How to Find the Best Natural Skincare Routine for Your Skin Type

Katie Wells Avatar

Reading Time: 6 minutes

This post contains affiliate links.

Read my affiliate policy.

Finding a natural skin care routine for your skin type
Wellness Mama » Blog » Beauty » How to Find the Best Natural Skincare Routine for Your Skin Type

It seems that (especially for women) switching from regular skincare products to natural versions is one of the toughest natural living steps to take. It’s hard to break free of the age-defying, wrinkle-reversing, acne-preventing claims of conventional products (but certainly easy to say no to some of the ingredients in them!).

Below I’ll take you through some favorite natural skincare recipes from over the years to help you make the switch more easily, and help you decide which natural skincare routine is right for your skin type (DIY or not!)

How to Find the Best Natural Skincare Routine for You

The main skin types are oily, normal, dry, and combination. Different skincare ingredients and combinations work better with these different skin types, though there’s also a lot of crossover.

The good news is a few simple ingredients can be turned into a lot of different customized products. And if you don’t want to DIY, natural skincare companies have figured out solutions that work just as well, even if a little (or a lot) more expensive! (My recommendations coming below.)

Normal or Combination Natural Skincare Routine

I’ve always loved that term, because really, what is “normal” skin anyway? People with this skin type can usually use a variety of different options and still have good results. My skin was more oily when I was younger. As I’ve transitioned to DIY natural skincare options, it’s become more “normal”.

Normal skin types have skin with few imperfections, pores aren’t very noticeable, and skin isn’t overly sensitive. In general, it’s #skincare goals. Combination skin is when there’s normal healthy skin, but patches of dryness or oiliness that need extra attention.

Natural skincare routines (along with healthy lifestyle choices) help nourish and repair combination skin for that flawless look. Those with normal/combination skin don’t need ingredients that are too drying, or anything overly greasy, like straight-up cocoa butter.

Carrier oils good for normal skin include:

  • jojoba
  • pomegranate
  • sunflower
  • coconut oil (usually, see note below)
  • cranberry seed
  • apricot kernel
  • argan
  • baobab

The following recipes do well with a normal or combination skin type, but the list isn’t exhaustive by any means. You can easily customize the recipes with some of the carrier oils listed above, or use them as-is without issue.

Best Exfoliators for Normal Skin

Best Cleansers for Normal Skin

Best Moisturizers for Normal Skin

Those with normal or combination skin tend to do well with most moisturizing options and often don’t need to add more. If you do need a little something extra, here are some good options.

Natural Skincare for Oily Skin

Switching to gentle and natural skincare options often goes a long way toward removing excess oil production. Eating a healthy diet also helps calm skin inflammation that turns into acne. In the meantime, there are some natural ingredients that can help prevent breakouts and remove excess oil.

There are a few things to consider when choosing ingredients for DIY skincare recipes when working with oily skin:

  1. We don’t want to increase oil production or clog pores.
  2. Harsh soaps and cleansers can have a boomerang effect and make oily skin even worse.
  3. Certain oils and butters are comedogenic, meaning they’ll clog pores, so we don’t want to overdo it on those.

Here are some of the best carrier oils for oily and acne-prone skin. These tend to be lighter and fast absorbing. Most of these are potent oils and can be diluted with either grapeseed or sweet almond oil for cost effectiveness.

Carrier oils good for oily/acne-prone skin include:

  • Grapeseed oil
  • Almond oil
  • Apricot kernel
  • Argan oil
  • Black cumin seed oil (for acne scars)
  • Borage seed oil
  • Camellia oleifera (green tea seed oil)
  • Castor oil (should be mixed with other oils first)
  • Evening primrose
  • Jojoba oil
  • Pumpkin seed oil

The following recipes do well with a normal or combination skin type, but the list isn’t exhaustive by any means. You can easily customize the recipes with some of the carrier oils listed above, or use them as-is without issue.

Best Exfoliators for Oily Skin

We don’t want to overdo it and strip the oils from the skin, but exfoliation helps reveal fresh skin cells. A simple sugar scrub, salt scrub, or cleansing grains are all good options. Here are some scrubs perfect for oily or acne-prone skin.

