My top 2 products for zits, blackheads and oily skin

If you’ve spent hours looking for safe solutions for your zits, blackheads or oily skin like I have, you know there are LOTS of suggestions out there that can be ineffective at best and downright disastrous at worst.
Gelatin masks for blackheads? Yeah, if you like to yank your skin off along with it.
Benzoyl peroxide for pimples? It works, but when it STOPPED working for me, things were way worse than before.
Astringents for oily skin? They might remove oil, but it’s back 5 minutes later.
To help you navigate this confusing world of safe skincare solutions, I’m bringing you my TOP TWO safe recommendations for acne, blackheads and oily skin (these also work GREAT as spot treatments).
Here’s the summary:

  • PRODUCT #1: my #1 favorite product is the detoxifying Purifying Charcoal Mask from Beautycounter. You can buy it here. This is truly one of the BEST products I’ve ever used or recommended, hands-down. It fights pimples, blackheads, and oil like nothing else, AND it smoothes and exfoliates too. One tube is good for at least 30 applications, which makes it less than $1.50 per mask. A bargain for the amazing results.
  • PRODUCT #2: If you’ve got oily skin with acne, add this affordable Green Tea Extract with EGCG to your toning step (instructions below).

Here’s more information and details on these recommendations…
I’ve said many times that Beautycounter designed the line *I* wanted to design myself, using science-based active ingredients in a base of SAFE (paraben, pthalate, irritant and hormone-disruptor-free) ingredients.
The Purifying Charcoal Mask contains:

  • Salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid which literally exfoliates the skin and clears pores without scrubbing, harsh extractions or irritation. It’s an acne-fighting mainstay that’s often combined with harsh or unsafe ingredients – but not in the Charcoal Mask.
  • Activated charcoal, which adsorbs (yep, adsorbs) toxins, oil and dirt so it can be washed away.
  • Lactic acid, which not only helps smooth the skin, but is also a humectant which helps the skin hold water and remain moisturized (not strip it, like many acne treatments).

You can use it several times each week, or as a spot treatment left overnight (don’t use your favorite pillowcase!)
The most effective skincare products contain “active ingredients” (the workhorses) that do the work in a base of ingredients that keep them stable.
Sadly, this often means that the “active ingredients” come right along with yucky preservatives.
The unique thing about the active Green Tea Extract with EGCG is that it doesn’t need anything extra – meaning it can be purchased affordably and used easily, without a need for stabilizing ingredients, with amazing results.
This extract comes as a powder from the Skin Actives website.
(Note: I love getting various extracts and ingredients from Skin Actives; unfortunately, their ready-made products contain ingredients I avoid at all costs, including parabens.)
With regular use, Green Tea Extract with EGCG is well-known to help with oil and acne by:

  • Reducing oil production
  • Soothing inflammation
  • Repairing oxidative damage (common in acne sufferers)

Find it here.
Here’s how to use it:

  1. Cleanse and/or use your mask, if applicable
  2. Rather than spritzing a toner directly on your face, add a pinch of Green Tea Extract with EGCG powder to your palm. Combine the powder with 1/2 teaspoon of water OR several sprays of your chosen toner and mix directly in your palm. (It’s important NOT to pre-mix, because mixing ahead would then require stabilizers to maintain the effectiveness of the active over time.)
  3. Apply the EGCG dissolved in water/toner to your face. Allow it to sink in for a few minutes and wipe/splash away extra if needed (leave on if you’re going to bed).

From there, add an extra toner spritz if desired. (Beautycounter’s Rosewater Mist contains hyaluronic acid, which binds moisture to the skin, and witch hazel, which tones; I also love Primally Pure’s Everything Spray, which contains magnesium, a mineral that helps revive and heal the skin.)
Remember, any time you add a new product or change a significant portion of your skincare regimen, START SLOW and SPOT TEST! Our skin works hard to maintain equilibrium with the products we’re already using, so any change can be an adjustment.
Thanks for reading!

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7 Responses

  1. I’ve been using the charcoal mask as a spot treatment for a few months. I just got my order of Skin Actives green tea extract with EGCG but before I try it, do you have any insight or resources to research the safety of using it during pregnancy? Thanks for all your help!

    1. I used it and I’m confident it’s safe! I don’t know that there’s really any research worth doing since it’s just a source of topical antioxidants 🙂 but you can always ask your dermatologist!

  2. I have a lot of blackheads on my nose (yuck) and an enlarged pore on my cheek. I have been using the charcoal mask and see that it’s bringing the gunk to the surface and I am dying to extract it, but I know that’s not a good idea. Any tips on bringing everything out and shrinking that pore? Thank you so much!

    1. OOH and their willow bark (which is much like salicylic acid) (addition to your other question)… I think Pascalite clay can be REALLY effective for drawing, but it might also just take a longer process of continuing to “dissolve” those plugs with salicylic acid (in the charcoal mask) and continuing to work them out slowly. You CAN safely extract, BUT my experience with extractions is that they’re usually followed up with irritation and whiteheads because the pore doesn’t shrink that quickly. I think you really have to work on slowly dissolving/pulling the gunk out and slowly shrinking it up.

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