We all suffer from pimples now and then. The real trouble begins when these pimples become persistent or repetitive. I will share how you can get clear, glowing skin with these easy, home remedies to treat acne.
What is acne?
Our skin has pores that act as an outlet and allow the skin to breathe. When these pores get blocked by oil, makeup or dead skin cells, we develop what is called a pimple. And when the skin is unable to balance this and repeatedly experiences pimples/zits, it is called acne.
As per studies, acne is one of the most common skin problems. Most of us face this during our teenage years. But now it has become pretty common for adults to have acne too.
There are different types of acne depending on their appearance and severity.
Type of acne:
- Blackheads: black spots generally seen around nose, forehead, and chin. This happens due to debris trapped in the follicle which is exposed to the air. This causes oxidation and gives the black appearance.
- Whiteheads: These are similar to blackheads, but white in color. This happens due to sebum being trapped in the follicle. These are not exposed to air so appear white in color.
- Papules and pustules: the skin is bumped and does not have a visible head(black or white)
- Cystic acne: these are the pimples that we see. The skin is swollen and is filled with pus.
So, what really causes it and how to fix it? Let’s see the root causes and some effective, easy home remedies for acne.
Causes of acne
The skin consists of numerous pores that open to follicles. These follicles contain hair and a sebaceous gland. The sebaceous gland is responsible for producing sebum ( which is responsible for lubricating the skin and keeping it soft.
When these pores get blocked or too much oil is produced then it causes pimples to form. A hormonal imbalance may cause overproduction of oil and trigger acne. At the root, acne is caused by dust, debris, skin or bacteria trapped in the skin.
- Trapped debris or clogged pores: Clogged pores don’t allow the skin to breathe. And all the debris trapped inside the follicle makes it ripe for bacteria. This results in pimples and acne.
- Hormonal Imbalance: Hormonal imbalance may also cause breakouts. Hormonal changes during pregnancy or menstrual cycle may cause breakouts.
- Poor Diet: We are what we eat. And it shows on the skin too. When diet involves a lot of processed food, it becomes difficult for the body to digest it. This leads to a lack of nutrition reaching the skin, result: clogged pores and acne.
- Stress: Similar to diet, stress plays an important role in the natural functioning of the body. High stress affects digestion and hinders proper nutrition absorption. Result? breakouts and acne.
- Unsuitable beauty products: Using harsh beauty products causes skin irritation and inflammation. Plus using products that are not suitable to your skin won’t give best results.
Conventional treatment for acne involves benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. You can find both of them online or from a medical store but it is recommended to visit a dermatologist before taking these. These treatments may result in other side effects like dryness, redness or itching. Always consult your doctor before starting these treatments.
Home Remedies to treat acne
Apart from the conventional treatments, there are some home remedies that you can try to get rid of acne. For most parts, these remedies are safe to use, but it is better to do a patch test( especially in case of essential oils) or avoid ingredients you are allergic to.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV)
Apple cider vinegar is packed with nutrients beneficial for the skin. It is rich in potassium, magnesium and its antibacterial properties help to kill the bacteria on the skin. You can use either pure apple cider vinegar (with or without mother culture) or dilute it with rose water.
To use: Take a few drops of ACV on a cotton swab and smooth it over the skin. You can leave it as is and apply moisturizer once it dries off.
Green tea is packed with antioxidants which helps in fighting the free radicals and slow up skin aging and damage. This also helps to remove the debris and unclog the skin pores.
To use steep one sachet of green tea in boiling water. Once cooled, use it as a spray to mist it all over your face or spread it using a cotton ball.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties that help to clear away the bacteria and get healthy skin. You can create a spot treatment using tea tree oil. Since it is very potent, always dilute it before applying.
To use: Add one or two drops of tea tree oil in a spoon of water and use a cotton ball to apply it over active acne. Since tea tree oil dries out the skin, remember to use a moisturizer once the spot treatment is dry.
Clay masks are one of the best ways to treat acne. You can use it either as a spot treatment or face mask. Clays have the power to absorb impurities from skin so you are left with clean and soft skin. With so may clays available, you have numerous options to try to find your favorite clay,
DIY clay mask
combine one spoon of clay (Multani mitti, bentonite clay, Rhassoul clay) with the appropriate amount of rose water and apply all over your face.
don’t want to make the mask on your own? Give this one a try. I have personally used this one and had a good experience in tackling active acne.
Note: post clay treatment, it is fairly common for skin to feel dry. Follow up with a good toner and moisturizer, your skin will thank you for this mask.
Witch hazel is a good source of natural tannins which reduces skin inflammation and redness. This helps to calm the skin and restore balance. The antimicrobial properties of tannins can also help to fight the bacteria.
To use: smooth over the whole face using a cotton swab.
Basil is known to have a soothing and calming effect. Holy basil tea or Tulsi tea is known to control blood sugar, stress and hormones. since all these three cause acne, holy basil helps in controlling the acne. Plus it has the added advantage of doing health benefits.
Along with Tulsi tea, you can also use sweet basil essential oil. This oil helps to fight bacterial growth and clear up skin.
To use: have a cup of steaming hot tulsi tea or else use a cotton swab to spread a diluted sweet basil oil.
Lavender oil, in general, is one of the best oils for skin. It has antibacterial and calming properties that help in clearing the skin and calming it down.
Remember, essential oils are very potent, always dilute them in a carrier oil before applying.
To use: Mix one drop of lavender oil in your favorite moisturizer or oil and apply it all over your face. Focus more on active acne.
Aloe vera for acne
Aloevera is a versatile plant that can be used in multiple ways to benefit the skin. It helps in moisturizing, cooling and calming the skin which in turn aids in clearing the acne.
To use: you can use either fresh aloevera gel or store-bought. Both work equally well. Take a little amount of gel and spread it in circular motions. No need to wash off, it will dry in no time.
Since dead skin cells are one of the major reasons for acne, it is important to exfoliate the skin regularly. Use baking soda as a natural exfoliant to remove dirt and debris. Be gentle while exfoliating, as you don’t want to irritate the skin further with harsh movements.
To use mix tablespoon of baking soda with enough water to make a paste. Apply this in circular motions focusing on active acne. Wash off with plain water and follow up with good toner and moisturizer.
Turmeric and Neem
Turmeric and neem are two of the most common Indian herbs used for healthy and clear skin. Both of them have antibacterial properties that help in clearing up the skin.
Turmeric- Honey face mask: Mix turmeric with yogurt or honey to make a face mask. Apply this on the face and leave until it feels dry (5 mins). Wash with cold water to enjoy clean skin.
Neem hydrosol: Take a handful of neem leaves and steep it in boiling water for 15 minutes. Let it cool and strain the water. Use this water as a toner to calm the skin.
Maintain a healthy diet
It is very important to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Cut down your intake of sugar, dairy, grains. You should try to include more fiber, whole grains, fruits in your diet to ensure you are getting proper nutrients.
Use gentle beauty products
Using the right beauty products is equally important to treat acne. Instead of conventional over the counter products, try some gentle alternatives which will not harm or irritate your skin. I have created a list of organic skincare brands that provide gentle products for all your needs.
You have any other home remedies to treat acne? Share it in comments and spread it around.