Best DIY Cleansers for Oily Skin

  • Oil cleansing is my go-to cleansing method for any skin type. Generally, those with oily skin will need a higher amount of castor oil in relation to the other oils to keep skin from becoming too oily during the transition. In general, a half and half mix of castor oil and olive oil or even a 2:1 ratio of castor oil to olive oil seems to work well.
  • This foaming face wash can be customized for oily skin.
  • A konjac sponge is good for all skin types, but is especially gentle and restorative for acne-prone skin.
  • Charcoal and clay facial soap helps detox and absorbs excess oil.
  • Sea salt soap is good for oily skin.

Natural DIY Toner for Oily Skin

DIY Moisturizers for Oily Skin

For oil-rich skin, we want something lightweight that won’t clog pores. If you do the oil cleansing method you probably won’t need a moisturizer. Those who prefer a more typical face wash routine can finish it up with one of these oily skin-friendly creams.

Dry or Mature Natural Skincare Routine

Thanks to hormones, teenagers are infamous for having acne and oily skin. According to these scientists, as we age hormones decline, and with it, so does our oil gland production. Oil glands stabilize later into adulthood and slowly decline as we age. For women after menopause, sebum gland production eventually stops altogether.

Dry skin often has very small pores (yay for that!), but you’ll also find redness, flaking, and lines. We need to put moisture and plumpness back into the skin with things like collagen and vitamin C supplements.

Those with dry or aging skin often benefit immediately from natural skincare options. Using natural oils on the skin helps balance oil production and stops dryness in its tracks.

Best DIY Exfoliants for Dry Skin

We don’t usually want to exfoliate dry skin, but sometimes it’s helpful. A gentle homemade sugar scrub or cleansing grains can be a way to add natural oils and gently remove dead skin. Here are some of my favorite gentle exfoliators for a natural skincare routine.

Best DIY Natural Cleanser Recipes for Dry Skin

Best Natural Moisturizer Recipes for Dry Skin

Homemade lotion bars, super-moisturizing homemade lotion, and whipped body butter are all excellent moisturizing options for dry skin types. Plain organic shea butter can also be a simple and effective option.

Other Approaches to Caring for Aging Skin (From the Inside Out)

There are a ton of anti-aging products available but the best options are the ones you take internally. And those expensive collagen creams? They’re pretty much pointless since collagen fibers are too big to absorb through the skin. Here are some tips to boost collagen naturally:

  • Use coconut oil or other natural moisturizers (if tolerated; see note below)
  • Supplement with gelatin and collagen for plumper skin
  • Fish oil has nutrients our skin craves
  • Take vitamin C to naturally boost collagen

Facial Massage

Sometimes it’s not about what you put on your skin, but what you do for it! Regular facial massage increases circulation to reduce puffiness, drain lymph fluid, and boosts skin collagen. Here are some facial massage techniques to use for beautiful skin. I highly recommend trying it for all skin types.

A Word on Coconut Oil

The panacea of natural health, coconut oil has a place of honor in my kitchen. I’ve also come up with over 100 uses for coconut oil. That said, it doesn’t work with every skin type. Some people find it really drying, and it can clog pores for some. Other people love it and think it’s the greatest skincare ingredient ever.

A lot of my DIY natural skincare recipes rely on coconut oil, but if it doesn’t work for your skin type then it can sometimes be swapped out with another oil (like carrier oils above by skin type). If it doesn’t work for your face, you may still like it in products used on the body.

Supplements for Skin Care

I’m firmly convinced that what you put in your body is just as important (if not more!) than what you put on it when it comes to skin health. A natural skincare routine should include a healthy diet. I used to have terrible acne. Since changing my diet and supplements, I don’t break out at all and my past scars have healed. The supplements that seemed to have made the biggest difference in skin health for me are:

  • Fish Oil– for vitamins A, D, and K, omega-3s, and antioxidants, all of which are great for the skin
  • Gelatin– a pre-cursor for collagen, gelatin has made my hair, skin, and nails noticeably stronger and smoother (great for cellulite too!)
  • Magnesium– an anti-inflammatory and lacking in many people’s diets. Topical magnesium oil seems to be the most effective for skin health.

Natural Skincare You Can Buy (Not DIY)

If you just want a good pre-made skincare product, here are some healthy options I’ve used and loved. These brands have ingredients I feel good about using, and they make skin feel amazing. You’ll find scrubs, serums, face wash, and more for all the different skin types here.

