Acne occurs when the hair follicles of the skin become blocked with oil, bacteria, or dead skin. Certain factors can increase the likelihood of developing acne such as stress, age, hormones, and diet. Acne typically happens during the teenage years when there is high hormone production. However, you could still get acne regardless of your age. Hormones responsible for acne include testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. High testosterone levels could increase sebum production, which explains why it is more common for teenagers to deal with a high onset of acne. If you’re looking for ways to get rid of acne naturally, here are acne removal treatments you could do at home.
Apple Cider Vinegar Solution
Apple cider vinegar is known for having antimicrobial effects, which is great for cleansing the skin of any bacteria or viruses that may be clogging pores. This is due to the high amounts of acetic acid.
When using apple cider vinegar, remember that it is extremely acidic. Be sure to dilute it with water when applying to the face. If not, this can result in irritation and burning of the skin. The sensitivity level of your skin should determine how much water you will mix with apple cider vinegar.
If you have incredibly oily skin, mix one-part apple cider vinegar with one-part water. If your skin is on the dryer side, try adding one-part apple cider vinegar and three parts water. You can apply this solution with a cotton ball, dispersing it all over your face. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes, and afterward, wash it off with lukewarm water. You may experience slight redness on the face, this just signifies an increase of blood flow, and the redness will go down within 30 minutes.
Cinnamon and Honey
This next treatment involves honey and cinnamon. Honey and cinnamon are both known for their high levels of antioxidants. Certain studies (1,2) have shown that antioxidants are extremely effective in reducing acne due to their ability to fight off free radicals in the skin. Not only that, but honey and cinnamon also contain antimicrobial effects similar to apple cider vinegar. This helps reduce clogged pores as a result of P. acnes, the acne-causing bacteria, and other microbial elements. To create this apple cider vinegar, cinnamon face mask, mix 2 tablespoons of cinnamon with 1 tablespoon of honey. Apply this paste to your face for 10 to 15 minutes, washing off with lukewarm water.
Green tea is known for its high levels of antioxidants. It’s popular health benefits include the ability to reduce the risk of cancer, improve brain function, and prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. Certain studies (1,2) have shown that the high levels of antioxidants present in green tea reduce sebum production and unclog pores as a result of bacterial microbes. There have been no direct studies, suggesting that green tea, when consumed, reduces acne, but side studies (1,2) have shown that green tea can decrease certain ailments that normally cause acne, such as insulin spikes, which lead to higher levels of sebum production.
When applied topically, the antioxidants, flavonoids, and polyphenols seep into the pores. It clears out dead skin cells, reducing sebum production, and fighting off damaging free radicals in the skin. To apply the green tea to your face, steep the tea in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes. Afterward, apply the green tea to a cotton ball and put it on your face. The leaves can also be made into a facemask, whether you mix it with honey, milk, or even certain juices.
While there are only a few studies on how exfoliation can reduce acne, it is thought that through the exfoliation process, the dead skin cells are removed, which as a result, unclogs pores. The layer of dead skin cells that are removed from the outer surface of the skin also allows certain acne treatments to be better absorbed by the skin and therefore making them more effective. In one such study, participants adding sugar scrub to their skincare routine had a reduction in the appearance of acne scars and improvement in skin texture. Although no studies have been done to suggest that exfoliation can improve discoloration and skin tone, dermatologists have seen sufficient, anecdotal results with patients, and recommend adding exfoliation as a part of your skincare routine.
To make an exfoliation scrub, you can mix either one part sugar or salt with one part oil of your choice. Beneficial oils for your skin include coconut oil, castor oil, or even olive oil. Depending on your skin type, it is recommended to exfoliate up to once per day. If you have extremely dry skin, try exfoliating once per week as doing it more often may irritate the skin
Aloe Vera has many properties that are beneficial to the skin. Salicylic acid is a common component found in Aloe Vera, and there have been countless studies (1, 2, 3) showing the effects that salicylic acid has in treating certain types of acne such as blackheads or whiteheads. Salicylic acid works by dissolving skin debris causing clogged pores and exfoliating dead skin cells.
To apply Aloe Vera to the skin, spread the gel on your face as if it is lotion. There are some skincare products that also contain Aloe Vera and may be beneficial to check out.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree oil is a great acne medication because it contains properties that dissolve P acnes. Not only that, but tea tree oil also contains 5% benzoyl peroxide which is a solution that is commonly found in prescribed acne medication. When applying tea tree oil, only apply a small amount to the desired area such as over pimples, blackheads, or whiteheads. Do not spread the tea tree oil all over the entire face because it may result in irritation and a burning sensation. This oil can be left on overnight and taken off in the morning.
Overall, these home remedies will overtime reduce the factors that end up leading to acne. Consistency is important when using these treatments, as one-time applications may not give you the desired results.