What is Acne?
Acne is a skin problem in which red pimples start growing on the face. In medical terms, it is called as Acne Vulgaris. How is acne formed? Hair follicles are joined with oil secreting glands, known as sebaceous glands. The oily substance secreted by these glands is called sebum, which helps to lubricate your skin and hair. Excess secretion of sebum and dead skin cells together block the follicles, resulting in acne. Acne can appear on the face, neck, buttocks, shoulders, chest, and back.
The main reason behind the formation of acne is clogging of hair follicles. There are various other causes related to acne, which we sometimes ignore in our daily life. Some of the causes are mentioned below:
- Excessive production of oil
- Uneven cracking of dead cells
- Formation of bacteria in pores
- Oily or greasy make-up
- Unbalanced menstruation period
- Medicines containing lithium, androgens or corticosteroids
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy
You will often find that acne affects teens and young adults. This is mainly because these are the age ranges where people go through massive hormonal changes. These hormonal changes are all related to puberty, and among all things, the number one place where you can see these changes happening is right ton your face.
Other points in your life that can cause an influx of hormonal changes include pregnancy. During pregnancy, you may find that your face will break out in intense ways. This again is due to the influx of hormones that are ranging through your body. Lastly, many women will tell you that one of the telltale signs that their menstrual cycle is about to begin is because of the influx of acne on their face.
There are various forms of acne, like whiteheads, nodules, blackheads, papules, cysts, and pustules. People suffer with the following symptoms:
- Dark spots on skin
- Low self-esteem
Home Remedies for Acne
We all want clear face without any blemishes, but some or the other way, our skin gets infected by bacteria and other exposures, resulting in acne. However, acne can be treated with some home ingredients. Here are some natural and simple home remedies for the treatment of acne.
Tomatoes are known for its antioxidant properties and are rich in Vitamin C, A and K. All these properties help in drying out the acne. For healing acne, take one tomato and slice it. Put one slice directly on the troubled area.
You can also make a paste by grinding a tomato. You are required to apply the paste as a facial mask. For better results, repeat the process as many times as possible.
Potato possesses bleaching properties and is a natural remedy for acne on face. All you need to do is to use a boiled potato on the infected area. This will not only remove the hyper-pigmentation, but also prevent wrinkles and make the skin brighter.
You can use a raw potato also. Slice a potato and put one slice on the acne. Leave it for 10 minutes. The potato will act as an anti-bacterial agent and defeat the infecting bacteria.
One of the other ways to use boiled potato is to mash it and add 2 teaspoons of milk powder to it. Mix it firmly to form a paste. Apply it on the face. After 15 minutes, clean the face with water.
To remove the acne scars, massage some grated potato on the face.
3. Cinnamon and Honey
Honey is known as the anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory agent and is one of the best home remedies for acne. It kills the infecting bacteria and prevents acne. For effective results, use it with cinnamon. Take some cinnamon powder and add honey to it to make a paste. Apply it on the face as a mask, covering the infected area. Leave it over night. Next morning, wash it off with water. It will help in getting rid of pimples from its roots.
4. Lemon Juice
Lemon is a wonder solution for the treatment of acne. The citric acid present in lemon is a natural cleanser that helps in opening the blocked pores and soothing the skin. Take one lemon and squeeze it in a bowl. Now, take one cotton ball and dip it in the lemon juice. Place it directly on the acne.
Alternatively, take a slice of lemon and rub it gently on the face. Leave it for a few minutes and then, rinse it off.
You can also use lemon juice with groundnut oil. Add a few drops of lemon juice in someone tablespoons of groundnut oil. Apply it on the blackheads.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a very good solution for the treatment of acne. It helps in balancing the pH of the skin. Apple cider vinegar is rich in malic and lactic acids. It acts as an exfoliator and softener for the skin. Add vinegar in water in the ratio of 1:3. With the help of a cotton ball, apply the solution on the infected area. Leave it for ten minutes. Rinse the face thoroughly. For best results, practice the method for several times a day.
