22 Home Remedies for Acne & Pimples

By Claire Goodall

Your skin is your friend. You like your skin. Your skin likes you. It protects you from the elements and literally keeps you together. You, in turn, do your best to protect it from any kind of damage. Then, one day, acne rears its ugly head, and you suddenly hate your skin. What do you do then? Turn to harsh chemicals, and expensive scrubs? That’s a fine way to thank a friend who’s been there for you since day one. Your epidermis isn’t at fault here-it can’t help that your hormones are causing all that extra sebum to clog up your pores, or the fact that bacteria is running rampant. If your skin could talk it would say something along the lines of “patience, grasshopper. Treat me right and I shall repay you in kind.”

The point is, natural acne remedies are a good way to get rid of it, or at least hold it at bay. They make you step back and really figure out what’s going on with your skin, and how to work with it. Chances are, your skin will repay you in kind for not simply ravaging it with strange chemicals-and your wallet will probably thank you too.

1. Apply some apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a powerhouse when it comes to acting as an acne remedy. Why? It kills off the bacteria that may be causing all the trouble in the first place. It also becomes alkaline and balances the pH of your skin, which in turn makes it harder for bacteria to thrive.

To top it off it’s an astringent, like lemon juice, and will help dry up excess oil. Keeping that in mind, don’t overdo and dry out your skin too much. This could cause the sebaceous glands overproduce to compensate, therefore triggering an outbreak.

You will need…
-Pure unfiltered apple cider vinegar
-Fresh water

Directions
Wash your face with water and pat dry. Using a ratio of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water, dip a cotton ball into vinegar and apply it directly to the blemish.
Leave on for at least 10 minutes, or overnight. Reapply several times a day, washing face thoroughly after each time. Make sure to use a moisturizer afterward as well if you feel like your skin is getting dry.

2. Make a cinnamon and honey mask

Honey is sticky, and cinnamon is spicy, and it seems like they’re both things you’d want to avoid getting near your skin. Surprisingly, while it may sound strange, honey and cinnamon make a (literally) killer combo when it comes to acne. Cinnamon has antimicrobial properties so it can help stop bacteria from getting out of hand. If it does, the honey is a natural antibiotic, ready and waiting to wipe the little buggers out.

You will need…
-2 tablespoons of honey
-1 teaspoon of cinnamon
– paper towels

Directions
Rinse your face with water and pat dry. Mix 2 tablespoons of honey and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon together until they are thoroughly blended and have formed a sort of paste. Apply the mask to your face (or spot treat) and leave on for 10-15 minutes. Rinse off completely, and pat your face dry. This is a sticky mixture, so make sure you have some paper towels at on hand.

3. The land of milk and honey (or yogurt)

While there is quite a bit of hub bub around dairy products causing acne, applied topically it seems that milk can improve your outbreaks and skin tone. The reason it is suggested that milk would cause acne is because of the extra hormones in it-but unless it’s ingested, this doesn’t really do much. For the most part, it just soothes the irritated skin and helps tone down the redness. Cleopatra swore on the milk baths she took, and well, she was Cleopatra. You could also use yogurt. The acids in it are antibacterial while the fat provides moisture, making it quite nourishing for the skin.

You will need…
– 1 tablespoon plain low-fat or full-fat yogurt or milk, anything but skim
– 1 tablespoon of natural, raw, honey

Directions
Let yogurt or milk come to room temperature (or close to) so you don’t get a chilly shock when you put it on your skin. Mix 1 tablespoon of milk or yogurt thoroughly with 1 tablespoon of honey. You can apply the mixture with a cotton pad, but scooping it up and patting it on works just fine as well. Let each layer dry before adding a new one, until the mask is the thickness you want. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Wash your mask off and use a washcloth to gently scrub in a circular motion, getting rid of loosened dead skin. Once you’re finished, moisturize as usual.

