According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, effecting more than 40 million people in the country. Although it most commonly appears in teenagers, acne can occur at any age. Conventional prescription drugs and medicated creams are frequently prescribed by doctors as the first line of defense. Home acne remedies, however, can also prevent and treat outbreaks without any harmful side effects, especially in mild to moderate cases.
For extremely severe acne, you may have no choice but to turn to a dermatologist, but in most cases, natural remedies will do the trick with a little persistence. Because these treatments work gently over time, use them daily for at least a month or two before you expect to see results.
Tea Tree Essential Oil – A powerful antibacterial and anti-fungal agent, research has found that a tea tree oil acne treatment works just as well as benzoyl peroxide at treating acne. For the best results, dab a drop of tea tree oil directly onto blemishes three times daily to discourage infection and expedite healing. You can purchase tea tree oil at natural health stores and drugstores, or order it online from a reputable retailer.
Vinegar and Lemon Juice – Both substances contain acids that may help flush out pores. Mix equal parts apple cider or white vinegar and fresh lemon juice, then dab the mixture directly onto the acne affected areas several times a day.
- Honey and Spice – An old-fashioned acne home remedy containing nutmeg and honey is believed to help reduce blemishes. Honey has antibacterial properties, so it may be worth a shot. Combine 1 tsp. powdered nutmeg with 1 tsp. honey, apply to the affected areas, allow the mixture to remain for 20 minutes, and then rinse clean with tepid water. Repeat daily for the best results.
- Aloe Vera Gel – Research confirms that aloe vera makes an excellent home remedy for acne. In one study, 90 percent of patients experienced complete healing after using the gel for several weeks. If you have access to an aloe plant, cut open a leaf and apply the fresh gel directly to the skin once or twice daily. If you don’t have an aloe plant, you can use commercially available aloe gel, but make sure it’s 100 percent pure with no additives.
Baking Soda – As part of a natural treatment regimen, baking soda may help reduce acne and prevent recurrences. Make a thick paste using baking soda and water, apply directly to blemishes, and leave on for about five minutes. Rinse away with apple cider vinegar, apply a thin layer of vitamin E oil to the skin, and leave on overnight. Wash your face with a mild cleanser in the morning. Repeat daily.
- Fresh Strawberries – Another of the most effective acne home remedies, strawberries may help reduce blemishes and prevent breakouts. Crush a fresh strawberry, rub onto the acne affected area, and leave on for about 15 minutes each day. Rinse thoroughly with warm water, and then rinse with cold water to close the pores. Many people have allergies to strawberries, however, so perform a patch test before using this treatment on your entire face.
- Burdock Tea – A powerful natural astringent, burdock removes excess oil from the skin and helps clear up acne breakouts. If you have oily skin accompanied by acne, use this treatment every day and you will see a difference in a few weeks. Pour 2 cups boiling water over 2 handfuls of burdock roots and leaves, allow it to steep for 10 to 15 minutes, and then strain. Dip a clean cloth into the tea, wring out any excess liquid and apply as a hot compress directly to your face. The heat helps the steam penetrate the pores. Once the cloth cools, remove and repeat. Continue for about 15 minutes.
- Parsley Tea – Another natural astringent and one of the best at home acne remedies, parsley helps get rid of acne, blackheads and clogged pores. Make parsley tea by pouring a cup of boiling water over a large handful of chopped parsley, and then allowing the mixture to steep until the tea is room temperature. Strain, soak a clean cloth in the mixture and apply as a compress to the face for 15 minutes. Repeat daily to clear the complexion.
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