Fighting acne can be an ongoing battle, and it can be difficult to both treat blemishes that are already present and stop them from returning. There are oral and topical treatments available, but sometimes they’re not what we need.
What is Acne?
Though it is associated with youth, acne can affect anyone at any age. It is a skin condition where the follicles and pores on the skin are blocked with dead skin cells and oil, causing irritation and inflammation. Acne can present itself as whiteheads, pimples, and blackheads, and it can be fairly persistent.
Teenagers and young adults tend to be the ones who experience acne because of the fluctuating hormonal levels, but other individuals experience acne because of stress, family history, contact with greasy or oily substances, bacterial follicle infections, or excess oil production on the skin.
Treatments for acne are widely available in stores, but they can be pretty pricey, and sometimes they do more damage than good. If you’re looking to treat your acne in a way that is easy and affordable, there are a few different home remedies.
Honey and Cinnamon Mask
This mask can be easily made by mixing two tablespoons of honey and one tablespoon of cinnamon to form a paste. A study in 2017 found that the combination of honey and cinnamon could block and kill P. acnes, the acne-causing bacteria. Both have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and can potentially help reduce acne breakouts. Honey is also a humectant, meaning it helps preserve the moisture in the skin.
Fish oils have omega-3 fatty acids, which have many different health benefits; two types of fatty acids present in fish oil are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). High levels of these fatty acids can help decrease inflammation and the risk of acne.
Omega-3 fatty acids are present in anchovies, chia seeds, flax seeds, sardines, and salmon. If you’re not a fan of these foods, there are also fish oil supplements available in stores.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties, making it an ideal home remedy for acne treatment. As it’s very potent, you’ll want to dilute the tea tree oil before putting it on your skin. Mix one part of tea tree oil with nine parts of water and apply it to your skin with a cotton swab. Apply a moisturizer afterward.
This ingredient is very common, and you likely already have it somewhere in your cupboards. Baking soda is thought to help neutralize the pH level of the skin, and unbalanced levels can lead to dryness, breakouts, and other irritations. Mixed with water, it can work to soften clogged pores and blackheads.
You can make a DIY mask by; leave it on for up to 10 minutes before rinsing, and be sure to moisturize your skin afterward.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a great option for helping fight acne because it can help balance the pH of the skin, reducing the amount of oil and dryness. However, the vinegar is acidic, so it’s important to dilute it before using it on your skin; mix it with one part vinegar and four parts water.
It can be applied to the skin with a cotton ball or a spritzer. Allow it to sit for five to 20 seconds before rinsing with water. This can be repeated one to two times per day, as needed.
At-home Blue Light Therapy
Another acne remedy you can use at home to help fight it and its breakouts is blue light therapy. This form of therapy separates natural blue and violet light from the light spectrum, using it to treat conditions that are on or just under the skin. Blue light therapy may help clear skin by attacking the bacteria on your skin, specifically P. acnes. When the light is shown on the skin, it disrupts processes in the bacteria and causes the oil glands to shrink.
There are at-home light therapy devices for acne available on the market, and they are portable and convenient to use.
Acne affects close to 85% of young adults, and it is one of the common skin conditions. If you are struggling with acne, know that you’re not alone and that there are home remedies to help you.