4. Whip up some ‘whites’

Egg whites are an easy and affordable way to help reduce acne and fade scars left by unfortunate blemishes. The reason people have found egg whites to be helpful for their skin is that they’re chock full of proteins and vitamins that both combat acne and help to rebuild your skin cells. They also soak up excess oil, which means excess sebum, (exactly what you were thinking right?) which means less stuff for bacteria to feed on. Hooray! Just make sure to use a good moisturizer afterward, as they can dry your skin out a bit.

You will need…
-2 to 3 egg whites, separated from yolks
-Bowl
-Washcloth

Directions
Rinse your face with water and pat dry. Separate the whites from the yolks. You can use as many as you like, but normally 2 to 3 is enough. Whisk the whites until they’re frothy, and let them sit for a few minutes. Cover your face with the mixture (applying with fingertips is easy) focusing on problem spots. 3 to 4 layers is usually enough, but make sure to wait the first has dried before applying more. Allow the mask to sit and dry for about 20 minutes before rinsing off completely with warm water and a patting dry with a soft washcloth. Apply moisturizer appropriate for your skin type.

5. Papaya for the pimple prone

Papaya is an essential ingredient in a lot of beauty products on the market today, but there’s no need to go out of your way to gain its benefits? Plain raw papaya is an all-natural acne remedy that removes dead skin cells and excess lipids from the surface of the skin, leaving it soft and smooth. Lipids are a general term for fats, of which oil is a form of. Papaya also contains an enzyme called papain, which reduces inflammation and helps prevent the pus from forming.

You will need…
-1 fresh papaya

Directions
Rinse your face with water and pat dry. Mash up the flesh of the papaya well, until it is of a consistency that can be easily applied to your skin. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes, and then rinse off completely with warm water. If your skin has a tendency to get dry after you cleanse it, use a moisturizer appropriate for your skin type afterward.

6. Make an orange peel paste

Ah, oranges. They taste rejuvenating and refreshing, and our skin may find them just as appealing as our taste buds do. Acne that is caused by bacteria and extra oil/dead skin cells clogging up pores may improve with the use of an orange peel face mask of sorts, thanks to the vitamin C, citric acid, and its astringent properties. The vitamin C is particularly helpful because it promotes the growth of new healthy cells, keeping your skin in better condition overall.

You will need…
-2 Orange peels
-Clean, fresh water

Directions
Rinse your face with water and pat dry. Grind/pound up your orange peels (you could use a blender, mortar, and pestle, whatever gets the job done) and add a little water to create a paste. Add a little at a time, as too much will make it too thin and runny. Once you have the right consistency, apply it to your face and/or problem areas. Wait for 20-25 minutes. Ideally, the mask should be firm, but it can still work if it isn’t. Rinse off completely with water, pat your face dry, and apply a good moisturizer.

7. Tap into tea tree oil

You’ll read about tea tree oil for a lot of home remedies, but will most likely see it mentioned the most when comes to skin care, specifically, acne. But why, when too much oil is clogging the pores and making you break out, would you want to use more oil? Tea tree oil isn’t like the oil your skin naturally produces, rather it is more like a solvent that cuts through the extra sebum and dead skin cells and unblocks the pores. Its antibacterial properties also kill off the acne causing bacteria and prevent further outbreaks.

Note: Tea tree oil is ok for topical use, but should never be ingested. It should also always be diluted before use.

You will need…
-Tea tree oil (a small bottle will do)
-Clean water
-Q-tips or cotton balls

Directions
Wash your face with water and pat dry. Dilute tea tree oil by mixing 1 part oil to 9 parts water. Dip a Q-tip or cotton swab in the mixture, and apply to problem areas. If you decide you want a stronger dilution after a while, you can slowly (slowly!) begin to increase the strength, making sure to use each new mixture for at least a week for making it any stronger. Again, it should never be applied undiluted. You can apply a light moisturizer afterward if you wish.

Another option, especially if you have sensitive skin, is to dilute it with aloe vera gel instead of water.

