Acne is a common skin problem that affects people of all ages. But teenagers are at a higher risk due to androgenic hormones, present during the teenage years. Bacteria, dirt, and oil on and beneath the skin, causes blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, bumps, and nodules. Thankfully, there are many natural remedies for acne that are straightforward and free from side-effects.
Natural remedies for acne are beneficial, and you can use them as the first line of defense.
Keep in mind that natural remedies for acne can be used safely together with medical treatments if they become necessary.
But before we talk about the natural remedies, let's get an idea of the possible causes.
Causes of Acne
The cause of acne is a hormonal imbalance. When your hormones go wild, they create havoc. But, why do they turn wild? Here are the probable answers:
- Increased levels of testosterone during puberty
- Over-production of sebum
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Frequent skin exfoliation
- Excessive consumption of spicy, lycopene-rich, and fatty foods
- Overeating chocolate
- Pore-clogging ingredients in cosmetics
- Using anti-epileptic, steroid, or lithium-infused drugs
- Heavy sweating and humidity
- Lack of sleep
- Prolonged use of oral contraceptive pills
- Food Intolerances
- Incomplete digestion
- Pitta dosha out-of-balance
Symptoms of Acne
While acne is more common on face and shoulders, it affects arms, buttocks, trunk, and legs also.
Some of the common symptoms of acne are:
- Small or large red bumps on the skin
- Pus-filled bumps
- Redness around skin outbursts
- Scarring of the skin
In severe cases, people who experience recurring acne attacks are prone to:
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of self-esteem
- Permanent scarring on the skin
Natural Remedies for Acne
I have divided the solutions for natural remedies for acne into these 5 groups:
Lifestyle Remedies for Acne
Here are few simple changes you could make in your daily life to prevent and heal acne:
- Get a good night of sleep
- Stop eating processed junk food (sugar makes the skin more sensitive to acne-causing hormones)
- Avoid cigarettes, alcohol, deep-fried foods, sugar, and gluten
- Eat less spicy foods
- Stay away from dairy that comes from cows that are fed hormones
- Flush out the toxins with a generous dose of water intake
- Aim to eat whole grains, lentils, and veggies
- Find ways to ease stress to manage hormones. (Try Yoga Nidra)
- Use clean, chemical-free cosmetics and makeup
- Wash your face with a soap-free cleanser
- Protect yourself from the sun
- Exercise regularly to promote detoxification
- Eat a cooling diet. (Pitta reducing diet)
Home Remedies for Acne
1. Baking Soda
An excellent exfoliating agent, baking soda can help to clear clogged pores. Mix 1 tsp water with 1 tbsp baking soda to prepare a paste. Apply on cleansed face and wash off with lukewarm water after 15 minutes. Or, you can make a mask by whisking baking soda with lemon juice. A word of caution, use it once a week.
2. Exfoliate gently
You need to exfoliate, especially if you have oily skin. I recommend a Konjac Sponge or a mix of oatmeal, brown sugar, and sea salt help removes the dead skin cells to unclog your pores.
Grind oatmeal (or purchase colloidal oatmeal) and brown sugar and sea salt into a fine powder using a coffee grinder or blender. Add raw honey and jojoba oil and stir well. Apply a small amount of this natural exfoliant to your skin and gently massage using small circles.
Used to treat inflammatory skin conditions since ancient times. The reason is, ground apricot kernels are rich in essential fatty acids like oleic, linoleic acid and vitamin A. Be careful with this one if you have sensitive skin, however.
Ground 3 teaspoons of the kernels to a fine powder or purchase them already ground. Mix them with jojoba oil, enough honey, and lemon juice to make a mask. Apply to cleansed face and neck for 15 minutes
4. Tea Tree Oil
One of the most efficient natural remedies for acne, Tea Tree Oil has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties heal acne. Mix tea tree oil with a mixture of lemon juice and jojoba oil and apply it on the affected area.
Accordingly, you can also use undiluted oil on your acne, but do a trial before to prevent a flare-up. A mixture of aloe gel and this essential oil is also a tremendous anti-acne solution.
The Omega-3 fatty acids of walnuts help you lower inflammation from the inside. So eat a few every day. (They are good for your brain too.)
You can also prepare a scrub using ground walnuts mixed with organic Greek yogurt and honey. The walnuts will loosen dead skin while yogurt and honey kill bacteria and moisturize the skin at the same time.
Or blend walnut oil with a few drops of tea tree oil as a natural remedy for acne. Rub the oil into over your skin and steam it for 5 minutes, then rinse with cool water to see glowing skin.
Ayurvedic Remedies for Acne
The science of Ayurveda teaches you Nature’s great principles of health and natural living. If you’re new to Ayurveda, start here: What Is Ayurveda About?
The emphasis in Ayurveda is on self-care, taking responsibility for your health, preparing your own food, improving digestion, appropriate exercise, eating seasonally, and keeping a positive state of mind.
Ayurveda treats the person, not the disease… So get to know yourself, learn what combination of qualities you have in your body and mind. When you know which elements make up the majority of your constitution, you will know which conditions you thrive in.
According to Ayurveda, many factors contribute to acne. Acne is the result of challenged digestion, accumulation of toxic heat, an overgrowth of bacteria. This is why treating acne with antibiotics may never cure the problem. Mostly, this condition responds to cleansing and repairing the liver and gallbladder and eliminating poor digestion, high stress, and poor diet.
Because there are many contributing factors to acne, you must approach it through natural remedies and lifestyle adjustments if you want clear skin.
The combination of Neem and Turmeric mixed is a very potent natural remedy because it is rich with anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties.
Use a mixture of neem juice and turmeric powder as a topical anti-acne solution. You can also use neem essential oil with turmeric powder and red sandalwood powder to heal acne.
