Acne, the irritant that torments your skin and your psyche, is nothing but inflammation of the sebaceous glands that are present in the skin. This is a condition that people develop in their teenage just as they approach puberty. The blisters, boils, or rashes, as the case may be, tend to disappear as people reach their twenties and get past their teenage (the minor rashes may sometimes erupt into boils or blisters).
However, as there are rules, so are there exceptions – the exceptional cases feature acnes well into the 30’s and 40’s, turning into a significant problem for many. Some of the common forms that acnes assume include pimples and papules, sometimes leaving deep scars in the face around the areas that have high concentration of sebaceous glands.
There need not be external causes for acne, though external causes cannot be ruled out. However, the emphasis is largely internal, given that the sebaceous glands are some of the most significant contributors to the skin disorders. And as you dig deeper into the causes for acne, you would find that testosterone, the male hormone, tends to fire on all cylinders, triggering the increased secretion of sebum from the sebaceous glands, a phenomenon common in both males as well as females. Apart from the mischievous activities of the sebaceous glands, you would not possibly discount the role played by Propionibacterium acnes – these are bacteria that are available in plenty on the surface of the skin and that grow gradually. The enzymes secreted by these bacteria are capable of wreaking havoc on the skin, possibly leading to pimples and blisters.
The modus operandi of these bacteria is that, apart from the degenerative enzymes that they secrete, they also relish dead skin cells, a process that invariably irritates the skin structure, having an inflammatory effect on the hair follicles that lie just beneath the surface of the skin. These inflammations, in turn, translate into pustules, the red spots that appear on the skin surface. At a deeper level than that would be nodules or cysts, names that typically refer to the next level of inflammation caused by the bacteria, again, characterised by acne.
Acne Home Remedies
Basil Leaves For Acne
Basil leaves tend to be among the most popular home remedies for acne, and also for a host of other health conditions, given the natural healing powers that the tender leaves and the herb have been bestowed with. As far as acne home remedies are concerned, you could hope to have your perfect skin back by boiling a couple of bags of tea along with basil leaves for around 15 minutes. Wait for it to simmer and cool down, soak a clean ball of cotton in the blend and dab it on the affected areas of the skin gently. As the heat provides a soothing experience, the goodness of basil leaves would have gotten to work already, to remove the toxicity, eliminate the bad bacteria and to replenish the skin with all freshness, making for one of the simple home remedies for acne.
Aloe Vera For Acne
How could you talk about skin and not discuss Aloe Vera? The extracts of the magic herb have found good use in a whole range of cosmetic applications, with products ranging from soaps, creams and shampoos boasting of their Aloe Vera content in making them potent and vital. If you have the patience to plant and watch Aloe Vera grow in your backward, you could pluck the leaf, twist it at the middle or bend it over to extract a juice that is rich in nutrients, minerals, vitamins and has the healing touch that would blow you away with the results that you would get.
Alternatively, Aloe Vera juice and gel are available aplenty at your neighbourhood stores or the herbal dealers, and all it takes is to squeeze a tube that contains Aloe Vera gel and apply the cool gel on to skin as effective home remedies for acne. Aloe Vera has the property of eliminating harmful bacteria, promoting the growth of fresh cells, softening the skin, moisturising it for smoothness, rejuvenating the tissues and more importantly, doing it all without a hint of scarring. Aloe Vera tends to be absorbed very quickly by the skin, as it penetrates deep into the tissues and provides relief from acne. For best results, clean the skin with cold water and apply the gel on to the affected areas, twice a day, consistently for a few days together for lasting results.
Garlic For Acne
If you are looking for a potent home remedy for acne that is effective, efficient and has the ‘killer punch’ in it, you could not possibly overlook the white little bulb, garlic. The fact that you find garlic almost at every grocery store and supermarket might have made you overlook the possibilities associated with garlic as one of the effective home remedies for acne. But then, garlic is known for its anti-bacterial properties, known to be effective as an anti-fungal agent, works just find as an anti-oxidant and is even found to have properties of an antibiotic.
