Powerful Home Remedies for Acne
Since acne affects people all over the world, it is not surprising that home remedies have been developed as a way to treat this condition that affects approximately 85% of the population.
There are those that complain that by choosing to buy a prescribed acne treatment, whether through a doctor or even as an over-the-counter solution, there are side effects, such as cost, irritation of the skin, and more that deter the individual.
If you take a look online you will find a variety of suggested “home remedies” for acne treatment, but to determine the results you may have to try them yourself and see how your acne responds.
Studies that include a patient orally ingesting a supplement that includes zinc, an essential nutrient, may help to reduce the signs of acne. Zinc is important for hormone production, the function of the immune system, for proper cell growth, and for the body to properly metabolize food.
Studies have also shown that those who regularly suffer from bouts of acne don’t have enough zinc in their bodies. One study, in particular, gave 48 patients a supplement of zinc three times each day for a total of 2 months. After the trial was over almost 80% of the participants reported mostly clear skin, if not a complete reduction of their acne.
If you choose to try this home remedy, the suggested dose is 30-45 mg per day. Talk with your doctor first to make sure you know the correct amount to take and the correct form, zinc oxide, for example, contains the highest amount of the mineral.
It is best to ingest the zinc orally; the topical application has not had enough positive effects compared to a supplement. Side effects of taking too much may include stomach issues.
There are two types of Omega-3 fatty acids that can be found in fish oils, they are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), both that help to benefit the skin. EPA, particularly, helps to manage the oil produces by the glands and helps to keep it properly hydrated.
Other ways that fish oil may help are by reducing inflammation of the skin, which in turn helps to heal acne. Research has shown that those who were given an Omega-3 fatty acid supplement showed a significant reduction of acne after 10 weeks.
In order to benefit from the supplement, the individual needs to ingest anywhere from 250-500 mg each day. Outside of a supplement, the fatty acid can be found in fatty fish, such as salmon or sardines, nuts and seeds, such as chia or flax.
There are those that believe that applying a homemade application of some ingredients readily found around the house may work well on healing the developed acne.
Apple Cider Vinegar
All types of vinegar are known to fight bacteria and viruses; apple cider vinegar, in particular, is produced by fermented apple cider or can come from pressing apples and the unfiltered juice that is the result. The acid that lies within the apple cider vinegar has been demonstrated at killing Propionibacterium Acnes, that which contributes to acne development.
Other acids that are believed to help treat acne include succinct acid, this helps to treat inflammation and lactic acid which helps aid in the appearance of scars. Furthermore, using apple cider vinegar may help dry up the surplus of oil that clogs pores and leads to acne.
If you would like to try using an apple cider vinegar solution on your skin you will need to mix 1-part vinegar with 3-parts water, based on the sensitivity of your skin. Make sure that your skin has been previously cleaned then apply by dabbing the solution with a cotton pad or ball.
Allow the solution to rest on your skin, you should feel a tingling sensation, for no more than 20 seconds, and rinse with water. Be sure to dry your skin. You may choose to do this twice a day.
Honey and Cinnamon
Due to the simple fact that honey and cinnamon are antioxidants, there are those that believe if they are applied directly to the skin they are actually more effective then applying benzoyl peroxide or even retinoids, which are used for their antibacterial properties.
Honey and cinnamon are believed to have the ability to kill bacteria as well as lower inflammation in the skin. To give this topical treatment a try, mix 2 tablespoons with approximately 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to create a paste. Rub the solution on your face and leave for about 10 minutes before rinsing with warm water and be sure to dry your face.
Tea Tree Oil
This essential oil is extracted from a tree that is native to Australia and is known as an anti-bacterial agent, which may help to treat inflammation of the skin. There are those that believe it can also help to reduce acne overall, but the process may be slower than that of benzoyl peroxide. In both cases, a 5% strength was used.
The oil didn’t dry out the skin or cause any irritation as opposed to the peroxide. Be sure to dilute the oil before you attempt to apply into your skin, do your research online or follow the instructions on the package. You may repeat the process twice a day.
