Acne Destroying Your Confidence? Find a Clear Skin Using These Natural Treatments

Updated on May 26th, 2020
how to cure acne

Our skin is a reflection of our bodies health. It is a known fact that if you have any distress in your body it is manifested on your skin in the form of inflammation, rashes and other wide arrays of methods.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology(1), 85% of Americans have had their share of acne. It is considered as an ‘epidemic’ amongst teenagers and is also known to be one of the main reasons for angst and lowered self-esteem.

Acne or acne vulgaris as it is medically called is a disease of the hair follicles of the face, chest, and back that affects almost all teenagers during puberty. Although the common perception is that it is caused only by bacteria, however, that is not the case.

Bacteria play a vital role in their development. However, the outbreak could be caused by several factors.

To understand the pathology of the disease, first, we would need to delve a little deeper into the anatomy of the condition. Our skin has pores and each pore is connected to a sebaceous gland which produces an oily substance called sebum. Due to hormonal problems, stress, genetic factors there is an excess production of sebum that plugs the pores up.

This provides the optimum environment for the growth of bacteria Propionibacterium acnes, or P. acnes.

As soon as there is a growth of this bacteria, your white blood cells attack the bacteria, leading to skin inflammation and acne. There are several different types of acne, grade IV being severe and grade I being the least.

Conventional medicine has a very divided approach on treating acne as every patient responds differently to treatment, it is more of a trial and error process that could take up a lot of your time, energy and money.

The good news is that there are several natural/naturopathic/home remedies for acne that are completely safe and don’t bear any side effects for you to treat your acne, blackheads, whiteheads and other skin problems.

A healthy diet, applying essential oils, proper skin care, balancing hormones form the backbone for you to restore your skin’s former glow and prevent/control the growth of acne.

How to Cure Acne Using Naturopathic Remedies

CURE 1: Anti-Acne Diet

Foods for acne, Weird isn’t it? Yes, foods could actually cure acne. It is evident to most of us that there are foods that could cause acne. However, did you know that this was merely a myth that was propaganda used by your parents so you stop eating junk? Yes, greasy foods(2) don’t play any role in increasing your acne. However, they are several foods you could consume and apply, that could help you get rid of acne for good.

[Also Read: Foods to Add in Your Diet for Acne]

1) Manuka Honey

This is a special kind of honey that is primarily produced in Newzealand. This is produced from the bees that only collect the nectar from manuka trees and plants that are predominantly seen in Newzealand.

Why Does it Work?

Using Honey for Acne is a common practice. This honey has hydrogen peroxide and methylglyoxal which are antimicrobial compounds that could help you fight against the bacteria that cause acne on your skin. Additionally, this honey also balances the pH of your skin and helps in clearing the dead cells to keep your skin clean.  It is a well known anti-inflammatory agent that could ease the local inflammation that is caused by acne. There have been researches(3) conducted to verify its beneficial effects and it has been proven that it is effective against several ailments.

How to Use Honey for Acne?

Cleansing Agent

Apply a little of the honey on your face. Ideally, you could also dilute it with a few water drops to make it easier to apply it on your face. As research(4) suggests that diluted manuka honey still is as good as the undiluted version. Massage the honey gently all over your face and let it rest for 10-15 minutes and then, by using warm water you could rinse it off and pat your skin dry.

Face Mask
  • 2 spoons ground oats
  • 2 tbsp manuka honey
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and then apply that mixture on your face and don’t forget to massage and let the face mask stay for at least 30 minutes.

[Also read: Get Rid Acne with Help of Manuka Honey Instantly.]

As an Ointment

Apply a tiny amount of honey on a forming pimple. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes.

How Much to Use?

Although there isn’t any limit on how much to use, it is ideally recommended that you try to use small portions of this honey on your face and to follow this regimen for at least a week.

[Read: Benefits of Manuka Honey]

2) Garlic (Allium Sativum)

benefits of Garlic

Garlic is the queen of traditional medicine and has been used for centuries to treat several ailments ranging in between digestive disorders, skin disorders, respiratory disorders, and much more.

[Also read: Effectively Use of Garlic to Treat Acne]

Why Does it Work?

