Fight those pesky acne breakouts!

Have you ever wondered what the most common skin complaint is? In our experience, it is acne. Acne is definitely one of the most frequent complaints in our clinic, with around 40 to 50% of all in-clinic consultations. Data from the Canadian Dermatology Association paints a similar picture, stating that around 90% of adolescents are affected and 20% of the total population. 

It is not surprising then that there are numerous treatment options available for acne patients of all ages. However, most of them are serious prescription medications, and many acne sufferers believe this is their only option. That is a common misconception. Natural ingredients for acne treatment can work just as effectively, and they are beneficial for the skin in the long run. 

Natural Ingredients for Acne – A Viable Alternative

Dermatologists and family physicians have helped patients with acne for centuries. The majority of the options offered are prescription medications. Some of the most popular ones like Accutane, retinoid acid, benzoyl peroxide, topical clindamycin, oral minocycline, spironolactone, or even birth control pills work for most people to a degree. Unfortunately, they are not always great for your skin. 

In our practice, we have noticed a real demand for alternative, more natural solutions. The good news is that you can treat acne with products containing natural ingredients, but you have to ensure that you are using a smart approach. 


The Smart Way of Treating Acne with Natural Ingredients

To treat acne successfully with natural products, it is important to understand that most people with acne-prone skin will need to use a blend of active ingredients. Each natural ingredient has its own strength and works on a specific aspect of acne. 

Together, they form a powerful alternative to prescription medication. Plus, the best natural skincare products for acne will help your skin look fresher and healthier overall. 


Natural Ingredient #1: Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid occurs naturally in plants like willow bark. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and works against congestion of the skin by unclogging pores and exfoliating. 

Congestion such as blackheads, whiteheads, and bumps cause 95% of all acne problems. Salicylic acid works to unclog pores from within and helps keep them unclogged. You will see both short-term improvements and long-term results. 

For some skin types, salicylic acid can be too strong. If your skin does not tolerate products with this ingredient, consider skincare containing lactic or mandelic acid. They are not only more gentle to sensitive skin but also suit darker skin types better. 


 - SkinScience

Natural Ingredients #2 and #3: Bakuchiol and Zinc Oxide

Some cases of acne are caused by hormonal imbalances. This happens when stress and sex hormones cause an overproduction of oil in the skin, causing acne lesions to appear around the lower part of the face, including the chin, jawline, and neck. An inappropriate diet can further exacerbate the problem. 

Hormonal acne is notoriously difficult to treat with a topical approach as opposed to medication, but two ingredients deliver results. 

Bakuchiol, a plant-based, natural form of vitamin A, reduces the skin’s oil production in the long term and is great for sensitive skin types. This active ingredient also helps heal acne lesions. 


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Zinc oxide is another strong ally in your fight against persistent hormonal acne. Zinc is a naturally occurring mineral that has most recently become a favorite ingredient in sunscreen. When it comes to fighting acne, zinc oxide speeds up the healing of acne lesions (and other wounds). As one of the best natural ingredients for acne, it also reduces oiliness and redness. 


Natural Ingredient #4: Sulfur

Acne pustules are unsightly and can be painful. This type of acne lesion is caused by the bacteria C. acnes and leads to lesions full of pus both on the skin surface and in deeper layers. 

This type of bacteria thrives in an environment that is low in oxygen like clogged pores and is rich in oil like the skin of countless acne sufferers. In fact, clogged pores and oily skin form the ideal breeding ground for these bacteria and others. 

Reducing the pus means taking away the bacteria. One of the most effective natural skincare ingredients for this particular job is sulfur because it kills both bacteria and fungus. You may not have considered it as part of your skincare routine because of its smell but take another look. Apart from killing bacteria, this active ingredient can also improve rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis. 


Natural Ingredients #5 to #8: Aloe Vera, Azelaic Acid, Niacinamide, and Green Tea

The redness and irritation of acne-prone skin stem from inflammation. Inflammation of the skin and even the entire body can be caused by several factors, including genetics, diet, lifestyle – and picking at your acne. 