This article was medically reviewed by Madiha Saeed, MD, a board certified family physician. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.
How do you take care of your skin? What natural solutions have worked best for you? Share below!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


104 responses to “How to Find the Best Natural Skincare Routine for Your Skin Type”

  1. Andi Avatar

    Wanted to share this recipe for cleanser with you….It works great for me…I don’t have oily skin per se….but some “center” areas are more oily than others…..

    5 parts flour (I grind my own so it is a mixture of many different types….but any will do)
    5 parts powdered milk
    1 part baking soda

    put a little in your hand in the shower and make a loose paste….rub it all over and then rinse off….very good at keeping those pores clean so not black or white heads…..

    I follow this with herbal tea astringent….Just moistened a cotton pad with herbal tea infusion of choice…..I like chamomile, peppermint, lemongrass….even green tea…..whatever works…

    I will be trying out your homemade facial moisturizer with cocoa butter, coconut oil, and olive oil…..

    I have discovered that using oil on the skin actually tells the body that it does not need to make as much oil, which may lead to dry skin….Whereas, if you just wash the skin and let the body make its own oil, it will make the amount it needs….This works great in the summer….But a little moisture at night soaks in and is a good thing.

  2. Terry Dawson Avatar
    Terry Dawson

    I have extremely dry sensitive skin. I use to apply olive oil on my face that actually smooth up my skin and make it supple. Along with that I use dermology products for my skin. The natural ingredients make this product purely natural. Please let what else I can do for my skin?

  3. Elizabeth Avatar

    I have normal to dry skin. It’s less dry since I’m using natural skincare methods. I hear a lot about cleansing and I’d like to hear some opinions and thoughts on my method. Some years ago I was deployed to a desert location and it was hard to find good skincare products. I ended up going without and just using a warm washcloth. The longer I went without the less important it seemed to get those products because my skin looked and felt great. I have since given up soap and cleansing products altogether. I use nothing but a warm washcloth for cleansing and have for years. What are your thoughts?

  4. Brittany Avatar


    I’m 24- I’ve suffered from acne my entire life- I’ve tried EVERYTHING. I’ve done chemical peels, Fraxel, Facials, etc- I’ve tried every skin care product on the market- I can’t get my skin under control. I’ve even cut out all meat and keep my diet high on fruits/veggies and take supplements. I still see hardly any changes and am now at the point of canceling plans with people because I’m so embarrassed of my face. So.. Now I’m considering the oil cleansing method- it’s my last hope. I have extremely acne/oily prone skin. I see your post for oily skin, which I plan to buy the products today. However, Is this done only at night? How would I wash my face in the morning? And post care instructions- morning? Evening? Toner? Moisturizer? ANYTHING you can help me with would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you so so much!


    1. Becky Avatar

      Hi Brittany, this is a long time after your message but I hope you get it someday. Did you try the OCM? Did it work for you? Your post reminded me of myself 3 years ago when I started on my natural homemade journey. Acne annihilation was definitely a priority. I’m 27 now. Maybe my acne is just gone because I’m older, but judging by what people are saying around here, I don’t think that’s how it works. I use the oil cleansing method with just almond oil with a dash tea tree+lavender and I have done this for a year now. My acne is gone, and my skin hasn’t looked this good since high school (I didn’t get acne until college…lucky me?). I don’t use castor oil because I’m Italian. Is that not enough of an explanation for you? Ok fine. One word: mustache. Castor oil is an amazing hair growth stimulant. get it now? That’s ok though, because Almond oil works great for me. I never had any adverse reactions or “adjustment periods” where my skin blew up, but I did worry about that and I took extra precautions. During the first few weeks I changed my pillowcase every night and made up some kind of mask once a week religiously. I washed the oil off my face with a hot washcloth and TO THIS DAY I use a fresh washcloth every night. (I mean, I DO reuse them, I just wash them between uses). You can buy them in big packs at any home goods store–do that. Some people use a toner immediately after, some use oil at night and toner in the morning (or vice versa), but I use no toner at all. The OCM makes my face feel perfect, so I don’t mess with it. My advice, without any prior experience and based entirely on internet chatter is: don’t use olive oil if your skin is acne prone. Almond oil is fairly cheap and just better for your face. You can get it affordably at Whole Foods or for an amazing bargain on Amazon. I use NOW brand with success. Good luck to you and all!

