Ask an Herbalist: Skin Care

Amber Asks:

Hey April! I was hoping you could tell me what would be helpful for my facial skin care. My skin is very oily and I have large, clogged pores. I break out often, usually the painful, deep zits that you can't really even see. Nothing I have used has solved any of these issues. Currently I am using burts bees face wash, a natural plant based retinol serum and your rose tallow face cream. If I wash my face too many times a day it gets red and dry. The face cream has helped with the oiliness some but not as much as I'd like yet. Also, if any of your advice includes products that you make, please tell me! Thanks!


Hello Amber!

Okay there are quite a few things I would start doing and stop doing here. We'll start with whats hurting our skin and go from there. Just like any part of our body the more we wash it the more it tries to replace the oils we have washed away. Especially the hair/face area. So we get in this vicious cycle of dryness and oiliness and that's when our skin begins going nuts.

Sooo here's what i want you to get out of your life and away from your face. Essential oils and chlorine. You see me talk a lot on here about these two chemicals and there's a good reason for that. Those essential oils are stripping away all of your good bacteria on your skin and causing a big ol imbalance you may think that you aren't using them but you are. That Burt's bees face wash will be chalked full of them and i'd be willing to bet the serum does as well. Not to mention a ton of other horrible chemicals (Burt's Bees is actually a really sketchy company that just passes themselves off as "alternative" for the sake of marketing.) Chlorine is just as bad in the way that it kills bacteria on contact which is why she's so favored in water treatment she kills gut bacteria too. Check this filter out to use in the shower so your not washing your face with chlorine and check this one out (spendy but worth it) to get chlorine out of your drinking/cooking water. While your at it but unscented laundry soap, deodorant, throw out your air freshers, scented candles, cleaners. I promise just getting these volatile oil compounds out of your home/diet will on it's own make a HUGE improvement in your overall health. Truly.

So what are you gana wash your face with? I want you to buy some PURE UNSCENTED tallow soap. Just good old animal fat and lye turned into soap. This will clean your face but not strip it of it's oils and I only want you to use it every other day. In between just use warm water.

The reason my face cream (made with tallow) is helping is because tallow is very similar to our own natural fats so much so that our bodies don't just crave it they require it. So when you use that tallow based cream you are replacing what you've been stripping off and your body is not having to try and pump out more to replace what's been washed away. See the cycle forming here? So if we cut out the things that are taking away our oils and actually add more healthy animal fats to our skin we produce less and less oil.

So let's tie this all together with some deep skin healing nourishing herbal infusions! Comfrey is amazing at healing our skin from the inside out, seriously! I know there is huge controversy on drinking Comfrey internally here is an article from Susun Weed that put's it to rest. Drink a cup or two of her a day for the next few months and your health will change. Now add in Nettle infusion and have a read here for more ideas! Here is a quick how to video for making herbal infusions to drink it's crazy easy!

How are your healthy animal fat levels? Are you making sure to eat plenty of grass fed butters and yogurts? Nice free range meats? Maybe start making some bone broth and have a few cups of that a day as well! Our bodies thrive with healthy animal fats and lots of very well cooked veggies/grains.

Our skin being our largest organ she is a legit indicator of our overall health. But since we are not machines that can just have parts replaced it's vital to bring healing as a whole in a quest to heal one area.

I sure hope some of this is helpful to you!

Kindest Regards,

April G.

Medical Disclaimer The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only. Wild Wood Apothecary/@She_is_of_the_woods/April Graham makes no representation and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of information contained on or available through this web site, and such information is subject to change without notice. You are encouraged to confirm any information obtained from or through this web site with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ ON OR ACCESSED THROUGH THIS WEB SITE.