Garlic has the ability to cleanse the body and body tissues, while it is strong enough to keep bacteria at bay. We all know how the pungent smell and strong aroma of garlic come in handy in many a cuisine and delicious recipes, adding spice to food and taste to the palate. But more than that, it is the anti-inflammatory properties, along with its ability to act as a broad spectrum anti-fungal agent, which works wonders when it comes to treatment of acne.
The high levels of Vitamin C in garlic is what contributes to the antioxidant properties and activates the immune system, building up resistance against a host of bacterial attacks. With important minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, selenium, sodium, copper, zinc and iron available within its folds, garlic would demand that you take it seriously in terms of home remedies for acne. For one, you could take a couple of cloves of the bulb and chew them raw in the morning to get the goodness of garlic into your system.
Or, if you would rather prefer the goodness alone to the strong smell, you could as well go for supplements of garlic available in tablet form. And when it comes to topical use, take a clove of garlic, press it and squeeze the juice out of the bulb, and apply the juice on the affected areas of the skin after the skin has been cleansed thoroughly. You may leave the garlic juice on your skin for 5 – 10 minutes before washing it off with cold water. If you could couple this home remedy for acne with an adequate intake of garlic in its edible form, you could bid farewell to acne in style.
Apple Cider Vinegar For Acne
Apple cider vinegar features as one of the favourite home remedies for acne, and also for skin care in general. Apple cider vinegar is widely used not just in topical application but also for internal consumption. One of the delicious ways of consuming apple cider vinegar internally is to mix it with a dash of lemon juice, diluted in water, which is reported to have its positive effect on acne and other skin conditions.
If you would want to apply apple cider vinegar on to your skin, you could opt for diluting the vinegar with three times the quantity of water and safely apply it on the affected areas of the skin. Apple cider vinegar has good levels of acetic acid, which, by itself, is known to have several health benefits. One of the ways in which you find good use of apple cider vinegar for acne is the kind of drying effects that the liquid has on the skin, assisting the skin in its exfoliating action, eliminating traces of dead tissues and controlling the level of sebum that is found on the skin – you may recall that it is an excessively active set of sebaceous glands that promote acne formation, hence, controlling the presence of sebum on the skin surface would help as one of the natural home remedies for acne.
a. Caution with Apple Cider Vinegar: It is extremely pungent and acidic to consume or apply apple cider vinegar raw. While consumption of the vinegar without diluting it could cause a burning sensation, possibly damaging the oesophageal tissues on its way down the digestive tract, application of apple cider vinegar raw could also damage skin tissues, though you wouldn’t have to worry about any permanent scars associated with it. You could, still, experience a burning sensation when your skin comes in contact with apple cider vinegar that is diluted. You could safely use apple cider vinegar for skin and as one of the effective home remedies for acne as long as it is diluted with water or mixed with other media.
Apple Cider Vinegar, Green tea, Tea Tree oil and Jojoba oil For Acne
Another way that you could use apple cider vinegar for skin and for acne would be to add a few additional ingredients that would bestow their goodness and lend a helping hand when it comes to skincare – the ingredients are green tea, tea tree oil and jojoba oil. Green tea has loads to offer in terms of health benefits, and many of those benefits come to fruition on account of the catechins present in it.
Green tea is the tea that has gone through minimal processing, unlike their black counterparts, which makes the catechins, antioxidants that could render the harmful free radicals in the body ineffective, abundantly available in it. Tea tree oil, with its origins in Australia, is an effective anti-bacterial and antifungal agent that is extensively used as an active ingredient in products from the cosmetic industry, including soaps and shampoos. And jojoba oil is the oil with multiple health benefits, derived from the shrub that is native of the American deserts.
The anti-inflammatory effects of jojoba oil in quelling inflammation and reducing swelling have been well documented. Jojoba oil is found to be rich in vitamin E, an effective anti-oxidant that is widely used in skin care. And the oil has also been found to play an active role in reigning in the sebaceous glands that might have got a bit worked up, controlling sebum secretion and effectively eliminating excess oil that might have got locked into the skin pores.
