8 Most Effective Home Remedies to Get Rid of Acne
Our skin does so much for us. It protects us from environmental dangers, such as bacteria, and repels water. It protects all those life-sustaining blood vessels, nerves, and organs bundled up beneath it. It regulates body temperature and keeps the central nervous informed of what’s going on at the surface.
And in return, we take care of our skin. We keep it clean, protect it with moisturizers and sunscreen, and sometimes give it a massage. We use products that stimulate cell renewal and hydrate it. We keep it away from fire and sharp knives.
It’s a nice relationship. Then acne crops up. We forget all the good things the skin is doing. All we can see and think about is the unsightly acne, and we are upset with our skin. Well, the skin isn’t real happy with the situation either. Oil and debris and bacteria are clogging up its pores. It’s red and swollen and covered with pustules and pimples and cysts.
And it seems like a good time to play the blame game but it’s when you’re going through a rough patch that it’s particularly important to be nice and gentle. Yes, no matter how much you want to scrub the acne off your face, you need to treat your skin kindly. Prescriptions are potentially dangerous, and topical medications can be harsh. You can clear up the acne efficiently and effectively—and naturally—with safe, soothing home remedies.
So what are the best home remedies to get rid of acne? Here are the top reigning, gentle yet effective acne-fighting champs you have lying around the kitchen!
Honey has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Pots of honey, good as new, were found in the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs.
All honey that is raw and unheated has health benefits, but manuka honey, produced by bees that feed on the flowers of the manuka bush in New Zealand, has more and stronger therapeutic properties. It is actually the most potent antibacterial honey available.
Methylglyoxal (MG) forms in the nectar of the flowers of the manuka bush, giving manuka honey the advantage of high levels of MG, which makes it resistant to heat, light, body fluids, and enzyme activity. The higher level of enzymes creates a natural hydrogen peroxide that is an effective antibacterial that reduces the severity of the acne and accelerates healing. Manuka’s anti-inflammatory properties reduce swelling and heal congested and/or inflamed skin. It also oxygenates pores to draw out the bacteria.
In addition to its healing powers, manuka honey tends to brighten the skin and assist in reducing or preventing scarring that is often left from acne. Use it to mix into a face mask or as a daily cleanser!
Matcha Green Tea Face Mask
Matcha Green Tea comes from Japan, where it has been celebrated in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony for hundreds of years.
This brilliantly verdant powder is a premium green tea that contains a more potent source of nutrients than regular green tea. The reason for those nutrients is the great care given the tea plants. They are covered, which improves the leaves’ flavor and texture. The leaves are steamed, then dried and aged to deepen the flavor even more. The dried leaves are stone-ground into a fine powder. The powder can then be made into a mask that safely detoxes skin plagued with acne.
Matcha is a beautiful green and rich in chlorophyll, an excellent source of antioxidants and effective for detoxification. It is also high in catechin content, an antioxidant that fights bacteria and infections. Its most significant property in curing acne is a polyphenol called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) that reduces inflammation and keeps control of the oil-producing cells. Use matcha both as a face mask and as a delicious, healthy coffee alternative!
Tea Tree Oil
Australian aborigines passed down the benefits of tea tree oil for thousands of years. It is extracted from the leaves of the Melaleuca Alternofolia, a tall shrub in the myrtle family native to Australia.
Tea tree oil contains natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that make it an excellent alternative to harsh synthetic chemicals for killing the bacteria that causes acne. Its antibacterial properties battle the microscopic organisms. Its antiseptic qualities remove damaged skin cells. It also balances the pH level of the skin by controlling oil production, and it dries out pimples and whiteheads.
A major benefit of tea tree oil for acne is its ability to penetrate deeply into the skin. There it unblocks the oil glands and disinfects pores.
Caution: Use 100% pure tea tree oil, but it must be diluted before being applied to the skin. Full strength can be very harsh. You can mix it with coconut oil or jojoba oil.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Legend has it that Christopher Columbus took barrels of apple cider vinegar to his ships to prevent scurvy among his crews. At least acne isn’t as horrible as scurvy.
Apple cider vinegar has potassium, magnesium, acetic acid and various enzymes that kill bacteria on the skin. You can use it topically or drink it.
