5 Natural, Effective Ways to Treat Acne
Updated: Apr 18
Okay, you dealt with acne when you were younger, but that's all over now, right? Until you inexplicably get a breakout. We all experience skin issues from time to time, but if you don't have the time or energy to constantly cover up blemishes, it's time to take control of your skin with natural remedies that won't cause adverse skin reactions - or break the bank.
A note on why we get acne in the first place...
Breakouts occur not because of bad karma or a witch's curse but because of pores that have become clogged with oil, bacteria and dead skin cells. Other causes of acne can include fluctuating hormones (which women especially will always be susceptible to), poor diet, excessive stress, and certain classes of medications, such as steroids. In addition, some common cosmetic products like hairspray, gel, and detergent based soaps can act as an irritant, especially along the hairline. Looking at this list, we can easily say that modern life, with its time-crunched eating on the go, reliance on synthetics and severe stress, doesn't seem to be very kind to our skin.
The good news is, you don't have to rely on prescription meds or harsh preparations to banish your acne. Try these home remedies first and you'll be nourishing your skin with natural ingredients while combating breakouts at the source. Sometimes these methods take longer to work, but in the end they are far less likely to cause a rebound effect or backlash.
5 natural ways to banish acne for good
If some of these seem overly simple...isn't that good? You just have to experiment until you find a regimen that seems to work for your unique skin type, and give natural remedies the time to work.
1. Don't over-cleanse. Many people think the more the merrier when it comes to washing their face, especially if they have oily skin, but this just triggers the skin to go into oil production overdrive, often worsening the problem. If soap of any kind (even detergent-free soap) seems to overly dry or irritate your face, you can make your own face wash using honey, apple cider vinegar and a little bit of coconut oil - which, though often used as a moisturizer, is actually very anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, as is the honey.
2. Switch to a natural toner. Many commercial preparations are just too astringent. If your face will tolerate the alcohol content, witch hazel is an excellent natural option, but if you find it too harsh, consider toning with Bragg's pure apple cider vinegar. It does a great job of removing any remaining dirt, oil or makeup, and is loaded with minerals and enzymes that kill acne-causing bacteria. Our you can try our very own toner, which uses peppermint and lavender to cleanse and refresh naturally. 3. Hydrate properly. It's just a myth that people with oily or acne-prone skin should avoid moisturizers; of course, the heavy oil-based types are usually a no-no, but you can and should hydrate and nourish the skin to maintain its proper moisture balance. A couple of times a week, use a healing mask that soothes and replaces moisture. You can do a wonderful DIY mask with ingredients like raw yogurt, honey, oatmeal, banana, avocado, olive oil, and more - recipes abound online. You can also try a prepared mask, like our all-natural "Grateful" Dead Sea Mud Mask, which deep-cleans, tones, firms, seals in moisture. If it's not too heavy, trying using a very small amount of virgin coconut oil as your regular daily facial moisturizer. As mentioned before, it's not only natural, but fights bacteria and fungus that causes acne.
4. Use tea tree oil. Tea tree essential oil is great as a spot treatment applied to acne, or mix a few drops into your DIY natural masks, scrubs, cleansers and moisturizers. The important thing to remember is that tea tree is an extremely potent natural antiseptic; it always has to be diluted before applying directly to the skin, or it will hurt! Dilute 4-8 drops of tea tree oil in a teaspoon of carrier oil like coconut, grapeseed or extra virgin olive oil. Another topical remedy to try is basil or holy basil, which are available in an essential oil that you can add to your homemade skin care preparations, or as a leaf you can brew into tea to dab on as a spot treatment.
5. Exfoliate gently once a week. When you're not in the middle of a breakout is a good time to start exfoliating your face to remove excess dead skin and buildup. Great natural exfoliants include fine sea salt, sugar, and ground apricot shells; mix one of these dry ingredients with an equal amount of carrier oil like coconut, jojoba, almond or olive, aloe vera gel, honey, or yogurt, and very gently rub the mixture into your skin using the pads of your fingers and circular motions. A good scrub is one of my favourite things because the results are so dramatic and it's so easy to do.
Support your body inside and out
When you struggle with problem skin, it can be a sign that deeper healing is needed. Don't sabotage your topical skin care efforts! Keep in mind that...
-Diet and exercise are really important. Keeping your body in a healthy balance will do wonders for your skin.
-Hydration (those 8 daily glasses of water) supports your body in its efforts to flush harmful toxins from your body that would otherwise try to come out in your skin.
-Since stress can cause acne, find ways to relax and get grounded, preferably in nature if possible. Keep calm and heal your skin as naturally as possible with the remedies listed above...and share your favourite skin care hacks and acne-fighting tips below!
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