It is very common to suffer from skin issues; whether it’s acne, blemishes, redness, dry or oily skin, or something else, it can really affect us mentally.
Having suffering from spot breakouts, blemishes and dry skin, I have used various products over the years, and I have found that using natural ingredients and making my own facemasks have helped me the most.
Ensuring to have a skin care routine and sticking by it is the most efficient way to clear your skin, but also making sure you use the right products to target your skin type.
It is vital to cleanse your skin twice a day; when you wake up and right before you go to sleep. Cleansing is important as the purpose of it is to clear your skin of any dirt, sweat and excess oils. When these things build up on the skin, our pores get clogged which can lead to breakouts and rough textured skin.
You can make your cleanser at home using oats as they are deeply cleansing for the skin. Oats contain saponins which hold properties that protect the body and skin from bacteria and viruses. Oats are also rich in zinc, which is useful when battling acne as zinc soaks up excess oil and helps regulate cell production.
This cleanser can be easily made by simply grinding oats and mixing them with warm water. This can be applied directly to the skin with a cotton pad.
Tea tree oil is also a great cleanser for the skin as it holds antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which makes it a popular treatment for spots and blemishes (source).
It is known for its soothing quality which can help soothe breakouts, as well as helping with dry and oily skin.
As tea tree oil is an essential oil, it is too harsh to apply directly on to the skin. Therefore, it is best to mix it with coconut oil and a small amount of aloe vera gel. This combination will do wonders for the skin as they all hold antibacterial properties and help fight against acne, breakouts and blemishes.
If you exfoliate your skin two to three times a week, it will become a lot clearer, smoother and softer. By doing so, you will be removing any dead skin cells from your skin, as well as removing any dirt and bacteria. Not only will it unclog your pores which will help fight acne, but it also allows all your other skin products to penetrate the skin and work in full effect.
Exfoliating also stimulates your blood which helps nourish the skin, as well as detoxing it by removing toxins and unhealthy bacteria. It also encourages cell turnover which will result in your skin becoming more radiant and softer.
By exfoliating regularly, it also helps to stimulate collagen which improves the skin’s texture, making it plump and tight. It is good to clear your skin of breakouts, as well as having an anti-ageing benefits (source).
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a great exfoliator for the skin as it contains anti-inflammatory properties, as well as acetic acid and alpha hydroxy acid. This means that it absorbs excess oils from the skin and helps unclog pores. It also balances the pH of the skin which keeps the skin looking bright and glowing (source).
Honey is also a great natural ingredient that can be used as an exfoliator as its enzymes help remove dead skin cells due to its antimicrobial properties which fights against blemishes, scarring and can even prevent wrinkles (source).
Its antibacterial and antioxidant properties are also beneficial in an exfoliator as it adds a protective layer to the skin to fight bacteria and dirt which are significant causes of acne.
You can make your own natural exfoliator by mixing a teaspoon of ACV, three tablespoons of raw honey and two tablespoons of granulated sugar together (source).
Ensure you rub this scrub gently on to your skin in circular motion and don’t be too harsh with it.
If your skin tends to be oily or acne prone, toning is essential. The purpose of a toner is to manage the appearance of your pores as toner removes excess oils which makes your pores appear smaller, as well as preventing breakouts.
Toning also cleanses the skin, and is especially good to remove any excess residue that your cleanser doesn’t remove. It also restores the skin’s natural pH levels as well as boosting hydration as toners can act as humectants which helps bind moisture to the skin (source).
There are various ingredients you can use to tone your skin.
Apple cider vinegar is a good natural ingredient that can be used due to its acidic properties which help balance the skin’s pH balance. As mentioned above, ACV has many benefits for the skin, however it shouldn’t be applied directly to the skin as it quite harsh on the skin and is better to be diluted first.
ACV can be mixed with rose water which is incredibly hydrating for the skin as its antioxidant properties nourish and protect the skin. It also helps soothe redness and irritation on the skin and also balances the skin’s natural oils. Rose water is also known to be great for anti-ageing as it prevents wrinkles and fine lines from forming (source).
Coconut oil is another key ingredient that can be mixed with ACV due to its exceeding benefits for the skin. It is rich in lauric acid which is known to kill the strain of bacteria which is linked to acne, as well as its antibacterial properties.
It is also a great hydrator and moisturiser which is great for dry skin and eczema as it keeps the skin nourished and soft. Keeping the skin hydrated can help form a barrier to keep out bacteria and promote the healing of scars, keeping the skin healthy and clear (source).
