5 Natural Remedies for Clear Skin

When I was in the eighth grade, I found out I was allergic to benzoyl peroxide, the active ingredient in many acne treatments and facial cleansers. It was supposed to “detoxify my pores,” but only gave me Patchy Red Face (to use the medical term).

Since then, I’ve had to be careful choosing skincare products that don’t contain BP. Lately, though, I’ve gotten to avoiding artificial ingredients entirely by turning to natural skin remedies, without any of the added parabens, sulfates, fragrances or other chemicals beauty companies use.

Go chemical-free for cheap with these 5 easy alternatives:

1. Witch hazel

Witch hazel plant extract diluted with either water or alcohol makes a natural astringent that helps remove excess oil from the skin. Witch hazel also preserves skin elasticity, has anti-inflammatory properties, and protects against UV damage.

2. Raw honey

Naturally antibacterial, stuffed with antioxidants and probably something you have in your kitchen, honey cleanses, heals and hydrates all in one. It absorbs moisture to keep the skin hydrated and smooth while also fading scars. Make sure you buy unfiltered honey for best results.

3. Rose water

Recycle those Valentine’s Day flowers! Roses are high in Vitamin C and have antiseptic, redness-reducing qualities that make them into the perfect toner for those with acne-prone skin. You can buy pure organic rose water at the store or infuse your own, or simply add rose essential oil to a toner you already have.

4. Apple cider vinegar

According to an interview with Elle U.K., Scarlett Johansson swears by it. Apple cider vinegar exfoliates dead skin cells and kills off bacteria that causes breakouts; with a direct application, ACV is excellent at restoring the skin’s pH balance because its own pH is so close to the ideal pH for our skin.

5. Neem oil

Made from seeds of the Indian neem tree, this dark yellow oil is mild and gentle but intensely effective. It’s loaded with fatty acids that remedy dry skin issues and even helps prevent hair loss.