I’ve struggled with acne since going off hormonal birth control a couple years ago and it’s wreaked havoc on my self-esteem. Since then I’ve been on the quest for the perfect skin care regimen to help keep my acne under control. In fact, searching for the perfect facial cleanser was what led me down the crunchy rabbit hole and I’ve been all in ever since! Over the years I have tried many different natural approaches to skin care including Oil Cleansing (OCM), cleaning my face with honey, African black soap, castile soap, and water only. Most cleansing methods strip my face of its natural oil and while this may sound like a good thing it’s really not. See, if you strip the skin of its natural, protective oils then it over produces sebum to compensate which can clog pores even more. So these days I tend to use water only to clean my face, a Lemon Sugar Scrub to exfoliate every week or so, my Melrose and Witch Hazel astringent (find that recipe here in my blog post When You Vacation with an OIL Addict!) and a spot treatment for those particularly obnoxious pimples. Historically I’ve just used Tea Tree oil as my spot treatment and while it works well on day to day pimples it doesn’t tackle the tough ones as much as I’d like. I had used Burt’s Bees Herbal Blemish Stick in the past and was pretty happy with it overall. I’d always wanted to make my own DIY version and had finally built up my oil collection enough I thought I’d give it a go. So let’s check out the ingredients in the Burt’s Bees roll-on and why they are good for acne.
Doctor Burt’s Herbal Blemish Stick ingredients:
SD Alcohol 40-B – This is basically denatured alcohol. It bothers me that this is the first ingredient on the list because that means that it is the ingredient of highest concentration in the product. There’s nothing really wrong with this ingredient but honestly it doesn’t really add much to the recipe either. I tend to avoid alcohol because it has a drying effect on the skin and can strip the skin of it’s natural oils.
Calendula extract – Calendula is more commonly known as Marigold. It is often used in skin care products because of it’s ability to calm the skin. Calendula may help reduce redness and helps cleanse the skin of pore clogging gunk and reduce acne breakouts.
Borage extract – Borage, or Starflower, is an annual herb native to the Mediterranean region. It’s remarkably effective at soothing irritated or damaged skin and can help calm skin by reducing swelling and redness. Borage is high in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) which is a fatty acid that is beneficial in maintaining healthy skin. Borage oil or extract are excellent ingredients to add to DIY skin care recipes help reduce the appearance of acne scarring or redness and irritation from skin conditions like rosacea or eczema.
Yarrow extract – Yarrow is actually a common weed that grows native in the Northern Hemisphere. It is an ancient herbal medicine, often referred to as Soldier’s herb and Nosebleed grass, known to staunch bleeding and reduce pain. It’s also renowned for it’s ability to bring down a fever and help clear the sinuses! As far as skin care is concerned, yarrow is great for oily skin to help balance the oil, draw out blackheads, and tighten your pores! Do yourself a favor and google the medicinal uses of Yarrow. Its an amazing herb to add to your herbal first aid kit!
Parsley extract – Parsley extract is excellent for helping cleanse and purify the skin which helps reduce acne breakouts. In addition, parsley also contains high amounts of Vitamin C, chlorophyll and Vitamin K which are good for reducing dark circles and puffiness under your eyes.
Willowbark extract – Willow bark is usually harvested from white willow trees and is highly valued as a skin care ingredient because it is a natural source of salicylic acid (yup, the same stuff that is in over the counter acne products like Neutragena’s acne line, Clearasil, and Clean & Clear!). In addition to helping reduce breakouts, willow bark extract also helps promote youthful, radiant skin by minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also contains antioxidants that help fight free radicals and promote skin rejuvenation!
Lemon oil – Lemon essential oil helps balance overactive oil glands in the skin and encourages exfoliation of dead skin cells, both of which can clog pores and lead to breakouts.
Fennel oil – Fennel essential oil encourages skin cell repair and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It helps balance oil production without over drying the skin.
Water – used to dilute the mixture. However, water can also promote the growth of bacteria in DIY products so I tend to not use it, or use distilled water if I do add to my products.
Tea Tree oil – Tea tree oil has been my go to for acne spot treatment for years. It is renowned for it’s ability to not only dry out pimples but reduce acne breakouts when used regularly.
Juniper oil – Juniper essential oil helps cleanse and promotes healing by stimulate blood circulation. It helps remove toxins and purifies the skin. Overuse can increase redness, however.
