Acne is the most common skin condition the United States, according to the American Dermatology Association, affecting nearly 50 million Americans each year. While acne is most prevalent in adolescents and young adults, an estimated 15% of women report struggling to treat acne well into their adult years.

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People are willing to spend serious money to treat adverse skin conditions, giving rise to a topical acne skin care market worth over $3 billion globally. With countless cleansers, toners, and products on the market today, consumers have more choices than ever before to treat acne-prone skin.

The sheer number and diversity of products might be overwhelming for many people, but Informed Health Online, a publication from the U.S. National Library of Medicine, outlines a few strategies that can help acne-prone skin, as well as some surprising things you might be doing that make your acne worse.

Using a Soap with a High pH

Many soaps have a pH between 8 and 10, which can irritate your skin. pH, or power of hydrogen, measures the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. Soaps with a higher pH can damage the outermost layer of protective skin, stripping it of moisture and natural oils and leading to redness, dry skin, and breakouts.

Trade out your soap for an acne cleanser rich in hydrating ingredients that will balance your skin’s natural oils while treating breakouts. Look for the following ingredients:

  • Green and white tea: Natural astringents that tone, soothe, and protect against oxidative stressors in the environment.
  • Glycerin: A natural humectant (i.e., moisturizer) and emollient (i.e., softener) that hydrates skin on an intracellular level.
  • Sucrose cocoate: A natural humectant.
  • Lavender oil: An essential oil that relaxes and soothes.

Over-Washing Your Face

If you have oily skin, you might be tempted to wash your face a few extra times a day to modulate excess oil. Unfortunately, excessive cleansing and washing can have the opposite effect. When you strip your skin of its natural moisture, you alter your skin’s pH, which causes dryness, irritation, breakouts, and can actually cause your skin to produce more oil.

Instead of washing your face multiple times a day, stick to once in the morning and once at night. Also look for a hydrating cleanser that removes dead skin cells without stripping the skin of its necessary oils, and includes ingredients like:

  • Green tea seed oil: A natural emollient, rich in antioxidant polyphenols, that will dissolve excess oil while improving skin’s appearance.
  • Black willow bark extract: Known as the natural salicylic acid, this will exfoliate and cleanse skin.
  • Helichrysum splendidum flower oil: An antibacterial and antifungal oil that will soothe and heal acne-prone skin.

Picking at Your Skin

We’re all guilty of it: picking at a blemish in the hopes of making it go away. Unfortunately, the opposite happens. Picking at your skin can introduce bacteria to your skin, often pushing it deeper and possibly making your breakout or acne much worse.

The same goes for concealers. Makeup applicators might introduce bacteria to an infected area of the skin, and conventional acne medication might be made from waxy oils that clog pores.

It’s hard to predict how your skin will react to concealers, topical creams, and external bacteria from your hands or applicator. A better solution is a high-quality acne face wash that addresses the underlying problem. Seek out products with nontoxic, hydrating, and antioxidant properties that will soothe, instead of exacerbating, acne-prone skin.

About True Botanicals

True Botanicals believes in pure and potent skin care treatments that are proven with independent clinical trials. Their high-performing formulas are designed to nourish, replenish, soothe, and hydrate skin with botanical extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and essential oils. True Botanicals’ products are made with independently certified-nontoxic ingredients and are gluten-free, non-GMO, cruelty-free, and Leaping Bunny certified.

Browse the entire line of nontoxic skin care products at