From old wives' tales to Internet legends, home remedies for acne abound. They're easy enough to find, but do they work? Well, if you're tired of dealing with these skin issues and don't want to spend your money or time searching for new products, consider trying these simple at-home remedies for acne and blackheads.
17 Home Remedies for Treating Acne
Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules about home remedies for acne. Some people have, in fact, had excellent results using common household ingredients. Others, however, haven't had the same luck. Since there are no real studies done on home remedies, it is difficult to measure their success. The best approach is to try one of these remedies for a few weeks and it if doesn't work, move on to the next one until you find the trick that is best for your skin.
Menthol, found in peppermint and spearmint, has cooling and soothing properties. It is also known for its ability to kill germs and is a common ingredient in mouthwash. It can also be found in many cleansers and toners, including Murad's Clarifying Cleanser. To use, rub mint juice over the skin. Since the remedy is so refreshing, it is best to use it in the morning.
2. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is a shrub that blooms in cooler months. It also has highly effective astringent qualities. Witch hazel extract is available in bottle form at any drugstore. This common ingredient is found in many toners, including the one made by Proactiv. For a homemade remedy, mix witch hazel with water. Apply mixture with a cloth or cotton ball over the entire face. Try witch hazel in the evening.
3. Citrus Fruit
Citrus fruits, such as lemons and limes, feature several ingredients that make them effective in the fight against acne. Vitamin C, a natural antioxidant, is essential in the formation of collagen. Citric acid is also an effective astringent and antioxidant. In addition, citrus fruits are a good source of flavonoids, yet another naturally occurring antioxidant. Here are some home remedies try:
- Orange Peel: Mix pounded orange peel with water and rub the mixture directly on the acne. If you find this treatment too harsh for your skin, use it as a compress in a poultice. This treatment is also best used at night before bed. Rinse it away after two to three minutes.
- Lemon Juice: Lemon juice can be applied directly to the blemishes several times a day. Dab the juice with a cotton ball.
- Lemon and Rose Water: Mix equal parts lemon juice and rose water and rub the mixture directly on the skin as a freshener. This mixture is gentle enough to use twice a day.
Although not widely recognized for its uses beyond spicing and seasoning food, cinnamon actually has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Try these remedies:
- Cinnamon and Lemon: Mix equal parts cinnamon powder and lemon juice. Apply the mixture directly on pimples, then rinse after one minute.
- Cinnamon and Milk: Mix cinnamon powder with milk, and rub on affected areas. Leave it in place for five to 10 minutes then rinse with cool water.
Due to its natural sugar content, honey acts as an antibacterial and antimicrobial. It also reacts with body fluids, creating a form of hydrogen peroxide. Even doctors have recognized the antiseptic qualities of honey.. Simply make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder. Apply the paste to the face each night before bedtime. Leave the paste on the skin for a half an hour.
6. Aloe Vera
Well known in the skincare community, aloe vera has healing and cooling properties that can reduce redness, puffiness, and other symptoms of acne. It is safe enough to massage in your skin twice a day. Rub aloe vera juice directly over affected skin. Rinse the juice away after a few minutes.
7. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil fights the bacteria in acne and hastens the healing time for these painful bumps. Many people use tea tree oil for treating hair problems, so you may have this on hand. Wash the acne area first with your regular cleanser. Dip a clean cotton swab into the tea tree oil and then dab it directly on the acne. Do not rinse the tea tree oil away; leave it there to do its work.
The baking soda found in most toothpaste brands can be used to dry up problem spots. Simply apply a dab of mint toothpaste over existing pimples and allow to dry overnight. Do not use gel treatments as these are not effective.
Peel garlic cloves and rub over the skin. This home remedy is effective but smelly. You may wish to use this rub in the evening to allow the odor to fade.
Grind cucumber to a paste and apply over entire face. Rinse after 30 minutes.
11. Peppermint Herbal Tea
There are a couple of different ways you can use peppermint tea to treat your acne. One way is to steep a tea bag in hot water, remove the tea bag, and use a cotton ball to dab the tea all over your face. Another, more concentrated method is to use the actual steeped tea bag on the site of your acne breakout. Just leave the tea bag on the affected area for about 10 minutes and rinse away residue.
12. Cooked Whole Oats
To use this method, simply cook whole oats according to package directions. Be sure to use only water, not milk. Allow the oats to cool after cooking and apply to the affected areas. Leave the oat mixture on the skin for approximately 15 minutes, and remove with a warm, wet washcloth.
13. Plain Yogurt
Before using this at-home remedy, be sure to thoroughly wash and dry your face. Apply a small amount of plain yogurt to your problem areas and rub into the skin in a circular motion. Sleep in the yogurt overnight and wash your face the next morning, or, if you prefer, wash off the yogurt 30 minutes later.
14. Pure Baking Soda
In a small dish, mix equal parts water and baking soda until you form a loose paste. Dab the mixture onto your acne spots and allow to dry. You may feel a burning sensation. Once the mixture is dry, remove it with a warm, damp cloth. This method is best done on a freshly cleaned face just before bed.
Reach in the refrigerator for acne relief using eggs. Crack an egg carefully and separate the yolk from the white. You will not need the egg yolk for this application so set it aside for use later. Dip a cotton swab into the egg white and dab it on the acne bumps. Leave the yolk on your acne for 20 to 30 minutes, then wash it away. Egg whites pull out the impurities from under the skin. Do not get egg whites in your mouth or eyes.
16. Magnesium Hydroxide
Sold under the name "Milk of Magnesia," magnesium hydroxide works as a drying facial mask that eradicates acne. To use magnesium hydroxide on your acne, dampen your skin with a warm cloth. Pour a few tablespoons of the liquid into a cup. Dip your washcloth in the cup, then apply the magnesium hydroxide to your face in a thin layer. Leave the mask on for 10 to 15 minutes and then rinse it away with lukewarm water.
17. Healthy Diet
It might be the simplest of at home remedies for acne and blackheads, but eating a healthy diet can go a long way to curing your acne problems. Drinking plenty of water, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and reducing your intake of sugar and alcohol can significantly improve the look and feel of your skin.
Know Your Skin
If you experience irritation or discomfort with any of these remedies, rinse your skin immediately and discontinue use. Redness can often be alleviated by a dab of over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream, while a compress soaked in cool water and gently pressed over the blemish may diminish any lingering aggravation.
There are many home remedies for acne available for acne sufferers, but not all of them are perfect for all types of skin. The key is to monitor your skin carefully while trying them. Don't mix your remedies; only try one at a time and use them for a few weeks before you give up. Most acne treatments take 3-4 weeks to work.