Eucalyptus oil – Eucalyptus essential oil helps cleanse the skin and unclog pores. In addition, it helps reduce inflammation that may result from acne breakouts.
Zit Zapper: A spot treatment for Acne-Prone Skin
Combine the following ingredients in a 3 ml roll-on:
- 5 drops Tea Tree
- 5 drops Lemon
- 5 drops Lavender (I added Lavender because of it’s ability to help calm and soothe irritated skin, especially since I didn’t have an calendula extract in my recipe. In addition, Lavender essential oil also helps regulate oil production and promotes healing. I tend to pick at my acne so it’s always nice to add healing oils to my skincare regimen.)
- 4 drops Ginger (I chose to add Ginger because it removes toxins and stimulates circulation. In addition, it promotes a youthful, radiant complexion by helping rejuvenate the skin and improving skin’s elasticity.)
- 3 drops Fennel
- 3 drops Juniper
- 3 drops Eucalyptus Globulus (because this is the Eucalyptus I had on hand, but Eucalyptus Radiata might actually be a better choice because it tends to be lighter and more gentle than Globulus, making it the preferred chemotype for skincare)
- top off with White Willow Bark extract (I bought mine from Mountain Rose Herbs)
Next time I might actually make my own Calendula and Borage extract to add as well. If I do that I’ll probably use a larger, 4 or 5 ml, roll on. Both Calendula and Borage (as well as White Willow Bark) can be purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs if you are interested in making it your own. Extracts aren’t difficult to make at all. Check out Humblebee and Me’s post below for a recipe that includes Calendula extract and Borage oil.
*Note: This is a strong mixture and is only intended to be used as a spot treatment, not all over your face. If you have sensitive skin, do a patch test first. You may want to reduce the amount of essential oils or dilute with something like Calendula extract or Borage oil.
Inspired by Burt’s Bee’s Herbal Blemish Stick and Humblebee and Me’s Indigo Acne Blaster
Perhaps you’ve been following me for awhile and remember my DIY Facial Serum from back in August of last year. I still stand by that facial serum as a good starting point for anyone wanting to make their own skin care products. It’s wonderfully moisturizing and I used it for months. However, as my daughter started eating more solids and decreased the amount of breastmilk she was demanding day to day my hormones started returning back to “normal” (which is anything but) and my face started breaking out like a teenager’s again (sad face). My DIY Facial Serum uses fractionated coconut oil as a base which feels lovely on the skin but does have a high comedogenic rating (meaning it can cause acne breakouts). Coconut oil rates a 4, meaning it has a “fairly high” chance of clogging pores. So naturally I wanted to reduce anything that would contribute to my breakouts. For awhile I switched to jojoba oil, which has a comedogenic rating of 2, or “moderately low” chance. I was pretty pleased with this combo for awhile.
Recently, however, I was hearing a lot of buzz about Rosehip Seed Oil for skincare. Rosehip seed oil is chalk full of vitamins, essential fatty acids and antioxidants that help hydrate the skin, relieves dry, itchy skin, reduces dark circles and minimizes the appearance of scaring. Plus, it’s lightweight and non greasy, making it an ideal carrier oil for facial serums. And it has an even lower comedogenic rating that jojoba (1 = “low”) so I figured I’d give it a shot.
See how other carrier oils measure up with regards to comedogenic ratings here from Beneficial Botanicals.
I’d also been really curious about a new-to-me essential oil blend, White Angelica. White Angelica is Young Living’s proprietary blend of Bergamot, Myrrh, Geranium, Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood, Rosewood, Ylang Ylang, Spruce, Hyssop, Melissa, and Rose in a Sweet Almond oil carrier. While there are tons of amazing uses for White Angelica, including emotional healing, meditation, and Raindrop massage, all of these oils have amazing skin care properties and many are quite expensive (and as a result not members of my growing collection yet). Let’s look at each of these oils individually.
Bergamot – Bergamot is a tropical citrus fruit with a lovely fragrance. It is well known for it’s cleansing and immune enhancing properties. In addition, it helps reduce the appearance of scars or age spots on the skin resulting in a more even skin tone.
