Acne has been plaguing humanity since ancient times, and the quest for home remedies for acne has existed about as long. A historical look reveals there were no acne creams or antibiotics that could fight those oil-and-bacteria-filled bumps. Humans were as desperate to get rid of acne back then as they are now. So, they devised natural remedies. They experimented and figured out that nature offers effective cures to deal with the problem. As time passed, these remedies became famous as home remedies and many such home remedies for acne have passed from generation to generation.
Here is a list of these home remedies for acne. Hopefully, one of these home remedies for acne or a combination will work well for you:
Part A: Home Remedies for Acne
Honey Packs: Make a face mask using 3 table spoons of medical-grade honey, apply it, and leave it on overnight. Honey works as an acne treatment for many people. It is scientifically proven that medical-grade honey is anti-bacterial and can even kill bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics(1). Note that you must use medical grade honey, and not regular honey. Honey has been used for treating skin conditions for centuries. The first use of honey as a skin-problem-solver was recorded on a Sumerian clay tablet that dated all the way back to 2500 BC.
Lemon Juice: Lemon juice is also considered a very effective home remedy for acne. It contains citric acid, which is one of the primary alpha hydroxyl acids. You can make a lemon juice mask or just apply the juice – just make sure that you apply it thinly. After application, the citric acid goes to work by drying the oil on the skin and removing dead skin cells. A lemon juice face mask works like an acid peel. Bacteria thrive in the excessive skin oil, and once the excess oil dries up, there’s nothing left for the bacteria to feed on. Lemon juice also contains Vitamin C and potassium, which nourish the skin. Wash your face 10 minutes after application. Many folks mix lemon juice with rose water, sandalwood powder, or with groundnut oil. However, lemon juice is known to work on its own and you don’t need anything else to go along with it. People add cooling agents like rose water and sandalwood power because lemon juice is acidic in nature and can cause skin redness after application.
Garlic Pack: Though there’s no scientific proof that application of garlic or garlic juice is one of the best home remedies for acne, there is no doubt that garlic has fantastic antibacterial and antibiotic properties. Science confirms that garlic does kill bacteria, viruses and fungi. A study conducted by the Wright State University also extols the antibiotic properties of garlic (2). Crush two peeled garlic cloves and apply the mash on your acne. Alternatively, you can extract the juice and apply it. Though you can do this several times in a day, do not leave the mash or the juice for more than 5 minutes on your face. Garlic’s antibiotic and antibacterial agents will burn your skin if you leave the pack on for more than 5 minutes.
Ripe Tomato Pulp Packs: Tomatoes contain lycopene, a very powerful antioxidant. A ripe tomato pack works by cooling the face and reducing excess oil secretion. Plus, it has powerful antiseptic properties that help kill the bacteria. Extract tomato pulp and apply it on the acne area. Leave it on for 30-60 minutes and then wash your face. Do this daily until your acne starts abating. The only disadvantage of a tomato pack? Well, you may end up looking like a sloppy tomato sauce eater! Include a lot of tomatoes in your daily diet as well.
5. Yogurt: Yogurt is a truly magical food full of probiotics, calcium, protein and other helpful cultures. Including yogurt in your daily diet is known to reduce acne. You can also apply yogurt on your face and leave it on for 20 minutes. Wash your face after 20 minutes and apply yogurt daily until the problem subsides. You can add honey if you like. This is one of the lesser known, but effective, home remedies to get rid of acne.
6. Neem Oil: Neem is considered as a magical tree and Neem oil is considered as a very effective home remedy for acne. While it is true that Neem leaves contain very powerful antibacterial properties, it is also true that there is no scientific study that concludes that neem oil gets rid of acne. The only connection between Neem and acne is that neem contains antibacterial agents and acne contains bacteria. So, applying Neem oil or crushed Neem leaves on your acne is left to your discretion.
Other natural ingredients that help: Here is a list of other natural ingredients that are also considered equally effective:
a. Raw papaya juice (including seed and skin juice). Papaya contains the papain enzyme, which is a natural acne fighter. It dissolves the excess oil and cleans the skin.
b. Turmeric is another wonder food. It is a spice that contains antioxidants, anti-cramp and even anti-cancer agents. Turmeric paste is very cooling as well.
c. Tea Tree Oil, which has anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.
d. Drinking cucumber juice helps as well. You must choose dark green cucumbers, peel them and then extract the juice. Cucumber juice contains many powerful nutrients that have anti-acne properties. You can even apply a cucumber face mask.
Part B: Home Remedies for Acne – Diet Control and Lifestyle
If you have acne, you must control your diet. Though there’s no direct evidence that fast food causes acne, it has been established that eating fast food and greasy food makes acne worse and interferes in the process its healing. Moreover, such foods are full of trans fats and you must avoid them. Caffeine and sugary foods produce toxins in our body. So, remember to stay away from these foods by exercising some heavy-duty self-control.
Fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts, corn/sunflower oil, and other healthy foods nourish the body and fortify it with much needed Vitamin A and zinc, which help eliminate acne. Drink 8 glasses of water daily as water flushes out toxins from your body. Exercising regularly and limiting alcohol-consumption and smoking also help to reduce or eliminate toxins in your body, and can go a long way in helping you getting rid of acne.
Chemical-based treatments can actually end up causing short-term good and long-term harm. It’s best to first try natural and safe home remedies for acne before considering other options.
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