Cruelty-Free Skincare for Oily, Acne-Prone Skin

May 1, 2015

I’m in my early ‘20s, and I still suffer from acne.

There, I said it.

My mother grew up with acne, while my dad had perfect Italian skin. Guess which parent I take after the most?

In my preteen years, I pretty much refused to wash my face. I was jealous of my friends, who never washed their face but had pristine skin. I wanted to be like them. But of course, that made matters worse.

I’ve visited a dermatologist many times. She’s prescribed me pills and topicals to help alleviate my acne, but nothing seemed to work permanently. At one point, my doctor recommended Accutane. I was out.

Since then, I’ve spent a lot of time on r/skincareaddiction, refining my morning and nightly routine. I’ve tried a lot of products over the years, but the ones that are truly cruelty-free and natural have worked the best, especially for my oily skin. If you didn’t know, oily skin is actually dry underneath; it’s overproducing oil to counteract that dryness. Overburdening your skin with chemical products does not not help dry skin; it hinders it.

Over the years, I’ve seen a vast improvement with these 3 products. Oh, and before you ask, this isn’t a sponsored post, I just really love these products!

1. LaRoche Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel


Ever since I started investing in La Roche Posay’s relatively expensive cleanser, I’ve seen a vast improvement in my skin. Instead of using sacilyc acid, like most cleansers, Effaclar is paraben-free, soap-free, colorant-free, and alcohol-free, and is made with soothing thermal spring water. This makes Effaclar a nice, soothing beginning to my skin routine morning and afternoon.

Better yet, La Roche Posay recently posted about their cruelty-free policies:

The safety of our consumers is our highest priority at La Roche Posay. Our products and ingredients undergo extensive screening so that consumers may purchase and use our products with complete confidence.

In 1989, we have voluntarily stopped using animal testing for the evaluation of its entire range of finished products. Our company has invested millions over the last 25 years to develop innovative, alternative methods to animal testing. We are totally committed to a future without tests on animals.

If you’re looking for a soothing cruelty-free cleanser, the LaRoche Posay is your best bet!

2. BodyShop Tea Tree Oil


I haven’t tried OCM, or the Oil Cleansing Method, just yet, but I have experimented with oils as spot treatments. When I studied abroad in London, I noticed a change in my skin; frankly, it was much worse. Because my skin is so sensitive, I think it was reacting to the different climate, the different water I was drinking, and the different food I was eating. I was breaking out, bad.

I remember walking by The Body Shop on my way back from work and going inside to look around. I asked what would help oily, acne-prone skin, and the clerk recommended I check out their Tea Tree Oil. It came in a tiny itsy-bitsy container, but it packed a big punch. Just one or two drops overnight worked wonders on my acne (“spots,” as the British would say). However, don’t overdo it, or you could burn your skin!

If you didn’t know already, BodyShop is an RSPO shareholder, and has invested in Cruelty Free International, campaigning for a global ban on animal testing in cosmetics. All of their products are cruelty-free and engineered to help your skin in a natural way, and Tea Tree Oil is no exception.

3. Paula’s Choice

paulas-choice-bha-liquidI just received a few trial samples of Paula’s Choice, specifically the Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant and the Clear Regular Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment with 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide. BHA is so necessary if you have oily skin; it clears out your pores and is a great toner to use after cleansing. Benzoyl peroxide, on the other hand, is a great spot treatment, and I’ve been using it before I go to bed, and consequently waking up to beautiful skin. Throughout the day, my skin seems to get worse though… Might have to do with how I’m eating!

Anyway, if you’ve talked to any skincare nerds like me, you know that Paula’s Choice products are top-notch, and are recommended to just about everyone developing a skincare routine. Best of all? They’re 100% cruelty-free. They’re certified under Leaping Bunny, and their co-founder, Paul Begoun, even said this: “All of us are thrilled to have this certification as definitive proof of our commitment to not testing on animals. Our pet friendly office with 15 dogs is proud of us, too.” All products are cruelty-free, fragrance-free, and environmentally free. Plus, they really work! I’m still squeezing as much use as I can out of the trial items before investing in a bigger skincare haul.

I’ll be writing more about healthy (and cheap!) skincare options for people with acne-prone and oily skin over at my blog, Allie Kay Tee. What other skincare items do you use that are cruelty-free?

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Cruelty-free Skincare for Oily, Acne-prone Skin

Allie Kay Tee

About the Author

Allie Kay Tee

Allison Tetreault writes for 20-somethings who have big dreams and small budgets on her blog, Allie Kay Tee. Want to grow your business, but can’t invest the money? Want to explore more, but can’t pay the travel expenses? Allie explores the post-grad life on her blog every week. Follow her on Facebook.

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Like you, I’m in my early twenties and still have acne, so I’m definitely going to give these products a try :3


So basically La Roche Posay does still test on animals. They said they are committed to one day finding an alternative and only claim they don’t test their “finished” products on animals. Still not good enough for me.


    Yeah, I think that buying from independent brands is the only way to go to be 100% sure we’re not contributing to the cruelty. But buying from smaller cruelty-free brands that are owned by bigger companies that aren’t cruelty-free could still send an important message. It’s like buying from the conscious H&M line only instead of buying the other stuff, or only buying vegan products from a brand that it’s not 100% vegan. It’s still a choice, and by making this choice we contribute to the change. Step by step 🙂


LaRoche Posey isn’t cruelty free, as they sell to China which requires animals be tested upon. Sorry y’all look it up.


Like some have said, la Roche Possay is NOT cruelty-free as they sell in China. Please take more care with your research or just name the article “Skincare for Oily, Acne-Prone Skin”, as the title is very misleading for people who want to be more conscious about their choices 🙂

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