Myrrh – Myrrh comes from a dried resin extracted from the Commiphora myrrha tree, which is in the same family as the Frankincense tree. It has a long history of medicinal use, highly valued for its wound healing properties, as well as an ingredient in incense and holy oil for ritual and religious ceremonies. As far as skin care benefits, Myrrh promotes healing and helps soothe minor skin irritations like chapped or cracked skin and acne. It helps sustain healthy looking skin and promotes a more youthful, radiant appearance by reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Geranium – Geranium essential oil has a long history as a beneficial ingredient in skin care. Even the ancient Egyptians used Geranium oil to help promote beautiful, radiant skin. It helps defy the effects of aging by improving muscle tone and minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. In addition, Geranium essential oil helps reduce inflammation and has been used to help soothe acne and other skin irritations by promoting cell growth and healing.
Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood – Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood is renowned for it’s healing properties. It helps cleanse and protect the skin from infection resulting from acne, sores, or other wounds and is often added to skin care and beauty products for it’s ability to help tighten skin tone and minimize the appearance of scars and age spots.
Rosewood – Rosewood oil is extracted from the Aniba rosaeodora, an evergreen tree indigenous to Peru and Brazil. It is a member of the Laurel family of plants like bay, camphor, cassia, and cinnamon. Rosewood oil has a warm, woodsy yet spicy, floral fragrance that has been used in the perfume industry since the 1900’s. In addition to it’s alluring fragrance, Rosewood oil helps fight the signs of aging by regenerating skin cell growth and minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also helps balance sebum production thereby helping to reduce acne breakouts.
Ylang Ylang – Ylang Ylang is steam distilled from the signature yellow flowers of the ylang ylang tree native to the South Pacific Islands. As you may imagine, it has a delicate yet romantic floral fragrance. In addition, Ylang Ylang essential oil has amazing skin benefits. It helps promote the appearance of healthy skin and hair by balancing sebum production, soothing skin irritations, cleansing the skin and promotes healing, and reducing redness and inflammation.
Spruce – Spruce essential oil is distilled from the needles of the Spruce tree and helps cleanse and purify the skin thereby helping to maintain the appearance of healthy looking skin.
Hyssop – Hyssop is a sacred oil referenced in many ancient texts, including the Bible, for it’s restorative health benefits. Hyssop not only helps support healthy respiratory and digestive systems but also to help relieve pain and promote a sense of calm. As for skin care benefits, Hyssop essential oil helps soothe skin irritations and reduce the appearance of scars and age spots.
Melissa – Melissa, or more commonly known as Lemon Balm, is a plant in the mint family. The essential oil is distilled from the tiny buds and seeds of the plant. It takes somewhere between 3 and 7 tons of plant material to yield 1 pound of essential oil which makes it one of the more pricey oils. It is a gentle oil known for it’s ability to help soothe irritation and rejuvenate the skin.
and last but not least, Rose – Rose, ah how I covet thee… Rose essential oil is probably the most expensive essential oil that Young Living sells because of the sheer volume of rose petals required to make a small 5 ml bottle. But it is highly prized for many reasons, the least of which is its ability to moisturize, calm and soothe red or irritated skin. Research suggests that it may also help reduce acne breakouts and regenerate skin cell growth! It’s a must-have for anti-aging DIY beauty products!
So, even though I can’t afford to add oils like Myrrh, Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood, Melissa, or Rose to my collection just yet, I’m thrilled to have them in a nice affordable (only $28 Wholesale) little blend like White Angelica! So naturally, I wanted to find a way to incorporate this into my New & Improved DIY Facial Serum! Without further ado, here’s the recipe:
New & Improved DIY Facial Serum
Combine the following in a 2 oz container:
- 35 drops White Angelica
- 15 drops Frankincense
- 10 drops Lavender
- top off with Rosehip Seed Oil (I order mine from Mountain Rose Herbs)
So there you have it! My new favorite skin care recipes! Have you tried these recipes or have other recipes you would like to share? I’d love to hear about them! Comment below.
Want more information on natural ways to help rid your skin of acne? Check out this post by Thank Your Skin on How To Get Rid of Acne: The Ultimate Guide: 21 Easy Things You Can Do Today To Get Rid of Acne Fast and Naturally! I have to admit, I learned a few things I will be incorporating into my diet and skincare regimen! They also do some pretty awesome product reviews over there to help you find the best skincare products and makeup for acne-prone skin! So head on over and show them some oily love! 😉
I only use Young Living’s 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils because of their commitment to quality and Seed to Seal guarantee.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.