“I Swapped My Regular Skincare Routine For A More Natural One — And The Results Were Surprising”

My skin needed a serious intervention.


Gina Beretta |

I’ve always been pretty OCD when it comes to my skincare regime. The moment I hit puberty I jumped on that cleanse-tone-moisturise train and basically never looked back. Hell, I loved cosmetics so much that I spent the better part of my 20s working as a beauty journalist, and my job only reinforced my mad obsession with skincare (I HAD to have every lotion and potion).

I’ve never really struggled with my skin. My teens and 20s were, by some small miracle, spent relatively zit-free. By the time I hit my late 20s my cleansing routine and arsenal of products really helped keep my skin well-balanced, clean and happy. I mean sure, there was a minor breakout here and there, but nothing major… until I hit my 30s. Then my regimented skincare routine started to fail me.

Hello, acne!

For someone who never had skin issues in the past, this sudden onslaught of adult acne left me confused, frustrated and depressed. I blamed my hormones and my diet. I tried everything in my power to get my skin back on track, which included: drinking lemon water in the mornings, taking probiotics and ditching those refined sugars and carbs. The pimples remained.

READ MORE: The Best DIY Blackhead Treatments, According To Derms

Looking back on it now, I realise I was actually over-cleansing my skin and had completely compromised my lipid barrier. My skin was dry AF and as a result it was incredibly sensitive, super oily and congested. I would pack on the make-up to try and cover things up, which in turn only made things worse.

I’d been toying with the idea of adopting a more natural skincare routine for a while, so I decided to give it a go. Nothing ventured, nothing gained right?

I bought Lulu & Marula’s Purifying Facial Kit, which consists of a travel-size Balancing Cleansing Balm, Purifying Face Mask and Polish, Refreshing Tonic Mist, and Purifying Treatment Oil. The balancing ingredients in the products promised to clear congestion, calm inflammation and give skin a healthy dose of TLC (something mine desperately needed).

Lulu & Marula natural skincare

I’d heard good things about the local brand so I was cautiously optimistic about embarking on a month-long trial.

READ MORE: Can You Really Use Coconut Oil To Treat Acne?

Here’s How It Went

Right off the bat, this isn’t a ‘traditional’ soapy cleanser with foam, but a balm that melts onto the skin. It’s very easy to use — simply dot onto your skin (I applied it to my T-panel and cheeks), and massage it in. After working it into my skin for a few seconds I noticed that it started to emulsify my make-up. I know that it sounds counter-productive to apply more oil to dirty/oily skin, but oil actually lifts dirt away from your skin’s surface so it makes the perfect make-up remover. And this balm really did the job. After wiping off the cleanser with damp cotton pads my skin felt soft, clean and dare I say it… glowy.

Next up, I applied the mask because my skin really needed some extra love. I activated it with a little bit of yoghurt (because it contains lactic acid which helps nix dead skin cells) to create a paste. It comes in a powder form so you need to activate it with moisture before applying it, otherwise you’re just going to be rubbing green granules onto your skin. After leaving it on for about 10 mins, I rinsed it off and was pretty happy with how my complexion looked. My skin looked smoother and my dry patches didn’t seem as red.

I spritzed my skin with the refreshing mist (it smells great BTW) and applied a few drops of the Purifying Treatment Oil to my skin before going to bed.

After 2 weeks of following this new unfussy regime, the dry patches on my skin had started to disappear and I barely had any breakouts. Yes, success (hey, I’m all about celebrating those small victories)! People started to comment on my complexion, saying it looked ‘brighter’. I was excited to see what my skin would look like by the end of this little experiment.

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The Verdict

My ‘month-long trial’ is now going on two years and it’s safe to say that I’ve never looked back. I’ve also added Skin Creamery’s Skin Tonic which contains malachite, baobab fruit powder, and organic rose water, with an omega-rich oil layer to help balance my skin.

Buy It

Skin Creamery Skin Tonic

R 358

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I also love Suki Suki (another local brand) — the Suki Suki Papaya Rose Hydrating Facial Mist keeps my skin hydrated and refreshed. Plus, it smells AMAZING!

Buy It

Suki Suki Papaya Rose Hydrating Facial Mist

R 289

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The products helped restore my lipid barrier and besides the odd ‘period pimple’ my adult acne has cleared up. If anything, switching to a natural skincare routine has taught me to stop touching, squeezing, scrubbing and most importantly, to hit the breaks on my over-cleansing habit.

Now, for the next phase… committing to wearing no make-up. I’m ready. Kinda.

READ MORE ON: Beauty Skin Skin Issues