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10 Natural Remedies for Acne

21 Jan 2019 by Myreen Young

Acne is a skin condition which affects around 85% of people at some point in their lives. Treatments can be expensive and side effects like irritation, dryness and redness occur. This has caused an increase in remedies which help cure acne naturally at home.

Causes of Acne

Acne is caused when pores in your skin get blocked with dead skin cells and oil. Pores are connected to a sebaceous gland which produces sebum. Extra sebum plugs pores causing the growth of the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes. White blood cells attack this bacteria which leads to inflammation and acne. Some cases of acne are more severe, but common symptoms include whiteheads, blackheads and pimples.

If you suffer from acne and want to try an organic and natural method that can combat it, read on to see ten remedies you can start trying today.

Apply Green Tea

Green tea has many health benefits as it is high in antioxidants. Though there haven’t been studies about how drinking green tea can help acne, applying it to the skin has been shown to help. This is due to the tannins and flavonoids in green tea which fight bacteria and reduce inflammation, and the antioxidant reduces sebum production.

How to Use

•    Leave green tea bags in boiling water for 3-4 minutes then let the tea cool.

•   Using a cotton ball, apply the tea to the skin or put in a spray bottle to spritz on.

•    Allow to dry, rinse with water and gently pat dry.

Green tea being brewed in a white teapot

Spot Treatment with Tea Tree Oil

An essential oil extracted from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia a native tree in Australia, tea tree oil is known for its ability to fight bacteria and inflammation. Studies have shown applying it to acne-affected skin reduces the effects. Though it does not have an immediate effect, using tea tree oil shows significant improvements within three months. It also reduces effects such as dryness, irritation and burning.

How to Use

•    Tea tree oil is potent, so dilute one part tea tree oil to nine parts water.

•    Dip a cotton bud into the mixture and carefully apply to affected areas.

•    Repeat the process one to two times a day.

Moisturise with Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a tropical plant that produces a clear gel from its leaves. The gel is often found in lotions and creams, as it effectively treats burns, rashes and skin conditions. Applied direct to the skin, aloe vera gel can help soothe inflammation and burns and helps heal wounds. It contains salicylic acid and sulphur which are used to treat acne.

How to Use

•    Scrape the gel from the aloe vera plant.

•    Apply directly to clean skin like you would a moisturiser.

•    Repeat one to two times a day or as desired.

Aloe vera plant cut showing the gel

Apply Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is made from fermenting apple cider, and like other vinegar, it can fight bacteria and viruses, as it contains several organic acids. Succinic acid suppresses inflammation, and lactic acid improves acne scars. Apple cider vinegar can also help dry up excess oils caused by acne.

How to Use

•    Mix one part apple cider vinegar and three parts water – add more water for sensitive skin.

•    Apply the mixture to clean skin using a cotton ball.

•    Let it sit for 5-20 seconds, then rinse with water and pat dry.

•    Repeat the process three to four times a week.

Regular Exfoliation

Exfoliation removes the top layer of dead skin cells and can be achieved using a brush or scrub. Exfoliation helps improve acne by removing the skin cells that clog up pores and can also make treatments work more effectively by allowing them to penetrate your skin better. Some exfoliating scrubs available in stores do tend to have chemicals which can affect sensitive skin so why not try a homemade scrub or face mask using natural and organic ingredients? Take a look at our blog post about five homemade face masks here.

Take Fish Oil Supplements

Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats with several benefits such as managing oil production, maintaining hydration and preventing acne. Many Western diets don’t include enough omega-3 fatty acids, so a supplement can help. Studies have shown that taking a fish oil supplement daily can decrease acne after ten weeks. You can get omega-3 fatty acids by eating salmon, sardines, anchovies, walnuts, chia seeds and flaxseeds.

Reduce Consumption of Dairy Products

Consuming milk and other dairy products exposes you to hormones which could lead to acne. Some studies have shown higher levels of milk consumption are associated with acne. However, other studies have found positives between dairy and acne. Nevertheless, cutting back on the amount of dairy you consume, or leaving it out entirely for a vegan diet may help improve the condition of your skin.

Glass of milk on a wooden surface

Cut Back on High Glycemic Foods

The connection your diet and acne has is one that has been debated several times, with recent evidence indicating some dietary factors such as insulin and the glycemic index may be associated with acne. A food’s glycemic index (GI) measures how quickly it raises blood sugar. Eating high GI foods cause a spike in insulin which is thought to increase sebum production. Food with a high GI includes sugary soft drinks, cake and pastries, sugary cereals and processed foods. Low GI foods include fruit, vegetables, legumes and nuts.

Reduce Stress

The hormones released at stressful times may increase sebum production and inflame the skin, which makes acne worse. Stress can also slow down the healing of acne too, which may lead to scarring. Relaxation treatments have been shown to improve acne, and though no official studies have been carried out, stress-reducing activities are encouraged. This includes getting more sleep, meditation and yoga.

Woman practicing yoga to reduce and for exercise

Exercise More

Exercise helps with blood circulation, and an increase in blood flow helps to nourish skin cells, helping prevent and decrease acne. Exercise also improves hormone regulation, with studies also showing it reduces stress and anxiety both of which contribute to acne developing. Exercising for just 30 minutes a day up to five or six times a week can have benefits for your skin and body that shows almost immediately.

After doing any of these treatments, you should make sure you do moisturise too, using an organic serum. A serum is beneficial especially for sensitive and acne-prone skin as the smaller molecules penetrate deeper into the layers of the skin. Take a look at the serums available from Myreen Young today.