Acne is something most of us have all struggled with at some point in our lives. Usually it’s involved in our rite of passage as teenagers, but lately, because of the foods we eat and the environment we live in, acne has been appearing in men and women in their 20s, 30s, and even 40s.
It can be quite frustrating dealing with an issue that can be so prevalently seen by the eye and alters your appearance, which can affect your self-esteem, or in worst cases, your social life. What’s even more frustrating that acne is generally just a symptom of an underlying cause such as hormonal problems or lack of dietary needs. Finding the root cause of the problem can range from simple solutions to more in depth looks into your body.
Sometimes, fixing the root cause of the problem can take weeks or months to stop the acne from reappearing on your face. In addition to working on the root case, you also need to work on the symptom– the acne on your face, chest, and even back that stares back at you everyday in the mirror.
There are hundreds, if not, thousands of existing solutions out at the pharmacy and dermatologist to help with the problematic acne on your body. However, many of these have harsh chemicals and can be unfriendly with the wallet so how about trying solutions that are both friendly to the face and the pocket?
Here are some natural topical remedies for acne that you can make right at home.
Epsom salt is nothing like the salt you eat at dinner time. It is a naturally occurring mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate, and because of the magnesium, it makes for a powerful acne fighting treatment. The magnesium helps get rid the skin of harmful toxins and free radicals while the sulfate allows the skin to absorb nutrients that are good for the skin.
This at home acne remedy is a great choice because of its low cost and wide availability. Epsom salt usually costs less than $4 a pound and can basically be bought at any drug store, grocery store, and even gardening stores.
In addition to its low cost and wide availability, epsom salt has a wide variety of uses:
- As a facial cleanser and exfoliator: It cleanses deep into the pores and clears away sebum oil and dead skin cells, which can cause acne. Simply mix a tsp of epsom salt with your existing facial cleanser for its benefits. This method is good for the body and face and acts as an exfoliator too. As a warning though, do not apply epsom salt by itself directly on the face without diluting or watering down because it can be too abrasive on the skin on its own, and we don’t want to aggravate the skin any further and increase chances of more acne.
- As a back and chest acne treatment: Taking an epsom salt bath can help with acne that can usually be hard to reach and manage. You can take an epsom salt bath by dissolving 1-2 cups of epsom salt into a full bath of water. Not only will the salt heal your acne, but the bath itself will reduce overall stress in the body, which could increase hormones and inflammation in the body that causes acne.
- As a blackhead remover: Epsom salt can even take out the most stubborn of blackheads on your face. Boil half a cup of water, mix in 1 tsp of epsom salt and 3 drops of iodine, then stir until the salt has dissolved and the water cools. Take a cotton ball to spread the mixture on your face where needed, then rinse off after 15 minutes.
Lemon juice seems like a common cure for many ailments such as digestion issues and the common cold. Well now, it can help with acne too by healing acne, exfoliating and toning the skin, and getting rid of acne scars. It works for all stages of acne. Here’s how:
- Acne healing and prevention: Because of its powerful antioxidants and vitamin rich properties, lemon juice can cure acne and prevent new breakouts.
- Exfoliating and toning the skin: Lemon has citric acid, which helps exfoliate the skin, and is an astringent, which contracts skin tissue and dries out blemishes.
- Acne scar removal: Lemon has skin lightening properties, which makes it great for reducing the appearance scars left behind healing acne.
Using lemon juice on the face is easy. Squeeze lemon into a bowl, and use a q-tip or cotton ball to apply all over the face after cleansing. It can be used on one spot or on the entire face as a toner and kept on overnight.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a modern day cure-all type of tonic. It can help with indigestion, weight loss, and toning the skin, which is important to do if there are a lot of acne scars leftover from healing acne.
Its high acidic levels kill the bacteria existing on our skin and restores the acid mantle of our skin that protects the skin from germs and pollution. It can also remove excess oil, makeup, and dead skin cells.
It’s best to use apple cider vinegar that is unfiltered and unprocessed such as BRAGG’s Apple Cider Vinegar with “the mother of vinegar”. This cloudy part of the vinegar is known to have the most nutrients and benefits.
To use apple cider vinegar on the skin, take 1 parts apple cider vinegar and 3 parts water to tone down the high acidity level. Then take a cotton ball to smooth over face. Rinse off after 15 minutes if you feel the need to.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has natural disinfecting and soothing properties, which make it great for you rskin. Unlike many other acne products, this is extremely gentle on your skin and won’t strip the natural oils already existing on your face.
It’s great to use as a spot treatment. All you need to do is drop a couple of drops on a q-tip, and apply to a clean face. This can be left on over night or at least 15 minutes if you feel the need to wash it off.
As a note, keep tea tree oil away from the eyes as it can be highly irritating.
Lately, oil cleansing has been becoming an increasingly popular method to cure acne. All oils have different comedogenic levels, which make it a type of acne treatment that varies from person to person. Jojoba oil, however, has a low comedogenic level and is similar to the oil we produce on our skin, which makes it great for treating acne. Since it is similar to the oil on our skin, it can help with regulating the oiliness of the skin.
Spot treat large pimples and acne by putting a few drops of jojoba oil on a q-tip then applying it to pimples on a clean skin. If your skin reacts positively to jojoba oil, then you can use it on the rest of your face as a moisturizer or cleanser.
There are many more natural topical remedies for acne that don’t consist of harsh chemicals so find what works best for you and stick with it.