2. Sandalwood powder
Mix chickpea flour and sandalwood powder in 1:1 ratio. Combine four tsp of this mixture with 1 tbsp yogurt to prepare a smooth blend. Apply on a cleansed face to clear excess oil and heal acne. Wait for 15 minutes before washing off with lukewarm water. Pat dry using a soft towel. You can use this remedy twice a week.
3. Keep your body cool
Take a Pitta reducing diet. Avoid spicy, fermented or fried foods. Restoring the natural levels of Pitta is essential to healing acne. Include body cooling herbs and fruits in your diet to pacify the Dosha.
Some of the foods that could help you are:
- Aloe Vera juice (1/2 cup 2x day)
- Tender coconut juice
- Fresh mint tea
- Coriander, cumin, fennel tea (Steep 1/3 tsp of each in hot water. Drink after meals 3x day)
4. Coconut Oil
There are many health benefits for coconut oil. Medium chain fatty acids, lauric acid, and antioxidants make it a versatile healing oil. Also, it moisturizes the skin and combats the bacteria that trigger acne. Just mix one tsp of coconut oil with 1 tbsp gram flour and one tsp turmeric powder to prepare a simple scrub to clean your skin.
You can also add rose hip oil to coconut oil to ease the scars and blemishes. A mixture of Coconut oil, lavender essential oil, and honey can work as an exfoliating agent to remove blemishes and give you evenly toned skin.
An Ayurvedic anti-inflammatory, antibacterial herb, Guggul helps to reduce acne. Research suggests guggul reduces sebum secretion and blocks bacterial metabolism of triglycerides that promote acne. While 25 mg is the recommended daily dose, consult with your doctor to find the ideal treatment for you.
Also called Indian madder, it is an astringent, blood purifying herb which is quite often used to treat acne. It combats inflammation and nourishes the skin.
Mix 1 Tbs Manjishta powder with honey and make a topical paste to reduce and prevent acne.
Essential Oils for Acne
Aromatherapy offers hope for the healing of humankind. There is a strong connection between smell, emotions, and states of mind.
Essential oils are an effective form of natural medicine with calming, narcotic and healing effects.
All plants have unique qualities we can use to heal. Many have antiseptic, antiviral, anti-bacterial properties that add to our body's defense system.
Acne-Away Antibacterial Spritz:
In a clean spray bottle, add one cup of distilled water to:
8 drops Lavender
6 drops Sandalwood
5 drops Geranium
4 drops Frankincense
3 drops Helichrysum
This blend is cleansing and calming to the skin. It reduces the two components that encourage acne: bacteria and inflammation.
Shake well and spritz onto your face after cleansing.
Lavender Essential Oil
Antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties have proven to fight acne. Additionally, lavender supports healing and maintaining healthy skin tissue.
Sandalwood Essential Oil
A gentle but very effective oil in treating skin conditions like acne because it's packed with antimicrobial, antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
Sandalwood helps to:
- Unclog Pores
- Rehydrate the skin
- Speeds the healing process through tissue regeneration
Geranium Essential Oil
This oil has Antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties that kill the germs that cause acne. It also helps to stabilize hormones responsible for acne.
Frankincense Essential Oil
Anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and controls oily skin. It not only can help prevent acne from forming in the first place, but it can help heal existing acne. Frankincense also has anti-scarring properties which will fade old acne scars and prevent existing acne from leaving noticeable scars.
Sandalwood is one of the best essential oils for acne-prone skin.
This is the best essential oil to treat scars no matter how long you've had them. Helichrysum supports skin renewal and is safe to use on inflamed and sensitive skin
Yoga Poses to Clear Acne
Practiced by countless people for thousands of years, yoga can make you healthier and happier.
Once you start to practice Yoga, you will begin to enjoy better health, deeper sleep, a sharper mind, and a better outlook on life.
You’ll also notice an improvement in your flexibility, vision, and general appearance. In other words, you’ll feel more vibrantly alive and enjoy better health physically, mentally and emotionally.
Inversions and twists promote blood circulation and detoxification. This, in turn, helps to clear blocked pores and reduce acne.
Here are the poses that you can practice daily!
1. Fish Pose or Matsyasana
Calms the stress while enhancing the circulation to the face.
Lie down on your back, stretching out the legs. Rest your hands on either side, palms facing the floor. Inhale and lift your head off the floor. Gaze at your toes. As you exhale, rest the crown of the head on the floor. Simultaneously, push your chest away from the floor. Support yourself with your elbows. To begin, hold for one minute. Slowly, increase the duration to 5 minutes.
2. Reclining Spinal Twists
Detoxifying your liver is essential to keep your circulation and skin clear. This is a simple twist. You can use props if you feel your knees are staying high up in the air.
Lie down on your back. Hug your knees to your chest and stretch out your hands at shoulder level. Inhale and as you exhale, rest your knees to your right and twist your torso to the left. Gaze to the left. Hold the posture for 3 minutes. Inhale and come back to center. Exhale and repeat on the other side.
To come out, stretch out the legs and relax.
3. Gyan Mudra
This hand gesture helps to calm your body and mind, thereby restoring the Dosha balance.
Sit down in a comfortable seated posture and keep your spine upright. Rest the palms on your thighs. Join the tips of the thumb and index fingers of respective palms and stretch our rest of the fingers. Close your eyes and hold the Mudra for 45 minutes.
If you cannot do it in one go, aim to practice 15 minutes 3x a day.
Looking after your skin is a daily task. I've given you many simple, natural remedies for acne without the need for a doctor's prescriptions and expensive medication.
I hope this post has been a great help to you and will be your one-stop natural remedies acne guide. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to leave me one in the comment section below.