Lye soap, with rosemary?
A former coworker's sons had the worst time with acne, and no OTC remedy, dermatologist, or prescription seemed to help. Then serendipity happened! Just for the experience of having done it, he made lye soap with the fat renderings from a hog he'd raised, and added rosemary to part of the batch. He said the boys' faces cleared within a week, and they begged him to make more .
As a soapmaker, I wish I could "like" this post
Personally I'd recommend homemade lye soap to anyone with any kind of skin problem. So-called "soap" in the store is usually anything but. For example, here's the ingredients of Dove:
Dove Sensitive Skin Unscented Beauty Bar Ingredients:
•Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate - MSDS fact sheet states, "may be harmful when inhaled, ingested, and if it is absorbed by the skin" and "can cause eye or skin irritation" and "may dry out skin and has no beneficial properties." Yet it's the highest percentage ingredient in Dove.
•Stearic Acid - adds hardness and lather.
•Sodium Tallowate - saponified beef or pig fat (saponified means turned from fat to soap via lye)
•Sodium Palmitate - saponified palm oil
•Lauric Acid - Firms the bar and cleanses
•Sodium Isethionate - makes a dense lather in addition to the lather made by the soap
•Water - a means of dissolving the oxidizer (the thing that combines with the oils to make soap).
•Sodium Stearate - saponified stearic acid
•Cocamidopropyl Betaine - A surfactant, or detergent
•Sodium Cocoate - saponified coconut oil
•Sodium Palm Kernelate - saponified palm kernel oil
•Sodium Chloride - Salt
•Tetrasodium EDTA - a preservative that’s made from the known carcinogens, formaldehyde and sodium cyanide
•Tetrasodium Etidronate - used as a water softener in soaps to prevent soap scums and bathtub rings by locking up the calcium and magnesium in the water.
•Maltol - used for enhancing flavors and aromas, which is odd in an "unscented" soap
•Titanium Dioxide - gives the soap a white color
So there's already some highly questionable stuff in that bar. Compare that to a handmade soap bar:
Saponified oils of coconut, grapeseed, and castor
Kaolin clay - natural mineral that adds slip/smoothness of lather
Mica or oxide pigment for coloring
Here's the ingredients of a "castile" or 100% olive oil soap:
Saponified olive oil
Colorant (if any)
Fragrance (if any)
The castile soap is going to be the mildest soap that you can use. It's not going to have a huge amount of fluffy bubbles, but it's going to get you clean without adding any nasty chemicals or preservatives. I would highly recommend castile for acne or excema.