As research(5) suggests garlic has several chemical compounds such as allicin that make it a potent antifungal, anti-microbial, and antiseptic agent. Allicin helps to kill the pathogens that are present in the acne and that normally don’t die due to their antibiotic resistance. It is also known to alleviate swelling and inflammation that is usually accompanied by acne. Additionally, the thiosulfinates present in garlic is known to make garlic a strong antimicrobial agent.

Garlic also is a storehouse of vitamins and minerals that are essential in curing and preventing acne. It has vitamin C, vitamin B-6, selenium, copper, and zinc. All of these elements and vitamins help control sebum production and thereby prevent the formation of acne.

[Read: ACV for Acne Treatment]

How to Use Garlic for Acne?

According to a reputed study(6), there are four ways in which garlic for acne can be used. It can either be applied or consumed for the most effective treatment against acne.

Raw Garlic Juice
  • 5 garlic cloves.
  1. Crush  5 garlic cloves in a bowl.
  2. Let these mashed cloves sit for 10 minutes in the bowl.
  3. Then using a thin cloth, squeeze the juice from the mashed cloves.
  4. Extract the juice into the other bowl and then using a gauze, dab the juice on the affected areas
  5. Let it rest for about 10 minutes.
  6. After that rinse with warm water and pat dry.
Yogurt and Garlic

This will exfoliate your skin and will remove dead skin cells that block your pores

  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 spoon yogurt
  1. Blend 4 cloves of garlic into a fine paste and to this add a spoon of yogurt.
  2. Apply this mixture to a clean and dry skin.
  3. Massage gently on the sites of infection and let it rest for a few minutes.
  4. Rinse with warm water and pat it dry.
Garlic and Aloe vera
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon aloe vera gel
  1. Crush 2-3 cloves of garlic and to it add 1/2 a cup of water.
  2. Let this solution rest for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Then in this solution mix 1 teaspoon of aloe vera gel.
  4. Apply this mixture on the affected areas and leave it on until it is completely dry.
  5. Rinse with warm water and pat it dry.
Adding Garlic to Your Diet

One of the simplest yet effective ways is to add crushed/finely chopped garlic to your meals. You could easily integrate it into your meals as it is not only a tasty spice, however, it also houses several medicinal benefits.

How Much to Use?

Follow one of these procedures to gain the most of garlic and do it as regularly as possible and every day for a week to see results.

[Read: Natural Treatment for Hormonal Acne]

3) Lemon

benefits of Lemon

Lemon Juice for acne works quite well. Citrus fruits/extracts are always added into skin care products due to the abundance of antioxidants that will help you fight free radicals present in the skin and also help boost collagen levels.

Why Does it Work?

Although they aren’t any concrete researches and studies supporting the claims that millions make, it is a steadfast belief that the citric acid present in the lemon will reduce the sebum production that is seen in acne by drying the site of infection. Citric acid is a known antiseptic, that could effectively kill the bacteria present in the acne. Additionally, as it is an anti-inflammatory agent, it will reduce the redness and inflammation caused by the acne.

[Also Read: Lemon Juice for Acne – Does It Help?]

How to Use Lemon Juice for Acne?

Lemon Juice Wash
  1. First, cleanse your face with soap and make sure you gently scrub your skin to remove any oil or dirt buildup, rinse with warm water and then dry with a clean towel.
  2. Cut a fresh lemon in half and extract the juice into a bowl.
  3. Using a gauze/cotton ball, dip it into the bowl and squeeze the excess liquid and apply the lemon juice directly on the affected area. Cover all the affected areas.
  4. Let it rest for 10 minutes until the lemon juice dries out, if you feel any discomfort or stinging-like sensations, immediately wash your face with cold water.
  5. Rinse the skin properly with cold water after 10 minutes and then dry with a towel

[Read: Benefits of Lemon Water]

Lemon Juice and Rose Water
  1. First, cleanse your face with soap and make sure you gently scrub your skin to remove any oil or dirt buildup, rinse with warm water and then dry with a clean towel.
  2. In a bowl combine equal volumes of rosewater and lemon. Adding rosewater bears an additional benefit as it is an antibacterial and is a skin toner.
  3. Using a gauze/cotton ball, dip it into the bowl and squeeze the excess liquid and apply the lemon juice directly on the affected area. Cover all the affected areas
  4. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes on your skin and then rinse with cold water

How Much to Use?