6. Olive Oil
Can olive oil be a good home remedy for acne? Yes, olive oil is an effective home remedy for healing acne. Olive oil is recognised for its anti-bacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Olive oil is used with lemon juice for removing acne. All you need to do is to add 1/8 teaspoon of lemon juice in ¼ teaspoon of olive oil. Apply the mixture on the face directly.
You can also add a pinch of salt in some olive oil. Apply it on the face and wash it off with warm water.
Cucumber is known for moisturizing and removing extra oil from the skin. It also helps in removing the dead cells from the skin. Cucumbers can be used as a face wash. Crush a cucumber and add some water to it. Mix it well and apply it directly on the face.
Cucumber juice, mixed with carrot juice, can also be used to remove acne. Regular intake of these juices also helps in alleviating the problem.
Garlic consists of zinc, sulphur, allicin, and calcium, due to which, it acts as an anti-fungal and antibiotic for cleansing the skin. For curing acne fast, crush some raw garlic cloves and make a paste. Apply this paste directly on the acne to see the results.
Garlic can also be used as a facial mask. Add some egg yolk in the garlic juice. Stir it well and apply it on face, covering the infected area. Leave it for twenty minutes. Wash it off with clean water and dry your face with a clean towel.
9. Baking Soda
Baking soda acts as a natural exfoliator for the skin. It is known for removing the dead cells and maintaining pH balance of the skin. With its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, it is one of the best remedies for healing acne. Take 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder and some drops of lemon juice. Then, add 5 teaspoons of honey. Stir the mixture well. Apply the mix directly on the face. Rinse it off after five minutes.
Baking soda can also be used with water to treat acne. Add some water to baking soda and apply it on the infected area. Leave it for five minutes and then, wash it off. To see the difference, practice this method twice a week.
10. Fuller’s Earth
Fuller’s earth, commonly known as multani mitti, is known for absorbing extra oil from the skin. It is a natural remedy for the treatment of acne. To start the process, mix fuller’s earth, sandalwood powder and rose water in equal quantity. Mix the paste well and apply the pack on the face. After it gets dried, wash it off with clean water.
You can also use orange juice in multani mitti to cure acne.
Is oatmeal a good home remedy for acne? Well, yes! Oatmeal is an effective acne treatment at home. It helps in cleaning the skin pores and absorbing extra oil. Cook some oatmeal and take it out in a bowl. Add a teaspoon of honey and juice of half lemon to it. Stir the mixture well and apply gently on the face. Leave it for half an hour. After it gets dried, wash it off with lukewarm water.
This is a wonderful fact that toothpaste is also useful in treating acne. It is one of the best and simplest home remedies for acne. Simply apply some toothpaste on acne and leave it overnight. The toothpaste will effectively reduce the swelling of acne. It will also dry out the acne. For its effective results, practise the method daily and see the difference in two or three days.
13. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is beneficial for treatment of several skin problems, including acne. Its anti-bacterial properties help in cleaning clogged skin pores and helps in preventing future outbreak. Mix tea tree oil and water in 1:9 ratio. Take a cotton ball and dip it in the solution. Place the cotton ball on the problematic area.
You can also directly put a drop of tea tree oil on acne.
Note- Tea tree oil should not be ingested.
14. Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe vera helps in reducing acne scars and acts as a pain inhibitor and a coagulating agent. Take a leaf of aloe vera and cut it into two halves. Extract fresh juice from it by squeezing the jelly-like pulp and apply it gently on the acne. You can also add some lemon drops in the juice for effective results.
You can also use packaged aloe vera juice, which is available in the market.
15. Orange Peel
For the treatment of face acne, orange peel can be an effective home remedy. Put some orange peels in the sun to dry out. Grind these dried peels into powder. Add water in the powder to make a paste. Apply the paste gently on the acne. Leave it for fifteen minutes and wash it off with warm water. Vitamin C present in orange helps in treating the acne on the face. It also helps in getting rid of pigmentation, blackheads, wrinkles, and dark spots.
