brown or blue bottle.
- You may need to shake the glycerin mixture before each use.
- You can also mix together equal parts of glycerin, aloe vera gel, and rosewater for the base. Rosewater contains vitamins A, C, E, and B3 and antioxidants, and also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Cleansing and Moisturizing Your Face
Wash your face gently with mild soap.Do not scrub your face. Scrubbing your skin can cause irritation, redness, even scarring.
- Washing your face up to twice daily can help reduce acne.Doctors do not recommend washing your face more than twice a day.
- Use a mild soap, such as Dove, Cetaphil, or Aveeno.
Avoid exfoliation.“Exfoliating” often pulls off skin that is not yet ready to fall off on its own, rather like pulling off a scab before it’s ready. It can cause irritation, scarring, and actuallyincreaseacne. Avoid using harsh scrubbing brushes or products with “exfoliators” such as micro-beads.
- Chemical exfoliants, such as salicylic acid and alpha hydroxy acid may help reduce acne, but be careful when applying them as they can also dry out skin.
Pat your face dry.Do not rub or scrub your face dry with a towel. Gently pat your skin dry. This will help avoid skin irritation.
Do not apply alcohol-based products.Many skin products, including cleansers, astringents, toners, and exfoliants, contain alcohol. Alcohol dries out your skin and can make acne worse.
Pour a small amount of your moisturizer into your palm.Use your fingertips to massage the oil into your face for two minutes using small, circular motions.
- Allow the oil to stay on your skin for about 20 seconds.
- You can use a cotton-tipped swab to apply this moisturizer to “problem areas” or blemishes. Allow this to stay on all day until your next facial cleanse.
Use a dry washcloth to wipe away any excess.After you have massaged your oil moisturizer into your skin and allowed it to sit for 20 seconds, use a clean, dry washcloth to pat off any oil that hasn’t soaked into your skin.
- Don’t rub vigorously or scrub with the washcloth. Gently pat your skin until the excess oil is absorbed.
Use this method twice a day.Moisturize after you wash your face, once in the morning and once at night.
- At night, you can leave the extra oil on your skin overnight for extra moisturizing. Don’t use the washcloth to wipe off extra oil before bedtime.
- You can also apply this moisturizer to other areas of your body where you may have acne.
Seeking Medical Help
Visit your doctor.If you have used this moisturizer and a gentle cleanser for one to two weeks and your acne shows no signs of improvement, see your doctor. You may also need to get a referral to see a dermatologist, who specializes in skin care.
- Mild acne is usually considered to be fewer than 20 non-inflamed blackheads or whiteheads, or some mildly inflamed or irritated pimples.Mild acne is often treated with topical products such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid.
- If you have moderate (more than 20-100 pimples, with about 15-50 inflamed or infected) to severe (more than 100 comedones, pimples, pustules, nodules) acne, see your doctor before using any at-home treatment for acne. You may only inflame your current condition with at-home treatments.
- Many health insurance providers in the US require you to get a referral from your general physician before you can see a specialist such as a dermatologist. Check with your health insurance provider to avoid any surprise costs.
Ask about medications.If natural remedies are not working for you, then your doctor may recommend a benzoyl peroxide product to start. However, if this does not cure your acne, then your doctor may offer you a prescription treatment, such as a topical retinoid medicine, an oral antibiotic, or an oral contraceptive (for women).
- Oral antibiotics are usually prescribed along with a topical medication to help treat and control infections caused by inflammatory acne. Take the antibiotic exactly as instructed by your doctor.
- Discuss all of your treatment options with your doctor. Along with retinoids, other medication options include topical adapalene, tretinoin, and dapsone 5% gel. Topical adapalene and tretinoin are approved for preadolescent children, while dapsone 5% gel is designed to treat inflammatory acne in adults.
- Make sure that you use the medicine your doctor prescribes exactly as instructed and tell your doctor about any side effects.
Follow up with your doctor.If the treatment that your doctor recommends or prescribes is not working for you, then follow up and let your doctor know. There are many different treatment options for acne, so you can always try something different if you are not noticing good results within a few weeks of using an acne medicine.
- For example, if retinoids are not helpful for your acne, then your doctor may switch you to dapsone 5% gel instead or suggest an oral contraceptive if you are a woman. Isotretinoin is also an effective medicine for moderate to severe acne. However, this medicine can cause some severe side effects, so those who take it must be closely monitored.
