Acne is a skin condition that involves the oil glands of the skin. This is common for teenagers as part of the puberty stage as the oil glands become more active due to hormones produced by the adrenal glands. Although acne is not dangerous, these can be painful and may leave permanent scars if not treated properly. There are many types of acne such as whiteheads, blackheads, nobules, pustules, papules and cysts.
Before we discuss how to get rid of acne, it is important to have understandings on how acne develops.
What Causes Acne?
The pores of the skin are the opening to follicles which are made up of hair and sebaceous (oil) glands. The oil gland secretes sebum or oils and travel up out of the pores to the skin in order to keep the skin soft and lubricated.
Acne develops when the pores of the skin are blocked with oil, bacteria or dead skin. Teenagers are likely to develop acne due to the increase of androgen levels. Androgen is a hormone that usually rises when one enters the puberty stage. With high androgen level, the oil glands under the skin grow and secrete more oil. The excess sebum can damage the cellular walls of the skin pores where bacteria are likely to develop. In this case, acne can be caused by:
- Excessive oil produced by the follicles
- Dead skin cells
- Bacteria build up in the pores
Even though acne affects both men and women, men suffer from acne longer because of high levels of testosterone in men that makes acne even worse.
There are also other causes of acne such as the use of greasy cosmetics, hormonal changes during pregnancy and genes. There are cases that newborns also have acne as the mothers pass the hormones to them before giving birth. Acne may also appear when the pressure during delivery causes the baby’s body to secrete hormones.
Other causes of acne are some conditions of the endocrine system such as the Cushing’s syndrome and polycystic ovary syndrome.
Best Home Remedies to Get Rid of Acne Fast
The solutions to get rid of acne can also be found in your home. Here are some home remedies for acne that are very effective and fast.
1. Lemon Juice
One of the best and healthy ways to get rid of acne is lemon. This fruit is packed with vitamin C which helps in treating acne. Before applying lemon on your skin, make sure that you use fresh lemons and not processed or bottled juice as those contain preservatives. There are many ways to apply lemon juice on your skin.
- Get a slice or lemon and rub it gently on the affected area. Let it sit for few hours before washing your face with warm water.
- Another way to apply lemon on your skin is to mix one tablespoon of lemon juice with one teaspoon of cinnamon powder. Apply the mixture on the affected area before bed time. Rinse your skin well with warm water in the morning.
- You can also add rose water with the same amount of lemon juice and wash the affected face with the solution.
Cucumber is packed with essential nutrients like potassium, vitamin A, C and E. Cucumbers also have soothing effect on the skin. This is why many people apply pieces of fresh cucumbers on their face before bedtime or during relaxation to improve the skin.
- Cut one cucumber into pieces and put them in water for at least 1 hour. All the nutrients of the cucumber will be transferred on water such as the chloropyll, vitamin A and potassium. After an hour, drink the water to get the nutrients into your system. You can also apply the water directly on your skin.
3. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a gentle exfoliants and can remove skin impurities and bacteria from the pores of your skin. It has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties which help in clearing acne. It also assists in regulating the pH balance of the skin.
- Take 1 to 2 teaspoons of baking soda in a bowl and mix it with a little water to make a paste. Apply the paste on the affected area and leave it for few minutes before rinsing with water.
- Another way is to mix two tablespoons of baking soda, five tablespoons of honey, one teaspoon of cinnamon powder and lemon juice. Apply the mixture on the affected area and leave it on for five minutes. Do this treatment once or twice a week.
4. Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera gel is another effective treatment for acne. It has soothing effect and anti-inflammatory properties that can heal acne within few days. It can also help in healing the blemishes left by acne. Aloe vera gel is also used for burns, minor abrasions and cuts because of its healing properties.
There are many aloe vera gels available in the market but it is best to get aloe vera plant to get the gel fresh.
- With scissors or knife, cut the thickest part of the leaf of aloe vera plant which is near the bottom. Aloe is rich with substances known as glycoproteins that reduce inflammation and facilitate healing.
- Squeeze out the gel and apply it on the affected areas of your skin. Let it dry. You can also apply a thin layer of antibacterial cream on top of the aloe for more protection. Aloe contains polysaccharides that stimulate the growth of new skin cells. Do this treatment after washing and before bedtime.
5. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is one of the most effective natural treatments for skin problems and this oil also works great when it comes to acne. It has antiseptic properties and disinfects the pores. Tea tree oil purges the bacteria to prevent the development of acne.
- Simply apply 1 drop of tea tree oil on the affected area 3 times a day.
