With acne affecting so many people, everyone has a method that works best for them, and sometimes that involves making your own treatment. If you’re looking for something that’ll work for you, try these recipes that have worked for others. Just keep in mind that these home remedies are not medically validated and may or may not work for you!
1. Use toothpaste for spot treatments
If you have a single, mighty pimple you want destroyed overnight, consider using toothpaste to cover the pimple with. Toothpaste contains silica, which is the substance you find in beef jerky bags, used to keep any moisture out of substances. Silica will dry out and diminish the size of the pimple overnight if left on.
Try using a natural toothpaste — with silica but without sodium lauryl sulfate. Sodium lauryl sulfate is a harsh chemical that’s also an irritant to some people. It’s best to avoid it, and any of the big, name-brand toothpastes, for that reason.
2. Use cold water
Fill an empty 1 gallon jug with water and put it in the freezer for 2 hours. Pour the water into a bowl, then dip your face in the water for 25 seconds (5 dips for 5 seconds each). Repeat a few times every day.
3. Make a soap mixture
Put a bar of soap in a small container. Boil a cup of water and pour it over the soap in the container. Close the container and keep it shut for at least 2-3 hours or until the soap dissolves. Wash your face normally and make sure it’s dry and not oily. Get the mix that is in your container and spread it around your face; be generous while applying. Let it dry. Then wash your face out very gently using a face sponge. Do this 1 to 2 times a day, but no more than two because then your skin might over-dry and peel.
4. Create a face mask using a solution of one finely crushed aspirin tablet per tablespoon of cold cream
Spread over your face, wait 3-5 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.
5. Make a baking soda paste mask
Mix baking soda and water until you get a thick, creamy substance. Rub on only on the pimples- otherwise, the baking soda will dry out your skin, and make the acne much worse. In full motion circles, rub in the cream. That will allow the cream to get into your pores. Let this sit on your face for around 10 minutes. Wash off with a washcloth drenched in ice cold water.
- Repeat 1-2 times a day, until your zits are gone!
- This will not work for all acne. Skin may become oily and acne may worsen. If you decide to use this method, try it on a small area of your skin first.
6. Make a strong acne solution by diluting 50% apple cider vinegar with 50% clean pure water
Once acne has improved, keep it at bay with a milder solution of 20% apple cider vinegar and 80% water. Do not use cheap vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar is about $3-4 for a large bottle at any supermarket (more at health food stores). It will last months.
7. Apply alum to the pimples
Potassium alum can usually be found in the spice aisle in some grocery stores. Although widely used as a natural deodorant and styptic (lessens bleeding after a cut), alum is a natural antiseptic and astringent, meaning that it shrinks skin tissue.
- Try to get a big block instead of in powder form. Powdered alum can be a little too abrasive. Gently wipe the alum over the affected areas, being careful not to irritate or inflame any pimples.
8. Use tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is a renowned anti-fungal and antibacterial herbal remedy, making it great for mild to moderate acne. In a study comparing the efficacy of tea tree oil and benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil proved just as effective in fighting acne and reducing lesions. Whereas benzoyl peroxide works quicker than tea tree oil, tea tree oil produces less side effects in patients.
9. Try chili peppers
This may sound weird, but chili peppers help reduce the swelling of a pimple due to its high concentrations of vitamin C and antioxidants.
- Wash your face thoroughly with a bar of soap (until your pimples barely start stinging).
- Crush a chili pepper into a bowl or similar container. Add a small amount of hot water.
- Apply the liquid to your pimple(s). You may apply it with a q-tip, but do this at least twice a day. Avoid getting the liquid in your eyes or near sores and lacerations as it will most likely cause irritation.
10. Try swimming
The chlorine in the water may help dry up acne.
Be careful, though. Too much pool water can damage your hair and dry your skin too much. Once a week is usually enough.
11. Try using lemon juice as an acne remedy
Cut a lemon in half and gently rub the open-side of the lemon onto the acne. The stinging feeling means it’s working. Make sure to wipe/wash the lemon juice off, and use sunscreen afterwards. Citric acid can bleach the skin and puts it at significantly higher likelihood of sun damage.
12. Slice a raw potato and apply to skin
Slice a raw potato in half and apply onto acne. Raw potato can heal as well as act an anti-inflammatory. Again, wash the residue off your skin gently with water after using.
General Tips for Treating Acne
1. Try not to pick at or pop your pimples
You’re using natural remedies for your acne treatment — that’s great. Don’t wipe away all your gains by popping your pimples. The short-term gratification might be overwhelming, but it’s really not good in the long run.
- Acne is a bacteria that lives in your pores. Popping the pimple gives the acne a chance to spread over the skin to other pores, infecting them.
- Popping pimples causes inflammation and may lead to scarring. So if you want your acne to be less visible, resist the urge to pop. Stop before you pop.
2. Wash your face twice a day — not more, not less
Washing your face is good: try to wash once in the morning and once at night. But over-washing your face can cause further irritation and unnecessarily dry out the skin. Washing your face over and over again will not give you a better shot at treating your acne.
Your skin is an organ in your body, just like your kidney. Like your kidney, it needs to be fed with water and moisture to function properly. That’s where moisturizing comes in. After every time you wash your face, moisturize.
- Different skin types call for different moisturizers. Cream-based moisturizers are probably more effective for dry skin, as they tend to be oily. Gel-based moisturizers are better for oily skin, as they disperse more evenly on the skin.
4. Use sunscreen
Preferably the kind that doesn’t irritate your skin, but still protects you from sun damage. Acne can be made worse by overexposure to the sun and by sun damage, making this an easy proposition. For better-looking skin, wear sunscreen.
5. Get enough rest, exercise, and reduce stress in your life
These things may seem to have nothing to do with the quality of your skin, but they in fact have a very meaningful relationship with quality of skin.
Doctors don’t exactly know why, but stress worsens acne. When stress is produced in humans, the hormones that regulate sebum, an excess of which produces acne, stop working as well. So find healthy ways to reduce stress in your life and see your skin get better!
The more you sleep, the less stress you put your body through. You have about 15% more stress for every hour of sleep you lose per night. And we just learned that stress causes acne. So get those ZZZs and see your acne improve.
Exercise is a healthy way to give stress an outlet. Plain and simple, it’s harder to be stressed when we’re all tuckered out. So join a gym, play an intramural sport, or start running on your own.
- Drink lots of water to keep your body hydrated.
- Make sure you don’t scratch or pop your pimples! You’ll just end up with scars that won’t make you look your very best!
- Also, If you keep touching and prodding the skin this can make the area sore or even flaky and dry, So if anything, try and touch it as little as possible!