Red itchy spots are a nightmare for any teenager. These spots appear mostly on the face and are really embarrassing. So what are these horrible looking dots? The answer is acne. Acne is a skin condition that develops when sebaceous glands (oil secreting glands) and hair follicles join together and secrete an oily substance known as sebum. Dead skin cells and excessive sebum block the hair follicles and result in inflamed blemishes known as cystic acne. The first signs of acne begin to appear between the ages of 14 to 19, as this is the age when hormonal changes begin to take place, especially in girls because of menstrual cycle. Other causes of acne include – diet, infections, genetic and psychological. The symptoms to look out for are oily skin, black and whiteheads, cysts, papules, scarring of the skin and crusting of the skin. Unless you have a severe case of acne, in which you will have to consult a dermatologist, you can try any of the following home and herbal remedies to cure your cystic acne.
Home Remedies for Cystic Acne
Our body is a heaven for toxins and so we need to remove them to keep our skin looking fresh and healthy. Toxins cause hormonal imbalance in our bodies which results into cystic acne. To remove toxins, you need to get your body ready by changing your diet. Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Drink plenty of water to wash out the toxins and take supplements such as omega-3 which is good for keeping your hormones under control.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a natural antibiotic which helps keep the pH level of your skin balanced. Mix 1 tablespoon of vinegar with 2 tablespoons of water and place it in the refrigerator. Apply this mix to the face after every wash.
3. Honey Mask
Honey helps in killing and reducing the skin bacteria that cause acne. Apply raw honey on clean face with your fingers and massage for a few minutes. Leave the mask on for 15 minutes and then rinse it off.
4. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is a natural antioxidant that helps in keeping the skin clean and free from bacteria. Its acidic nature helps in exfoliation of dead skin cells and unclogs the pores. Apply lemon juice on clean face using a cotton ball, leave it on overnight and wash it off in the morning. You can incorporate lemon juice into your daily cleansing routine, however, if it makes your skin dry, you should use it only once or twice in a week.
5. Blue Tansy Oil
This oil is very effective on cystic acne. Mix one drop of blue tansy oil to any essential oil and apply on the affected area only. Keep it for a few minutes and then rinse off with cold water.
Turmeric is commonly found in every kitchen in India, it’s impossible to make an Indian meal without this spice. It is known for its anti-bacterial properties around the world. Add ½ a teaspoon of turmeric to a glass of warm water and drink it on an empty stomach every day to fade away cystic acne.
7. Egg Whites
Egg whites are known as healing agents. Using your fingers, gently apply the egg white on your face and leave it on for a few minutes. Rinse it off and wash your face with a face wash.
Take a steam bath two times a week or on every alternate day. It will help clear the pores and keep your face free from oil.
The fluoride in toothpaste will help dry the pores and kill the bacteria that cause acne. It is best to use gel toothpaste such as close-up. Apply the paste to the affected area and leave it on for 15 minutes. Rinse off with cold water and pat dry.
10. Aspirin Mask
Crush a few aspirin to make powder, add water to make a thin paste and apply on the affected areas. After 15 minutes, wash your face with warm water and pat dry. While using aspirin, you must keep in mind that aspirin in any form is dangerous, as the body absorbs it very easily. Therefore, use this method as a last resort for prevention of acne.
11. Salty Compress
Salt provides relief from pain caused by inflammation. Mix 1 cup water and ½ teaspoon salt. Soak a small piece of cloth in the liquid and apply on the affected area. Leave the compress on for 15 minutes and then rinse it off with cold water.
12. Corn Starch
Make a thick paste by combining corn starch with water. Once you get the perfect uniformity, apply the mixture on your face using your fingers. Let it stay for half an hour and then rinse it off with cold water. Apply this mask at least 3 times a day, for a week and you will notice the difference on your skin.