8. Mix strawberries and honey

Honey and strawberries make a home remedy for acne that sounds pretty sweet (pun intended) and it combines two things that are used commonly in pricey, often time’s harsh, facial scrubs and cleansers. Strawberries may seem random but consider the fact that they’re high in salicylic acid. Salicylic acid-a primary ingredient in many commercial acne treatments- encourages the epidermis to shed its cells more readily, opening up clogged pores, and neutralizing bacteria. It also shrinks up the pores a little bit, which prevents them from clogging up as much in the future, and encourages new cell growth. Honey also works against bacteria that may be behind your acne and is an anti-inflammatory.

You will need…
-3 fresh strawberries, washed well
-2 teaspoons of good honey-raw is best

Directions
Wash your face with water and pat dry. Rinse 3 strawberries and mash them up well, taking care that they don’t get over-mashed and runny. Add the strawberries to two teaspoons of honey, and thoroughly blend them together. Apply to your face and let the mixture sit for 20 minutes. Rinse off completely with warm water, pat dry, and moisturize if your skin has a tendency to dry out. Use twice a week for at least a month.

9. Utilize a banana peel

Bananas are full of all sorts of goodness-even the part we don’t eat. Their peels contain something called lutein, an extremely powerful antioxidant that reduces swelling and inflammation and encourages healthy cell growth. So…rubbing a banana peel on your face can reduce the redness, obviousness, and discomfort of acne. It’s (debatably) a better use than using it to trip your friend.

You will need…
-1 banana peel

Directions
Peel your banana and eat it- it’s not cool to waste, and they’re good for you. Take the peel, and rub in a circular motion all over your face. When you feel as though you’ve covered all of your face, let it sit for at least 30 minutes before rinsing it off.

10. Aloe for acne

Aloe vera gel can be used with other things to fight acne, but it’s a good thing on its own as well. If it’s going to be used on its own, the best is to have a little aloe plant floating around in your house, otherwise, a good gel that’s sold in stores may work as well-just do some research on which ones have the least amount of additives. Not only is the aloe soothing, it works as an anti-inflammatory, decreasing redness and swelling. It also has antibacterial properties.

You will need…
-Enough aloe vera gel to spot treat or cover your problem areas

Directions
Wash your face with water and pat dry. Using your fingertips or a Q-tip, apply the aloe directly to your problem areas.

11. The wonders of sodium bicarbonate

Sodium bicarbonate, glorious sodium bicarbonate, swoops in and makes itself useful in too many ways to count. In the case of acne remedies, this fabulous substance (also known as baking soda) is useful thanks to its mild antiseptic properties, as well as its uncanny ability to fight off fungus and bacteria and dry up excess oil, all while exfoliating your skin via microdermabrasion and making it soft and beautiful. I know-I get star struck too now whenever I see a box of baking soda.

You will need…
-a box of baking soda
-fresh water

Directions
There are two ways to go about this-making a facial mask or a straightforward scrub. For a facial mask, mix equal parts baking soda to water to form a thick paste. Massage the paste on in slow circular motions for 2 minutes. Leave the mask on for around 15-20 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with warm water, pat dry, and moisturize.

For a scrub, mix a half a cup of baking soda with a one-eighth  cup of water. Apply the paste to your face, massaging it in well. After 5-6 minutes of this, rinse your face thoroughly with warm water, pat dry, and moisturize.

12. Dab some lemon juice on it

Lemon juice can help get rid of breakouts for a number of reasons. It is rich in vitamin C, which is good for all types of skin, and it’s a citric acid, so it helps ‘exfoliate’ the skin as well. Most importantly though, it is an astringent. An astringent will cause a contraction of body tissues, and will, therefore, dry out the blemish itself. It is also a natural skin whitener, which helps reduce redness. If you misplace a dab you may get a little white spot, but don’t panic- it will go away on its own accord. Rinse off any lemon juice before going out in the sun, as it may make you more sensitive to it.

