Use this DIY clear skin serum as a supplement to your healthy skin regimen.
We often hear of how certain natural ingredients are “miracle” cures for our skin ailments. For acne alone, there are dozens of purportedly magic solutions out there—yet acne remains one of the most challenging problems to effectively treat, especially if you’re trying to avoid harsh prescription options like oral antibiotics or Accutane.
The hard truth is that acne must be treated holistically—from the inside out, and, to a lesser extent, from the outside in. Although I tend to prioritize lifestyle in my skin treatment, using the correct products is no small thing. There was a time when I had all but given up on anti-acne products and just made a point of buying natural and gentle products that would, at the very least, help reduce inflammation. Since these products weren’t acne-focused, as along as they cleansed, moisturized, and protected my skin, I was happy with them.
Only in the last six months has it occurred to me that I should try to supplement my gentle and natural skincare routine with some carefully chosen acne-fighting topicals. I’m a big worshipper of oils, so it took me all of two seconds to decide to try my hand at a clarifying oil serum.
There are only four ingredients—all of which are acne fighting superstars! Of course, this isn’t a miracle blend. Rather, it’s intended to be a helpful supplement to a holistic anti-acne approach.
DIY Clear Skin Serum
10 drops tea tree oil
10 drops clary sage oil
20 drops tamanu oil
20 drops argan oil
*When possible, use organic oils. Keep your serum in a cool, dark place when not in use; i.e. don’t leave it on your windowsill.
The combination may look a little cloudy. The resulting serum will be yellowish (because of the tamanu oil) and a little cloudy (also because of the tamanu oil). The smell is also pretty strong. My fiancé once commented that my face smelled like “unsmoked weed.” Consider yourself warned.
You’re also welcome to experiment with your carrier oils. Jojoba and rosehip seed oil are good options. Just be sure that the tea tree oils makes up 1/10 of your formula.
Tea tree oil is one of the more well-known acne-fighting essential oils out there. It’s even listed in several natural (and semi-natural) products. The problem is that it’s often present in only very small doses. Tea tree oil is just as effective at fighting acne bacteria as its skin-damaging counterpart, benzoyl peroxide, but it needs to make up at least 10% of the product containing it.
Clary sage oil is anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. It also helps balance sebum production, meaning that it can help you if you’re low on oil, or, if you’re like me, and it feels like you’re drowning in it some days! For more deets on clary sage, check out this profile of clary sage oil.
Tamanu oil is a lesser known gem. I included it in this serum because it’s highly emollient and aids in the healing of minor wounds and scars. I don’t know about you, but once a skin flare up dies down, I’m left with the after effects—slightly raised, reddish bumps that take way too long to fade, as far as I’m concerned! Enter tamanu oil. In my experience, it helps speed the process along a bit. Here’s a more in-depth look at tamanu oil.
Argan oil is a favorite of celebrities and DIY-wellness gurus alike. It helps reduce sebum and provides a boost of inflammation-fighting antioxidants. Argan oil is featured in our article, 3 Best Non-Comedogenic Oils for Your Face.
Related on Natural Beauty: Can Coffee Worsen Acne?
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Photos: Mary Hood