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. Hannah Avatar

    I’ve read a few of your posts about fighting ance and natural skin care options. What I’m wondering is, what does a daily routine look like?

    •Do suggest exfoliating everyday?
    •Do you oil cleanse after exfoliating?
    •Do you wash your face every morning or just splash as go?
    •Do you wash twice a day (at morning and at night)?
    •How does the sea salt spray (in a different post) work if you’re wearing makeup?

    Thank you! 🙂

  2. Heather Avatar

    (So sorry if this is posted in the article or comments and I’m missing it on here but I don’t see an answer to this). Do you use the sugar scrub and oil back to back at the same time of day? Just once a day? I was thinking of trying raw honey to wash in the AM with a little moisturizer after if needed, doing sugar scrub and oil cleanse at night and same with moisturizer. I find after my showers, currently, if I don’t use a little moisturizer my skin feels too dry. I haven’t used more than hot water to wash my face in 10 years, I have a ton of blackheads on my nose and some on my chin. Occasionally get acne on chin. My skin looks unhealthy though (I’m 29). Trying to drastically increase my water intake as well and thinking that will make a difference. I’ve always had red spots and the nose blackheads which are my main focus of changing skin routine (I’m a ginger so I’m not positive my red spots will go away).

  3. Selina Avatar

    My skin is so confusing & unpredictable. I want to find a natural remedy, but that will take a long time. When I use store bought products my skin goes everywhere. I know the tiniest bit of coconut oil feels moisturizing but not oily. I use aveeno face foam but I want to use something different. For now it’s the only cleanser I own. I have a massage device I use on my face to exfoliate. I think salt would irritate my skin..but I’ve tried ACV & I think it did work…your post has the name of the products you use missing…I don’t know wht that is…so I don’t know what you used.

  4. Elizabeth Avatar

    Can you recommend oils for dehydrated skin? My skin is so dehydrated thAt when I put on my foundation you can see all the dryness especially on my nose and forehead. I used to do ocm but cut back to only doing it when i take off my makeup. I use black African soap to cleanse everyday do you think that’s causing my dehydration? I also noticed my nasolabial lines are starting to be more prominent since this dehydrated issue!! HELP!!!!!!

  5. Jaya Avatar

    HI, Katie! I have tried and failed with the OCM (coconut oil broke me out terribly) and since my first pregnancy I have developed terrible rosecea. I have been struggling for years and now in my 3rd trimester with my 2nd baby I am suffering terribly from this itchy/acne on my nose and cheeks. I definitely am not glowing! I found this site and wanted your opinion. I went to a natropath and was prescribed many supplements I cannot take while nursing or pregnant. So desperate for your advice. Thank you so much!!

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar

      That site had some good info on addressing the internal aspects and that is definitely important for skin health as well. I would still be careful with many of those herbs though, and check with a midwife or doc before taking any herb while pregnant.

  6. Elisa Avatar

    Hey 🙂 I’ve been using the oil cleansing method with coconut oil for about 2 weeks and it’s working well. I might try switching to olive oil soon, though, because coconut oil feels a bit too drying for me. I have a question about moisturizing after the oil cleansing. First I just used regular nivea moisturizer and my skin was really smooth and moisturized but wanted to go all natural so I started using argan oil and aloe vera instead. I’m having some problems with this approach. My skin feels and looks dry after my argan+aloe moisturizer and I can’t think of anything else to add to it to make it more moisturizing. Do you think olive oil could work? Or maybe glycerin? Is it possible that this is just my skin getting used to the oils after the nivea moisturizer (which was full of mineral oils and other bad stuff) and it’ll get better after a while? I’d like to go all natural with my skin care but just can’t seem to find the right oils 🙁 I can’t use shea butter because I get an allergic reaction and I’ve read that cocoa butter is comedogenic and I tend to break out a lot (even though my skin is super dry) so am hesitant about using that.

  7. Jolie Avatar

    Hi, I’ve been oil cleansing with coconut oil and moisturising my face with rose hip oil, coconut oil and vitamin E as I feel my skin is aging and dry or is aging as it is so dry ? I’m also using coconut oil to moisturise my body but my skin is so dry and I get really itchy especially around my waist stomach etc, any advise on a alternative I can use?