Almond oil is another beneficial oil that can be mixed with ACV to create a toner as it is improves the skin’s complexion due to its emollient properties. It is great for dry skin as it is very hydrating, and also reduces the appearance of blemishes and scars as it is rich in vitamin E, hence it leaves the skin feeling smooth. Almond oil’s fatty acid content is also beneficial to the skin as it helps remove excess oil from the skin which therefore reduces acne and improves cell turnover. Almond oil also contains zinc which is an essential nutrient when battling acne and scarring. (source).
Moisturising after toning is essential to hydrate your skin. Whether you have dry or oily skin, it is important to use a good moisturiser to ensure your skin is hydrated and smooth. It is also beneficial as moisturising helps your skin looking young and reduces skin problems such as redness, dryness and blemishes.
If your skin is sensitive, moisturising is great for soothing the skin and keeping it well nourished.
Coconut oil is a great moisturiser for the skin as it is full of vitamin E, fatty acids, antibacterial and antifungal properties. Therefore, it acts as a protective barrier on the skin which keeps the moisture locked in (source).
It can be applied directly on to the face. Make sure to rub it in to the skin for better effect.
Using a good eye cream can be extremely beneficial for the skin around your eyes. If you suffer from dark circles under the eyes, dry skin or fine lines in that area, it is important you find the right one for you.
Almond oil is a great oil that can be used as a replacement for eye cream as it is known to help lighten dark circles and reduce puffiness (source).
You can also mix almond oil with honey due to its moisturising qualities and its anti-inflammatory effects also help reduce puffiness and dark circles.
Avocado oil is also a beneficial oil that can be mixed with almond oil as it has various properties. This oil is rich in vitamin in E which helps fight wrinkles and fine lines. It is also soothing and hydrating, keeping the skin clear and nourished.
It is best to use eye cream/oils at night time as it sets into the skin. Ensure to apply with your ring finger as the area around your eyes are very delicate and using your ring finger allows gentle application.
Facemasks are filled with differentiating benefits for the skin depending on which ones you use and the condition of your skin. They are typically used to hydrate, soothe and cleanse the skin of any dirt or excess oil, leaving it feeling fresh and moisturised.
Turmeric is a key ingredient that you should use for your skin when making a facemask as it contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components. It is known to keep the skin glowing and also helps reduce acne scars and other blemishes.
You can make your own turmeric facemask by combining turmeric, gram flour and a small amount of milk together until it makes a thick paste. Apply evenly on to your face and leave on for 15 minutes or until it hardens on the skin. Rinse off with warm water.
Alternatively, you can also mix turmeric with milk and honey to make a thick paste as the honey will leave the skin more nourished.
For further benefits, you can also add a few drops of lemon into your facemask due to its antibacterial properties which also fight against bacteria; reducing acne and fighting against breakouts.
When suffering from acne, I used a turmeric and gram flour facemask on a weekly basis which really helped my skin clear up. It made a big difference as it reduced my acne, as well as any acne-scarring I had.
Other ways to help clear your skin
Steam your Face
There are multiple benefits of steaming your face as it cleanses your skin by opening up your pores and removing bacteria and dirt from it. By opening your pores, it makes it easier for you to remove blackheads from the skin, as well as making it feel very soft and hydrated.
Steaming your face releases sebum to the skin; this is a natural oil which lubricates your skin and hair. This is soothing for the skin and keeps it moisturised (source).
It is a very simple process to steam your face; you just need to boil some water and pour it in a medium to large bowl. Place your head just above the bowl and place a towel over your head to ensure the steam doesn’t escape. Do this up to 10 minutes.
Even on rainy day, using sunscreen is essential to keep your skin protected. Exposure to the sun can damage the skin significantly and can increase your risk of skin cancer. It also protects your skin from ageing and keeps it looking young.
You can get sunscreen for your right skin type; for example, if you suffer from dry, oily or combination skin. There are also moisturisers that contain SPF which work just as well.
It is vital to have a skincare routine and stick to it if you wish to improve your skin. There are a lot of different natural products and ingredients that you can use and experiment with to find what works out best for you and your skin type.
It is best to have a morning routine, an evening routine and also use facemasks on a weekly basis.
Ensure to always wake up and sleep with a washed, clean face as your pillow can build up bacteria which can make your skin more prone to pimples and breakouts.
Don’t forget there are also many external factors that can influence your skin such as diet, stress and hormones.