Know what acne is.Acne happens when dead skin cells and sebum (an oil naturally produced by your body) build up in pores, causing them to clog.These clogged pores, calledcomedones,are what are commonly called “whiteheads” and “blackheads.”
- A whitehead is a “closed” comedone. The dead skin cells and sebum in the pore are not exposed to the air.
- A blackhead is an “open” comedone. The dead skin cells and sebum are exposed to the air, causing them to oxygenate and turn black. They are not dirt and cannot be washed away.
- A type of bacteria that lives on your skin,Propionibacterium acnes,can also get inside pores. This bacteria causes redness and inflammation in the pore. Pimples, cysts, and nodules can result from inflamed pores that fill with pus.
Understand what causes acne.There are many causes for acne. Hormonal changes in your body, your skin care regimen, products you use, and stress can all affect acne.
- A change in hormones, particularly testosterone, can stimulate the glands to produce more oil, causing a greater likelihood of developing acne (hence why it’s often an issue for teens).Acne may also get worse for women who are on their period or pregnant.
- Some cosmetics and skin-care products, such as lotions, can clog pores and cause acne breakouts. Alcohol-based cleansers and other harsh skin products can cause skin irritation that can lead to acne.
- Excessive sweating and tight clothing can cause your pores to clog and lead to acne.
- Genetics may play a role in who develops acne.
- Some sunscreens may irritate your skin and cause acne-like bumps. Choose a sunscreen such as zinc dioxide or titanium dioxide instead.
Know what doesn’t cause acne.There are many myths about acne. Knowing what does not cause acne can help you make wise, healthy choices and not feel bad about yourself.
- A common myth is that acne is caused by diet. No food directly causes acne.However, low-glycemic index (GI) foods, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and yogurt, may reduce the severity of acne.
- Acne is not caused by poor hygiene. Some evidence suggests that washing your face twice a day is more effective than washing just once for adolescents, but in general, you don’t develop acne because you’re “dirty.”
QuestionI want to manufacture an acne fighting moisturizer on a commercial basis. What ingredients can I add to give it long shelve life?
Nurse PractitionerNurse PractitionerExpert AnswerYou will have to research the type of preservatives that would be effective to establish longevity and shelf life.Thanks!
QuestionI am using a "Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser" that contains cetyl alcohol. Can I still use it and will it cause any harm to my pimples?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can still use it. It won't cause harm to your pimples because it's a cleanser.Thanks!
- Eat plenty of omega-3 fatty acids. These acids are commonly found in fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel, as well as flaxseeds, walnuts, and chia seeds. Omega-3s may benefit people with acne.
- Get enough vitamin A and vitamin D in your diet. These vitamins are important for healthy skin. Good sources include vitamin A & D enriched milk, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, mangoes, black-eyed peas, pumpkin, broccoli, red peppers, and squash. You can also get vitamin D through sunlight exposure.
- Do not use skincare systems that use alcohol-based products. Even if they’re expensive and claim to be “miracle” cures for acne, these skincare systems can dry out and inflame your skin and make your acne worse.
- NEVER pick, pop, or squeeze acne. You can cause irritation, permanent scarring, and serious infection, including staph infection.
Things You'll Need
Base oil, such as sunflower or castor oil
Small mixing bowl
Spoon or whisk
Brown or blue bottle
Sources and Citations
- Akdemir Evrendilek G. Empirical prediction and validation of antibacterial inhibitory effects of various plant essential oils on common pathogenic bacteria. Int J Food Microbiol. 2015 Jun 2;202:35-41.
- Karbach J, Ebenezer S, Warnke PH, Behrens E, Al-Nawas B. Antimicrobial effect of Australian antibacterial essential oils as alternative to common antiseptic solutions against clinically relevant oral pathogens. Clin Lab. 2015;61(1-2):61-8.
- Sienkiewicz M, Łysakowska M, Ciećwierz J, Denys P, Kowalczyk E. Antibacterial activity of thyme and lavender essential oils. Med Chem. 2011 Nov;7(6):674-89.
- Sienkiewicz M, Łysakowska M, Pastuszka M, Bienias W, Kowalczyk E.The potential of use basil and rosemary essential oils as effective antibacterial agents. Molecules. 2013 Aug 5;18(8):9334-51.
- Al-Saidi S, Rameshkumar KB, Hisham A, Sivakumar N, Al-Kindy S.Composition and antibacterial activity of the essential oils of four commercial grades of Omani luban, the oleo-gum resin of Boswellia sacra FLUECK.Chem Biodivers. 2012 Mar;9(3):615-24.
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