Several months back, I was at a friend’s pool party, and over the buffet table, she made a passing comment about how I was vegan. You know, the usual “Zoe isn’t going to want any of that lamb, since she’s vegan.” As I continued to attack the hummus platter, you can imagine my surprise when a complete stranger to my left turned and said “So if you’re vegan, why do you have acne?”
Uhm, hello extremely rude stranger. Despite how off-putting the comment was, I managed to put on a friendly face and explain that since I went off birth control 3 plus years ago, I have been dealing with some intrusive hormonal acne. THANKS FOR ASKING.
Anyway, I’ve been making some dietary changes to try and tackle my hormones, like including more evening primrose oil and maca, stocking up on magnesium and probiotics, and limiting caffeine and sugar. But while I make those changes, I have also been on the hunt for the very best vegan acne products around.
After lots of trial and error, the clear winners are as follows:
Zen Med Refining Scrub
This scrub is my number one choice for exfoliators, because it not only clears my pores but busts future acne with alpha hydroxy acids and tea tree. It smells minty and refreshing, and doesn’t leave my skin red or raw, perhaps because it contains eucalyptus as well. You can get an entire Zen Med acne kit, which includes the refining scrub plus a bunch of other acne busters, here.
This gritty, black scrub is my biggest obsession. From it’s granular texture to its earthy sandalwood scent, it exfoliates my skin, clears my pores and makes everything tighter and brighter. Star ingredients are avocado oil, charcoal and black sugar. I use it twice a week in the shower, because it’s quite messy. Get some here.
Sircuit Skin SIR ACTIV Zeolite Invigorating Scrub
This baby smells fruity and delicious, packed full of acne fighting zeolite and jojoba beads, as well as cranberry apple and beet extracts. It’s gentler than the Dark Angels scrub, so I can use it more frequently, and it does a great job of clearing my pores and brightening my complexion. Get yourself some here.
Herbalism by Lush is my daily go-to cleanser, which smells good enough to eat, and the color is lovely. It contains chlorophyllin, which is extracted from alfalfa plants, so I probably could eat it. Other ingredients are rosemary, nettle and chamomile. The wash not only sops up existing oil, but it helps to balance out my skin’s oil production so I will be less shiny later on. Check it out here.
Tea Tree Toning Water by Lush
I spritz this toner on my face after the shower and pat to dry. It contains acne fighting antibacterials , like tea tree, as well as astringents like grapefruit and juniper berry. Hello, tight face. Get some here.
Hands down my top face mask choice is this kaolin mask, made out of broccoli, sulfur and spirulina. It helps calm my red spots and prevent future ones from popping up. Check it out here.
Grease Lightning by Lush
This tea tree cleansing gel is gentle enough to apply twice a day, but effective enough to warrant a rave review. It contains tea tree and witch hazel, and helps control oil and keep my skin clean all day. Find it here!
Derma Cleanse Acne Gel
This treatment is perhaps the best I have stumbled on yet, so I guess I saved the best for last. The gel contains salicylic acid, so it’s stronger than the Grease Lightning, and I put it on my face before bed to fight acne while I sleep. It’s heavy duty, so a little goes a real long way. Get it here.