Tea, green in particular, is known for the high amounts of antioxidants and there are those that believe that by applying it directly to the skin, the benefits will be clear skin. Green tea contains both flavonoids and tannins which can help to fight off bacteria as well as reduce inflammation.
The primary antioxidant in green tea, what is called epigallocatechin-e-gallate (EGCG) is believed to reduce the production of oil or that which is called sebum. You can buy products that contain green tea already in them, but there are those that prepare tea and suggest applying a damp but cool tea bag (or loose leaves) directly to your skin.
Enjoying a cup of green tea that may also help to lower your blood sugar and insulin levels, which may also relate to the development of acne.
From the North American witch hazel shrub, the leaves and bark, much like green tea, are high in tannins and therefore are antibacterial and have anti-inflammatory properties. The use of this botanical astringent is used on a variety of skin conditions, from varicose veins, bruises, and insect bites, to dry skin, eczema, and dandruff, and the subject of focus, to treat acne.
If the studies are correct, that applying the astringent can also help to fight off acne bacteria as well as lower inflammation, this may be a viable acne treatment option. Be sure to dilute the astringent first, 1 tablespoon to 1 cup of water, let it sit for about half an hour, bring to a boil and simmer for approximately 10 minutes.
Once cooled, strain and pour the solution into a clean container and apply to acne using a cotton pad twice per day.
The first thought that comes to many people’s minds when they hear the word Aloe Vera is sunburns; this clear gel that comes from the leaves of the tropical plant has cooling and healing properties that are used to treat burns, rashes, and small cuts on the skin.
This natural gel contains salicylic acid, which is widely used to help with the treatment of acne. Although Aloe Vera gel can be purchased in the store, scraping the gel from a leaf is considerably cheaper and just as easy. No need to dilute, simply add directly to the desired spot on your skin.
Although scrubbing your face is best avoided when you suffer from acne, exfoliating the skin can sometimes be a good thing. This involves removing the top layer of the skin, where there are lots of dead skin cells laying around and clogging up pores and hair ducts.
In order to properly exfoliate you can try either using a scrub brush to remove the dead cells or applying a chemical peel, either an over-the-counter purchase or in a spa or doctor’s office.
There are some that believe that when the outer layer of skin is removed that acne skin care products have a better chance of doing the job they are meant to do.
Microdermabrasion has also been looked at as a way to exfoliate the skin and ultimately help to reduce the signs of scarring. In one case, 25 patients who suffered from acne received weekly microdermabrasion treatment showed improvement.
Diet and Wellness
There are those who believe that by consuming dairy you are subjecting yourself to the hormone androgen, and therefore increasing your chance of developing acne. The same researchers believe that the nonfat portion of dairy contains insulin growth factors and progesterone.
Currently, the debate about whether or not consuming dairy is still controversial, to see if it works for you try cutting out dairy out of your diet and record the results to see if you see any improvement.
Low Glycemic Diet
Food that is high on the glycemic index (GI), that which raises your insulin levels, otherwise known as causing your blood glucose levels to spike, may attribute to more acne in a person.
When you eat a food that is high on GI your insulin spikes and it is believed that this causes the increase of oil to be produced on your skin, or that of sebum.
Foods to avoid:
- White, processed grains, such as pastries, cereals, white rice, white bread
- Processed foods
By consuming whole grain foods, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, you will be eating foods that are low on the GI and which will delay the release of insulin in your system and thus may lower your risk of developing acne.
A couple of studies have shown positive results but the best way to see how this type of diet would affect you is to change your diet accordingly and record the results.
Reduction of Stress
Stress, in some cases, can be a good thing, it helps with your overall performance and may improve your health, but when it comes to acne it may lead your body to produce more sebum, oil production on the skin and increase the inflammation of your skin.
By lowering your stress levels, through a variety of means like more sleep, physical activity, yoga and meditation, and a balanced lifestyle, you may find that your acne breakouts diminish.