11 evidence-based home remedies to help treat acne

Acne occurs when an excessive amount of an oily substance called sebum, which lubricates and waterproofs the skin, clogs up the pores. This excess sebum in the pores causes growth of bacteria called P. acnes, which in turn leads to inflammation. Different factors play a role in the development and severity of acne, including genetics, diet, stress, hormonal changes and infections. Affecting approximately 85 percent of people at some point in their lives, acne is among the most common skin conditions in the world.
Left untreated, acne can lead to scarring. What’s more, acne is associated with lower self-esteem and increased risk of depression. Oftentimes, traditional acne medications are expensive and might have side effects such as dryness, redness and irritation. For this reason, many people are turning to natural, home-based remedies to help treat acne. Eleven D such evidence-based remedies are described below.
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1. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains several organic acids known to fight many types of bacteria, including P. acnes. Succinic acid decreases the inflammation caused by P. acnes, and lactic acid is thought to reduce the appearance of acne scars. Apple cider vinegar also contains citric acid, which is added to many over-the-counter acne products. Furthermore, apple cider vinegar might help dry excess sebum.
Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar with 3 or 4 parts water. You’ll want to use more water if you have sensitive skin. After cleansing your face, apply the mixture to your skin using a cotton ball or pad. Let sit for five to 20 seconds, rinse with water and pat dry. Apple cider vinegar can cause burns and irritation, so it should be used in small amounts and diluted with plenty of water.
2. Honey
Organic raw honey is an excellent source of antioxidants, which are effective at reducing acne. It also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Using a clean finger or a cotton ball or pad, apply a dab of honey to your pimples. You can also apply it all over your face as a face mask or add a bit of honey to a face mask. Leave on for five to 15 minutes, and rinse off with warm water.
3. Tea tree oil
Like honey, tea tree oil also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, so it decreases swelling and redness. Tea tree oil is thought to be just as effective at reducing acne as benzoyl peroxide but results in fewer side effects such as redness, itching and burning.
Mix 1 part tea tree oil with 9 parts water. Apply the mixture to affected areas using a cotton ball or swab. Tea tree oil is very potent, so it should be diluted with water. You can also add a drop of tea tree oil to face soaps, lotions or gels.
4. Green tea
Green tea contains flavonoids and tannins, which are known to help fight bacteria and reduce inflammation. It is also another source of antioxidants. The main antioxidant in green tea, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, reduces sebum production, fights inflammation and stops the growth of P. acnes.
Although limited scientific evidence exists about the benefits of drinking green tea for treating acne, applying it to the skin has been shown to be effective. Steep green tea in boiling water for three to four minutes and allow it to cool. Apply it to the skin with a cotton ball or pad or a spray bottle. Allow it to dry, then rinse with water and pat dry. You can also buy lotions or other skin care products that contain green tea.
5. Aloe vera
Aloe vera can help fight inflammation and is used to treat a variety of skin conditions. It also contains salicylic acid and sulfur, both of which are used to treat acne. Aloe vera is commonly added to soaps, gels, ointments and lotions. You can also scrape the gel from an aloe plant with a spoon and apply it directly to the skin as a moisturizer once or twice a day. If you wish, you can also purchase aloe vera gel from the store, but make sure it is pure aloe without any added ingredients.
6. Garlic
Garlic has antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and helps boost the body’s immune system, thereby aiding in acne treatment. Adding more garlic to your diet is one way to treat acne. You can also make a paste of crushed garlic and water, apply it directly to the blemish and wash off after five minutes. Use plenty of water, as applying garlic directly to the skin could potentially cause more irritation.
7. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is yet another substance with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that helps reduce swelling and redness. It is also thought that coconut oil can speed up healing in open acne sores. Use pure, virgin coconut oil to treat acne by rubbing it directly on the affected area. You can also mix equal parts sugar or salt with coconut oil, scrub your skin with the mixture and rinse well no more than once a day.
8. Cucumber slices
You may have seen people put cucumber slices over their eyes to reduce puffiness or even tried this yourself. In the same way they reduce eye swelling, cucumber slices can reduce acne swelling. In addition, they are hydrating and contain Vitamin C, both of which are essential to healthy skin. Simply apply cucumber slices directly to your skin, leaving them on as long as you wish.
9. Omega-3 fatty acids
There are two omega-3 fatty acids especially beneficial for acne treatment: eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. Both of them decrease inflammatory factors, and EPA manages oil production and maintains hydration. Fish oil supplements contain both of these omega-3 fatty acids. You can also obtain them by eating salmon, sardines, anchovies, walnuts, chia seeds and ground flaxseeds. It is recommended to consume a minimum of 250 to 500 mg of combined EPA and DHA daily.
10. Orange peels
Just like oranges themselves, orange peels contain Vitamin C, a necessary antioxidant for skin regeneration. Grind the peel with water to form a paste and rub the paste onto the skin. Keep it on for 10 minutes and rinse off.
11. Baking soda
Baking soda is drying and removes oil. It can also be used as an exfoliant. Use baking soda to help treat acne by mixing 3 parts baking soda with 1 part water. Rub the mixture into your face with gentle circular strokes. Leave on for five minutes and rinse off with warm water.
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In addition to trying these home remedies, you can also treat and prevent acne by exercising regularly, drinking enough water, decreasing dairy intake and reducing stress. Although having acne is no fun, there is plenty you can do to prevent and treat it without spending an arm and a leg.

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