The best way to get the most of the combined benefits of the three would be to heat the mixture of apple cider vinegar in water, dropping a bag of green tea to form a decoction. Heat it for around 15 minutes for the natural goodness of all the elements to seep into the blend, and allow the mixture to cool down. You could then add 3 – 4 drops of tea tree oil and jojoba oil on to the blend, and add one tablet of aspirin, crushed, into the mix, to form a potent toner. Cleanse the skin thoroughly with mild soap and then, apply the toner on to the affected areas of the skin – you could leave it on for a few minutes and then wash it off, and patch the area up with a moisturiser of your choice, to complete one of the most effective home remedies for acne.
Witch Hazel For Acne
There are many reasons why witch hazel should come across as one of the most effective home remedies for acne. For one, witch hazel, the naturally growing North American shrub, is known for its health properties that include its being an astringent, apart from its healing and anti-inflammatory properties.
The anti-inflammatory properties of witch hazel have come in handy in quelling inflammation and in the treatment of sores and bruises on the skin, while the astringent action that it has on the skin helps in soaking up excessive moisture on the skin surface – it may be noted that it is both the effect of sebaceous glands over-secreting sebum, as well as the moisture that turns out to be a breeding ground for bacteria, that combine together to result in an outburst of acne.
The health benefits of witch hazel tend to be underscored by the relative friendly nature of the shrub and its extracts on the skin and its ease of application on the affected areas of skin – it doesn’t bleach the skin like some of the other astringents are capable of doing. After you have washed your skin clean, you could soak a cotton ball in the witch hazel oil and dab it on the affected areas of the skin gently, preferably two times a day.
a. Caution with Astringents: If you have apprehensions with regard to using astringents on the skin on account of their reported bleaching properties, you may try them out on some of the other parts of the body, as in the case of hands or the neck, where the skin is much coarser when compared with the delicate skin on the face. You could then follow the procedure with witch hazel for skin, after you have convinced yourself of safety of its application as home remedies for acne.
Yoghurt And Oatmeal For Acne
One of the home remedies for acne that is often overlooked due to its easy availability and common use in food is yoghurt. Yoghurt is rich in lactobacillus acidophilus, the friendly bacteria that are essential for the proper functioning of the gut. It is frequently cited that lack of or shortage in the availability of lactobacillus acidophilus is something that could lead to increased susceptibility of the skin and other parts of the body to fungal attacks, yeast infections and other conditions associated with bacterial action.
The benefits of yoghurt could be combined with those of oats when it comes to home remedies for acne. Oats are good not only in terms of internal consumption but also for external application on the skin. For one, oats are known for their anti-inflammatory properties that go a long way in reducing inflammation and toning the skin. They are also found to have healing powers, repairing damaged skin structures. Further, oats tend to be coarse and hence, turn out to be effective exfoliating agents as well.
You could make a paste out of oatmeal and yoghurt and apply the paste on your skin, focussing on the affected areas, and leave it on till it gets dry on its own. You could then wash it off with cold water and you may apply your favourite moisturiser, or a friendly antiseptic cream, if you like, on the acne, as quick remedy from acne and related skin conditions.
Epsom Salt For Acne
Magnesium sulphate, commonly known as Epsom Salt, has traditionally been used for a wide range of medicinal purposes on account of its healing properties. The mineral magnesium is vital for the proper functioning of systems in the human body. Given that human skin has the ability to readily absorb magnesium, people who have problems in the natural absorption of the mineral through food intake are recommended Epsom salt bath so that the mineral gets absorbed into the body through skin.
Apart from its uses in insulin management as well as in muscle pains, Epsom salt is also used to treat certain skin conditions, given its anti-inflammatory properties. Magnesium deficiency is found to be widely prevalent, given that most people consume an average of 300 mg of magnesium per day, while the recommended daily dose is 400 mg. With such magnesium deficiency, there is high likelihood that skin may be prone to diseases. Hence, use of magnesium sulphate or Epsom salt is one of the useful home remedies for acne.
And the application is quite easy as well, as all you have to do is to add a teaspoon of Epsom salt on to your regular face wash of cleansing liquid and massage the liquid on the areas where you have had acne problems. You could then wash your face and dry it by dabbing it with a clean piece of cloth.
Coconut Oil For Acne
Coconut oil is one of nature’s blessings to mankind, one that is widely available, pure and simple. When it comes to home remedies for acne, you would have to choose pure and unrefined coconut oil that is not embellished with added ingredients and fragrances, as they do not add much value in terms of treatment for acne. Coconut oil is also one of the easily available moisturisers that you could lay your hands on. Just squeeze a couple of drops of pure coconut oil and apply on to the required areas of the skin, which would prove effective.
