Are you among those 85 percent of humans that suffers acne at some stage of their lives? Do you find yourself fighting away blues whenever a new pimple appears on your face? Have you been struggling to alleviate the symptoms of acne? If so, then this article is for you.
Conventional acne treatments are expensive and often unpredictable. This has led many people finding home remedies for treating their acne. Mentioned here are 14 things you can do to manage your acne.
14 Home Remedies For Your Acne
1. Honey and cinnamon
Honey and cinnamon have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help in reducing acne.
They both are an excellent source of antioxidants. Studies show that antioxidants are more efficient than benzoyl peroxide — a commonly used ingredient in acne gels — in treating acne.
How to use honey and cinnamon for acne?
Mix 2 parts of honey with one part of cinnamon to form a paste. Apply this mixture to a clean face and leave it on for 10 minutes. Rinse well and pat dry
2. Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega 3s have shown to improve acne. They reduce oil production, maintain hydration, and reduce inflammation and acne breakouts.
In one study, 45 individuals were given omega-3 fatty acid supplements daily. After 70 days, their acne reduced significantly.
You can get omega-3 fatty acids through supplements.
Foods that are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids include:
- Wild caught salmon
- Chia seeds
3. Apple cider vinegar
Famous for its use in home remedies, apple cider vinegar (ACV) is often considered the magic tonic. Although all claims regarding the benefits of apple cider vinegar are NOT valid, it sure can fight certain bacteria and viruses.
Research shows that several organic compounds present in apple cider vinegar have antimicrobial action towards P.acnes — the bacteria linked to acne. It also helps dry up excess oil from your face.
ACV is acidic and as such not recommended for use in a concentrated form. Doing so will lead to burning and irritation of the skin.
Mix one part of ACV and three parts of water to dilute it. Clean your face and apply it gently on the affected area. Rinse after 10-20 seconds and pat dry. You can repeat this 1-2 times daily.
4. Cleanse twice daily
You face has the most oil stick to it than any other part of your body. On top of that, your face is exposed to dust, sweat, and makeup on a daily basis. This mixture of dirt and other stuff, if not washed, can clog the pores resulting in pimples and blackheads.
Now you may not be showering twice daily, but it’s important to wash your face in the morning and at night. Do it gently, and use cleansers that are recommended for acne-prone skin.
5. Keep yourself hydrated
In addition to hundreds of other functions, water plays an essential role in the elimination of toxins. Drinking inadequate water leads to build up of toxins and wastes. When these toxins have no way of removal, they find an alternate route which is your SKIN. This can lead to pimple breakouts.
Starting with 5 glasses of water is a good place to start. You can eventually increase your intake up to 8 glasses per day.
6. Use green tea
Due to high levels of antioxidants, green tea has shown to have numerous health benefits. The flavonoid and tannins have antibacterial properties that help reduce acne. Research has found that Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) — an antioxidant found in green tea — reduces sebum production, fights bacteria, and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Data on the effectiveness of drinking tea in relation to acne improvement is lacking. However, apply green tea directly to the skin has significant results.
You can use a cotton ball to apply green tea on the affected areas or use a spray bottle filled with cold green tea.
You can also use honey and the remaining green tea leaves to apply as a mask on your face.
7. Aloe Vera
You must have come across many skin care products that claim to contain aloe vera extracts and promise beneficial results for your skin. Those claims are not entirely false. Aloe vera does have some really good effects on the skin.
Commonly used to treat abrasions, rashes, and other skin conditions, this tropical plant filled with gel is a clear yes to reduce your acne problems.
Aloe vera gel has anti-inflammatory properties. It also contains salicylic acid and sulfur — the same substances that are used for acne treatment.
You just need to take out the gel from inside the aloe vera leaf and apply it as a moisturizer on the skin.
Clogged pores and dead cells both have their contribution to the pimple breakouts. Exfoliation, the process of removing the dead cells from the surface of skin, is a way to control those pimples. It also helps topically applied acne-treating gels to penetrate deeper and bring better results.
Commercially available scrubs may not be the best choice as they are laden with chemicals that further irritate your skin. Homemade scrubs are an excellent choice here. Choose one of the following gritty things:
- Sea salt
- Brown sugar
- Oatmeal (ground form)
Now choose from one of these bases:
- Coconut oil
The base serves to fight bacteria, whereas textured ingredients like oatmeal help to exfoliate.
Mix dry ingredient of your choice with a base. Rub over your face in a circular motion. Pay particular attention to the affected area. Once you worked your way all across the face, remove the mixture with a damp cloth. Rinse well.
9. Zinc supplements
Zinc plays an important role in cellular growth, hormonal production, immunity, and metabolism. Research shows that people with acne often have low zinc levels and taking zinc supplements help in improve acne.
The specific dose of zinc for treating acne has not yet been established, but the use of 30 mg of zinc per day has shown significant acne reduction in several research studies.
The upper limit for daily zinc consumption is 40mg. Do not not exceed this amount. You can also use the following foods that are rich in zinc:
- Pumpkin seeds
10. Follow low glycemic index diet
Diet is often the overlooked factor when it comes to treating acne. It might be true that excess consumption of bakery products doesn’t affect your friend’s skin, but it will affect yours if you happen to have acne.