Use these procedures every day, for a week to see a change in your skin.

Back To TOC

CURE 2: Herbal Remedies for Acne

Herbs are naturally occurring substances which originated from plants or plant derivatives. They have shown immense potential in curing a lot of diseases effectively including cerebral disorders, skin conditions, and dermatological ailments blackheads, acne. Herbal remedies are easily accessible and don’t bear any kind of side effects.

[Also Read: Essential Herbal Remedies to Treat Acne]

1) Green Tea

Health Benefits of Green Tea

This tea has been used since generations in Asia and parts of Japan. It is extracted from the same plant that produces oolong tea, black tea, white tea. The distinguishing feature is how the leaves are treated. They are instantly dried and made into a powder form to prevent oxidation of the leaves.

Why Does it Work?

Green tea has several compounds that help in treating several ailments. One of the main active compounds, Catechins are antimicrobial and they help in destroying acne-causing bacteria. It is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties that help alleviate the inflammation and redness caused by acne. Additionally, green tea is known to keep your hormones in check, as hormonal imbalance is one of the major reasons for an outbreak of acne. Also, the presence of antioxidants helps neutralize the free radicals that damage your skin, thereby preventing you from aging.

In one study(7) conducted in 2016, it was observed that the green tea applied topically and consumed orally as a potent effect of controlling sebum production and helping in preventing acne and also, helping in curing mild to severe acne.

How to Use Green Tea for Acne?

There are several ways to use green tea for acne, one of the easiest and potent ways to use it would be to switch your caffeinated beverages with this herbal tea. You could drink it twice a day for a significant improvement in your skin’s health.

Alternatively, you could also use this, for this you would require:

  1. Facial cleanser
  2. Green tea
  3. Spray bottle
  4. Towel

Firstly brew some green tea and let it sit and cool down completely ( you could drink most of it and spare around 4-5 ml of it for the procedure).

  1. Now, once cooled pour the green tea into a spray bottle.
  2. Before using the green tea, wash your face with a facial cleanser and pat dry with a towel
  3. Using the spray bottle, sprinkle a generous amount of green tea onto your face. Avoid eye contact.
  4. Once sprayed, let it dry for a while and then after 15-20 minutes rinse with cold water and pat your skin with a towel.

How Much to Use?

You could follow these procedures at least twice a day for the best results.

[Read: Natural Treatment for Chin Acne]

2) Witch Hazel

benefits of witch hazel

Witch hazel is a shrub that is scientifically known as Hamamelis Virginiana. The plant predominantly grows in the eastern and midwestern regions of the United States and in Southern Canada. This plant is known to have several medicinal benefits and its leaves, bark, and twigs are commonly used to make medicine.

Why Does it Work?

Witch hazel is a proven anti-inflammatory(8) agent that will help soothe the skin inflammation that is caused by acne. It’s skin soothing capabilities makes it the preferred choice for treatment for acne.

Additionally, there have been studies(9) stating that witch hazel contains tannins, that are capable of being a potent astringent, thereby helping your skin to shrink the inflamed pores and in reducing excess oil production. Thereby preventing the clogging of your pores and acne.

A recent study(10) has found that witch hazel ointment is an effective moisturizer that hydrates your skin. The key to preventing acne is to keep your skin moisturized at all times.

[Read: Benefits of Witch Hazel for face]

How to Use?

There are different ways you could use witch hazel, the methods are elucidated below:

Everyday Toner
  • Cotton balls or cotton pads
  • Witch hazel
  1. Firstly wash your face with a mild cleanser and pat it dry.
  2. Now pour 3-4 drops of witch hazel on the cotton pad and apply the pad on the affected area and let it dry.
  3. Once it is properly dried out, apply a face serum/moisturizer.
Cooling Gel
  • 1 teaspoon aloe vera gel
  • 1 teaspoon witch hazel
  1. Firstly, take a bowl and mix equal parts of aloe vera gel with witch hazel.
  2. Mix well and then apply this mixture on your face evenly.
  3. Let it dry and do not have to wash this away as it gets absorbed by your skin.
Anti-Inflammatory Face Mask
  • 1 teaspoon witch hazel
  • 2 teaspoons of honey or 1 egg white (if you have dry skin, use honey, and if you have oily skin, use egg white)
  1. Mix the honey or egg white with witch hazel in a bowl.
  2. Apply the mask all over your face.
  3. Let it sit for at least 20 minutes (if you are using egg white, wait until it dries).
  4. Rinse with cold water

