Acne is one of the most common skin conditions globally, affecting approximately 85% of people at some point in their life.
Conventional acne treatments can be expensive, and it is common for them to cause undesirable side effects such as dryness, redness, and irritation.
It has led many people to study how to cure acne at home with natural products. The Internet is full of tips, but do natural treatments work?
In this article, we explore 16 home remedies for acne that are backed by science.
What are the Causes of Acne?
Acne starts when the pores of the skinsuit clogged with oil and dead cells.
Each pore connects to a sebaceous gland, which produces an oily substance called sebum. The extra sebum can clog pores, causing a bacteria known as Propionibacterium acnes or P. acnes.
Your white blood cells attack P. acnes, causing skin inflammation and acne. Some acne cases are more acute than others, but common symptoms include whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples.
Many factors contribute to acne development, including genetics, diet, stress, hormonal changes, and infections.
16 Best Home Remedies for Acne
- The salicylic acid in aspirin is an acne treatment. Aspirin can dry out pimples and reduce inflammation.
- To take advantage of its benefits, make a paste by grinding four tablets in a little water. Then apply it to imperfections.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
- Apple cider vinegar makes from apple cider fermentation or the unfiltered juice of pressed apples.
- As with other vinegar, it is known for its ability to fight many kinds of bacteria and viruses.
- It contains several organic acids that have a show to kill P. acnes bacteria.
- In particular, succinic acid has been shown to suppress inflammation caused by these bacteria, preventing scarring.
- Lactic acid has also been shown to improve the appearance of acne scars. What’s more, apple cider vinegar can even help dry up excess oil that causes acne.
How to Use
- Take 1 part apple cider vinegar and 3 parts water (use more water if your skin is sensitive).
- Gently apply the mixture to clean skin with a cotton ball.
- Leave on skin for 5 to 20 seconds, rinse with water, and pat dry.
- Repeat this process 1-2 times a day, as needed.
- You must know that applying apple cider vinegar on the skin can cause burns and irritation, so you should always use it in small amounts and diluted with water.
3. Take a Zinc Supplement
- Zinc is an essential nutrient necessary for cell growth, hormone production, metabolism, and immune function.
- People with acne tend to have a lower stage of zinc in their blood than people without acne.
- Orally administered zinc helps reduce acne.
- The optimal dose of zinc for treating acne has not been established, but several studies have shown a significant acne reduction by taking 30 to 45 mg of elemental zinc a day.
- Elemental zinc mentions the amount of zinc present in the compound. Zinc comes in many forms, each containing a different amount of essential zinc.
- Zinc oxide carries the highest amount of elemental zinc, 80%.
- The maximum tolerable level of zinc recommended is 40 mg per day, so it may be best not to exceed that amount unless under a physician’s supervision. Taking zinc in excess can cause adverse effects, such as stomach pain and intestinal irritation.
- It is also essential to note that applying zinc to the skin is not sufficient. It could be because zinc not virtually absorbs through the skin.
4. Make a Honey and Cinnamon Mask
- Both honey and cinnamon are excellent sources of antioxidants.
- Applying antioxidants directly to the skin is more effective in reducing acne than benzoyl peroxide and retinoids.
- These are two common topical acne medications with antibacterial properties.
- The antioxidants studied were vitamin B3, linoleic fatty acid (omega-6), sodium ascorbyl phosphate (SAP), and a vitamin C derivative.
- These specific antioxidants do not find in honey or cinnamon, but other antioxidants may have a similar effect.
- Honey and cinnamon also can fight bacteria and reduce inflammation, two factors that trigger acne.
- While the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties of honey and cinnamon may provide benefits for acne-prone skin, there are no studies on their ability to treat acne.
How to Prepare
- Mix 2 tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of cinnamon to form a paste.
- With clean skin, apply the mask to your face and leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Rinse the mask out entirely and pat dry.
5. Tea Tree Oil
- Tea tree oil is an essential oil remove from the leaves of the Melaleuca Alternifolia, a small tree native to Australia.
- It is known for its ability to fight bacteria and reduce inflammation of the skin.
- Applying a 5% solution of tea tree oil to the skin significantly reduces acne.
- Compared to 5% benzoyl peroxide, 5% tea tree oil did not act as fast, but it significantly improved acne after three months of use.
- It also showed fewer adverse effects like dryness, irritation, and burning, compared to benzoyl peroxide.
- Tea tree oil is potent, so you should always dilute it before applying it to your skin.
- Mix one part tea tree oil with nine parts of water.
- Dip a cotton swab in the mixture and apply it to the affected areas.
- Apply moisturizer, if desired.
- Repeat this process 1-2 times a day, as needed.
6. Green Tea
- Green tea is the same high in antioxidants, and drinking; it can help health.
- There are no studies on the benefits of drinking green tea when it comes to acne, but it has been shown to help when applied directly to the skin.
- It’s probably because the flavonoids and tannins in green tea help fight bacteria and reduce inflammation, leading to acne causes.
- The head antioxidant in green tea, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), has been shown to reduce sebum production, fight inflammation, and inhibit the growth of P. acnes bacteria in people with acne-prone skin.
- Applying a 2% – 3% green tea extract to the skin significantly reduces sebum production and pimples in acne people.
- You can buy creams and lotions that carry green tea, but it’s just as easy to make your mix at home.
- Steep the green tea in boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Set it cool.
- Use a cotton ball, apply it to the skin, or place it in a spray bottle to spray it on the skin.
- Let it dry, then rinse with water and gently pat dry.
- You can also add the tea leaves that were left in a little honey and prepare a mask.
- Although no evidence drinking green tea can fight acne, some research suggests it is beneficial.
- For example, drinking green tea has been shown to lower insulin and blood sugar levels, contributing to acne development.
