Your skin needs bacteria to remain healthy, but there are good bacteria and there are bad bacteria. The bad bacteria are what lead to breakouts and blemishes. The good bacteria help lessen and prevent skin inflammation. Many anti-bacterial gels and lotions do a great job of removing bacteria but unfortunately they don’t distinguish between the good and the bad, and it all gets rinsed away.
There are ways to keep your skin bacteria-free with natural methods that won’t kill the good bacteria. Start by removing makeup and cleansing your skin with warm water and a gentle cleanser. Make sure to wear a terry headband or terry turban to keep your hair from getting wet!
Apple Cider Vinegar Toner
This is probably the quickest, cheapest, and most accessible way to keep your skin bacteria-free. Admittedly, apple cider vinegar does have an odor that dissipates as it dries. To use apple cider vinegar effectively, you’ll want to dilute it. If your skin is dry, has breakouts, or is sensitive, start with a 4:1 solution (4 parts water, 1 part apple cider vinegar) and apply it to your skin like a toner. For those with normal to oily skin, you can try a mix of 2:1 but if you experience any discomfort, dilute the solution with more water.
Aloe Vera Day Moisturizer
Aloe Vera gel is naturally anti-bacterial and moisturizing. It’s best to use it straight from the plant but if you don’t have access to it, don’t use the drugstore sunburn remedies. The most common aloe products contain a host of other ingredients and very little aloe. Keep an eye out for a product that is primarily aloe vera gel and doesn’t contain any colors or fragrances. Apply a light layer and massage it into your skin after toning.
Coconut & Tea Tree Oil Nighttime Treatment
Coconut oil* and tea tree oil are both great antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory ingredients. To make a simple anti-bacterial over-night treatment for your skin, mix 1 drop of tea tree oil per 3 tbsp of coconut oil. After toning and applying a light layer of aloe vera (optional), apply a light layer of the oil mixture and massage it into your skin. Don’t be concerned about applying oil to your skin. Good oils, like coconut oil, are great for your skin and won’t clog your pores. They also won’t make oily skin oilier; in fact they can actually reduce the oil your sebum glands produce.
These are all great ways to keep your skin “bad-bacteria-free”. You can also reduce the bad bacteria your skin is exposed to by keeping your phone, satin pillowcase, and makeup brushes clean.
*Swap coconut oil for sesame oil and get the same benefits – it’s up to you!