This Unexpected Ingredient Could Clear Up Your Skin

A seemingly endless list of products claim to be miraculous cure-alls for acne and purveyors of clear skin. Whether it’s a controversial drug like Accutane or a more natural spot-zapper like tea tree oil, different treatments work, to various extents, for different people—which is why we are continually seeking more information on up-and-coming ingredients that promise real results. Annie Tevelin, the founder of one of our favorite non-toxic skincare brands, SkinOwl, is an expert on a new, relatively under-the-radar substance (as it pertains to skincare) called mangosteen. With impressive anti-bacterial properties, mangosteen works on all skin types, but is especially useful for those with blemishes and oily skin, as it accurately balances pH and visibly reduces the appearance and frequency of breakouts. To learn more about this wonder ingredient, we got the scoop straight from Annie (who loves mangosteen so much, she created an entire product with it: Mangosteen Beauty Drops PM). Below, find out if the ingredient could work for you.

Adam Katz Sinding

"There is this common misconception that acne needs to cured by harsh, intense ingredients, such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid," Annie says. "People are now looking to options that are more balancing and calming, which is where the green beauty industry thrives. The skin wants routine, and one it can handle day after day. I think if people saw acne as the skin's way of purging and protecting itself, people might limit the amount of drying and exfoliating products they put on their skin. First, balance and heal. Then, treat responsibly."

"Mangosteen is a plant mostly found and cultivated in Southeast Asia," she explains. "The fruit of the mangosteen is sweet and tangy, juicy, somewhat fibrous and has white, fluid-filled vesicles (like the flesh of citrus fruits). And it has an inedible, deep reddish-purple rind."

"Mangosteen is made up of specific antioxidants called xanthones. These powerful xanthones work to heal cells damaged by free radicals and also to slow down the aging process," Annie explains. "Mangosteen's natural anti-bacterial properties and anti-microbial compounds visibly correct skin blemishes, oily skin and chronic dry skin. This exquisite oil absorbs quickly and acts as a high-level antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerous substance. This super-fruit oil has unmatched benefits, and has one of the highest ORAC values. It is fantastic for all skin types, and promotes ultimate skin health and glowing beauty. Dr. Georgeann Dau, our go-to naturopath, says, 'Inflammation is the precursor to all disease, and free radicals are the precursor to inflammation.' To get even more technical, in lab tests, an ounce of mangosteen juice has been shown to have the ability to absorb 20 to 30 times the number of free radicals as other fruits or vegetables. It’s an immune booster, and it’s cardio-protective. Mangosteen is pretty much good for every organ, because it helps protect the whole body."

"Because mangosteen does so much, I prefer to let it be the star in my regimen," Annie says. "I keep everything else really simple. Balancing cleanser, healing mist and then my Mangosteen Beauty Drops. My skin has never looked better with this 'less is more' approach."

Step 1: Balancing Cleanser

Step 2: Healing Mist

Step 3: Mangosteen Oil