If you had acne as a teenager, you probably remember your parents telling you to leave pustules, whiteheads, and blackheads alone. Hand on heart, though, few of us manage to have that willpower. Unfortunately, squeezing and picking may take away the pustule momentarily, but our hands usually have bacteria on them. As a result, you are likely to make your acne worse in the long run. 

A busy, stressful lifestyle can lead to chronic, low-level inflammation affecting your entire body. Scientists refer to this condition as inflammaging and have found that it contributes to several age-related diseases. As our biggest organ, the skin can contribute to or prevent inflammaging. Reducing inflammation is therefore important beyond the treatment of acne. 

We have mentioned diet a few times already. Several foods have been connected to causing inflammation of the skin and the rest of the body, so if you are suffering from acne we make sure to consider your diet as part of a course of treatment.

Whilst scientists do not believe that your diet can cause acne directly, they are sure that what you eat influences the state of your acne and can make it worse. Diets that feature high amounts of dairy and a high glycemic load have been linked to acne specifically. 

So, which natural ingredients for acne reduce inflammation? We have selected four of our favorites here. All of them work well on their own, but they are even more effective if you combine them within your skincare routine. 

Aloe Vera is derived from the plant with the same name and reduces redness as well as speeding up the healing process of acne lesions. 

Azelaic acid is a plant extract found in wheat, rye, or barley. Like aloe vera, it reduces redness but can improve acne scarring and pigmentation. Plus, azelaic acid helps balance oil production and restore a healthy skin barrier. 

Niacinamide or vitamin B3 is a multitasker when it comes to skincare. When it comes to acne, it is particularly effective in improving the appearance of papules and pustules as well as reducing redness. 


 - SkinScience

You could be forgiven to think green tea has nothing to do with skincare. Apart from being a great pick me up in the morning [link to the previous post], it is also a true skincare superhero. When it comes to acne, green tea-based skincare can help smartly regulate oiliness. The plant compound that makes green tea so effective controls the oiliness in areas of your skin where it is necessary without drying out the rest of your skin. 


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Marie’s Favorite Natural Skincare Products For Acne

When it comes to treating acne with natural skincare products rather than prescription medications it is worth taking a multi-pronged approach. Ideally, you want to address congestion, excessive oiliness, and bacteria at the same time. This is the reason why most of Marie’s favorite products contain more than one active ingredient. 


Aliquote Skin AquaBoost Solution – contains hyaluronic acid and aloe vera. 

Aliquote Skin Pore Shrink Solution – contains glycolic acid, salicylic acid and aloe vera.

Aliquote Skin Clean Slate Solution – contains salicylic acid, azelaic acid and sulfur.


Aliquote Skin AzaClear Serum – contains azelaic acid and niacinamide.

Aliquote Skin Triple Exfol Serum – contains lactic acid, mandelic acid, and pyruvic acid. 

Aliquote Skin BioRetinol Serum – contains Bakuchiol.

Aliquote Skin SensiCalm Lotion – contains green tea and vitamin E. 



Aliquote Skin AzaPure Complex – contains azelaic acid and niacinamide.



Aliquote Skin Nighty Night Spot Tx – contains sulfur, zinc oxide, and niacinamide.

Aliquote Skin Rise & Shine Spot Tx – contains salicylic acid and witch hazel


Final Thoughts

Dealing with acne outbreaks is often more than skin deep. Especially if you are suffering from serious lesions, papules, and pustules, your skin condition can be both painful and unsightly. 

Using natural skincare ingredients as an alternative to prescription medications allows you to improve the overall health of your skin whilst treating your acne. As a notoriously tricky skin condition, acne can take a while to respond to any skincare regime. Being patient and trying different combinations of active ingredients will help you reap the benefits in the long run. 

Need help figuring things out? Our acne consultation is complimentary. 403-287-1477.


 - SkinScience