Let’s face it, acne is certainly no fun! Acne is however one of the most common skin conditions in the entire world, affecting more than 85% of people both young and older. This may come as a surprise to some people if you think that acne only affects teenagers.
The typical acne treatments offered by dermatologists and other skin specialists clinics are often at eye-watering prices, and also have the undesirable effects on your skin such as irritation, redness, itchiness or dryness. This side effects can last weeks if not months following such skin treatments (i.e. laser etc).
Most people would tend to look for natural home remedies to help cure or heal acne at home. You can often find numerous such articles online, but the question is do they work at all?
Check out our 7 effective home remedies to get red of acne for good below.
The main reason acne happens is when the tiny pores on your skin gets clogged with dead skin cells and oil that’s naturally produced by your skin. As each pore is connected to gland known as the sebaceous gland – which in turn is responsible to produce a sebum, Sebum is an oily substance that’s naturally found on your skin. Extra sebum production however can often plug up your skin pores, causing a wild growth of bacteria, known scientifically as Propionibacterium acnes, or P. acnes. Although not harmful in any way to your health, this bacteria is the root cause of a breakout of acne on your skin.
Your body’s immune system, led by your mighty white blood cells attack these bacteria (P. acnes), often leading to the dreaded skin inflammation and acne. Acne breakout differ in terms of severity from person to person, but typically this is accompanied with the appearance of whiteheads, blackheads and pimples.
A number of factors contribute to the development of acne on your skin, these include facts such as diet, stress, hormonal changes, infections and even genetics.
Apple Cider Vinegar
This leads our list as apple cider vinegar is often cited as the number one home remedy for acne breakouts. Apple cider vinegar is derived by the process of fermentation of apple cider, or in other words the unfiltered juice of apples.
Just as any other vinegar, apple cider vinegar is well-known for its ability to guard and fight against various types of viruses and bacteria.
It also has several organic acids that have been proven to kill the bacteria P. acnes – which is the root cause of acne. The presence of succunic acid is also known to suppress inflammation caused by the bacteria P. acnes, which certainly goes along way to prevent scarring.
Lactic acid which is present apple cider vinegar is also yet another property in apple cider vinegar that helps keep acne from causing those dreaded blemishes on your skin. In addition, apple cider vinegar is also proven to help dry the excess oil that is the root cause of acne in the first place.
How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar
- Get one part of apple cider vinegar and mix it with 3 parts off water. (Feel free to add more water for more sensitive skin)
- After a through cleaning, go ahead and apply the mixture directly to the skin using cotton ball.
- Leave the mixture on the skin for at least 15 to 30 seconds, thereafter rinse with water and dry with a clean towel.
- Keep repeating this process at least 2 to 3 times a day, as required, until the acne clears up.
Do note that it’s important to keep in mind that applying apple cider vinegar directly to you skin may cause irritation and burn, especially if you have sensitive skin. Hence it’s important to keep in mind to use this solution in small amounts and to dilute it with water as required.
SUMMARY:The acids found in apple cider vinegar naturally helps to kill acne-causing bacteria and to reduce the appearance of scars. Applying it to the skin directly may in certain cases cause burns or irritation, hence it’s important to be used in small amounts and with care initially.
Cinnamon and Honey Mask
Applying a facial mask made from the goodness of cinnamon and honey is another time proven method to treat acne. This is simply because both cinnamon and honey are excellent sources of antioxidants.
Recent studies have found that applying antioxidants to the skin directly is often many times more effective at reducing acne than the use of chemicals such as benzoyl peroxide and retinoids which as typically prescribed by dermatologists or skin specialists.
The types of antioxidants included in the study mentioned above are Omega-6 (Linoleic), Fatt acid, Vitamin B3 and sodium phosphate (also commonly known as SAP – which is a Vitamin C derivative).
Whilst the specific antioxidants mentioned above are not found in cinnamon or honey, however there is a possibility that other antioxidants may not have a similar effect.
Cinnamon and honey also have the capability to fight bacteria and to reduce inflammation, which are the two biggest factors in triggering acne breakouts. That’s because both cinnamon and honey both have antibacterial properties.
As such the antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory unique properties of cinnamon and honey would definitely benefit acne-prone skin and help treat the outbreak of one.
How to Use Cinnamon and Honey Mask
- Mix together 1 teaspoon of cinnamon together with 2 tablespoons of honey to form a mix that is paste-like.
- Apply the mask to your face or any other skin area with an acne outbreak for about 15 to 20 minutes. Be sure to do this only after a through and gentle cleansing routine.
- Rinse the mask off with Luke-warm water and dry your face gently with a towel.
SUMMARY:Honey and cinnamon have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Because of this, they may be beneficial for acne-prone skin.
