Acne-prone skin is both painful and embarrassing. There are many products available to treat acne and blemishes, but home remedies are just as effective in clearing your complexion. These treatments are made using simple ingredients you may already have in your home. Since these are made with natural ingredients, you avoid exposure to harsh chemicals and feel good about what you are putting on your skin.
According to the University of Waikato Honey Research Unit of New Zealand, honey has been used throughout history as a medicine for skin conditions and infections due to its antimicrobial and antifungal properties. It produces a low level of hydrogen peroxide in contact with skin, which treats existing acne and prevents new blemishes from forming. Use honey alone as a mask and leave on the skin for 20 minutes; rinse off before bed. Combine it with cinnamon powder to form a paste as a spot treatment for blemishes. Mix honey with salt or sugar to form an exfoliating scrub that sloughs off dead skin cells; use one or two times per week.
Lemon juice is very acidic, contains skin-friendly vitamin C and is an excellent exfoliator for skin to unclog pores due to the alpha-hydroxy acid present in it. The acid loosens the buildup of dead skin, unclogging pores to get rid of existing acne and prevent new blemishes from forming. It also lightens skin, thus fading acne scars effectively. Squeeze the juice of one lemon into a bowl and apply to blemish-prone areas of your skin. Since lemon juice can be harsh for sensitive skin, mix it with equal parts water or rosewater to form an effective toner. Leave the toner on skin for 20 minutes, then rinse, for clean fresh skin. If you don’t have lemons handy, substitute limes.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is an essential oil made by distilling the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia plant of Australia. It is a common ingredient in many acne remedies, due to its natural antimicrobial and antifungal properties, and can be used alone as a home acne remedy. A 1990 study by the Department of Dermatology at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Australia compared the effectiveness of tea tree oil to that of benzoyl peroxide in treating patients with acne. The study showed that while the tea tree oil worked more slowly, it had fewer side effects than the peroxide. Apply it directly to the skin and use it as a spot treatment for blemishes or combine it into other treatments, such as honey, to make a skin mask. Dilute with water to make a toner.
A common pantry item, oatmeal contains saponins, which help clear dirt and oil away from skin, and vitamin E, which soothes and moisturizes, making it an effective treatment for acne and rosacea. Colloidal or ground oatmeal is one of the few natural home remedies recognized by the FDA in the OTC Skin Protectant Monograph to treat inflammatory skin conditions. Simply grind dry oats with a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder, combine with water to form a paste, and apply to skin for a healing and soothing mask. When rinsed, it exfoliates skin due to the fine oat particles. For sensitive skin, cook the oats and apply the cooked oatmeal to face and let dry before rinsing.
References and ResourcesWaikato Honey Research Unit: Honey as an Antimicrobial Agent
She Radiance Magazine by Ayushveda: Lemon for Skin
Skin & Aging: Natural Ingredients in Dermatology
Pioneer Thinking: Oatmeal, Not Just for Breakfast Anymore
The National Center for Biotechnology Information: A Comparative Study of Tea-tree Oil Versus Benzoyl Peroxide in the Treatment of Acne
ResourcesNational Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: Acne
Best Acne Treatments: Home Remedy for Acne
Fat Free Kitchen: Home Remedies for Acne, Pimples
Holistic Online: Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Alternifolia)