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

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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. Myra Avatar

    I don’t mean to sound naive but would long-term use of castor oil cause the unwanted growth of facial hair? I have very hairy genes in my family, being of Arab and Hungarian descent, so unwanted hair growth is a concern of mine. Is there a good substitute for the castor oil I can use? Thanks.

  2. Hali Avatar

    Is it normal for my skin to be slightly oily after this. I used straight up coconut oil which I’ve always used on my face but never as a face wash. By always I mean like two years. Lol. Anyway… My skin was slightly oily 5 minutes ago but now it’s perfect. Is this right? Pls respond! Thanks!!

  3. Mandi Avatar


    Have you ever blogged your complete weekly beauty routine? I love reading your recommendations, but would love to see what your complete routine looks like!

  4. Stacy Avatar

    I just recently purchased a elite skin spa facial cleansing brush. What can I with the brush that is natural to cleanse my face? Also my water is very hard, should I purchase distilled or spring water to use?

  5. Heather Avatar

    Hey there! I have sensitive skin prone to redness and would love to find a regimen to help reduce sensitivity. What would you recommend? 🙂 Thanks so much!

  6. Ashley Reed Avatar
    Ashley Reed

    I use a sugar scrub to wash my face every few days, and water or face wipes in-between that. It seems to work well most of the time, as long as I’m using a moisturizer. It’s hard because my t-zone gets really dry, and then it gets really oily. Combination skin is usually how I label it, although sometimes I just use cleansers for oily skin so that my skin will be healthier. It’s better to wipe down your face mid day than to have dry skin.

  7. JenaLee Coburn Avatar
    JenaLee Coburn

    Hello, I was curious about this some. Currently I use andalou night cream and love it! I did research for fine lines which a hard and unhealthy life had earned me rather prematurely. Well it has carrot seed oil in it I believe and I also read rose hip oil is fabulous for that too. I have skin that gets so dry I break out but I break out if I use coconut oil. :/ I really need something for the day time that my skin can absorb before I put on my make up that won’t cause irritation or breakouts? Does hemp oil or avocado work well for this and don’t you have to keep them cold so they don’t go rancid?

    1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

      Have you tried straight shea butter? It does wonderfully for some people. If not, a Vitamin C serum might be a great option since it is oil free and would absorb quickly but also helps with lines.

  8. stellie Avatar


    I love your blog, it’s always so nice to come back to it and read great articles about so many things that we can use/do on a regular basis. thank youfor everything, you do an amasing job.
    I am a big user of oils, currently I am using macadamia oil and it does wonders for my skin, I have a mixed combination skin, parts oily and others dry.
    it helps a lot to balance everything and it looks quite healthy. I had enough with buying products from the supermarket with tons of ingredients on the labels, I yearn for more natural stuff.
    I also use macadamia for my dry hair, before the shampoo, it s absolutely great! better than any hair products from the stores.
    I am also using coconut oil quite a lot these days, not so much for my face but I use it on my body, it’s toning which is fantastic and it’s so nourishing for my dry skin. I love it and it leaves such a fabulous scent on my skin. it s so exotic, I love it, feels like I am on holiday everyday 🙂

  9. nicole Avatar

    I’ve nnoticed little bumps on the back of my shoulders. They are dark and goes down my back cut only on the side not the middle. What can I use to lighten these dark spots?

  10. Sara Krone Avatar
    Sara Krone

    I cleanse/exfoliate my face only when I shower with a baking soda water blend (half and half) and then tone with a Braggs ACV water blend (1:4). I do not moisture at all nor do I ever where make up and I frequently get compliments on my skin. I was curious about the anti aging aspect of skin care because I don’t think my routine prevents signs of aging; although, I am frequently pinned at about 7 year younger than I actually am (I also have a fair complexion and only receive the “you look so young” comments in areas that are not heavily populated with people of fair complexion). You’re information about anti-aging was very helpful, definitely going to start an internal regimen!

    Also, is there a particular brand of baking soda which is better than others?

