The Best Natural Cleansers for Acne Prone Skin

Wash away acne-causing bacteria with natural face cleansers.

Photo: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images

Are you a victim of breakouts that seem to "break out" at the most inconvenient and annoying times? Stop acne and blemishes before they even get a chance to breathe with a healthy and natural cleansing routine. Maintain your routine daily for clear skin that doesn't pop up with any surprises.

Glycolic Acid

Get stubborn blackheads and trapped oil up and out of your skin. California dermatologist Dr. Cynthia Bailey uses this natural treatment on her patients to treat acne-prone skin and loosen blackheads. A natural alpha hydroxyl acid derived from sugar cane, glycolic acid can be used as a cleanser twice a day with a face buffer or cleansing pad. Bailey's favorite natural cleanser made with glycolic acid is Glytone Mild Gel Wash Cleanser that you can apply as a "leave on" product after washing to shrink blackheads even more.

Homemade Recipe

Mix up your own acne-fighting cleanser at home. Celebrity skin care expert Ole Henriksen created an exfoliating oatmeal cleanser to clear acne-prone skin. Take 12 tablespoons of oatmeal, one third cup of witch hazel and two tablespoons of plain yogurt and mix well in a small bowl. Cut six pieces of cheesecloth, about 7-by-8 inches each, and place three pieces on top of one another. Put the oatmeal mix on top of the layered cheesecloth, make a sachet by tying a string around the cheesecloth and place the two sachets in a tight container and store in the refrigerator. The sachet has the consistency of a soft soap that can be used in the shower by pressing the sachet against the skin. Massage the cleanser into the skin for at least one to two minutes. Rinse well with warm water when finished and use the sachet morning and night for a maximum of one week to minimize blackheads and breakouts.

Power Tools

Dr. Stefanie Christian, owner of Timeless Laser and Skin Care in Ohio, swears by the Clarisonic brush for acne-prone skin in addition to a gentle gel cleanser. The small power brush uses a patented sonic frequency of more than 300 movements per second to gently and thoroughly remove makeup, dirt and oil better than simply cleansing with your hands alone. "I recommend gentle cleansing no more than twice per day. This helps remove excess oil," says Christian.

Olive's Organic Botanicals

Consumer Research's facial cleanser guide picked Olive's Organic Botanicals Facial Replenishing Cleanser (carrot seed version) as a go-to natural facial cleanser for normal to oily skin. Made with jojoba and olive oils, this cleanser doesn't strip essential oils from the skin like many harsh cleansers made for oily skin types. Use this product as a mask and then lather and rinse off with warm water.

Related Videos




Cynthia Bailey; M.D.; Sebastopol, California; Ole Henriksen; L.E., Owner of Ole Henriksen Skin Care Products; New York, New York Dr. Stefanie Christian; M.D.; Owner of Timeless Laser and Skin Care; Cleveland, Ohio; Consumer Research; "Facial Cleansers: Full Report"; July, 2010

Add to this Article



Just for you

What type are you?

Choose your Hair Type
or Register
Beauty School iPad App


How would you like to register?

Register with Facebook
  • It's fast, easy and hassle-free
  • One-click log-in and commenting
Register with
  • Use your email to create your account