While there are conventional over-the-counter drugs to treat acne, they come with a lot of side effects and are not the best choice in the long term. They cause skin irritation, dryness and itching and are harmful for the skin flora. Fortunately, your kitchen also has a number of remedies to treat acne!
Acne is one skin issue that almost everyone faces at some point in their lives. It is not only painful and an eyesore to look at but it is also damaging for the skin. It seems to pop up randomly and at the worst possible times! You’d think you’ve past the teenage troubled with acne but it does often occur every now and then even in adulthood.
Home remedies to treat acne are not only simple and easy ways to deal with the condition, but they also come with wholesome benefits that don’t have harmful side effects. So if you’re wondering what these secrets are, read on!
What causes acne?
Understanding what causes acne can help you treat the underlying causes and get rid of them from their roots. Most home remedies don’t just treat the symptoms but also these deeper causes.
Acne occurs when the pores of the skin become clogged with dirt, oil and dead skin cells. This usually happens when the skin produces excess sebum or natural oil. This oil mixes with dirt and dead skin and forms a plug that blocks the pores which then become prone to the attack of certain harmful bacteria.
This in turn leads to inflammation and acne.
Home remedies to treat acne
1. Tea tree oil spot treatment
Tea tree oil is a botanical oil that has natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It reduces redness, itching and swelling and defends the skin from pimple-causing bacteria.
Additionally, this oil also contains antioxidants that fight free radical damage caused by acne. This promotes skin healing and repair to prevent skin damage in the form of dark spots and scars that result from acne.
What to do:
Because tea tree oil is highly potent, it should always be diluted before use. For every 2 drops of tea tree oil, take 8-10 drops of a carrier oil like sweet almond oil. Apply this mix on the acne by dabbing with a cotton bud twice every day.
2. Aloe vera mask
Aloe vera is an excellent addition to any skin care routine for oily skin and acne-prone skin. This thick, clear, natural gel contains sulfur, phenols and salicylic acid which work against acne. They inhibit bacterial growth and calm inflammation to soothe the skin.
What to do:
Cut open the stem of an aloe plant and scoop out the gel from it with a spoon. Apply this directly on the skin as a mask and leave it on overnight. Aloe vera gel mixed with tretinoin cream containing vitamin A is also known to work effectively. You could also use this gel to dilute tea tree oil for spot treatment of acne.
3. Apple cider vinegar
ACV is the fermented, unfiltered juice of pressed apples. It is rich in organic acids like citric acid that has the ability to inhibit the growth of acne-causing bacteria. ACV also contains succinic acid that reduces inflammation and scarring caused by acne. Lactic acid, yet another organic acid component of ACV lightens any hyperpigmentation that results from acne.
What to do:
Since ACV can be quite strong, you should always dilute ACV with 3 teaspoons of water for every teaspoon of ACV. Dab the mix with a cotton ball on the affected areas and rinse with water after 2-3 minutes. Follow this routine twice daily to see results.
4. Jojoba oil
Jojoba oil is a botanical oil that has been found to be effective in healing and repairing damaged skin. It speeds up the healing of lesions caused by acne. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce swelling, redness and itching around pimples.
The structural composition of jojoba oil has been found to be very similar to that of the natural oil produced by the human skin – sebum. It is easily absorbed by the skin and can be used to regulate and control oil production. It is therefore an excellent choice for those who have skin prone to acne.
What to do:
You can apply jojoba oil directly on inflamed skin gently with a cotton swab. You could also mix it with a clay mask, cream or gel and apply it as a mask instead.
5. Cinnamon-honey mask
While cinnamon is a potent antibacterial, honey is an effective anti-inflammatory. Together, the combination is a powerful solution to all acne troubles.
Cinnamon inhibits the growth of acne-causing bacteria and also protects the skin by boosting its immunity. On the other hand, honey not only calms the swelling, redness and burning, it also heals wounds and repairs the skin.
What to do:
Take 1tbsp of finely ground cinnamon powder and mix 3tbsp of honey, preferably manuka honey in it. Place the mix in a water bath so it is warm and has a good consistency. Paint this mix on the acne-affected skin and leave the mask to dry for about 10 minutes. Wash off with warm water. Repeat this process once every day to see desirable results.
6. Green tea
Green tea is a cheap, easily available and effective remedy against acne. Rich in antioxidants like catechins as well as flavonoids and tannins, it reduces oxidative damage caused by acne. It alleviates swelling and other inflammation to soothe the skin. It also promotes recovery and regeneration of new skin cells to heal and repair the open sores and lesions caused by acne.
Another advantage of using green tea to treat acne is that it naturally reduces sebum production in the skin cells. This helps in oil regulation and reduces the skin’s proneness to acne.
How to use:
Remove the tea leaves from a couple of bags and dampen them with warm water. You could mix in some honey or aloe gel for added benefit. Simply apply this mix on the affected areas and leave it on for 15-20 minutes before rinsing off with water.
7. Oatmeal mask
The oatmeal mask is an age-old grandmother’s home remedy to treat all kinds of skin concerns related to inflammation like eczema, psoriasis and acne.
Oatmeal contains zinc that actively targets the bacteria and balances the skin’s sebum production. Unlike over-the-counter creams though, it moisturizes the skin instead of leaving it dry and itchy.
What to do:
Take a cup of oatmeal and grind it to make a fine powder. Soak it with a carrier like honey or milk and apply the mix on the affected areas. Leave the mask on for 20 minutes and rinse with water.
8. Turmeric and honey mask
Turmeric is an excellent antiseptic that attacks the bacteria that cause acne and prevents damage caused by them. It is also a natural whitening agent that reduces melanin production and therefore fights off hyperpigmentation in skin that has been afflicted with acne.
Turmeric works well with honey to provide a complete solution against acne and its damages.
What to do:
The turmeric and honey mask is similar to the cinnamon-honey mask except that you replace the cinnamon powder with turmeric powder.
These 8 home remedies to treat acne will help make a difference to how you look and feel!