These days, natural ingredients are everywhere -- even in moisturizers. You'd think that using products packed with natural ingredients would be more soothing and do less damage, but that's not the case for everyone or for every natural ingredient. People with acne must take even more care to prevent breakouts, even when they're using natural products.
Some natural ingredients can be irritating or cause a reaction in some users, just like man-made ingredients. Plus, there are no rules for what is natural and what isn't. Even the experts are flying blind. "I don't know what natural means" when it comes to skin products, says Dr. Goodlerner.
What about organic ingredients? Although organic labeling is regulated (for the most part) by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, that designation only means that the ingredients in a certain product were grown without things like pesticides. In skin care products, that label says little about the effectiveness of that product. For example, Dr. Baumann points out that "organic coconut oil can break you out." In actuality, the best moisturizer ingredients for acne aren't organic, she says. She recommends salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and retinoids such as tretinion and retinol.