7. Witch Hazel
- Witch hazel extract from the bark and leaves of the Hamamelis virginiana, a shrub from North America. It contains tannins, which have powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
- For this reason, it uses to treat different skin conditions such as dandruff, eczema, varicose veins, burns, bruises, insect bites, and acne.
- Unfortunately, there are no studies on the specific ability of witch hazel to treat acne.
- However, several studies have shown that applying witch hazel to the skin can fight bacteria, reduce inflammation, and heal.
- Combine one tbsp of witch hazel bark and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan.
- Soak it for 30 minutes and then lead the mixture to a boil on the stove.
- Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for 10 minutes.
- Please remove it from the heat and let it rest for another 10 minutes.
- Drain and store the liquid in a sealed container.
- Apply to clean skin with a cotton ball 1 to 2 times a day or as desired.
- However, it is essential to note that commercially prepared versions may not contain tannins, as they often a loss in the distillation process.
- Echinacea is traditionally used to accelerate wound healing and prevent colds and flu, but its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties can also help with acne.
- Use echinacea tea as a daily face wash or wet a cotton ball and apply it to blemishes.
9. Aloe Vera
- It is a tropical plant whose leaves make a transparent gel.
- The gel often adds to lotions, creams, ointments, and soaps. It commonly uses to treat abrasions, rashes, burns, and other skin conditions.
- When applied to the skin, this gel can heal wounds, treat burns, and fight inflammation.
- Aloe vera also contains salicylic acid and sulfur, which widely uses in treating acne.
- The same is true for sulfur, which has proven to be an effective acne treatment.
How to Prepare
- Scrape the gel off an aloe plant with a spoon.
- Apply this gel directly to clean skin as your moisturizer.
- Repeat 1 to 2 times per day or as desired.
- You can also buy aloe vera gel at the store, but make sure it’s pure with no added ingredients.
10. Take a Fish Oil Supplement
- Omega-3 fatty acids are incredibly healthy fats that offer tons of health benefits.
- While you should get them from food, some research shows that most people on a regular Western diet don’t get enough of them.
- Fish oils contain two main types of omega-3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
- EPA benefits the skin in several ways, including controlling oil production, maintaining proper hydration, and preventing acne.
- High levels of EPA and DHA have shown to decrease inflammation factors, reducing the risk of acne.
- There no specific recommended daily intake for omega-3 fatty acids, but most health organizations recommend that healthy adults consume a minimum of 250 to 500 mg of EPA and DHA combined daily.
- You can also obtain omega-3 fatty acids from salmon, sardines, anchovies, walnuts, chia seeds, and ground flax.
11. Exfoliate Regularly
- Exfoliation is the action of removing the top layer of dead skin cells. It can be accomplished mechanically with a brush or scrub to remove the cells physically.
- Alternatively, it can remove chemically by applying an acid that dissolves them.
- Exfoliation believes in improving acne by removing skin cells that clog pores.
- Exfoliating the skin is also believed to help acne treatments more useful as they penetrate more deeply after the top layer of leather remove.
- Unfortunately, research on exfoliation and how much it helps to treat acne is limited.
- There are many exfoliation products available in stores and online, but it is just as easy to make a scrub at home with sugar or salt.
How to Make a Scrub at Home
- Mix equal parts sugar (or salt) and coconut oil.
- Rub the skin with the mixture and rinse well.
- Exfoliate as many times as you want, even once a day.
12. Follow a Diet with a Low Glycemic Load
- The relationship between diet and acne has been a matter of debate for years.
- Certain dietary factors, such as insulin and the glycemic index, could be associated with acne.
- The glycemic index (GI) of a food is a measure of how quickly your blood sugar rises.
- Eating high GI foods causes an increase in insulin, which can increase sebum production. Therefore, high GI foods believe to affect the development and severity of acne directly.
- High glycemic foods include white bread, sugary sodas, cakes, donuts, candy, sugary breakfast cereals, and other processed foods.
- Foods with a low glycemic index include fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole or minimally processed grains.
- A low glycemic guide diet may be helpful for people with acne-prone skin.
13. Eat Less Dairy
- The relationship between dairy and acne is a subject of healthy controversy.
- Drinking milk and consuming dairy products exposes you to hormones, causing hormonal changes and leading to acne.
- Two extensive studies reported that consuming a large amount of milk was associated with acne.
- Peppermint can help remove oil that clogs pores. To protect your face before acne breaks out, mix two tablespoons of finely chopped fresh mint, two tablespoons of plain yogurt, and oatmeal (use a blender to pulverize the oats).
- Let it on the face for 10 minutes, then rinse with water.
15. Reduce stress
Hormones released during periods of stress can increase the skin’s sebum production and inflammation, thus making acne worse. Several studies have linked stress to an increase in acne severity.
What’s more, stress can delay wound healing by up to 40%, waiting to repair acne lesions. Absolute relaxation and stress reduction treatments have been shown to improve acne.
Ways to reduce stress:
- Sleep enough.
- Participate in physical activities.
- Practice yoga.
- Take a deep breath.
16. Exercise Regularly
- Exercise promotes blood circulation. Increased blood flow helps nourish skin cells, which can help prevent and heal acne.
- Exercise also has to do with hormonal regulation.
- It can decrease stress and anxiety, factors that can contribute to the development of acne.
- Healthy adults recommend exercising for 30 minutes, 3 to 5 times a week. It can include walking, hiking, running, and lifting weights.
Acne is a common problem with several underlying causes. However, conventional treatments can cause dryness, redness, and irritation.
Fortunately, many natural remedies can also be useful. The home remedies in this article may not work for everyone with acne, but they may be worth trying.
However, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist if you have severe acne.