High glycemic index foods cause a spike in sugar level leading to a boost in blood insulin. Too much insulin is bad. It can cause changes that will lead to an increase in sebum production and hence acne.
Individuals who eat low glycemic load foods tend to have fewer outbreaks as compared to those who follow high glycemic index diet.
Food with low glycemic index:
- non-starchy vegetables
- rice (Basmati, brown rice, Doongara, and long-grain)
- grains (quinoa, freekeh, pearl couscous, barley, semolina, buckwheat
- oatmeal (rolled or steel-cut)
- oat bran
- rice noodles
- sweet potato
- minimally processed grains
Food with high glycemic index:
- white bread
- sugary soft drinks
- savory snacks
- corn pasta
- instant noodles
- breakfast cereals that have sugar
- processed food
11. Manage stress and anxiety
If you have acne, you must have noticed how it gets flared up during the times of stress. Although stress is not the primary cause of acne, it does contribute to those pimples if you already suffer from acne.
Back in the 20th century, science didn’t have research backups to prove anecdotal claims that stress aggravates acne. However, later on, a study conducted in Stanford University found that students faced acne flare-ups during exam season, the time these students reported frequent stress. This was when researchers said that acne has a direct correlation with stress.
Science is not yet clear on how stress causes acne, but they do know that that sebum producing cells have receptors for stress hormones, and stress somehow up-regulates sebum production.
Sebum mixes with dead skin cells and bacteria and clogs the hair follicle. This leads to the eruption of a pimple. So, more sebum is equaled to more pimples.
Stress also reduces the wound healing ability up to 40 percent. This elongates the period that a pimple stays on your face.
To sum up, acne and stress are not supposed to reside in the same person. You need to deal with stress, anxiety, and depression to get rid of those flare-ups.
Ways to Reduce Stress
- Manage time
- Get adequate sleep
- Do exercise
- Try yoga
- Take deep breaths
Related posts: 13 Tools to Help You Move Through Anxiety
12. Reduce intake of dairy
In some research studies, conventional milk products have shown to contribute towards acne breakouts. If you must consume dairy, go for raw goat milk.
13. Use essentials oil
Acne breakouts affect not only the teenager but also adults who are not going through rapid hormonal changes. This could be due to stress, poor gut health, and sleep deprivation. With essential oils, you get double benefits. They fight bacteria and at the same time alleviate your stress and anxiety.
Essential oils have also shown to improve other acne contributing factors such as hormonal imbalances and sleep deprivation.
Following 4 essential oils are best for treating acne:
1. Lavender Oil
It has antimicrobial properties that help to treat acne. Levander oil nourishes your skin and reduces the dark spots and acne scars. It helps to reduce stress and improves the quality of your sleep. These are the two things that are often associated with acne breakouts in adults
You can apply the oil directly to the affected skin or use it on wrists, neck, and temples to alleviate stress.
2. Clary Sage
Clary sage contains lineally acetate that reduces inflammation of the skin. It also controls the oil production that is associated with acne breakouts.
This essential oil reduces the spread/growth of bacteria and also decreases stress and hormonal imbalance.
Take a clean cotton ball and use it to apply 3 to 4 drops of clary sage on the affected area. You can also dilute clary sage with coconut oil and massage the mixture into your skin.
3. Tea tree oil
You’d come across many tea-tree-oil-containing products that claim to treat acne. They are a common choice among individuals who self-treat their pimples.
Tea tree oil has both antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Research studies have shown that topical application of tea tree oil reduces the severity of acne.
You can apply it directly with a cotton ball or add it to your daily face wash.
4. Juniper Berry
The antimicrobial and antibacterial properties of juniper berry oil make it one of the popular skin-infection-treating home remedies. Many compounds, such as alpha-pinene, p-cymene, and beta-pinene, in juniper berry oil act as antimicrobial agents. Other substances in this oil contribute to stress reduction, therefore, playing a role in stress-related acne.
Apply 2-3 drops on the affected area. If you have sensitive skin, dilute your juniper berry oil by adding a few drops of jojoba oil or coconut oil.
14. Clay mask
It absorbs sebum, water, bacteria, and other toxic and irritating substances from the surface fo skin. Clay mask also exfoliates dead skin cells and blackheads. The best part? It does it all without friction.
You’d find two forms of clay in the market.
- Clay creams that can be applied directly to the skin
- Pure clay the requires premixing.
It is best to steam clean your face before applying the clay mask. Steam cleaning opens your skin pores and makes it easier for the clay to absorb toxic substances.
How to use clay mask for acne?
Simply wash your face or steam clean it if possible. Mix the powdered clay with a few drops of water to create a mask. Apply the resulting mixture on your face and let it dry. Drying usually takes up to 20 minutes. Once dry, remove it with lukewarm water.
Clay masks tend to bring impurities from deep within the pores to the surface fo your skin and into the mask. This might cause a little irritation, but that’s temporary. Moreover, it also over-dry the skin.
For those of you with dry skin, it is better to use white clay and add some moisturizing ingredient, such as aloe vera gel, in it.