[Read: Ways to Use Epsom Salt for Acne]

3) Echinacea

echinacea for get rid of cold sores
Image: shutterstock

Echinacea is a perennial herb that is normally seen in the east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States. It is also grown in western States, as well as in Canada and Europe. Several species of the echinacea plant are used to make medicine from its leaves, flower, and root.

Why Does it Work?

Echinacea is one such herb that causes phagocytosis(11), that is the process of devouring bacterial cells. It is also known to boost the immune system and as it is an anti-inflammatory agent it can alleviate redness and swelling caused by acne. Additionally, echinacea boasts of being an anti-aging agent, as it is rich in tannins, these astringent molecules shrink pores present on the skin giving it an appearance of fine and firmer and radiant skin.

How to Use Echinacea for Acne?

Echinacea is available in many different formulations, including capsules, powders, tinctures, and teas. You could choose any of them that appeals to you. However, it is advised that you consult with your physician/doctor before you start using this regimen.

How Much to Use?

It depends on the severity of the acne and the kind of brand that you are using, however, in a general sense it is recommended that you start with a dose mentioned on the label. You could then increase the dosage as suited. However, before doing so it is recommended that you consult with your physician if you could adhere to this regimen.

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CURE 3: Essential oils for Acne Cure

These oils are extracted from barks, flowers, stems, and other living parts of the plant and have a lot of beneficial effects for humans as they are able to help in the reduction of swelling and alleviating pain and also help in increasing the circulation.

[Also Read: 10 Magical Essential Oils for Acne]

1) Tea Tree Oil

tea tree oil benefits

It is also called as Melaleuca oil. This oil is a pale yellow to nearly colorless and is derived from the leaves of the plant Melaleuca alternifolia. It has antifungal and antimicrobial properties and it can be used to treat several skin conditions.

Why Does it Work?

Tea tree oil is commercially used as benzoyl peroxide that is used to treat a myriad of skin conditions. It consists of antibacterial and antimicrobial compounds that act on the acne and penetrate deep into the skin and helps unclog the sebaceous glands. By unclogging the pores, it disinfects and reduces the acne. Tea tree oil also works as a solvent and removes dust and grease off the skin and protects the skin from oxidative stress.

[Read: Treat Acne with Tea Tree Oil]

How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Acne?

It is essential that you understand that you could in no way consume any sort or kind of essential oil as it is dangerous. Essential oils are only for topical use.

  • ½ cup of water
  • 3-4 drops tea tree essential oil
  • Cotton pad
  1. In a bowl add 1/2 a cup of water and to it add 4-5 drops of the oil.
  2. Now soak the cotton pad and squeeze it and then apply it to the affected area.
  3. Let it rest for 20-25 minutes and once it dries, apply a moisturizer. There’s no need to wash it off.

Additionally, you could also add drops of tea tree oil on a cotton bud and gently nudge it against the acne, you could leave it on for a couple of hours or overnight to reduce the inflammation and redness.

How Much to Use?

You could do this twice a week for instant and effective results

2) Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil Benefits

Jojoba oil is a common ingredient that is used in different facial cleansers and skin care creams commercially. Due to its high levels of vitamins, minerals, and additional properties such as antibacterial,  and antifungal, it has been used extensively by several women in the cosmetic industry. It also clears up skin conditions and replenishes your skin, making it feel smooth and radiant.

Why Does it Work?

Jojoba oil houses several different characteristics that make it the ideal choice for skin conditions. It is an antibacterial/antimicrobial agent, it is also a moisturizing agent that helps in keeping skin supple and radiant, it is also an anti-inflammatory agent thereby helps in healing wounds. In one study it was observed that participants who used clay jojoba oil facial jojoba oil to be effective in healing their skin lesions, acne. They applied the mask two to three times per week and saw a significant change in their skin quality. In another study, it was observed that jojoba oil enhances the absorption of topical medicines and other skin products exponentially.