You will need…
-1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice (approximately)
-Q-tips or cotton balls (optional)
-Yogurt (optional)

Directions
Rinse face gently with water and pat dry. Dab fingers, a cotton ball, or a Q-tip in lemon juice and apply to the pimple. If it stings, try mixing it first with a bit of yogurt.

13. Make it steamy

Steam can help soothe a number of minor maladies, acne being one of them. It helps reduce acne, and its glaring appearance, by opening up the pores and flushing out impurities lurking deep within your skin. You can choose to only steam, or you can use something afterward. If you use it with something else, you’ve cleared a sort of path for whatever you’re using to really do its job.

You will need…
-1 pot of boiling water
-1 towel
-A large bowl

Directions
Boil a pot of water, pour into a large bowl, and let it cool for a few minutes. After its temperature has lowered slightly, place your face above the bowl, and drape the towel over your head to trap the steam. After 10-15 minutes, remove the towel and pat your face dry. Do this once a day or as needed.

14. The wonders of garlic

Garlic is thought to be a good natural remedy for acne because of its supposed antibacterial properties. You can either ingest it or apply it topically to help reduce the severity of your breakouts and prevent them in the future. If you can get the juice from the garlic, great, if you can’t, mashing it up and putting it in some water is fine. Never, ever, ever, apply garlic to your skin without diluting it first. If you’re hesitant about the garlic smell, look at the silver lining-others may be a bit taken aback, but you won’t have to worry about Dracula creeping around either.

You will need…
-2-3 cloves of garlic
-water OR aloe vera gel

Directions
Either extract the garlic juice and mix it with 1 teaspoon or so of water, or mash up 2-3 cloves and let sit in water for about 10 minutes. Using a cotton pad, soak up the juice or garlic water and cover problem spots. If you don’t have a cotton pad or something similar to apply it with, the mixture can be a bit runny and hard to work with. In this case, substitute aloe vera gel for water. If you choose to ingest garlic, a clove or two a day should be enough. Prepare it however you like.

15. Oatmeal boost

Oatmeal can power you up from the inside out-and the outside in. If you soak/cook your oats and use them in a mask, they can reduce the inflammation and unsightly redness that accompanies breakouts. Add some honey to your mask and you have a great recipe for a rather tasty sounding acne remedy. Keep in mind that oatmeal on its own will not cure your acne, and should be used as part of a sensible routine acne treatment. However, it may very well reduce the blatant, painful, appearance of the breakouts.

You will need…
-One serving of oatmeal-steel cut seems to work well
-Water
-Two tablespoons raw honey

Directions
Whip up a batch of oatmeal as usual, or by following the directions on the box. When it is finished and still hot, add two tablespoons of honey. Let mixture cool to room temperature. Keep in mind it retains quite a bit of heat, so really make sure it’s a comfortable temperature before applying it to your skin-the last thing you need is a burn! Leave it on for 20-30 minutes. When it has set, rinse off with warm water and pat your skin dry.

16. Sugar scrub

Sugar, white or brown, helps get rid of the excess skin cells clogging up your pores by acting as a gentle exfoliator. Mix it up with honey, olive oil, or just plain water, and you have a sweet scrub to help rid you of your acne woes. There are plenty of different recipes out there, but we found this one to be particularly delightful (courtesy of cjanecreate.com-thank you for sharing this!)