16. Indian Lilac (Neem)
Indian lilac or neem is known for its medicinal properties. It is an antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic herb. You are required to make a paste of few neem leaves by adding a little quantity of water. Put some turmeric powder in the paste and mix it well. Gently apply the paste on the infected area. After it gets dried, rinse it off with warm water.
17. Fenugreek (Methi)
One of the best home remedies for severe acne is fenugreek. Both the leaves and seeds of fenugreek are effective for the treatment of acne. Take some fenugreek leaves and grind them. Add some water to form a paste. Apply it directly on the affected area. After 10-15 minutes, wash it with clean water. For best results, try the method thrice a week.
You can also use fenugreek seeds. Take two tablespoons of fenugreek seeds. Wash it well and soak it overnight in a glass bowl. Now, crush the seeds to form a thick paste. Add some aloe vera gel in the paste. Stir it well and apply it on the acne. Rinse it off with lukewarm water. Apply some moisturizer after the process completes.
One of the best home remedies to clear the severe acne is mint. Mint is effective on any type of acne because of its medicinal properties. Take some fresh mint leaves and crush them. With the help of a cotton ball, apply this paste on the acne. Leave it for 20 minutes. Then, wash the face with cold water. Repeat the process after every two days.
You can also apply mint juice with the help of cotton ball on acne.
Turmeric is effective for multiple skin problems. It actually absorbs extra oil from skin and fights against the infecting bacteria. Take some turmeric powder and add it with crushed neem leaves. Apply the paste on acne for 30 minutes. When it gets dried, wash it with water.
Else, put four tablespoons of turmeric powder in a bowl. Add four tablespoons of honey and one tablespoon of milk in it. Stir the mixture well and apply it on acne in a circular motion. Rub it gently for 10 minutes. Leave it overnight and rinse in the morning.
You can also make a pack of half teaspoon of turmeric powder and 2 teaspoons of yogurt. Add a very little quantity of honey and stir it well to form a smooth paste. Apply the pack on the face. After 30 minutes, rinse it off with water.
20. Nutmeg (Jaiphal)
Nutmeg possesses anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. It is a herbal remedy for curing acne. Take a nutmeg and grind it into powder. Add unboiled milk or water to form a paste. Now, apply it on acne and leave it for twenty minutes. Wash it off when it completely gets dried.
To remove acne scars, nutmeg powder can also be used with honey. It will reduce the acne swelling.
21. Rose Water and Sandalwood
The pack of sandalwood and rosewater is considered to be very soothing for face. The anti-microbial properties of sandalwood help in cleaning the face and maintain its flawless glow. Put 2 tablespoon of sandalwood powder in a mixing bowl. Add pure rosewater to make a pack. Mix it carefully to avoid lumps. Now, wash your face with clean water and apply the pack, gently. Let it dry for 20 minutes. Clean your face with cold water and pat with a towel. You can also pour a few drops of glycerine to boost the curing process.
Rubbing ice cubes on the face will decrease the size of acne and helps in healing the acne pain. You are required to take a few ice cubes and wrap them in a clean cloth. Now, rub it gently on the face, specially covering the infected area until the area becomes insensitive. If you have a lot of acne, you can hold ice for five minutes on the infected area. This will minimize the redness and inflammation of acne.
23. Herbal Tea
A cup of tea is not only meant to relieve from stress, but also helps in treating acne. Herbal tea or green tea has been proven to be the best remedy for several health problems. Drink two cups of Chasteberry tea per day when acne pops up before menstruation period.
Alternatively, take some organic tea leaves and place them in a bowl. Now, add boiling water in it and let the leaves steep for some time. After five minutes, when the solution cools down at room temperature, dip a cotton ball in the solution. Place it directly on the acne.
Crush 2-3 pills of aspirin. Add some water in the crushed aspirin to make a paste. Now, apply the paste on the acne. After it gets dried, wash your face with clean water. The salicylic acid in aspirin helps in killing the acne-causing bacteria. You can add honey or witch hazel to make the paste more nourishing.