How to Use Jojoba Oil for Acne?

You could potentially use it in four different ways, all of them are effectively potent, you could go ahead and choose the one that works best for you.

A Clay Mask Application

For this, you would need bentonite clay and jojoba oil. Mix them in equal parts as per the area of your infection. Apply it to the affected areas, you could also apply it to your face and neck. Let it rest until it dries completely. Once it does, wash it with warm water and make sure you gently massage your skin while removing your mask.

A Face Moisturizer

For this, you would need two spoons of aloe vera gel and equal parts of jojoba oil. Add both to a bowl and mix them well. Now apply this mixture on to your face. This is essentially a moisturizer, so it doesn’t require you to wash it away. You could do this as many times as you’d like. It is recommended that you do this before going to sleep.

[Read: Benefits of Coconut Oil for Acne]

A Daily Cream

You could mix jojoba oil with your daily skin cream that you apply to your face. Additionally, you could also combine jojoba oil with your face oil and massage every nook and corner of your face.

Use it Directly

You could apply jojoba oil directly to your face or to the affected area. You could take a few drops of jojoba oil and apply it to your face and neck. Make sure that you massage it gently for 2 minutes and do not wash, as the best results are achieved when you leave it overnight.

How Much to Use?

You could use these remedies at least a minimum of three to four times a week and some of them could be used at least once a day for a few weeks.

[Read: Baking Soda for Acne]

3) Lavender Oil

Lavender Oil Benefits

Lavender oil is an essential oil that is extracted from lavender flowers, it has a characteristic smell that is effective in calming and relaxing the senses of the body. Owing to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory functions,

the use of lavender oil for treating acne and its scars has been used for a long time.

Why Does it Work?

Lavender oil is a powerhouse of antimicrobial agents and antioxidants that have a potent effect on the skin. It soothes and nourishes the skin by treating erupting acne. It is a well-known fact that stress is one of the contributing factors for acne outburst. Lavender oil has an added benefit of reducing stress and anxiety and thereby reducing the breakouts significantly. It also promotes to improve your quality of sleep, thereby promoting your health and your skin’s maintenance.

In a study(12), it was observed that lavender oil induces a relaxing effect when it is inhaled. Twenty participants revealed that lavender oil caused a significant decrease in blood pressure, heart rate, and skin temperature.

 How to Use Lavender Oil for Acne?

You can use lavender oil as a facial toner by mixing two drops of the oil with one teaspoon of witch hazel and then soak a cotton ball in the solution and make sure you gently rub it over your face.

For severe acne, you could use a mixture of argan oil and lavender oil, as argan oil can help reduce inflammation. Mix one drop of lavender oil with a drop of argan oil and by using a cotton ball you could directly apply the blend on to your pimples and let it rest for 10-15 minutes and then wash your face and pat it dry with a towel.

[Also Read: Benefits of Using Lavender Oil for Acne]

How Much to Use?

You could follow these procedures every day for a week and then check the condition of your skin to notice the change in your skin.

Back To TOC

Cure 4: Supplements for Acne Treatment

Supplements form the adjuvant therapy, i.e. you should this treatment alongside the primary treatment. Supplements form the backbone for your recovery since deficiency of nutrients and minerals could lead to weakened immunity making your body prone to bacteria that could cause acne.

1) Zinc

zinc benefits

Zinc is one of the essential nutrients that the body requires for maintaining a healthy body. Zinc is a suppository that supports the immune system and helps in combating the ailments by blocking harmful cells and pathogens. Additionally, it also plays an essential role in the catalysis of over 100 metabolic and enzymatic activities in the body. This mineral is integral to maintain homeostasis and metabolic balance in the body.

Why Does it Work?

Zinc is a known essential mineral that boosts(13) the immune system of the body and prepares it to fight with virus and bacteria that enter the body. Albeit, most people do receive their daily intake of zinc through a diet. However, it has been noticed that temporary supplementation of Zinc could be very beneficial for the body.