Topically, you can apply it as a toner. It contains malic and lactic acids that exfoliate, reduce redness, and generally control and heal acne. To use it as a toner, mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water.
Drinking apple cider vinegar can clear away acne by nourishing your gastrointestinal system and flushing out toxins. A diet high in processed foods and low in nutrients increases harmful bacteria and reduces good bacteria. This imbalance can inflame the skin and increase the risk of acne.
Apple cider vinegar increases stomach acid, which improves digestion, which increases the absorption of nutrients from your food. If your digestion is poor, your body doesn’t eliminate toxins properly and they exit through other systems, such as your skin.
- Do not drink concentrated apple cider vinegar. It needs to be heavily diluted, at least 10 parts water to 1 part ACV. Undiluted, it can burn your mouth and throat.
- Apple cider vinegar is not friendly to your teeth. Immediately after drinking it, rinse your mouth with water so that the acid doesn’t sit on your teeth and degrade the enamel. Or use a straw.
Sea Salt Face Wash
Washing your face with salt water will heal acne quickly. Sea salt kills the bacteria that cause acne, restores the skin’s natural pH balance, and provides the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients the skin needs to stay clear and healthy.
Sea salt contains magnesium, iodine, calcium, chlorine, zinc, potassium, and other trace minerals that are essential to skin health. It exfoliates to remove the impurities that clog pores and promotes the growth of new skin. Chromium prevents skin infections, zinc regulates oil production, and sulfur keeps skin smooth.
Salt water straight from the ocean is most effective. It’s pure and natural and richer in minerals than water from your home faucet. If the ocean isn’t right around the corner, mix a high-quality sea salt with filtered water.
Mix equal quantities of sea salt with warm water to wash your face. The best sea salt? Dead sea salt – find it here!
You hear “zinc oxide,” you think “diaper rash,” don’t you? And we’re supposed to be talking about acne here. Turns out that the same properties that dry, soothe, and protect those red, irritated baby bottoms will dry, soothe, and protect irritated acned faces.
Zinc oxide is a mineral that kills the bacteria that causes acne, and it reduces the skin’s inflammatory response to bacteria: redness, irritation, and breakouts. It also reduces the activity of cells that produce keratin, a protein that binds skin cells together. When there is too much keratin, cells get too bound together and don’t separate, leading to blocked pores. Reducing keratin helps to keep the pores open.
Zinc oxide calms the skin, decreases the size of pimples and cysts, and helps to control oil production.
To use it, reach for your nearest diaper rash cream or even – gasp – mineral sunscreen. There are also a number of great acne spot treatments that contain zinc oxide.
We know the way to have a healthy digestive tract is to ingest probiotics—endless television commercials have promised us that. The news is that scientists are determining that the daily use of probiotics can be a supplemental treatment for acne.
We’ve explained here about harmful bacteria and their role in causing acne. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that act as a diversion of sorts. When the skin recognizes foreign microorganisms on the skin, the immune system, like a tiny SWAT team, jumps in to counter this potential threat; the result is the inflammation, redness, and bumps of acne.
Probiotics applied topically sit on the skin’s surface and “hide” the bad bacteria from the immune system. They also have a calming effect on the cells that send those “attack” message to the immune system. In addition, the antimicrobial properties of probiotics kill the bad bacteria.
For a simple home remedy, you can use plain, unflavored yogurt or kefir to reap the benefits of probiotics both internally and on your skin. But if you really want to get the full benefits of probiotics, we recommend you opt for a daily probiotic supplement. And if you want to try probiotic skin care, you can try Tula’s line of probiotic-formulated products in a simple trial kit.
Vitex, also known as Chasteberry and Vitex Agnus Castus, is a flowering plant that is native to the Mediterranean region. The berries are used as a medicinal herb that can regulate or normalize the hormones that control the female reproductive system.
Hormonal imbalances related to the menstrual cycle can be responsible for acne in adult women, particularly in women with low levels of progesterone. Vitex sends a signal to the pituitary gland to produce more progesterone, which regulates ovulation and reduces hormonal breakouts of acne.
Acne along the jawline and chin are indications of hormonal acne in females. If this occurs during your monthly cycle, Vitex may be the answer. Find the best Vitex here!
After the acne crisis is resolved, you and your skin can resume your harmonious relationship.