- You can also dilute tea tree oil with water or add aloe vera gel if undiluted tea tree oil causes redness or dryness.
The fenugreek herb is also one of the natural treatments for acne as it comes with anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antioxidant properties.
- Grind 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds to form a powder. Add a bit of warm water to make a paste. Apply the paste on the affected area and let it sit for at least 20 minutes. You can also leave it on overnight and wash your skin in the morning. Do this treatment 2 or 3 times a week.
- Mix fenugreek leaves with water and make a paste. Make sure to use fresh leaves. Apply the paste on your skin and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water. Repeat this treatment 3 to 4 days to heal the acne.
7. Orange Peels
Orange peels have high level content of vitamin C and has acidic property which make it an excellent natural remedy for treating acne. The peels of oranges are more effective but you can also apply fresh orange juice.
- Place the orange peels under the sun to let them dry. Once dried, grind the peels to make a powder and add a little water to make a paste. Wash your face with warm water to open the pores so the orange peel can enter and eliminate the acne-causing bacteria. Apply the orange peel paste on your skin and let it sit for at least 10 minutes before rinsing with water.
- Alternatively, peel the orange and rub the outside of orange peel on the acne gently. Change the peel to prevent the spread of bacteria. Then, squeeze the flesh of orange on a place or small bowl to get the juice. Use a cotton swab to apply the juice on your acne. Use a different cotton swab for each affected part to prevent the spreading of bacteria. Wash your face with cold water to close the pores.
The regular toothpaste that you use for brushing your teeth is also an effective treatment for acne. However, toothpaste may cause irritation so it is important to know the right techniques.
Before you apply toothpaste, make sure that it is all-white and without blue, green or red stripes. The ingredients needed to dry the pimples are baking soda, triclosan and hydrogen peroxide are in the white parts of the tooth paste while the colored parts may cause irritation.
Avoid toothpaste that promote teeth-whitening as these toothpastes contain bleaching properties that can cause skin irritation. Use toothpaste that has lower fluoride content to lower the risk of irritation.
- Wash your face or the affected area to eliminate excess sebum on the skin which may limit the usefulness of the treatment. Pat dry.
- Simply apply a small amount of toothpaste directly on the affected area before bedtime. A pea-sized amount is good, depending on the affected area. The toothpaste has the ability to dry acne and reduce the swelling. You should see an improvement after two days of application.
- Do not spread the toothpaste as it can dry other parts of the skin and may cause irritation. Leave it on overnight.
- If you have sensitive skin, it is recommended to remove the tooth paste after 15 minutes and check the reaction of the skin. If your skin can handle the toothpaste, you can leave it for longer periods of time.
- Rinse your face gently with warm water and do not rub the skin.
9. Fuller’s Earth
Fullers Earth has multiple benefits for the skin and has always been used as ingredients in many beauty products. This is a sedimentary clay component that has high percentage of magnesia, oxides, silica, alumina, water and iron. These components make Fullers earth very effective when it comes to acne and acne scar removal. The clay has to be mixed with water as using it alone may over dry the skin.
- Mix 1 and a half spoon of fuller earth with water or any water content. You can use rose water to also keep the skin cool and fresh. Milk can also be used to add moisture as the clay may over dry your skin. It can also be mixed with fruit juice such as lemon.
- After mixing, add egg white to achieve the texture of a face mask. Egg white will also prevent the clay from sticking to the skin and helps the sulphur from the clay in removing white and black heads to unclog the pores.
- Allow the clay mask to dry on your face for twenty minutes. Make sure not to leave it on for too long. Fuller’s earth can dry out the skin. Once the mask is dry, you can already remove it from your skin.
- Gently remove the mask. You can also add rose water while removing the clay.
10. Neem or Indian Lilac
Neem is used as a natural treatment for many skin conditions. It contains antimicrobial and antiseptic properties that can help in eliminating acne-causing bacteria. It also reduces inflammation.
- Grind the leaves of neem and add a little water to form a paste. You can also add turmeric powder. Apply the paste on the affected area and let it sit for at least 20 minutes before rinsing. Repeat this treatment two times a week.
- Aside from neem leaves, you can also apply neem oil.
- Wash your face two times a day with mild soap. Do not wash many times and avoid scrubbing the skin.
- Do not try to pinch pimples as it can spread the infection to other parts of the skin and make the acne worse.
- Avoid touching your face and other affected areas with your hands. Always wash your hands before touching your skin.
- For acne on the back, always wear loose clothing to allow the skin to breathe. Do not wear tight clothes or backpack.
- Wash your face before bedtime. Make sure to remove makeup as it block bacteria and sebum.