  8. Jacki Avatar

    What skin care regimen and supplements dod you do while pregnant? And I have acne all around my chin from pregnancy and don’t know what to do…help!

  9. Gina Avatar

    My 15 year old son has had severe acne for the past year. I bought him Proactive and he has had slight positive results. I have been using grape seed oil and Shea Moisture’s Frankincense face wash with wonderful results so I let him try my cleansing routine for a change. Within a week his skin has cleared up and he has smooth skin instead of tiny bumps across his forehead. I am thrilled that it is working for him and hopeful to save some money as we change to the more natural ingredients.

  10. Steph Avatar

    Do you spray the magnesium spray directly on your face? Or do you spray it in your hand and rub it on your face? How many sprays do you use per day?

  11. Nicole Avatar

    Hi, I love your site and posts! I am 25 years old and have been struggling with acne lately. I have oily, sensitive skin and It feels like I have tried everything, and just when I think my skin is getting better , it gets worse again! I do use tea tree oil, a clay mask, witch hazel toner, and salicylate acid. I am trying to eat healthier and I take a plant based multivitamin and fermented cod liver oil. Any suggestions?


  12. Tosha Avatar

    I am very interested in using the OCM method. After reading through the comments I noticed a question that was never answered: “WHEN DO YOU USE THIS?” In the a.m. or the p.m.? Can you follow this with a vitamin C serum?
    Thanks in advance for answers!

    1. Alison Avatar

      I too have read through and can’t see any reply to the when do you use this question.

      1. Wellness Mama Avatar

        You can do either one. I prefer typically to do this at night and honey in the morning, but I’ve also done the reverse. I have also used Vitamin C serum after.

  13. Dana Avatar

    I have switched from commercial cleansers and moisturizers and toners to simple avocado oil at night which seems to take off my makeup, cleanse and moisturize. Do I need to be worried about it clogging pores or going rancid, etc?

    Thank you so much!!

  14. Courtney Avatar

    Hi Katie, their so much for the recipes, I love this site. My skin is really sensitive and everything makes me break out, straight oil, no oil, everything. I’m trying to figure out a routine from all these posts but am a little confused. Do you use moisturizer in the am after washing with just water and oil cleansing at night and honey wash every few days? It’s really dry in Colorado and I can’t image not using moisturizer before I put on make up. What about moisturizer around the eyes? Thanks for your help!

  15. Rhiannon Avatar

    Any suggestions for an 18-year-old? My skin is fairly good, tending to spot when I’m stressed/ pre-menstually / eat rubbish / travel. I eat a good diet and exercise fairly often.

  16. Jaclyn Avatar

    This all sounds great but the only thing I struggle with is timing. Should I only do OCM before bed and then a toner in the morning ? Or should I do OCM for both morning and night ? I struggle with where a toner fits in.

  17. Christy Avatar

    Myra, I have heard Caster Oil encourages hair growth. Use Almond, and/or jojoba. I love coconut oil for my bod (and all other uses) but it gives me the worst acne on my face.
    Skin tips from an old pro:
    I have struggled with acne since grade school and the only thing that has helped consistently is clay and aloe. I use Larosett clay.
    Baking soda is the best for exfoliating! Sugar, salt, coffee, etc. is too course and irritates my sensitive skin or makes my scarring worse.
    For scarring get Rejuveness silicon sheets.
    I am also looking into using argan oil for moisturizing.
    Juice beauty CC cream is boss.
    Arrowroot powder to set makeup and absorb oil. (awesome dry shmpoo)

    Good luck to you all on your journey to happy skin, body, and mind.
    Keep it natural!
    Vote organic with your cash!
    And remember, confidence = beauty!

  18. Michele Avatar

    Up until now I had been taking the Butter / Cod Liver Oil Supplement as well, but in light of the recent controversy, I’m curious what you would take in its place?

  19. shivangi Avatar

    Hello katie,this is your fan from india… actually i this very great skin in my teenage but lately when i entered into my 20s my skin just got worse.. i mean from then i started facing acne which i have never faced before.its been a year..i have change lots of product but everything in vain.. it wud be very helpful of u if you give me some suggestions..i had a normal skin which turned into combination

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