Note- It should not be applied frequently on face; else, it will dry out and irritate the skin.
Alum is an antiseptic agent, which acts as a styptic and natural deodorant. Take a piece of alum and rub it gently on acne. This will effectively speed up the healing process. Alum is beneficial for oily skin. Alum is one of the natural home remedies, which is effective for back acne.
Yogurt is helpful in healing acne, naturally. Apply some yogurt on the affected area. Leave it for 10-15 minutes. Yogurt contains lactic acid, which acts as an exfoliator and rejuvenates skin in a natural manner. This remedy will reduce the irritating acne breakouts.
Another remedy is to add a little milk and a few drops of honey in yogurt. Stir the mixture finely. Gently massage the mixture on the face for 20 minutes. After some time, clean your face with water and dry it with a towel.
Papaya is a natural remedy for the acne problems. It is an essential ingredient in various beauty products. Raw papaya, when used on face, removes dead cells and extra oil from the skin. The enzyme papain in papaya helps in preventing the formation of pus. Mash some papaya pulp and apply it on the face. Leave it for 15-20 minutes. Rinse your face with clean water and pat dry. This is a good acne remedy that work.
28. Egg White
Egg whites are a natural remedy for reducing excess oil from skin and draw out impurities from the pores. Wash your face with lukewarm water. Crack one egg and separate yolk from its white part. Take out the white part in a bowl and mix it firmly until the bubbles are formed. Apply it on the face and cover it with tissue papers. Let it dry for 20 minutes. Then, remove all the tissue papers. Wash your face with water.
Strawberries are natural scrubbers, which have a high quantity of salicylic acids. These acids help in opening the blocked pores and remove the impurities. All you need to do is to crush 2-3 strawberries and add a few drops of honey in it. Mix it well and apply it directly on the face. Leave it for twenty minutes. Wash off your face with water. Do this process for two times a week.
30. Banana Peel
It is very interesting to know that banana peel is effective for curing acne. Lutein, present in banana peel, acts as an antioxidant, which increases the growth of cells. Peel a banana and use its peel directly on the face. Massage your face with the peel in a circular motion. After 30 minutes, when it gets dried, rinse off your face with clean water.
Steam can also be a home remedy for bad acne. Steaming helps in opening up the pores and flushes out impurities from them. It will also make your skin glow. Boil some water in a vessel. Now, place your face above the water-filled vessel. Cover your head with a towel to trap the steam. Allow your face to receive steam for 10-15 minutes.
Another way you can administer steam to your skin is through a hot bath or shower. The steam from the hot water will also allow your pores to open up so that the gink inside them can loosen up and come out.
If you have to option to get into a sauna, this can be quite beneficial as well. A sauna will allow your pores to open up and the heat will encourage sweating to help detoxify Your body. If you are going to go to the sauna, then you want to make sure that you bring a bottle of water with you. Because you will be losing fluid as you sweat in the sauna, it is imperative that you replenish this lost fluid.
32. Sugar Scrub
Sugar is a natural exfoliator, which easily opens up the clogged pores. Take 1½ cup of white sugar and 1½ cup of brown sugar. Add 2-3 tablespoons of coarse sea salt. Also add a half cup of olive oil. Add one whole vanilla bean and ten tablespoons of vanilla extract. Mix all the ingredients well and store it in a jar. Now, use one spoon daily as a scrub.
33. Honey and Avocado
The paste of honey and avocado is effective to treat acne. Scrape avocado from inside. Crush it and add some honey to it. Stir it well and apply it on the skin. After 20 minutes, wash your face with lukewarm water.
34. Chilli Peppers
It might sound very bizarre, but it’s true that chilli peppers helps in reducing the acne swelling. Crush some chillies into powder and add water in it. With a cotton swab, apply chilli water on acne.
Note- Avoid using it in areas around eyes.
35. Cold Water
Wash your face with chilled water, several times a day. This method will definitely give you relief from acne.
