Natural Acne-Specific Products
For Sensitive Skin

My brother and I have both struggled with acne on and off for most of our lives. Recently we both experienced severe acne flare up at about the same time. Mine was considered adult acne at the age of 26 and his was still considered young adult acne at age 20. During this time, we both discussed different treatment options to be able to support each other in finding the best fit.

My brother chose to go the route of treating his severe symptoms with Accutane and found the treatments incredibly effective at controlling his acne, he virtually has not seen a pimple since taking it. While on the treatment, he had to work closely with his doctor for routine check-ups and blood work to make sure the medication wasn’t affecting other parts of his body, including his liver. Accutane is typically more widely recommended for men because women are required to be on birth control during treatment as the medication can result in birth defects for infants.

Personally, I was hesitant to go the Accutane route because my symptoms were not as severe. Instead, I tried a more holistic approach and worked with a natural acne treatment center based in Denver, CO that works with their clients to create personalized treatment plans that last about four months.

During my treatment, I learned so much about what makes me break out. I learned that dairy (specifically cow’s milk), eggs, and soy can be triggers for my skin, and I was instructed to eliminate these completely during the four month-long process. I also stopped using laundry detergent with sulfates, because it turns out, sulfates can clog pores and cause breakouts. The clinic also taught me about certain supplements that can cause acne, like vitamins with iodides and Biotin (which is found in multivitamins, hair, skin, and nail supplements, and B-Complexes).

I was provided with a long list of ingredients found in common hair products, skincare and makeup that have been linked to acne breakouts. Because our skin is our largest organ, what we put on our skin and in our hair are huge contributors to irritation and breakouts.

Below are a few products that meet my clinic’s standards, and have truly been life savers in helping me manage my acne. These brands all have products that focus on fighting acne along with being cruelty-free, vegan, and made with natural ingredients.


Ethics | Acne-safe, non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic, cruelty-free, gluten-free, vegan options
Made Without | Bismuth oxychloride, talc, FD&C dyes, parabens, sulfates, or pore-clogging ingredients

This amazing brand was developed by a woman who suffered from acne and cystic acne herself. She wanted to create a mineral line of makeup that is specific for acne-prone and sensitive skin. PRIIA offers vegan choices, and all of their products are cruelty-free. They also have a broad range of shades for all skin tones. The line was carefully studied and does not have acne-causing ingredients such as bismuth oxychloride, talc, cornstarch, FD&C dyes, lakes, phthalates or preservatives.

Recommended Products | Loose Mineral Foundation, Acne-Safe Concealer, and Acne-Safe Tinted SPF40


Ethics | Made only with natural ingredients
Made Without | Parabens, sulfates, mineral oils, petrolatum and silicones

Looking at your shampoo is especially important if you get breakouts along the jawline or neck—the places your hair touches. ACURE’s line of hair care was developed to be simple and made mostly of fruits and herbs containing natural ingredients that are both safe and nontoxic. Their shampoos and conditioners are free from parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, petrolatum, silicones and they are cruelty-free. Sulfates are the big thing to look for when shopping for shampoo and conditioner, as they are highly pore-clogging and cause acne.

Recommended Products | Curiously Clarifying Shampoo

3. Face Reality

Ethics | Personalized skincare that is handcrafted, cruelty-free, acne-safe, and made with natural and organic ingredients
Made Without | Any pore-clogging ingredients such as acetylated lanolin, coconut oil, sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, and more

Face Reality is a unique acne-fighting system of products that was developed by a woman who suffered with acne for years. Her system for treating acne became so effective that she developed a training program for other acne specialists to treat their clients. The line does not contain any acne-causing ingredients, is cruelty-free, and contains natural ingredients such as Green Tea Extract, Grape Seed Extract, Organic Willow Bark and Organic Alcohol. You must visit an acne specialist to purchase Face Reality products for a skin evaluation first—making it ideal for those suffering with acne because it is a personalized system instead of a one-size-fits-all product line.

Recommended Products | Mandelic Face Wash, Sal-C Toner, and Clearderma Moisturizer

4. VitaMedica

Ethics | Highly transparent about ingredients and manufacturing standards, no artificial ingredients, made from raw, natural ingredients
Made Without | Sugar, yeast, gluten, corn, dairy products, flavoring or preservatives

This line of natural supplements was developed by an anesthesiologist with a passion for creating homeopathic medicine from raw and natural ingredients. VitaMedica is relentlessly transparent about how its products are made, regulated, and have extensive information about their ingredients. They are also dedicated to using environmentally-friendly packaging for their bottles and shipping materials. Their Healthy Skin Formula is specifically developed for those with acne and problematic skin. The main ingredient is Zinc for those with Zinc deficiency-related acne, and also include Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Bromelain—an enzyme extracted from pineapple.

Recommended Products | Healthy Skin Formula

5. Michele Corley

Ethics | Clinical skincare for acne-prone skin made without harmful or acne-causing ingredients
Made Without | Parabens, synthetic colorants, synthetic fragrance, phthalates, urea, mineral oil, sodium lauryl sulfate, or sodium laureth sulfate

Michelle Corley began creating simple and pure acne-focused skincare when she noticed so many estheticians becoming caught-up in the use of corporate manufacturers that were not transparent about their ingredients. She developed a line of simple skincare products that contain no parabens, synthetic colorants, synthetic fragrance, phthalates, urea, mineral oil, sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate. She instead focuses on natural ingredients that calm sensitive skin. Her purifying mask is a wonderful addition to a skincare regime. It is recommended for the treatment of oily and acne-prone skin using sulfur, zinc, and eucalyptus oil. *Sulfur helps declog pores and is a natural anti-inflammatory.

Recommended Products | Purifying Mask

6. Glo Skin Beauty

Ethics | Ethical and cruelty-free mineral makeup and cosmetics
Made Without | Talc or parabens

This cosmetics brand has a makeup line that is not only cruelty-free but also made without talc or parabens. Their products are created to specialize in a broad range of skin concerns from acne to hyperpigmentation, and they are passionate about using raw ingredients with an emphasis on ethical and cruelty-free. Their Color Contour bronzer is perfect for summer and contains soothing ingredients like Green Tea, Vitamin A and Vitamin C.

Recommended Products | Bronzer

These are just a few of the many products out there that are dedicated to helping those who suffer from acne. The key is to do your research and learn about the ingredients and foods that may be a trigger for your acne. Remember that it takes time to find the right products! For those who do suffer from acne know that you don’t have to do it all yourself—work with a specialist who can guide you through the process in helping you achieve clear skin.

If you have any products, food tips, or resources that have been vital to getting clear skin, please share in the comments below!


Courtney Jay Higgins is the Associate Editor at The Good Trade. She is also a Yoga Instructor, vegetarian, wellness and fashion enthusiast. Originally from Colorado, her soul found California when she came to get her degree in Visual Communications at the Fashion Institute Of Design & Merchandising. She has a background in telling a story through writing, creative direction and content creation. Check out her blog and Instagram for her unique perspective on the mergence of fashion and spirituality.