Home remedies for acne
Some of the most popular home remedies for acne involve the use of natural herbal extracts, many of which traditional medicine practitioners have used for hundreds of years.
Below, we discuss the best home remedies for acne, what the research says, and lifestyle changes that can help.
1. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is a natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, which means that it might kill P. acnes, the bacteria that causes acne.
Tea tree oil’s anti-inflammatory properties mean that it can also reduce the swelling and redness of pimples.
A 2015 review study looked at the existing evidence for tea tree oil and acne. The researchers found that tea tree oil products can reduce the number of acne sores in people with mild to moderate acne.
This study suggested that tea tree oil may work as well as 5 percent benzoyl peroxide, which is a common over-the-counter (OTC) acne medication.
How to use tea tree oil
People can apply tea tree extract to their acne in creams, gels, or essential oils. If people use essential oils, always dilute them in a carrier oil first.
A range of tea tree oil products is available online.
2. Jojoba oil
Jojoba oil is a natural, waxy substance extracted from the seeds of the jojoba shrub.
The waxy substances in jojoba oil may help to repair damaged skin, which means it may also help speed up wound healing, including acne lesions.
Some of the compounds in jojoba oil might help to reduce skin inflammation, which means it may reduce redness and swelling around pimples, whiteheads, and other inflamed lesions.
In a 2012 study, researchers gave 133 people clay face masks that contained jojoba oil. After 6 weeks of using the masks 2 to 3 times per week, people reported a 54 percent improvement in their acne.
How to use jojoba oil
Try mixing jojoba essential oil with a gel, cream, or clay face mask and applying it to acne. Otherwise, place a few drops of jojoba oil on a cotton pad and rub this gently over acne sores.
People can buy jojoba oil at health stores or online.
3. Aloe vera
Aloe vera is a natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, meaning it may reduce the appearance of acne and prevent acne breakouts.
Aloe vera contains lots of water and is an excellent moisturizer, so it is especially suitable for people who get dry skin from other anti-acne products.
In a 2014 study, researchers gave people with mild to moderate acne aloe vera gel and tretinoin cream, which is a common OTC acne remedy, to use for 8 weeks.
The participants reported a significant improvement in both inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne compared to people who used just tretinoin gel.
How to use aloe vera gel
Try cleaning the acne sores and then applying a thin layer of cream or gel with at least 10 percentaloe vera content.
Otherwise, people can moisturize with gels or creams that contain aloe vera. These are available to buy from health stores or online.
Honey has been used to treat skin conditions, such as acne, for thousands of years. It contains many antioxidants that can help to clear waste and debris from clogged pores.
Doctors use honey in wound dressings because of its antibacterial and wound-healing properties.
How to use honey
Using a clean finger or cotton pad, rub a little honey into pimples. Otherwise, add honey to a face or body mask.
Many traditional medicine practitioners use garlic to treat infections and boost the body’s ability to fight germs and infections.
Garlic contains organosulfur compounds, which have natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. Organosulfur compounds can also help to boost the immune system, which helps the body fight infections.
How to use garlic
To fight the inflammation and infections caused by acne, people can add more garlic to their diet. Some people chew whole garlic cloves, rub it on toast, or make it into a hot drink.
People can also buy garlic powders or capsules from most grocery stores and natural health stores.
Although many online sources recommend that people apply garlic directly to pimples, this may cause further skin irritation. Garlic can burn the skin, so always use it carefully.
6. Green tea
Green tea contains high concentrations of a group of polyphenol antioxidants called catechins.
Most people with acne 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 may help clear out some of the debris and waste that has built up in open acne sores.
Green tea also contains compounds that may help to:
- reduce the skin’s sebum production
- reduce P. acnes
- reduce inflammation
How to use green tea
Green tea might help either when people drink it or use green tea extract on their skin, though researchers say that the current evidence is limited.
However, one study found a 79 and 89 percent reduction in whiteheads and blackheads after 8 weeks of using polyphenol green tea extract.
People can find green tea in most high street stores. Green tea extract is harder to find, but it is available from some health stores or online.