Acne is a common skin condition that can affect people of all ages, and both men and women. When we think about acne, we like to believe that it is a condition affecting only teenagers. The myth is that once you are done with your teenage years, you are done with acne as well. Well, wrong. Acne affects 85% of people at some point in their lives.
If you want to try conventional acne treatments, you can. Those include pricey and expensive creams and lotions. And in some cases, these treatments can also have undesirable side effects. For example, an acne cream can cause dryness and irritation of your skin.
Because of that, more and more people are looking into natural remedies for acne. Today, we will discuss some of those that actually work.
What causes acne?
Acne occurs when the pores in your skin get clogged with either oil, debris, dirt, or dead skin cells. Pores are connected to sebaceous glands, which produce natural oil for your skin. This oil is called sebum. When your skin produces an excessive amount of sebum, it can clog your pores. Many other factors can contribute to the appearance of acne. Here are some:
- Clogged pores are the most common cause of acne
- Bacteria in your skin
- Hormone fluctuations and hormone imbalances. For example, women during PMS, irregular periods, pregnancy, early menopause, and other hormonal conditions
- Poor diet that includes refined grains, sugar, and unhealthy fats
- High amount of stress
- Psychiatric disorders like anxiety
- Use of medications like corticosteroids and birth control pills
- Irritation of the skin
- Smoking and other activities that cause inflammation of the skin
Now that we know what is causing, let’s talk about what you can do to solve your acne problem.
Apple cider vinegar
Made by fermenting apple cider, the vinegar is known as a great antibacterial agent. In the same time, apple cider vinegar can cleanse your skin, and unclog your pores. The vinegar contains organic acids that are very efficient in killing acne-causing bacteria. And the use of ACV can also reduce the appearance of acne scars. In the same time, the vinegar will dry up the excess oil, and control your oil production.
- Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar and 3 parts of water. If you have sensitive skin, use more water
- Cleanse your face with water, and then gently apply the mixture using a cotton ball
- Let the vinegar solution stay for 20 seconds on your skin, and then rinse with water. Repeat 2 times per day
Honey and cinnamon mask
Both honey and cinnamon have anti-inflammation and antibacterial properties. They also help calm irritation and redness of your skin. Both ingredients often find their way into commercial acne and facial masks. So, why not go straight to the source. Instead of using commercial masks which also contain chemicals, use your own raw mask.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of honey
- Once you have a thick paste, apply on your face
- Let the mask stay for 15 minutes, rinse with water, and then pat your face dry
In the past few years, hydrogen peroxide for acne has proven to be an effective treatment. But before you use it, talk to your dermatologist. Always dilute hydrogen peroxide to a 3% concentration.
- Mix 3 tablespoons of water and 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide
- Apply just a thin layer on your face. Use a cotton ball to do it
- Avoid your eyebrows, as the solution can bleach them. Leave it on your face for just five minutes, and then rinse with lukewarm water
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is the most potent antimicrobial essential oil on the market. Because it is so potent, you have to always dilute it. And you should not put it on your entire face. Tea tree oil can be used as a spot treatment for acne.
- Mix 1 part tea tree oil and 9 parts water (you can also use carrier oils like olive oil)
- Dip a cotton swab into the mixture, and then apply only on the affected area. Try to be as specific as possible
- Leave it for 10 to 15 minutes, and then rinse. Follow up with a moisturizer. Repeat 2 times per day
High in antioxidants, green tea can help you with almost any skin issue. Drink it on a regular basis, and you will promote good health. When you apply it topically, green tea can reduce and regulate sebum production, fight inflammation, and inhibit the growth of acne-causing bacteria.
- Steep green tea in boiling water
- Allow the tea to cool down, and then apply it to your skin using a cotton ball
- Allow the tea to dry on your skin, and then rinse with water
Using aloe vera will help you moisturize your skin, which is a key step in preventing and treating acne. In the same time, aloe vera nourishes your skin with vitamins and minerals and fights off bacteria. Aloe vera is one of the most commonly found ingredients in lotions, creams, and ointments for acne and skin problems. And now you can use it straight from the source. Here is how.
- Scrape the gel from an aloe vera plant
- Apply directly to your clear skin
- Leave it to dry on your face as a moisturizer
Exfoliation is a key step in treating and preventing acne. It can help you remove dead skin cells from the top layer of your skin. This will unclog your pores, which we all know helps to treat acne. There are a number of ways you can exfoliate your skin. Nowadays, there are many natural exfoliators. But we want to stick to one of the oldest and most popular, and that is a sugar scrub for exfoliation. Follow these steps:
- Mix equal parts of sugar and coconut oil
- Scrub the skin with the mixture. Rinse well afterward
- Repeat the process on a daily basis