Mangoes helps open up the pores and by doing so, they make your skin glowing and feel soft. To make a mango mask, take a ripe mango and extract its juices. Add a little water and apply the mask on your face. After 15 to 20 minutes, rinse it off with warm water and feel the difference. Repeat daily, if possible or on alternate days.
14. Potato Mask
Potatoes are rich in vitamins that reduce inflammation and redness. They also pull out all the excess oil from the pores. To make a potato mask, peel a few potatoes and blend them in a blender. Strain the juice and apply it on the face using a cotton ball. Leave it on for 20 minutes or so, and then rinse off with water. It has no side-effects and can, therefore, be used on a daily basis.
Tomatoes are rich in Vitamins K, A and C and are also known to possess antioxidants. Slice a tomato and place the slices on the affected area. You can also make a paste by grinding a few tomatoes, and then apply the paste on your face.
Mix 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder with 1 teaspoon of honey and apply the paste on your face, at night before you hit the hay. Wash it off in the morning.
17. Orange and Tangerine Peel
Oranges and tangerines are rich in Vitamin C. Dry the peels of the fruits for a few days, until all the moisture has evaporated, and then grind them into a powder. Mix 1 tablespoon of the powder with honey or water in equal quantity and apply on the face. Leave it for 15 minutes, and then wash your face with warm water.
18. Olive Oil
Olive oil mixed with lemon juice can remove acne from the root. Add 1/8 teaspoon of lemon juice to ¼ teaspoon of olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and apply on the face. Let it stay for a few minutes and then rinse it off with warm water.
19. Banana Peel
Banana peel is a good antioxidant that helps boost cell growth. After having a banana (which is good for you, especially if you suffer from constipation), rub the peel on your face in a circular motion. Leave it on, for half an hour and then wash your face.
20. Cold Water
Avoid using hot water to wash your face. Warm water is okay but chilled water is the best for acne prone skin.
21. Chilli Pepper
Dry some chili pepper in sun and grind them to make a powder. Mix 1 teaspoon of chilli powder with 1 teaspoon of water and apply the mixture on your face.
Many beauty products use papaya extracts, as it is a natural cure for acne prone skin. It helps remove all the dead skin cells and prevents formation of pus. To make a papaya mask, take half a papaya and cut it into cubes. Mash it and apply the pulp directly on your face. After 15 to 20 minutes, rinse off.
23. Sugar Scrub
Sugar acts as an exfoliator and helps open up the pores. Make a scrub at home by mixing 1½ cups each of white and brown sugar, add ½ cup of olive oil, 3 tablespoons of sea salt and one vanilla bean or 10 tablespoons of vanilla extract. Apply the required amount of paste on your face. You can store the rest for later use. It is advisable to use one spoon of scrub every day.
24. Almond Powder
Almond powder is extremely good for removing black heads. Mix almond powder and rosewater to make a paste and apply onto the affected area. Let it sit for 15 minutes, and then wash your face.
Strawberries are good for scrubbing as they have a rough texture and a high concentration of salicylic acid. It helps open up the pores. In a bowl, mash 3 strawberries and add 2 drops of honey to this. Mix well and apply on the face. Wash your face after 20 minutes with cold water.
Mash the pulp of half an avocado and add to it a few drops of honey. Mix well and apply on the face. Keep it for 20 minutes and then wash off with warm water.
Yogurt has lactic acid which helps remove dead skin cells and restores the skin to its natural tone. It aids reduce itchiness caused by cystic acne. Mix 2 tablespoons of yogurt, 1 tablespoon of milk and a few drops of honey. Mix well and apply on the face; let it sit for 20 minutes. Wash your face with water and pat it dry.
Alum acts as an antiseptic and prevents cystic acne and black heads from forming. Gently rub a piece of alum on the skin infected with acne. Rinse after a few minutes with cold water and pat it dry.
Believe it or not, but ice actually heals acne. Take a few ice cubes and swaddle them in a cloth. Gently rub it on your face until your face feels cold and insensitive. For areas that have more infection, hold the ice cubes there for 5 to 10 minutes. It will decrease the redness and inflammation.