You will need…
-1 ½ cups of white sugar
-1 ½ cups brown sugar, light or dark
-2-3 tablespoons coarse sea salt
-Roughly 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
-10 tablespoons of pure vanilla extract
-1 whole vanilla bean (totally optional)

Directions
Mix 1 ½ cups of brown sugar and 1 ½ cups of brown sugar, adding a few tablespoons of coarse sea salt for extra exfoliation, and mix. If you’re using the vanilla bean, scrape out the caviar (the inside stuff) and mix it in at this point as well. Put about 2 cups of this sugar/salt/vanilla mixture into a liquid measuring cup and pack it down nice and snug. Pour the extra virgin olive oil over the top, and let it soak through half the mixture, leaving a little layer on top. Mix this up in the measuring cup, and then add it to the rest of the sugar/salt/vanilla mix. Add 4-5 tablespoons of pure vanilla extract and mix it in. Now you can spoon your scrub into whatever containers you wish to store it, making sure to pack it down. If you like, drizzle one tablespoon of vanilla extract on top to ensure that you’ll get the delicious scent when you open it up. This will fill 4 half-pint jars.

17. Avocado & honey mask

There are so many rumors surrounding diet and acne, it’s hard to know what’s right and what’s wrong. Amongst these rumors is the claim that avocado (eating it and sometimes applying it topically) will make you break out because it’s higher in fat. As far as I am concerned, there’s no concrete evidence to prove this, and far more people seem to have success using it than not. It’s so full of good vitamins and nutrients it seems it can really help tone down the acne. If you have sensitive skin, too, it’s quite mild. There are different combinations you can try, as with most home remedies, but this one blends together avocado and honey.

You will need…
-1 avocado
-1 tablespoon of honey

Directions
Rinse your face with water and pat it dry. Scrape out the inside of the avocado and mash it up, then stir in the honey. Continuing mashing/stirring until it turns into a paste. Apply it to your skin and leave it on for 15-20 minutes. When you’re done, wash off the mixture with lukewarm water and pat your face dry. Depending on your skin type, apply moisturizer.

18. Wash your pillowcase

Technically, a pillowcase should be washed at the very least once a week. While most of us don’t practice this, when it comes to keeping your skin fresh and healthy, it might help to get a little picky about your pillow case. If you never wash it, all the stuff that gets rubbed onto it then comes in contact with your face for around 6-8 hours every night and can exacerbate your acne. Keeping a clean, comfy place to rest your weary head is worth the hassle of stuffing your pillow back into its case-the real reason we avoid washing it-if it could prevent future breakouts.

19. Don’t touch your face (more specifically, your breakouts)

This doesn’t mean you can’t rest your chin in your hands or anything-it means don’t itch, scratch, pick, peel, pop, or rub at your skin. I distinctly recall the constant discomfort of acne, especially when treating it with irritating topical stuff. Almost subconsciously I would touch my face-probably every 2-3 minutes on average-and pick at my breakouts. Of course, this just made things go from bad to worse. While touching your face with your hands now and then won’t cause acne, if you suffer from it, resisting the urge to bug it will help the healing process go smoother and more efficiently.

You will need…
– self control

20. Freshen up with mint

Mint contains menthol, which works as a natural anti-inflammatory and pain killer. It won’t cure your acne per say, but it may help the redness fade and ease up some of the discomfort caused by painful swelling.

You will need…
-A decent handful of fresh mint leaves

Directions
Rinse your face with water and pat it dry. Crush up the leaves thoroughly, you can use a blender but a mortar and pestle work quite well if you happen to have one lying around. Rub the juice and crushed leaves on your face and leave for 5-10 minutes before rinsing off thoroughly with cold water.

21. Put a potato on it

Potato is a wonderful vegetable, to be sure, but one of its benefits may not be something you’ve heard of before. That benefit would be taming acne, as potatoes are full of potassium, sulfur, phosphorus, and chloride-all components that can help reduce bothersome blemishes. They also have antioxidants to nourish your skin and encourage the healthy growth of new skin cells.

You will need…
-1 potato

Directions
Wash your face with water and pat almost dry, leaving it a bit damp. Grate 1 raw potato and rub the pulp and juice onto your face for a few minutes in a circular motion. Let it dry for 15-30 minutes, and then rinse off completely with warm water.

