Acne affects more than 50 percent of women, and it can be unpleasant to deal with, to say the least. Most over-the-counter acne treatments contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide that can dry out your skin. Prescription acne treatments, too, can lead to bad side effects. If you've tried just about everything to treat your acne, then you should check out 10 surprising do-it-yourself remedies that combat acne:

1. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar naturally fights acne-causing bacteria. Made from fermented apples, apple cider vinegar has also been shown to reduce inflammation caused by acne. To use it as an acne treatment, simply mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with six tablespoons water. Apply the mixture to skin with a cotton ball, allowing to sit for a minute. Then rinse with cool water.

2. Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil, an essential oil native to Australia, combats bacteria and reduces inflammation. It's often used as a safer alternative to benzoyl peroxide because tea tree oil isn't as drying. Mix one tablespoon of tea tree oil with nine tablespoons of water. Apply to skin using a cotton ball. Repeat twice a day.

3. Witch hazel

Witch hazel is a natural astringent that contains tannins, which have strong anti-bacterial properties. What's more, it reduces inflammation and promotes healing. You can find witch hazel in most drug stores. Use it as you would any type of toner.

4. Aloe vera

Aloe vera naturally fights inflammation and heals acne lesions. It also contains salicylic acid and sulfur, both of which reduce acne. You can find pure aloe vera gel in natural food stores. To use it, apply the gel directly to skin as a moisturizer.

5. Raw honey

Raw honey has anti-bacterial properties that reduce acne flare-ups. To use honey, simply apply a teaspoon of raw honey to pimples, allowing to sit for at least 30 minutes. Then rinse off with cool water.

5. Aspirin

Aspirin instantly dries up pimples and reduces inflammation. It is especially good for cystic acne. Make a paste by crushing a few tablets of aspirin in a little bit of water. Then place the paste on pimples, allowing to sit for ten minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water.

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6. Lemons

Lemons naturally disinfect skin, decreasing blemishes. They also reduce the appearance of acne scars, since lemons act as a natural skin lightener. Squeeze a few lemons, and dip a cotton ball in the lemon juice. Then dab acne with the cotton ball. Follow up with a moisturizer designed for oily skin.

7. Baking soda

Baking soda naturally unclogs pores. Combine it with honey that reduces redness and cleans out skin for the ultimate acne-busting treatment. To make this treatment, mix together three tablespoons of honey with two tablespoons baking soda, and apply to skin. Leave on for 15 minutes, and rinse off.

8. Green tea

Green tea has powerful antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that banish blemishes. Simply brew a cup of green tea, allow to cool, and use as a face wash. You can also apply green tea bags soaked in water directly to blemishes.

9. Mint

Mint unclogs pores, decreasing breakouts. Mix two tablespoons of chopped up fresh mint leaves with two tablespoons of plain yogurt and oatmeal. Apply to your face, and leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse with cool water.

10. Chamomile

Chamomile reduces skin irritation and inflammation caused by acne. Combine dried chamomile flowers with water to form a paste. Then apply the paste to blemishes. Leave on for 15 minutes, and rinse off with cool water.

Other natural ways to reduce acne include:

  • Following a low glycemic index diet. High glycemic foods, such as processed foods, cause insulin to spike. This leads to increased oil production, resulting in even more breakouts. Low glycemic foods include whole grains, legumes, fruits, nuts, vegetables, and lean proteins.
  • Reducing dairy intake. Consuming dairy products may cause hormonal changes, increasing the frequency of acne breakouts.
  • Lowering stress. Stress causes more cortisol to be released in your body, increasing oil production in your skin as well as inflammation. Stress also slows down lesion healing. To reduce stress, try sleeping more, meditating, and practicing yoga.
  • Exercising more. Exercise increases blood circulation, which nourishes skin and helps to detoxify your body. Try exercising for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

Stop acne in its tracks...naturally

Acne can be frustrating, especially if you've tried over-the-counter and prescription treatments with no luck. You can treat acne naturally, though, by trying out the above natural remedies combined with some lifestyle changes.

References

1. "13 Powerful Home Remedies for Acne," Health Line, February 3, 2017.
2. "13 Surprising Home Remedies for Acne," Reader's Digest, n.d.
3. "The Top 7 Home Remedies for Acne," Dr. Oz, August 31, 2017.

acne | all natural acne treatments | at-home acne remedies | blemishes | breakouts | DIY acne treatments