30. Sandalwood Mask
Mix 2 tablespoons of sandalwood powder with a little rosewater or normal tap water and a few drops of glycerin. Mix properly so that no lumps remain. Apply this mask on a clean face every day and leave it on for 20 minutes or until it dries. Wash it off with cold water and repeat before going to bed.
31. Fuller’s Earth Mask
Fuller’s earth has high volumes of magnesium chloride, which is very effective in reducing blemishes and acne. It removes the dead skin cells making your skin smooth. People who have oily skin can benefit a lot from Fuller’s Earth, as it is good at absorbing oil from the skin. To make a mask, take some Fuller’s Earth in a bowl, and add to it a few drops of rose-water. Mix well and apply on the face. Allow the mask to dry completely, and then rinse with cold water. If you do not have rose-water, you can use normal tap water as well. For those who have dry skin, add a few drops of milk. You can use this mask everyday because it has no side-effects.
Herbal Remedies for Cystic Acne
32. Calendula Flowers
Calendula is an herbal antiseptic which cures the symptoms associated with cystic acne. Dry the flowers and use them as a tea, but do not drink. Instead, wash your face with it.
33. Rosemary Leaves
Crush some rosemary leaves. Put water over them and brew for some time. Strain the tea and let it cool. Use it as a face wash.
34. Indian Lilac
The antibacterial properties of Indian Lilac help kill the bacteria present on the skin and reduce redness around the pimple. Many of the herbal acne products available in the market contain Indian Lilac as an ingredient.
35. Tea Tree Oil Mask
Tea tree oil is very effective for acne prone skin and has no side-effects. To make a mask, add a few drops of tea tree oil to yogurt and apply on the face. Keep it for 30 minutes, and then rinse with warm water.
36. Aloe Vera
Take an aloe vera leaf and cut it into half. You will find a sticky gel oozing out from the leaf. Apply this gel to a clean face and leave it for 5 minutes. Wash your face and pat dry. You can also mix natural aloe vera gel with 2 or 3 drops of tea tree oil and apply it as a face mask.
37. Green Tea Wash
Green tea reduces the production of sebum. You can buy a green tea wash from your local chemist or make one at home using green tea leaves. Simply add a few leaves to some boiling water and allow it to steep for a while. Once this water cools down, you can use it as a face wash. Drinking green tea is good for the body as well as the skin.
38. Unrefined Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is good for hydrating the skin. Apply some coconut oil on your face in the morning before you take a bath. Let the skin absorb the oil before you wash it off.
In a mortar, crush some coriander leaves; add a pinch of turmeric and a little water. Apply this to the face using your fingers.
Make a paste of nutmeg powder and milk (make sure the milk is not boiled). Apply on the infected area. After 20 minutes, wash it off. Use this paste and you will notice the difference.
Crush a few mint leaves and apply onto the infected area. Rinse it off after 20 minutes with cold water. Mint can cure any form of acne. Use this remedy on alternate days.
- Keep your skin clean. Use a mild soap or face wash, at least twice in a day, to remove all the dirt.
- If you have an oily scalp, shampoo your hair every day and comb it back to keep it out of your face.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Exercise regularly.
- Pat your face dry after every wash.
- Wash your pillow cover once a week.
- Swimming is good as the chloride in the water can help dry up the cystic acne on other parts of the body as well.
- Avoid scrubbing your face every day.
- Do not squeeze the pimple to remove the pus. Do not scratch or rub the pimples.
- Avoid wearing tight head accessories.
- Always take off your make-up before going to bed and avoid using products that are greasy.
- Do not take oral antibiotics for cystic acne without consulting a dermatologist first.
- Avoid eating dairy products for 2-3 weeks.
- Stay stress-less.
- Refrain from eating oily, spicy and fried food.
- Abstain from carbonated drinks.
- After excessive sweating, wipe it.
- Try not to bask in the sun.