36. Head & Shoulders Shampoo
This is something weird as shampoos are meant for hair, but acne can also be treated with shampoo. It has been experienced by various users that head and shoulders shampoo is effective on acne. Use it as a facial wash. The medical substance Zinc Pyrithione in shampoo helps in fighting against infecting bacteria.
37. Almond Powder
Almond powder is a natural remedy for curing acne and blackheads. Take some almond powder in a bowl. Add rosewater in it to make a paste. Apply this paste on problematic areas. Wash it with clean water after 15 minutes.
Crush some coriander leaves and mix it with water. Add some turmeric powder in it. Mix it to make a paste. Apply the mix with the help of fingertips on the affected area.
Tips To Prevent Acne on Other Body Parts
Acne on the back is really very irritating. Here are easy home solutions for back acne.
- Wash your back with mild soap.
- Avoid using rough back rubbing brushes or loofahs.
- Left over conditioners or shampoo from wet hair may lead to acne. So, pull up your strands.
- Prefer warm shower bath.
- Change your bed sheet, frequently.
- Do not wear tight fitting clothes.
- Don’t wear synthetic or rough fabric clothes.
- Submerge in salt water.
Acne on shoulders is very disappointing as one cannot wear sleeveless dresses. Acne on shoulders is sometime very severe, which cannot be treated by our own. Still, you can follow these tips:
- Take a shower after exercising or work out.
- Use body cleanser to clean acne.
- Use a mild body wash while taking a shower.
- Do not rub acne harshly.
- Skip dairy products.
Cystic acne is the most severe form of Acne Vulgaris, which is very painful and irritating. This type of acne is soft and filled with pus. Cystic acne can occur on any body part, be it back, face, or shoulders. Go through these tips to get rid of cystic acne.
- Gently rub aloe vera on the affected area.
- Avoid popping it.
- Apply mango paste to get natural shine.
- Avoid using oily cosmetics.
- Honey mixed with cinnamon powder is also a good remedy for cystic acne.
- Remove make-up before going to bed.
- Wash your face after removing make-up.
- Apply coconut oil, which acts as a good hydrating agent for skin.
Homeopathic Remedies for Acne
What is good for acne? We have already discussed the home remedies, which are good for acne. But, some homeopathic remedies are also available for the treatment of acne.
1. Antimonium tartaricum : It is used for large pustules.
2. Hepar sulphuris calcareum : It is used when bad smelling pus starts forming in the pimples.
3. Calcarea carbonica : It is used when pimples breakout frequently.
4. Pulsatilla : It is used when acne bursts during menstruation period.
5. Sulphur : It is used for itchy eruptions.
6. Silicea : It is used for treating deep-seated acne.
Apart from all the home and homeopathic remedies, one can follow preventive steps to avoid painful acne.
- Go for swimming as the chlorine present in water helps in drying up acne. Keep in mind that too much of pool water can damage your natural skin.
- Never try to pop or prick your pimples.
- Avoid exposure of your skin to extreme climates.
- Wash your face with acne soap and clean water for two times a day.
- According to your skin type, use a moisturizer to moisturize your skin.
- Use sun-block or sun-screen to prevent skin from harmful rays of the sun.
- Sleep at least for 8 hours a day.
- Prefer a balanced diet. Consume Vitamin A, zinc, and iron rich food.
- Reduce stress and tension.
- Exercise daily.
- Do not touch or rub acne again and again.
- Wash your pillowcase, once in a week.
- Keep your hair away from the face.
- Avoid wearing heavy make-up.
Lastly, one of the best preventative steps is to drink water everything all day. When you play properly hydrated, your body is able to process all the toxins that go in it a lot more efficiently. It is no surprise that one of the main ways your body gets rid of toxins is through the pores in your skin. If you don't regularly flush out your system, then you are paving the way to allowing a backup of gunk to clog your pores. Once your pores are clogged, you are one step closer to getting an acne breakout. Of course, you can help to avoid all this by staying properly hydrated.
Alice grew up in Los Angeles and currently lives in California, though she likes to visit home frequently. She graduated from a marketing specialist degree and worked at the core of outreach teams for more than 5 years.