Acne is one of the most common skin conditions in the world and affects 85% of people at some time in their lives.
Conventional treatments for acne can be expensive and often have undesirable side effects such as dryness, redness and irritation.
This has led many people to study how to cure acne naturally at home. The Internet is full of suggestions, but do natural treatments really work?
This article explores 10 home remedies for acne that are backed by science.
What Causes Acne?
Acne starts when the pores in your skin get clogged with oil and dead skin cells.
Each pore is connected to a sebaceous gland, which produces a fatty substance called sebum. Extra sebum can clog the pores, causing the growth of a bacterium known as Propionibacterium acnes or P. acnes.
Your white blood cells attack P. acnes, which leads to skin inflammation and acne. Some cases of acne are more serious than others, but common symptoms include whiteheads, blackheads and pimples.
Many factors contribute to the development of acne, such as genetics, diet, stress, hormonal changes and infections.
Below are 10 home remedies for acne that you may want to try.
1. Apply Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting apple cider or unfiltered juice from pressed apples. Like other vinegars, it is known for its ability to fight many types of bacteria and viruses . Apple cider vinegar contains several organic acids that have been shown to kill P. acnes. In particular, it has been shown that succinic acid suppresses inflammation caused by P. acnes, which can prevent scarring. In addition, it has been shown that lactic acid improves the appearance of acne scars. Also, apple cider vinegar can help dry out the excess oil that causes acne in the first place.
How to Use It
- Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar and 3 parts water (use more water for sensitive skin).
- After cleansing, gently apply the mixture to the skin using a cotton ball.
- Let sit for 5–20 seconds, rinse with water and pat dry.
- Repeat this process 1–2 times per day, as needed.
It is important to note that applying apple cider vinegar to your skin can cause burns and irritation, so it should always be used in small amounts and diluted with water.
2. Take a Zinc Supplement
Zinc is an essential nutrient that is important for cell growth, hormone production, metabolism and immune function.
It is also one of the most studied natural treatments for acne. Research shows that people with acne tend to have lower levels of zinc in their blood than those with clear skin (9).
Several studies have shown that taking zinc orally helps reduce acne.
In one study, 48 patients with acne received oral zinc supplements three times a day. After eight weeks, 38 patients experienced a reduction of 80 to 100% in acne.
The optimal dose of zinc for acne has not been established, but several studies have shown a significant reduction in acne with 30 to 45 mg of elemental zinc per day.
Elemental zinc refers to the amount of zinc that is present in the compound. Zinc is available in many forms, and each contains a different amount of elemental zinc.
Zinc oxide contains the highest amount of 80% elemental zinc.
The recommended safe upper limit of zinc is 40 mg per day, so it is probably best not to exceed that amount unless you are under the supervision of a doctor. Taking too much zinc can cause adverse effects, such as stomach pain and intestinal irritation.
It is also important to keep in mind that the application of zinc on the skin has not proven to be effective. This may be because zinc is not effectively absorbed through the skin.
3. Make a Honey and Cinnamon Mask
Both honey and cinnamon are excellent sources of antioxidants (14, 15, 16, 17, 18).
Studies have found that the application of antioxidants on the skin is more effective in reducing acne than benzoyl peroxide and Retinoids .
These are two common acne medications for the skin that have antibacterial properties.
The antioxidants studied were vitamin B3, linoleic fatty acid (omega-6) and sodium ascorbyl phosphate (SAP), which is a derivative of vitamin C.
These specific antioxidants are not found in honey or cinnamon, but there is a possibility that other antioxidants may have a similar effect.
Honey and cinnamon also have the ability to fight bacteria and reduce inflammation, which are two factors that cause acne.
While the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial properties of honey and cinnamon can benefit acne-prone skin, there are no studies on their ability to treat acne.
How to Make a Honey and Cinnamon Mask
- Mix 2 tablespoons honey and 1 teaspoon cinnamon together to form a paste.
- After cleansing, apply the mask to your face and leave it on for 10–15 minutes.
- Rinse the mask off completely and pat your face dry.
4. Spot Treat With Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is an essential oil that is extracted from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, a small tree native to Australia.
It is well known for its ability to fight bacteria and reduce inflammation of the skin (26).
In addition, several studies show that the application of 5% tea tree oil on the skin effectively reduces acne (27, 28).
Compared to 5% benzoyl peroxide, 5% tea tree oil did not act as quickly, but acne significantly improved after three months of use (29).
