I recently had a reader reach out to me and ask what I would recommend for combating cystic acne. As someone who has battled (and continues to battle, though only once a month now) this painful disease, I was deeply touched, as well as sympathetic. Cystic acne is no joke. Not only is it painful physically, but it can be equally painful mentally and emotionally. And if that isn’t bad enough, cystic acne can also leave deep, indented scars if not treated properly (and even in some cases, regardless of how they are treated).
Before I get into what products I recommend, let’s take a quick look at what cystic acne is and why it is such a big deal! 🙂
Cystic acne, also known as nodulocystic acne, is a severe form of acne that is one of the hardest forms to treat. The infection is much deeper under the skin, which is why it can oftentimes cause scarring.
The causes can be the same as for regular acne – inflammation (caused by diet and toxins in skincare and make-up), hormones, and stress just to name a few. I know that for myself, when I changed my diet and cut way back on dairy and switched my skincare and make-up to more natural products, my skin improved immensely.
And while everyone’s skin is uniquely different, the changes I had made were ones that I learned had helped others in the same boat as me. It is my deepest desire to help anyone who is suffering with acne in any form or severity and if I can help prevent just one person from going through all that I have, it will be a true blessing.
Now, on to the products! Most of these were mentioned in an earlier post I wrote on acne, which you can read here! 🙂
1) SkiNutritious Clove Oil Clearing Serum – This is one of my favorite products to use when I am having a really stubborn bout of cystic acne and nothing else will help. Clove oil is extremely potent and can heal even the most painful cysts in a relatively short amount of time.
2) Living Libations Dew Dab – A little dab will do ya..and that is no lie! This stuff is pretty powerful! It is used to treat lines, hyperpigmentation, as well as scars, but I found it also works great to reduce the swelling of cystic bumps..like overnight! This can be used neat or added to a serum or oil.
3) SkiNutritious Plant Based Oil Cleanser – I love oil cleansers and of all the wonderful products out there, I chose this one because it was created for acne-prone skin and also because it is water-soluble, which makes it rinse clean like a normal cleanser. Oils such as Jojoba and Avocado nourish and hydrate, as well as regulates sebum production, while Lavender essential oil heals and regenerates skin tissue.
4) Osmia Spot Treatment – This little miracle in a bottle is great at getting rid of all forms of blemishes, no matter how stubborn. There is a reason why this is so beloved by so many..which you can read about here!
5) **Elaa Skincare Cleansing Fairy Dust – A major multi-tasker, this lovely product can be used as a cleanser, mask, and overnight spot treatment. I can pretty much say that I am in a committed relationship with this product – I’ve been using it for almost a year now and it has never once failed me! See the review here.
6) Kamama Soothing Serum – The superstar anti-acne ingredients in this serum include Lavender, Patchouli, Bergamot, and Chamomile Essential Oils. I have honestly never seen a quicker turnaround in my skin’s appearance than when I use this product. I’ll never be without it! See the review here.
7) Authentic Skin Remedies Soothe Cooling Masque – I love this product! I was really sad when I used the last of it up the other night! With three of the most potent blemish-busting ingredients around (Lavender, Thyme, and Rosemary Essential Oils), plus healing Aloe Vera, cysts as well as regular acne stand zero chance of sticking around! I like to use this as both a mask and an overnight spot treatment. See the review here.
8) Elaa Skincare Glow Exfoliating Fruit AHA Dew – This little gem is probably one of my favorite “holy grail” items for clearer skin. Natural fruit acids help to slough off dead skin cells, while essential oils of Lavender, Geranium, and Bergamot work to kill acne bacteria and heal and regenerate skin tissue. This really does give your skin a “glow” after using it – especially when used as an overnight treatment (my preferred method).
9) May Lindstrom The Problem Solver
– The name says it all. Another most beloved product among green beauty bloggers (and even some non “greenies), this mask definitely takes care of any nasty cystic (and non-cystic) blemishes lickety-split! Ingredients like Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Clove, Tumeric, and Cayenne Pepper really do a miraculous job of soothing any inflammation caused by acne flare-ups. No matter how big the problem is, this product can solve it!
10) Niora Naturals Alpha C Serum – This is a very lightweight, non-greasy serum that really doubles as both an acne fighter as well as offering some anti-aging benefits.
11) Niora Naturals Facial Intensive Moisturizer – I pretty much wear this moisturizer every day since receiving it. I love that it doesn’t clog my pores, break me out, and act as a wonderful primer for under my makeup.
12) Niora Naturals Alpha Clear Exfoliant – This toner contains natural fruit AHA’s that really do help to exfoliate, brighten and clarify skin. It also contains Aloe Vera to help heal and moisturize. See the review for Niora Naturals products here.
I’m currently testing a few more products that are for acne-prone skin, but these are the ones that have given me the best results in the least amount of time. 🙂
What is your favorite product for dealing with cystic acne or acne in general? Leave me a comment below and let me know!
* All reviews are based on my own experience with the products. I do not get paid to write reviews and will only recommend products if I truly like them. All photographs are by @TheBrunetteEcoholic unless stated otherwise.
**UPDATE 3/11/23 – Elaa’s Fairy Dust has since been discontinued. Affiliate links are used. Post originally written in 2016 as The Brunette Ecoholic, reviews were under Chickweed & Blush – earlier blog monikers of mine!