Baking Soda For Acne
Baking soda is the common name for sodium bicarbonate, commonly used in cooking, as the name suggests, and one that also comes in handy as home remedies for acne. Make a paste of baking soda in clean water and apply it on to the skin after you have cleaned the area with gentle soap. You may let the paste be on the acne infected areas for a while before you could wash it off. You may repeat the process regularly for a few days for effective relief from acne.
Vitamin E Oil For Acne
When it comes to home remedies for acne, you cannot but trust the vitamin that is long associated with clear and glowing skin – Vitamin E. While vitamin E is good on the skin anyway, what makes it even more special is the antioxidant properties that the vitamin has, neutralising free radicals that affect body cells and tissues. Further, you would also need the right level of moisture in your skin, taking care that your skin is neither too moist nor does it get all too dry and flaky.
You may choose from among the list of home remedies for acne that would go with your body type and use the ones that help you in your treatment for acne. However, Vitamin E oil is universally applicable, thought to be safe and one that is also easily available. And more importantly, when you are dealing with acne, you would not only want the acne to disappear but would also want to be scar-free, an objective that is only well served with regular use of Vitamin E oil for acne.
Diet For Acne
If you have had acne problems and are serious about taking up home remedies, you would have to question the way you have looked at diet, in more ways than one. There may be foods that you would be better off avoiding, while you would want to include certain foods to help you along in your way out of the acne mess. You would definitely not want to miss out on opportunities to have more fruits and fresh vegetables than what you would have ever had, to go with the other initiatives that you take towards healthy skin. To the contrary, knowing what kinds of food would aggravate your acne conditions would help you manage your existing conditions while you look for ways for improvement.
Low Glycemic Index Foods And Acne
While the relationship may not be all that obvious, there is certainly some correlation that should make you give a hard look at foods that have high glycemic index. Glycemic index refers to the rate at which carbohydrates are broken down in the digestive tract into glucose. Foods that get converted into sugar in quick time are said to have high glycemic index and vice versa.
And foods with high glycemic index, on account of their being broken down into sugars fast, tend to release high levels of energy immediately to the human body. Glucemic index that is below 55 is said to be low, while the high ones would be above 70. When you have high glycemic foods, there would be high blood sugar levels
. The pancreas secretes insulin in response to sugar levels in the blood, and high levels of blood sugar levels would immediately prompt the body mechanism to secrete high levels of insulin, a condition referred to as hyperinsulinemia. And this is where the correlation lies – consistently high levels of insulin in the body have been found to be associated with the formation of acne. Hence, your home remedies for acne would have to be associated with consumption of low glycemic foods. You may want to avoid high glycemic index foods such as rice, potatoes, refined grains, snacks and fruits such as dates, while you may want to focus your efforts on bran, oats or barley.
Less Sugar For Acne
Home remedies for acne would involve consumption of less sugar than normal. And the reasons why you need to take less sugar have to do with the same rationale as that is applicable in the case of high glycemic foods. In fact, having sugar is a step further to consuming high glycemic foods – while high glycemic foods would have to be converted into sugar, taking sugar as it is or consuming it in the form of sweets only serves the purpose of stimulating insulin secretion immediately, and thus sparking off another bout of acne or leading to persistence of existing acnes. Diet for acne would involve cutting down not just on sugar but also all kinds of sweets.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Acne
Among the reasons and causes for acne are problems with the cellular structure , where the layers of the cells sometimes disintegrate, possibly because of the actions of a protein called keratin that is present in the cells. And when this happens, a process that is called hyperkeratinisation, the dead cells do not find a way out of the body and tend to stay accumulated in the system, turning out to be one of the causes of acne.
It is in the aspect that foods high in omega-3 fatty acids come into the picture as home remedies for acne, given the growing field of knowledge, which acknowledges its role in the control and prevention of the process of hyperkeratinisation. You could hope to have good results in terms of prevention and treatment of acne by including good levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which you could get from food sources such as consuming healthy doses of oily fish and taking in regular doses of flaxseeds. The common oily fish that are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids are tuna, mackerel, cod, salmon and herring.
