If you have acne, cleansing your face incorrectly is one of the most harmful things you can do. Let me explain. The outer layer of the skin, called the stratum corneum, is structured like a brick wall, with bricks and mortar. The bricks represent the keratinocytes, which are dead skin cells, and the mortar is a fatty layer consisting of fatty acids, lipids and ceramides. This brick wall acts as a protective moisture barrier – it keeps moisture in and irritants out. It also has a slightly acidic pH, which inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria, fungi and other microbes. Like all systems in the body, the skin is designed as a brilliant self-regulating mechanism. Only a few decades ago we started using foaming cleansers to get rid of all the oil and dirt on our faces. Chemicals called ‘surfactants’ were added into cleansers to help them breakdown the oils on our skin. The problem is, these surfactants also breakdown the fatty layer (mortar) of our protective moisture barrier (brick wall). This means that moisture is not kept in the skin and irritants are not kept out. The surfactants are also alkaline in nature, which means the acidic layer no longer protects the skin from bacteria and fungi. The result? Sensitive skin that is even more prone to acne! So how should you cleanse your skin if you have acne? First, throw out your foaming cleansers. You only need two completely natural products: Jojoba oil and Raw Manuka honey. Step 1: Apply one teaspoon of jojoba oil to your dry face and massage. The composition of jojoba oil is similar to that of the sebum, or oil, that is excreted from our pores. Do not use coconut, olive, sunflower or castor oil. These oils have a higher molecular weight and they will sit on the skin, potentially clogging the pore and causing more break-outs. Jojoba oil, on the other hand, will readily bind to the dirt and oil on the surface of the skin. It is like making a salad dressing – two oils, such as olive oil and sesame oil will easily combine whereas olive oil and water tend to separate. To make the oil even more effective you can add 10 drops total of rosemary, tea tree or lavender essential oil to 50ml of jojoba oil. Step 2: Wet a clean facecloth in warm water and wipe the jojoba oil off your face. Excess oil and dirt will be removed from your face along with the jojoba oil. Rinse the facecloth and wipe the face a few more times to be sure the oil is completely removed. Step 3: Apply a thin layer of manuka honey to your face. Manuka honey contains methylglyoxal, an antibacterial compound that can fight MRSA (antibiotic resistant staph). It also heals wounds, reduces inflammation and moisturizes the skin. All these properties are incredibly beneficial for acne. Leave the manuka honey on for up to 10 minutes before rinsing it off. Step 4: Enjoy clean, moisturized, balanced skin!