Acne is a skin condition or a disease that occurs as a result of obstruction and inflammation of pilosebaceous units (hair follicles and their accompanying sebaceous gland). Characterized by blackheads or whiteheads, pimples, oily skin, and possible scarring, they usually appear on the areas of the skin, such as the face, chest, upper back, and shoulders. Though it affects people of all ages, it is most common among adolescents.
What Causes Acne?
Each skin pore is connected to a sebaceous gland, which produces sebum (an oily substance). The pores get obstructed due to the excess sebum causing the growth of Propionibacterium acnes (a bacteria). When these bacteria are attacked by the WBCs, i.e the White Blood Cells, it results in skin inflammation and acne.
It’s not just one factor that causes Acne. We have listed below some of the common factors responsible for Acne.
- Acne occurs when sebaceous (oil) glands connected to the hair follicles are aroused during puberty or due to other hormonal changes.
- A high-carbohydrate diet, milk, and pure chocolate worsen acne.
- Acne can get aggravated due to pressure from helmets, chin straps, collars, suspenders, etc.
- Acne can be a result of exposure to industrial products like cutting oils.
- Certain cosmetics and skincare products can be a factor for causing Acne as they are comedogenic(clog pores).
- Stress is another reason for concern.
- Heredity increases the chances of Acne symptoms.
Acne is common and can lead to annoying side effects such as dryness, redness, and irritation. It is recommended to reach out to a nearby doctor if the irritation continues as it can be a severe case. Rather one can also opt for natural treatments for acne. The question is how to cure acne naturally at home?
This article highlights some of the most practiced and common 13 home remedies for acne that are scientifically proven to be effective.
Home Remedies for Acne
Do proper research before applying any at-home remedy to treat your acne. We are sharing some of the natural herbal extracts that can work wonders for your skin.
1. Alpha-hydroxy acids(AHAs)
These acids are commonly used in cosmetics, serums, toners, and medicated creams. Alpha-hydroxy acids(AHAs) encourage skin cell growth by exfoliating (removing the dead skin to replace it with a healthy one) the skin. They are quite effective and help in reducing acne scars, prevent acne breakouts, brighten the complexion and improve wrinkles if any.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar(ACV)
It contains organic acids that may effectively help kill Propionibacterium acnes, also known as P. acnes (a bacteria that causes acne). It may also help reduce the acne scars over time (due to the AHAs in Apple Cider Vinegar). ACV may irritate or burn as it is not suitable for all skin types. Due to its high acidic nature, one must firstly dilute the vinegar before applying it to the skin. It must be used carefully and only after consultation. Moreover, some people are uncomfortable with the smell.
3. Aloe Vera Gel
The clear aloe vera gel works magic on cuts, rashes, burns or other skin conditions. It contains salicylic acid and sulfur (widely used to treat acne). It fights inflammation plus is good for skin cleaning, as well as moisturizing properties, and adds another feather in the cap. The antibacterial properties of aloe vera remove bacteria and reduce the risk of spots growing. Furthermore, it is easily available nearby and inexpensive.
There are various ways to use Aloe Vera Gel to reduce Acne:
- Mix Pure lemon juice with aloe vera to stop the irritation on the skin.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of honey, 1 tbsp of aloe vera, and ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon. Apply the face mask on the skin and leave for 10 minutes. Later, wash it with warm water. The combination of honey, aloe vera, and cinnamon help soothe acne.
- Make scrub at home with a mixture of Coconut oil, sugar, and aloe vera
4. Green Tea Extracts
Green Tea is well known for its richness in antioxidants and helps reduce acne. Direct application of the extracts on the skin is far more effective than drinking green tea.
5. Low Glycemic Index Diet
Glycemic index(GI)of food is the measure of how quickly it raises blood sugar. High glycemic foods are considered to have a direct connection with acne. The consumption of high GI foods spikes insulin which is considered to promote the production of sebum. More sebum release means more scope of acne development. Thus people prone to acne should opt for low glycemic index foods (fruits & vegetables/nuts/legumes/whole grains) rather than going in for high glycemic index foods (white bread/ cakes pastries/candies) etc.
6. Tea Tree Oil
It carries antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that support its capability to fight bacteria as well as reduce skin inflammation. It needs to be diluted before application. 5%tea tree oil solution can beneficially kill the acne-causing bacterias.
7. Honey-Cinnamon mask
The antibacterial and antimicrobial properties enable the fight against bacteria. Moreover, they are excellent sources of antioxidants and are thus skin clearers and prove exceptionally beneficial for acne-prone skin.
Acne/pimples appear when the skin pores get clogged up promoting bacterial growth over them. To keep the skin pores open, exfoliation(removal of dead skin)works wonders. Moreover, it may reduce acne scars(if any)over time. Using scrubs/deep cleansers to keep the skin clean works. Sugar/salt scrubs can be prepared at home easily.
9. Overcoming stress
Stress is a major cause of concern as it might lead to hormonal changes which may impact the production of sebum. Sufficient sleep, lots of physical activities along with meditation and yoga may help one stay away from stress.
10. Exercise Regularly
Regular Exercising improves blood circulation and nourishes the skin cells. It also reduces stress and anxiety which are a major factor that contributes to the growth of acne. Thus, preventing and healing acne.
The listed home remedies, natural herbal extracts, lifestyle changes may not work for everyone but are worth a try.
If you have severe acne or irritation on the skin continues, visit a dermatologist.