  11. Ms. Jen Avatar

    I have just realized that I am coming down with some kind of allergy to make up removers and some eyeliners… (mary kay and almay) so I decided to use grapeseed oil to remove and wash my face. I love your website it’s awesome. .. what I wanna know is what do you do for natural sunscreen and age spots.

  12. Amina Avatar

    I am wondering about the OCM with hemp oil
    using 3 parts hemp oil and one part castor oil. I have seen some websites saying coconut or olive or almond oil as a dillute for the castor, but not hemp. I currently have rosehip, hemp and castor oil. I have normal skin, prone to drying/excess dead skin & oily! I would like to try that, do u think it will work out for me?
    3 parts hemp oil and 1 part castor oil?

  13. Kim Avatar

    I’m using the 50/50 olive oil and coconut oil. I am just confused at how often to use it. Morning and night or only once, and if once, which time is best?

  14. Guey Avatar

    I have been doing oil cleansing for 3 weeks now. After the second week my face broke out on the chin and cheeks. Not sure what to do to calm these break outs and make them dry up and heal.
    I have combination skin.
    I have been using castor oil and jojoba and 2 drops lavender
    anyone have ideas??

  15. jack Avatar

    i have puffy under eyes or bags under the can you help me with my prob. thank jack

    1. Monica Avatar

      Jack – since the eye area is much more sensitive than the rest of the face you need to be mindful of what you use to minimize risk of irritation. For puffiness, your safest bet would be to place (cold) cucumber slices over your eyes and lay down for 10-15 minutes while they cool and depuff your lids. I have heard of people using green tea bags as well. Either can be used daily as part of your morning routine.

      A product that I LOVE is Eye Fix Revitalizing Treatment by Glo Minerals. It is a mixture of “glycosaminogylcans” (no clue what that is) and Rosemary leaf oil. It’s a liquid that comes in a small glass cylinder with a metal roller ball applicator. It feels cold to the touch (sort of like menthol) so it is great when you are a little groggy in the AM, reduces puffiness and dark circle, and supposedly assists with collagen production. I think it retails for $15-20, although I’m not quite sure since I get their products at wholesale pricing. It’s a little steep, but my tiny tube has lasted several months of almost daily use.

  16. Nicola Avatar

    Hi Katie

    i was hoping you’d be able to help me a bit. I’ve been Oil Cleansing my skin now for about 2 months. The first oils I tried (3/4 Sweet Almond and 1/4 Caster Oil) was too drying for my skin, so I turned to Coconut Oil. It’s been working great, although at times my skin still breaks out and I still have to use a moisturiser as well (normally just coconut oil, but have just made a lotion bar). my problem is that the area around my eyes is breaking out in tiny red dots. I have very sensitive skin but normally if I react to something its my cheeks that go red and burn. Do you think this could be an adversion, or am I doing something wrong? Are your lotion bars ok to be used on eyes? Sorry, I love this site and all your recipes, I’m just struggling to make them work for me! (I made the lotion but ended up throwing it away because I couldn’t stand the smell, not enough essential oils!)

    1. Becky Avatar

      It’s probably the coconut oil. Coconut oil is highly comedogenic, meaning it clogs pores fairly easily. Lots of people use coconut oil on their face with no adverse reactions, but others have problems like you described. We all have unique skin! You just need to try different things to see what works. I actually moisturize with coconut oil occasionally, and I use it in my homemade sunscreen, which I apply to my face, but I never tried it for OCM. I use almond oil with a few drops of tea tree and lavender oil in it. I just add the essential oils to the bottle of almond oil when I buy it. It works perfectly for me, and is not drying for my skin type. Maybe try that. Best of luck.

  17. april Avatar

    I was reading your blog abkut skin care and you mentioned you changed your diet. What changes did u make? Iv been fighting acne for 5 years. Iv used everything. What are your diet recomendations? I am currently taking antibiotics and the pill tohelp my skin. Which iv used before and it worked but I stopped taking them and broke out all over agian. I would like to try a more natural way because I agree its internal problem. I do have a auestion tho, what are common internal problems that could cause the acne? Please share any diet or other recomendations.

  18. Rhonda Avatar

    My friend traveled with a woman from Japan who exfoliates with rice flour and a little water. It leaves your skin smooth and silky!

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