To have blemish-free skin, you must first clear up your acne and then maintain your new, healthy skin. Thankfully, there are many methods that can help you achieve the skin of your dreams, including buying acne-fighting products and making your own DIY skin treatments. You can help prevent future breakouts and keep your skin under control by eating healthy (which includes ditching dairy products, of course) and using store-bought skin-care products or your own DIY concoctions. While I was researching this topic, I was happy to find that many companies make cruelty-free vegan skin-care products. Here’s to your new compassionately clear skin!
If you want clearer skin, you have to acknowledge the connection between the consumption of dairy products and acne and cut those products from your diet. A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that there’s increasing evidence of a correlation between acne and our diets, particularly diets that are high in glycemic load and dairy products.
In addition to being dairy-free, vegans’ diets generally contain more vegetables than those of their meat-eating counterparts, which is good news for skin. Plant-based diets are typically low in fat and avoid the pore-clogging saturated fats found in animal products. Fruits and vegetables are high in essential vitamins and antioxidants. Plus, the fiber from produce and whole grains crank up that healthy glow by flushing out toxins.
Vitamins C and E—which are commonly found in healthy vegan meals—are powerful antioxidants, and according to a recent article in Health magazine, the zinc found in beans combats zits and decreases inflammation, preventing redness and pimples.
Ramping up your intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and beans—while taking a pass on dairy products and meat—is a recipe for clearer and more radiant skin that glows from the inside out.
Cruelty-Free, Vegan Skin-Care Products
Check out the skin-care products that these compassionate companies offer:
MDacne: This company has developed a revolutionary new technology that will save people multiple trips to the dermatologist. Simply take a photo of your skin using its app, and a customized skin-care treatment kit will be sent to your door. You can also track your skin’s improvement and chat with a dermatologist whenever you want.
Dr. Botanicals: This company offers a gentle exfoliator that’s perfect for blemish-prone folks. It’s made out of coffee to clean your pores and awaken your skin.
Farmstead Apothecary: All of its three Foaming Face Wash products are vegan and contain all-natural fruit ingredients that smell fantastic and clear up both blemishes and acne.
Relogy: This skin-care system uses natural ingredients—such as coconut milk, jojoba, bergamot, orange, and rosemary leaf extract—to create its unique and effective formula.
Bare Bones: This company’s toner is made simply with lemon juice and witch hazel, and it’s super-refreshing.
Bliss: Bliss’ Pore Patrol collection clears away acne-causing dead skin cells and excess oil while minimizing the appearance of pores. The line includes the Clay-to-foam Purifying Cleanser, the Deep Detox Four-clay Souffle Mask, the Oil-free Hydrator With Willow Bark, and the Oil-Free Warming Exfoliator, which uses fine exfoliating black volcanic sand.
Alba Botanica: We love the ACNEdote cleanser to help zap zits. It’s a deep pore wash that’s also free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and artificial colors.
Alchimie Forever: Check out their antioxidant-packed vegan line for men.
Aveda: The Outer Peace acne relief collection contains a cleanser, a cooling mask, lotion, and acne-relief exfoliating pads.
BioClarity: Featuring a three-step acne treatment “[c]reated by nature and powered by science,” BioClarity’s products use cleansing plant-derived ingredients such as chamomile flower extract, green tea extract, and cucumber extract.
MuLondon Organic carries healing cleansers and moisturizers that are certified organic, and designed for sensitive skin.
We’re in love with the beard-focused Scruff Rescue line by Max Green Alchemy.
Desert Essence: The company’s skin-care regimen for oily and combination skin includes Thoroughly Clean Oil Control Lotion, the Blemish Touch Stick, and Thoroughly Clean Face Wash.
LUSH: One of our favorite lines of skin- and beauty-care products offers several options for acne-prone skin, including the Herbalism and Grease Lightning cleansers and more.
DermOrganic: We love its Calming Facial Toner, which is 70 percent organic.
Murad: This company has some interesting products in addition to its regular facial cleanser, including a three-step regimen to help get rid of acne scars, the InvisiScar Resurfacing Treatment.
SIRCUIT Cosmeceuticals, Inc.: The skin-care line for those prone to acne features Fixzit serum, the Clarity Broccoli Sulfur Mask, and Sircuit Skin Savior
Dermalogica: Lucky for us, Dermalogica has two skin-care lines for troubled skin—one for adults and one for teens! Note: Please avoid the Skin Smoothing Cream, Gentle Soothing Booster, Skin Hydrating Masque, and Essential Cleansing Solution, as they contain animal-derived ingredients.
Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Cleanser: Charcoal is a natural way to remove dirt and impurities from skin. This formula also features jojoba for its soothing quality. Check out the entire Yes to Tomatoes line aimed at treating acne-prone skin.
Acure Acne Spot Treatment: Salicylic acid fights acne at its source, while poet’s narcissus extract minimizes the appearance of a zit so you can still go on that hot date tonight. Acure is 100 percent vegan, and can be found at Target and other drugstores.
Earth Science Naturals: This company offers a fragrance-free Clarifying Facial Wash and a lovely Clarifying Herbal Astringent.
Aubrey Organics, Inc.: This smaller company, which prides itself on its handcrafted products, has a Clarifying Therapy skin-care line to help prevent breakouts.
SW Basics: A simple Skin Care Cleanser made of rosewater, tee tree oil, and vegetable glycerin.
Freeman: Avocado and Oatmeal Facial Clay Mask helps to draw out toxins from the skin and leave you moisturized to boot.
DIY Home Remedies
Here are some acne-fighting remedies that you can easily whip up at home:
Problem spot treatment: Mix a dash of lemon juice with a pinch of salt. Apply the mixture to the problem area with a cotton ball or Q-tip. Leave on your skin for 15 minutes, then rinse.
Overnight spot treatment: Mix 1/4 cup of water with a dash of lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. Add a healthy pinch of cinnamon to the mixture. Apply with a cotton ball or tissue to problem areas. Leave on your skin overnight, then rinse in the morning.
DIY toner: Brew a bag of green tea with 1/2 cup of boiling water. Put 1/4 cup of the green tea and 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar into a plastic bottle and shake. Place in the refrigerator to cool. Use regularly after washing your face at bedtime.
Banana mask: Mash up one overripe banana and spread it onto your face. After 15 to 30 minutes, rinse it off with warm water.
Tea tree oil face wash: Mix 1/4 cup of liquid castile soap and 3/4 teaspoonful of tea tree oil in a small bowl. Brew a bag of chamomile tea with 1 cup of boiling water. Pour the tea into the bowl and mix, then allow to cool. Wash your face with the mixture in the morning and at night.
DIY Contour Face Mask: When it comes to skin care, your face is complex. All parts are not created equal—some areas are more oily or dry than others, for example. This DIY vegan face mask uses three separate formulas to target the different areas of your face, and you can apply them according to your skin’s needs—use them individually or all together.
- 3/4 cup of plain oatmeal
- 1 cup of filtered water
- 1 teaspoon of agave (optional – it has nice soothing and healing properties)
- A few blueberries or strawberries (optional – high in anti-oxidants)
- A few drops of tea tree oil (optional – it’s a great antiseptic)
Put the oatmeal and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Cook the ingredients for 1 to 3 minutes, and then remove from heat and allow it to cool. Next, add your optional ingredients and mix everything together into a nice paste.
Apply your mask to clean skin and leave it on for about 15 minutes. Now, rinse off the mask with warm water and pat dry with a towel. Use this mask once a week for a month and you’ll start to see improvement in you skin.
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