It also produced fewer adverse effects such as dryness, irritation and burning, compared to benzoyl peroxide.
Tea tree oil is very powerful, so always dilute it before applying it to the skin.
How to Use It
- Mix 1 part tea tree oil with 9 parts water.
- Dip a cotton swab into the mixture and apply it to affected areas.
- Apply moisturizer if desired.
- Repeat this process 1–2 times per day, as needed.
5. Apply Green Tea to Your Skin
Green tea is very high in antioxidants, and drinking it can promote good health.
There are no studies that explore the benefits of taking green tea when it comes to acne, but it has been shown that applying it directly on the skin is useful.
This is likely because flavonoids and tannin in green tea are known to help fight bacteria and reduce inflammation, which are two main causes of acne.
It has been shown that the main antioxidant in green tea, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), reduces sebum production, fights inflammation and inhibits the growth of P. acnes in individuals with acne-prone skin.
Several studies have shown that the application of 2-3% green tea extract on the skin significantly reduces the production of sebum and pimples in people with acne.
You can buy creams and lotions that contain green tea, but it’s just as easy to make your own mix at home.
How to Use It
- Steep green tea in boiling water for 3–4 minutes.
- Allow tea to cool.
- Using a cotton ball, apply tea to skin or pour into a spray bottle to spritz on.
- Allow to dry, then rinse with water and pat dry.
6. Moisturize With Aloe Vera.
Aloe Vera is a tropical plant whose leaves produce a transparent gel.
The gel is often added to lotions, creams, ointments and soaps. It is commonly used to treat abrasions, rashes, burns and other skin conditions.
When applied to the skin, aloe Vera gel can help heal wounds, treat burns and fight inflammation.
Aloe Vera also contains salicylic acid and sulfur, which are widely used in the treatment of acne.
Several studies have shown that the application of salicylic acid on the skin significantly reduces acne.
In the same way, the application of sulfur has proven to be an effective treatment against acne.
While the research shows great promise, the benefits against aloe Vera acne itself require more scientific evidence.
How to Use It
- Scrape the gel from the aloe plant out with a spoon.
- Apply gel directly to clean skin as a moisturizer.
- Repeat 1–2 times per day, or as desired.
You can also buy aloe Vera gel from the store, but make sure it is pure aloe without any added ingredients.
7. Take a Fish Oil Supplement
Omega-3 fatty acids are incredibly healthy fats that offer a multitude of health benefits.
You must get these fats from your diet, but research shows that most people who consume a standard Western diet do not consume enough .
Fish oils contain two main types of omega-3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
EPA benefits the skin in several ways, including managing oil production, maintaining adequate hydration and preventing acne .
It has been shown that high levels of EPA and DHA decrease inflammatory factors, which can reduce the risk of acne.
In one study, 45 people with acne received supplements of omega-3 fatty acids containing EPA and DHA daily. After 10 weeks, acne decreased significantly.
There is no specific recommended daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids, but most health organizations recommend that healthy adults consume a minimum of 250 to 500 mg of EPA and DHA combined daily.
You can also get omega-3 fatty acids by eating ground salmon, sardines, anchovies, walnuts, chia seeds and flax seeds.
8. Cut Back on Dairy
The relationship between dairy products and acne is very controversial.
Drinking milk and consuming dairy products exposes you to hormones, which can cause hormonal changes and cause acne.
Two large studies reported that the highest levels of milk consumption were associated with acne.
However, participants self-reported the data in both studies, so more research is needed to establish a true causal relationship.
9. Reduce Stress
Hormones released during periods of stress can increase sebum production and inflammation of the skin, worsening acne .
In fact, several studies have linked stress with an increase in the severity of acne .
In addition, stress can delay the healing of wounds by up to 40%, which can delay the repair of acne lesions.
It has been shown that certain relaxation and stress reduction treatments improve acne, but more research is necessary.
You can visit This Article to manage Stress Click Here.
Ways to Reduce Stress
- Get more sleep
- Engage in physical activity
- Practice yoga
- Take deep breaths
10. Exercise Regularly
Exercise promotes healthy blood circulation. The increase in blood flow helps nourish skin cells, which can help prevent and cure acne.
Exercise also plays a role in hormonal regulation.
Several studies have shown that exercise can reduce stress and anxiety, both factors that can contribute to the development of acne.
It is recommended that healthy adults exercise for 30 minutes 3 to 5 times per week. This can include walking, walking, running and lifting weights.