      1. Penny Avatar

        Thanks for all the great information on your post, especially about the castor oil clue. I read on the OCM site that this was a once a week routine. What do you do for the other 6 days? I’m new to all this.

  5. Clara Avatar

    Hazelnut oil is a good choice for oil skin – it has astringent qualities.

    Thanks for the tips!

  6. Leila Avatar

    I love your suggestions and have switched to the oil cleansing method and “washing” with organic raw honey for my acne-prone skin. I’m interested in supplements to support healthy skin but those you recommend (cod liver oil and gelatin) aren’t vegan (though some might argue honey isn’t vegan, either). Do you have any suggestions for supplements I can take that are vegan friendly?

  7. wendy Avatar

    Can you tell me what type of olive oil to use? Is there a special brand? Thank you!

  8. Joanna Avatar

    Thanks so much for providing this information! I’ve found so many expensive products that offer essentially the same benefits. Quick question: is it preferable to use almond and castor oils that are unrefined? Same question for the mango butter for the lotion bars…

    Thank you!!

  9. James Long Avatar
    James Long

    Lovely website. For acne prone skin only use oils that are non-comedogenic (will not clog your pores) and use sparingly. Safflower, sunflower & hempseed are all great.

  10. Elysia Avatar

    Hi! My mom is very youthful & energetic – you’d never guess by her spirit that she’s 66! Her skin however is succumbing to the decades of sun, adventure & life. She has gotten several bad scratches on her forearms & shins from relatively benign things like fingernail, twig, paperclip, etc. Had I gotten the same scratch it would probably barely be pink but she bleeds quite a bit.
    I made her a moisturizing bodywash and I’d like to make a super hydrating body cream. I like your whipped body butter recipe w/shea & coconut oil as a base and I want to pack it with ingredients that will thicken & protect her skin. CAN YOU PLEASE RECOMMEND INGREDIENTS FOR THIS?? I have shea & coconut, jojoba & argan oils & lavender EO already but would be happy to buy herbs, essential oils, etc to include in the cream if they’re really going to help her.
    Thanks so much!!

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      It sounds like the ingredients you have would work well…. You could add calendula flowers and infuse them since they are good for the skin. She might also want to look in to upping her nutrient levels as thin skin like that can be a sign of a nutrient deficiency…

      1. Elysia Avatar

        Great, thanks!
        Any specific nutrients we should be aware of? She eats a healthy diet and takes some good supplements/vits/herbs.

        1. Wellness Mama Avatar
          Wellness Mama

          Magneisum, fermented cod liver oil and gelatin…

          1. Heidi Avatar

            I’m wondering about the magnesium, cod liver oil and gelatin combination. I’ve begun taking gelatin supplements and would like to incorporate the other two but am apprehensive about taking so many supplements. What is your routine?


  11. Sara Szollosy Avatar
    Sara Szollosy

    I’m trying this method but its making my face feel like it is sun burned. Particularly my cheeks which have gotten really red. I tried coconut milk to sooth them and home made coconut oil lotion but nothing has helped. Any suggestions or is this method just not for me? I was using a 3-1 ratio olive oil, coconut oil mixture.. Is it because I used coconut oil?

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      It may be the coconut oil… it is irritating to some skin types…

      1. Sara Szollosy Avatar
        Sara Szollosy

        Darn because I love coconut oil and always have it on hand I just thought it would be the easiest to use. Thank you! I’ll try with another oil.. can you do it with straight olive oil?

        Ps love your sight! I’ve been able to switch over almost all of my household products with your recipes!

          1. Sheryn Avatar

            I’ve been following the oil cleansing for the past three days, and what a difference in my skin! It’s as if my skin was begging for moisture, but I was stripping it with harsh chemicals. Now that I’ve entered menopause at the ripe age of 46, I was so happy–until acne started popping up on my face. The acne cleansers that my teens use just weren’t working for me. They were much too drying. I use a coconut/olive oil blend for cleaning, and a bit of coconut oil wherever I need more moisture, and my skin is glowing! Thanks for all you do, Wellness Mama; your website is on my favorites now!

  12. Viviane Longis-Ferol Avatar
    Viviane Longis-Ferol

    It’s very good, all the stress and fatigue signs in my face just disappeared after 10 days and still working after 2 months of use. No more cream gathering in my bathroom.