Omega-6 Fatty Acids and Acne
Omega 6 fatty acids are associated with many of the essential functions of the human metabolic activity and in the functioning of systems as in the case of hair growth, regulation of the basic metabolism, bone formation and in the optimal efficiency of the reproductive system, to mention a few. However, when it comes to home remedies for acne, you would be well advised to stay clear of omega-6 fatty acids, as they are found to cause acne through one of their components, arachidonic acid. Leukotrienes are molecules found in leucocytes and are found to be pro-inflammatory.
And it is found that Arachidonic acid has a role to play when it comes to the manufacture of Leukotriene B4. Hence, when you consume foods high in omega-6 fatty acids, you would also be consuming Arachidonic acid, which produces Leukotriene B4, a pro-inflammatory molecule that is one of the causes of acne. The best way to control acne and to get the most out of home remedies for acne would be to cut down on food sources that are known to be high in omega-6 fatty acids, as in the case of animal meat, shellfish and egg yolk.
High-protein Low-carbohydrate Diet For Acne
The other aspect that you would have to check in your diet for acne is to ensure that you have had high levels of proteins and low levels of carbohydrates in your source of food. Further, you would also do well to go for unrefined carbohydrates than the refined ones. In terms of proteins for acne, there are two reasons why you should go for a high protein diet.
One, proteins are the building blocks of the body, responsible for building muscles and tissues and for growth. And second, proteins tend to have low glycemic index, which delays their being burnt and being converted into sugars in the body, which in turn doesn’t necessitate immediate insulin secretion, and hence, prevents an outburst of acne. Among the best sources of proteins that you could get hold of would be seeds, nuts, legumes and whole grains, which would support you in your home remedies for acne. Whole grains, fruits, fresh and raw vegetables as well as legumes would provide for your requirement of unrefined carbohydrates.
Milk And Acne
The good old milk that is recommended for so many health benefits may not turn out to be a saviour with acne. The problems with milk in relation to acne are many – first off, the kind of hormonal reactions that milk is known to trigger could lead to increased activity of the sebaceous glands leading to increased sebum production, which you would not want if you are considering home remedies for acne.
Further, there is also evidence of milk increasing the turnover of dead cells, which tend to aggravate acne and other skin conditions, since an increased number of dead cells in of the skin turn out to be fertile breeding ground for Propionibacterium acnes, the bacteria that have a degenerative effect on the skin with the enzymes that they secrete. There is another facet of milk in the form of precursors to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a component in the milk that accelerates sebum production.
And to cap it all, there is the Insulin like growth factor – 1 in milk, the growth hormone commonly referred to as IGF-1, which again, as expected, contributes to increased sebum production, along with increasing the turnover of dead skin cells, which would, in turn, promote the colonisation of bacteria in the skin. Hence, if you are looking at solutions with home remedies for acne, milk is not where you would find it – stay away from milk and milk products, while you could choose milk substitutes such as soy and soy products.
Right Fats For Acne
As you would expect, having a lot of fats may not help you with home remedies for acne. On the other hand, you are not to avoid fats altogether, as fats do constitute important aspects for the proper physiological functioning of the body. Going in for the right kind of fats would help your body and would not affect your acne adversely, as in the case of olive, olive oil, nuts, flaxseeds, coconuts and avocado.
Other Home Remedies For Acne
Cleansing For Acne
Cleaning your skin to minimise spot formation is a simple home remedy for acne. Using mild soap would wash your skin without drying it excessively, ensuring that the natural moisture stays in its place.
Stress Management For Acne
Having a cool head promotes a glowing skin and a stress free life and stress management are definitely among the list of home remedies for acne.
Washing Hands Prevention Of Acne
Hands pick up bacteria from all over the place and leave your skin infected when passed on to it.
Maintain Clean Pillows For Acne
You wouldn’t want to pick up bacteria as you place your face on an unclean pillow cover and aggravate your acne conditions.
Avoid Meddling with Acne
Acne gets inflamed when it is bruised or crushed, especially with finger nails. Refrain from putting your hand on to the affected areas.