Home Acne Fact Check: Are Home Remedies for Acne the Real Deal or Just Fiction?

Fact Check: Are Home Remedies for Acne the Real Deal or Just Fiction?

Are Home Remedies for Acne the Real Deal or Just Fiction?

Acne is a common skin condition that can occur when pores become clogged with sebum and dead skin, or when they become infected with bacteria. There are medical treatments for acne, such as prescription creams or pills, but if you want to treat acne at home, you’ll find in this article 10 home remedies you can try that can help improve acne pimples and sores.

1. Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is a natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, which means it can kill P. acnes, the bacteria responsible for acne.

Tea tree oil’s anti-inflammatory properties can also help reduce the swelling and redness of pimples.

Researchers have found that tea tree oil products can reduce the number of acne breakouts in people due to the tea tree’s antimicrobial capabilities.

How to use it: Although tea tree oil can help fight acne, it can cause skin irritation. Be careful when using it, and don’t apply it in its pure form. Instead, dilute tea tree oil in a carrier oil before applying it to the pimple.

2. Jojoba oil

Jojoba oil is a natural, waxy substance extracted from jojoba seeds.

The waxy substances in jojoba oil can help repair damaged skin, which can also speed up the healing of wounds, including acne lesions.

Some of the compounds in jojoba oil may help reduce skin inflammation, reducing redness and swelling around pimples, whiteheads, and other inflamed lesions.

How to use it: Mix jojoba essential oil into a gel, cream, or clay mask and apply it to acne. Alternatively, place a few drops of jojoba oil on a cotton pad and rub gently over acne lesions.

3. Aloe vera

Aloe vera is a natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, which means it can reduce the appearance of acne and prevent breakouts.

Aloe vera contains sugar molecules, amino acids, and zinc, making it an excellent moisturizer and skin protector. It is particularly suitable for people whose skin is dried out by other anti-acne products.

Researchers found that the number of bumps, lesions, and dry skin decreased when aloe vera was combined with gentle masks.

How to use it: Acne lesions should be cleansed, and then a thin layer of cream or gel applied twice a day after cleansing with soap.

4. Manuka honey 

Honey has long been used as a remedy for skin ailments, thanks to its healing properties. However, not all honey is equally effective.

Manuka honey, a particular type of honey produced from plants in Australia and New Zealand, has been particularly recognized for its medical benefits. Although further research is needed, experts claim that Manuka honey can help cure acne breakouts.

One of the reasons Manuka honey can help is that it has strong antibacterial properties. Manuka honey is also anti-inflammatory and has been shown to help heal wounds. It can also help reduce pain, which can be particularly useful for painful blemishes under the skin. 

How to use it: To use Manuka honey, take a small amount and dab it directly onto blemishes, or mix it with water to create a thinner solution that you can spread over your skin.

5. Zinc

Taking zinc supplements can also help treat acne. In fact, zinc has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce redness. Zinc can also reduce the amount of sebum produced by the skin, which can be particularly useful for people with naturally oily skin.

Zinc also reduces inflammation and can help calm the skin. Although the mechanism is unclear, it is thought to provide general anti-inflammatory effects on the skin.

Zinc is also an important nutrient for brain and immune system health.

How to use it: Zinc can be applied topically to the skin or taken as a supplement.

6. Green tea

Green tea contains high concentrations of a group of antioxidant polyphenols called catechins.

Some acne sufferers have too much sebum, or natural body oils, in their pores and not enough antioxidants. Antioxidants help the body break down chemicals and waste products that can damage healthy cells.

Green tea also contains compounds that can help:

  • reduce skin sebum production
  • reduce P. acnes
  • reduce inflammation

How to use it: You can drink green tea or apply green tea extract to the skin, although researchers say current evidence is limited.

7. Coconut oil

Like other natural remedies mentioned, coconut oil contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial compounds.

These properties mean that coconut oil can help eradicate acne-causing bacteria and reduce the redness and swelling of pimples. Thanks to its soothing and moisturizing effects, coconut oil can speed up the healing of open wounds caused by acne. However, there is no targeted research on coconut oil as an acne preventative.

How to use it: Try rubbing pure, virgin coconut oil directly onto the acne-prone area. 

8. Crush some aspirin

Aspirin is generally used as a painkiller, but you can crush it into a paste to treat acne. In fact, aspirin, also known as acetylsalicylic acid, is chemically related to salicylic acid, a common acne treatment.

Like salicylic acid, aspirin has strong anti-inflammatory properties, which can reduce the swelling and redness caused by inflammation. However, aspirin does not have the same scrubbing and exfoliating effects as salicylic acid. 

How to use it: To use aspirin for acne, crush 2-3 aspirin tablets and mix the powder with water to form a paste. Apply this paste to blemishes, leave on for 10-15 minutes, then rinse off with water.

9. Avoid foods that trigger breakouts

What you eat (or don’t eat) can have an impact on the appearance of your skin.

The worst foods for your skin are cow’s milk (especially if you’re allergic to dairy products), sugary drinks, white bread, and whey protein. Processed foods like white bread have a high glycemic index, which means they cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels after consumption.

In fact, studies have shown that people who follow a low-glycemic index diet have less acne than those who don’t.

10. Avoid touching pimples

It may be very tempting, but touching acne lesions irritates the skin, may aggravate the pimple, and spread it to other areas.

Touching, rubbing, squeezing, or popping acne lesions can also introduce more bacteria into the lesion, making the infection worse. Popping a pimple can push bacteria and debris further into the skin, so the pimple may reappear worse than before.

The bottom line

Acne is a common skin condition with many underlying causes.

While there are many products specifically designed to treat it, there are also effective home remedies that can improve its appearance and help make it disappear.

Many people choose to try natural remedies. Most home remedies for acne are not clinically proven, but they are available as alternative treatment options.

Nevertheless, you may wish to consult a dermatologist if you suffer from severe acne.

Last Updated on February 12, 2024

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