Tea Tree Oil
The anti-bacterial properties of tea tree oil is known quite widely around the world. Tea tree oil is an essential oil extracted from the leaves of a native small tree in Australia known as Melaleuca alternifolia.
This plant is well known for its renewed properties in reducing skin inflammation and fighting bacteria. A number of recent studies also indicate that applying a 5% concentration of tea tree oil directly to the skin reduces acne significantly.
When tea tree oil is compared to other acne treatment such as 5% benzoyl peroxide, the 5% tea tree oil didn’t act as quickly, however it did significantly reduce acne and heal scarring after just 3 months of continuous use.
Using tea tree oil solution also resulted in fewer unwanted side effects such as burning sensation, irritation and dryness of the skin when compared to the use of benzoyl peroxide.
It is however prudent to note that tea tree oil is quite potent, so do be mindful to always dilute it accordingly before applying it onto your skin.
How to Use Tea Tree Oil
- Due to the potency of tea tree oil, mix at least 9 parts of water to 1 part of tea tree oil.
- Use a cotton swap to dip it into the mixture and apply it directly onto the affected areas.
- Use a moisturiser if needed.
- Keep repeating this for at least 1 to 2 times a day for a minimum of 3 weeks or longer to achieve desired results.
SUMMARY:Tea tree oil has strong anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Applying it to the skin has been shown to reduce acne.
Fish Oil Supplement
Fish oil supplements are another time proven cure for naturally helping with acne outbreaks. Fish oil supplements also offer numerous health benefits.
Although you would get some of these essential fat from your daily diet, research has shown that most people who eat a typical Western diet don’t get enough fats from diet.
The main types of Omega-3 fatty acids are EPA (Eeicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (Docasahexaenoic acid).
Fish oil supplements helps the skin in managing oil production, providing adequate skin hydration an preventing acne.
EPA and DHA also have been prevent help decrease inflammatory factors which help reduce the risk of having an acne outbreak.
In a recently conducted study, 50 individuals were provided with Omega-3 fatty acid supplement which includes EPA and DHA on a daily basis. After just 10 weeks, acne decreased significantly among the participants.
Although there are no specific recommended daily intake for Omega-3 fatty acids, most national health organisations recommend healthy adults to consume a minimum of 250-600 mg of combined EPA and DHA fatty acids daily.
Omega-3 fatty acids can be obtained by eating seafood such as sardines and salmon, or nuts such as walnuts, ground flaxseeds or chia seeds.
SUMMARY:Fish oils contain EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids. Taking a fish oil supplement may help decrease acne.
A powerful antioxidant that’s also winning praises in helping to reduce acne is Green Tea. It’s a drink that naturally promotes good health due to it containing high levels of natural antioxidants.
Whilst there has not been large scale studies conducted to explore the benefits of drinking green tea when it comes to treating acne, applying it onto the site of an acne outbreak however has shown some very promising results.
This can be attributed to the flavonoids and tannins that is naturally found in green teas that are known to assist in reducing inflammation and help the body’s natural immunity to fight against bacteria. Both of this are also the two leading causes of acne outbreaks as detailed in this research.
One of the major ingredient in green tea is a powerful antioxidant known as Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) – which has been proven to lower sebum production and inhibit the growth of P. acnes in individuals with acne-prone skin.
Another study in recent years has also confirm that the act of simply applying a 2% to 3% green tea extract to the skin directly significantly reduces sebum production and pimple outbreaks for those prone to acne.
You could also easily buy lotions and creams that contain green tea over the counter at a pharmacy or could also resort to making your own mixture at home.
How to Use Green Tea Extract
- Soak and let steep green tea in boiling water for approximately 3 to 4 minutes.
- Let the tea to cool down.
- Use a cotton ball to apply tea directly to the skin or pour it into a small spray bottle that you could use to spritz on.
- Allow it to dry, then just simply wash with water and dry with a clean towel.
Another idea would be to use the remaining tea leaves and add them to honey to make a mask out of it.
Although drinking green tea alone has been suggested to reduce acne outbreaks, there has not been any conclusive researches done to conclude that fact. However the powerful antioxidant properties found in green tea also helps boost overall immunity and health.
Research has also shown that drinking green tea lowers blood sugar and insulin levels, both of which are factors that can contribute to the development of acne outbreaks.
Home Remedies for Acne | Conclusion
Acne outbreaks is a common health problem with a number of underlying causes. However, conventional treatments can cause dryness, redness and irritation, and also expensive and inconvenient over a period of time.
Alternatively many natural remedies can also be effective in controlling and preventing acne outbreaks. These home remedies listed in this article may not work for everyone, but they just might be worth a try to bring the glow back to your skin and get rid of those pesky acne for good!