22. Tea Time

There have been some promising studies recently (namely in 2011, 2012, Journal of Investigative Dermatology) in which green tea was shown to have a noticeable impact on acne when used externally. Internally, there is a theory it helps as well, but less concrete evidence. To sum up the findings briefly, there is an antioxidant in green tea called epigallocatechin-3-gallate or EGCG. ECGC was shown to reduce sebum production, inflammation, and bacterial growth in acne-prone skin-basically the main causes behind breakouts. It’s exciting for the future of acne, or rather, a future without acne. Here’s how to use it topically-you can also try drinking a cup or two a day to detoxify.

You will need…
-1/2 cup fresh water
-2 teaspoons loose organic tea leaves OR 1 green tea bag

Directions
Wash your face with water, and pat dry with a soft clean towel. Place your leaves in a clean bowl and pour boiling water over them. Steep for 4-5 minutes before straining the leaves and letting the liquid cool to a comfortable temperature. You can then pour into a spray bottle and spritz your face lightly, soak a cotton pad/soft cloth and apply, or simply use a tea bag steeped for 2-3 minutes, patting it onto your face or problem areas. Some people find more success just leaving the refreshing liquid on, while others rinse it off with cool water.

Now what?
Have patience. The desperate urge to find a speedy solution to acne, preferably something that takes minimal effort, is a strong one. In all reality though, and like so many other aspects of life, one really doesn’t exist. Having a regular skin care routine and adding a good, natural, acne remedy to it may take extra work, but stay committed, do things right, and give your treatment time to have an effect. Remember, you live in your skin and that’s not ever going to change. Taking the effort to really care for it will make all the difference in terms of your comfort, happiness, and confidence.

Debunking 5 Myths About Acne

Acne is shrouded in misconception and covered up with conflicting information. Knowing what’s true and what’s not true can help you figure out how best to treat your skin.

1. Acne is caused by dirt/dirty skin– Acne is not caused by dirt, poor hygiene, not washing your face and so on. Too much scrubbing or cleansing with harsh soaps or chemicals can actually irritate your skin and make the acne worse. If you “over clean” you can end up drying out your skin, which will then try and compensate by making that much more oil. A simple cleansing of the skin to get rid of excess oil and dead skin cells is all that is needed.

2. Greasy food/chocolate makes you breakout-Greasy food and chocolate have been shown to have little to no effect on the development of acne. Diet can still have an impact, as some dairy products or carbs increase blood sugar or have added hormones and trigger acne, but it’s not usually the case.

3. Stress causes acne– In theory, stress can affect hormones, and therefore promote acne. It’s hard to quantify this though, and when you think about the stress most of us deal with in day to day to life, there wouldn’t be an acne free face in sight. An effective acne treatment regime will override a bit of everyday stress anytime.

4. Having acne means you can’t use a moisturizer– Look for a good noncomedogenic (meaning less likely to clog pores) moisturizer to use. After treating your acne, be it with banana peels or over the counter creams, a moisturizer can help balance out your skin, ensuring that it doesn’t create excess oil to compensate for all that you dried up.

5. Sunlight/tanning clears up acne– In the short term getting a tan, or even slight sunburn, will seemingly clear up your acne. Long term, it’s not a solution. It’s just hiding the redness, and while it does dry up your skin, it can make it too dry, and do more harm than good.

Legal CMA Disclaimer:

Although this article may contain factual information, the information contained in this article has probably not been evaluated by the FDA nor is it in any way intended to be medical advice.

Unfortunately, I must recommend that for any change in medical or health behavior or for any change in the way you use prescribed drugs by your healthcare providers or before acting upon any of the advice given in this or any other article, that you consult with your licensed healthcare provider or physician.

Dr. Locker and his friendly, knowledgeable staff invite you to call Gentle Family Dentistry in Duncansville, PA for the greatest, most advanced, painless dental experience you have ever had.

You can call us at 814-693-6777 or just click the link to
go to our web page for more information.
Click here now: www.gfdentistry.com

And remember, You only have to floss daily the ones you want to keep.