Additionally, zinc is also known to be an anti-inflammatory, that may help alleviate the redness and irritation caused by moderate-to-severe acne. It is also known to reduce the appearance of acne scars.

How to Use?

Zinc supplementation is very simple and could be followed by just using them right from the container. Although it is strictly advised that you check with your doctor/physician before you do so.

[Also Read: Zinc for Acne: Does It Work?]

How Much to Use?

Ideally, it is recommended that you stick to the dosage mentioned on the label. However, before doing so it is recommended that you consult with your physician if you could adhere to this regimen.

[Read: Benefits of Vitamin E Oil for Face]

2) Fish Oil Supplements

fish oil

Fish oil, as the name implies, comes from fish. It contains omega-3 fatty acids, which has demonstrated to have a positive impact on bodily functions and metabolism.

Why Does it Work?

Fish oil supplementation is known to help cure acne, it is an anti-inflammatory agent that helps reduce the redness and the scars that are caused by acne. It is also noticed that fish oil causes vasodilation and thereby helps in increasing the blood flow, thereby helping in boosting immunity. In one study conducted in 2012, 13 individuals with inflammatory acne were given 3 grams of fish oil containing 930 mg of EPA to their unchanged diet and existing acne remedies for 12 weeks. After the assessment, it was noticed that the acne was reduced in severity and inflammation.

How to Use Fish Oil for Acne?

Fish-oil supplementation is very simple and could be followed by just using them right from the container. Although it is strictly advised that you check with your doctor/physician before you do so.

How Much to use?

Ideally, it is recommended that you stick to the dosage available on the container. However, before doing so it is recommended that you consult with your physician if you could adhere to this regimen.

3) Guggul Supplementation (Commiphora Mukul)

The Mukul myrrh tree is a small, thorny shrub that is mostly seen in   Asia, primarily India. A yellowish resin is produced by this plant and this resin is colloquially termed as Guggul and gum Guggulu. This resin has been used from ages to treat several ailments.

Why Does it Work?

Although there have been several studies that have been conducted on guggul, the working mechanism and how it reduces acne is still under wraps and extensive research is being conducted on it. However, for now, it is being hypothesized that guggul is an anti-inflammatory agent that helps reduce the inflammation(14) and alleviate the redness caused by acne.

How to Use?

Guggul is now available in the form of teas, powders, tinctures, supplements. It is ideally recommended that you use the powder or the supplement. However, before adhering to this regimen it is better to consult with a doctor/physician.

How Much to Use?

In a study(15) conducted on people suffering from a cystic form of acne, it was found that 25 milligrams of guggul supplements taken twice over the time span of three months resulted in the reduction of acne significantly. Additionally, it also prevented acne relapses and was much more effective than 500 milligrams of tetracycline. This dosage and time frame is in a controlled environment. However, it is advised that you consult with your physician/doctor for a dosage that would work for you.

[Read: Home Remedies for Pimples]

Preventive Tips

  1. Have a daily routine- Incorporate any of these home remedies and consistently keep doing it so you could keep acne at bay and cure your already present acne.
  2. Consistency is key- Don’t keep alternating between conventional medical products and alternative remedies. Choose one, stay on course and allow the treatment to work.
  3. Sleep is essential- Sleep keeps your immune system intact and helps from acne being triggered on your skin.
  4. Exercise- Exercise is a wonderful way to not only get stress under control but also helps you sweat out those toxins that are clogging your pores.
  5. Use sunscreen- Sun damages the skin and could trigger acne. A sunscreen ideally could help you block those sun rays and it is recommended that you use something that is above SPF 30.
  6. Face wash- Remember to wash your face regularly at least two times a day.
  7. Moisturizing- Using a moisturizer could help your acne to dry off and using it in small quantities could help your skin stay radiant.
  8. Balanced diet- Try to have a balanced diet, with all your leafy veggies and try to add in more quality proteins and fruits to keep acne at bay.

Acne could be a debilitating skin condition that makes you feel bad about yourself. However, just remind yourself that these home remedies and natural remedies for acne could help you to not only cure acne but also to prevent them and to help your skin glow and be radiant.

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