Images: Guy Morgan, Wild Source Apothecary
With a pretty good inkling as to what was behind my breakouts, I turned to nature to try and cure the problem from both inside and out. Starting with topical treatments, the first point of call was to try to find natural ingredients that replicated the benefits of some widely prescribed hormonal acne fighters. To my surprise, chemicals such as the yet widely recommended salicylic acid can actually be found in naturally occurring forms, in this case in the bark of the willow tree. Meanwhile, the antibacterial properties of benzoyl peroxide are mirrored by tea tree oil and berberine – a substance found in mahonia plants. While natural skincare brand Evolve Organic Beauty makes their Rainforest Rescue serum with natural willow bark, Neal’s Yard Remedies offer a mahonia skin gel and herbal tincture.
Another approach that caught my attention was that of natural skincare brand Disciple, whose wholistic ethos aims to target the causes of acne both internally and externally. Psychotherapist and brand founder Charlotte Ferguson explains that “anxiety, stress and low mood can cause inflammatory skin issues such as adult-acne, eczema and premature ageing. Disciple products are unique in that they work not only on the surface of the skin but the adaptogen rich formulas help the body and mind deal with internal stress too.” Combined with other natural wonder ingredient such as plant-derived Linoleic acid and prebiotic burdock root, these plant-based adaptogens are absorbed into the body through topical treatments to help combat acne-causing anxiety hormones. The Good Skin and Dreamy Skin facial oils, as well as the Night Shift cleansing oil have become firm favourites in my routine, alongside the CBD-infused Harmony Oil by Wild Source Apothecary.