  13. Michelle Czolba Avatar
    Michelle Czolba

    I use a cleansing grains blend with delicate herbs like marshmallow root
    and roses, oats and a small amount of clay. This I’ll use once a day
    for cleansing and exfoliating. Then I apply argan oil and massage it in
    while my face is still damp. In the morning, I usually will only splash
    my face with water then apply oil.

    Great internal suggestions!

  14. sabrina hartman Avatar
    sabrina hartman

    I use the OCM…love it! In High School, I had very acne prone skin…after a few years I decided that I did not…I was just using so much chemical-based products that my skin didn’t know what to do! I just wrote a post about my beauty routine (No Poo hair wash, OCM)…Linked to you for more resources. I didn’t realize Cod Liver Oil helped the skin. I’ve been meaning to order some to attempt to “fix” my son’s teeth.

  15. Mia Gordon Avatar
    Mia Gordon

    Fabulous post I am bookmarking this for future reference so I can try them thanks

  16. Jamie Avatar

    I have acne. As I have gotten older, I have had more whiteheads and blackheads than zits though I occasionally get those too. I have tried hundreds of products from medication to natural. If you have any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it. I am also starting to get more body acne which frankly I think is worse than having it on my face.

    1. carrie Avatar

      you can make your own 2% salicylic acid toner by buying salicylic acid online and dissolving it (in alcohol, which is the most effective, or in water if you don’t want to dry out your skin even more). 2% salicyclic acid is what is found in most commercial acne washes and acne pads, etc, but (if your on this website) i’m guessing you don’t want all the extra mysterious/ineffective ingredients that go into that. If salicyclic acid + alcohol isn’t appealing to you, look up recipes for “Thyme Toners” made with witch hazel and the soaked herb Thyme.

    2. Ashley C. Avatar
      Ashley C.

      I have acne prone skin and I’ve been using the oil-cleansing method for a little over a month with great success; my skin is clearer and softer than it’s ever been! I use a 60/20/20 blend of sweet almond, jojoba, and castor oils, and that’s seemed to work well for me. I highly recommend giving it a try. One not though, I had an adjustment period of about 2 weeks before my skin started clearing up, during which I experienced some pretty heavy breakouts. I would try to start using the method at a time when you don’t have any major events coming up for the next few weeks.

      As for the body acne, I’ve found that the culprit usually lies in your diet – if you’re up for it, try eliminating dairy, red meat, or wheat/gluten one at a time and see if you notice a difference.

  17. Emily Avatar

    I have very dry skin around my nose and mouth. I’ve been using organic shea butter from Mountain Rose Herbs and my skin is improving but my husband finds the smell repulsive. Do you have any suggestions on what I could mix with the shea butter to help the smell but not cause a reaction to my face?

    1. Stevie Avatar

      Any essential oil that isn’t irritating to you. lavender is always a good bet. Be careful with citrus oils on your face though, they can make you burn.

    2. Amanda Avatar

      This is so informative, thank you! I tried oil cleansing for awhile, but I think it’s possibly too much oil for my perioral dermatitis? Osmias black clay facial soap paired with squalene oil as a moisturizer works great to reduce the PD.

  18. mountain girl Avatar
    mountain girl

    I have dry-ish skin (especially since living in Colorado) and the oil cleansing method works great for me–I have used it for at least 2 years. I also used it when we lived in a very humid area, and it still worked great. In that area (Kansas City), I used to just use coconut oil to moisturize, but her in the west, I find a mixture of 50% coconut oil and 50% shea butter works well. I spritz my face afterward with distilled water mixed with a few drops lavender essential oil.

  19. ladycygnus Avatar

    Since I have acne prone skin I’ve been using baking soda/oil instead of sugar to clean/exfoliate when removing makeup (only about 1-2x per week). This seemed like a good idea since it’s known for it’s cleansing properties. I love how silky-soft it feels after.

    The rest of the time I’ve been using witch hazel to cleanse, followed by either coconut oil or an olive/safflower oil mixture depending on how dry my skin is (I bought safflower oil for a recipe years ago and it has been sitting in my fridge ever since – figured this would be a good use for it). Anything wrong with witch hazel or safflower oil?

  20. Shanana Zimmerman Avatar
    Shanana Zimmerman

    I was wondering what would be a good option for acne prone skin???

    1. Tatiana Avatar

      My daughter started using an acne kit by Christina. It’s very affordable and has greatly improved the condition of her skin!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *