Acne: the plague of teenage years. This is one of the most common conditions in the world, with the National Institutes of Health estimating that as many as 80% of people have an outbreak by the time they’re 30. Fortunately, fixing acne doesn’t require expensive medicines – natural remedies for acne work just fine. Here are the best home remedies we’ve found for acne treatment, along with why they work.

1) The Cinnamon and Honey Mask Treatment

Antioxidants and antimicrobials are an effective way of treating acne – but they don’t have to be quite as harsh as the apple cider vinegar treatment. This treatment is easy to do if you have the ingredients lying around, making it one of the easiest home remedies for acne.

honey and cinnaman face mask

Image via Punica Makeup

Start by mixing 2 tablespoons of honey and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to form a thick paste. Once that’s done, thoroughly clean your face and apply the mixture. Don’t get it in your eyes or nose but try to cover as much of your face as needed. If you need more, you can make extra in the same 6:1 ratio of honey to cinnamon. The mask doesn’t need to be thick – it just needs to cover your skin.

Once it’s on, leave it where it is for 15 minutes. Try to avoid moving your face too much, but feel free to move around and do things while you’re waiting. After 15 minutes have passed, rinse the mask off and pat your face dry. Repeat once per day as needed.

Why Does This Work?

Cinnamon and honey contain excellent antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. As such, they’re an excellent natural counter for acne-prone skin… and by using a mask, you can improve the overall health of your entire face.

For this reason, we recommend the cinnamon and honey mask as our #1 treatment.

2) The Apple Cider Treatment

Mix apple cider vinegar (available at most grocery stores) with water in a 1:3 ratio. If you have sensitive skin, dilute the mixture to 1:4 or 1:5 – this is an acid treatment, after all, and it’s better to go mild when starting any of the acidic natural remedies for acne.

Next, clean your skin, then apply the vinegar mix to your skin with a cotton ball. Allow the mixture to sit for 10-20 seconds, then rinse it and pat the area dry.

Repeat up to twice a day until the outbreak is fixed.

Why Does This Work?

Apple cider vinegar contains a variety of acids that help kill bacteria and viruses, including P. acnes, the most common cause of acne outbreaks. One of the chemicals involved – succinic acid – helps to suppress inflammation and prevent scarring.

However, it’s important that you follow the directions above exactly. As an acidic treatment, you can irritate or burn your skin if you use a mix that’s too concentrated. It’s safe to mix a moderate amount of vinegar and water together at the start and use that over time – the vinegar should any other bacteria that could contaminate it.

3) The Green Tea Treatment

We all know that drinking green tea is good for you, but did you know that it’s also a natural way to fight acne? Here’s what to do.

Start by steeping a bag of green tea in boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Don’t leave it in too long because that could change the potency of the mixture. After removing the teabag, allow the tea to cool.

From there, gently apply the tea to your skin. Most people use a cotton ball for this, but some prefer to use a spray bottle instead. Allow the tea to dry naturally (this usually takes several minutes), then rinse it off with water and pat dry.

Repeat as necessary, up to twice per day.

What About Drinking The Tea?

There are no studies conclusively linking the consumption of green tea to a reduction in acne. However, green tea is known to help reduce blood sugar levels, and high blood sugar has been linked to acne.

Why Does This Work?

Green tea is extremely high in antioxidants, which help to reduce inflammation and fight the bacteria that cause acne. Direct application of green tea is a practical, natural, and affordable treatment.

4) The Tea Tree Oil Treatment

First off, this treatment isn’t for everyone. The tea tree oil treatment is a long-term method meant for people who are predisposed to acne and can’t count on it disappearing after normal treatments. However, when used for at least three months, it significantly and reliably reduces acne.

Start with 100% tea tree oil (no additives), then dilute it with water in a 1:9 ratio. This oil is quite potent, so it needs to be diluted down to 5% for safe use. Once the mixture is ready, use a cotton swab and apply it directly to the affected areas. Repeat 1-2 times per day until the acne is gone. Do not rinse the mixture off of your face – let it dry naturally and leave it on.

Why Does This Work?

Like our other suggested treatments, tea tree oil has powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Over time, these help to kill bacteria, remove dead skin cells, and reduce the presence of swelling.

5) The Aloe Vera Treatment

Aloe vera is a tropical plant famous for the thick, gel-like substance found in its leaves, and you can easily grow it at home. You’ve probably seen a lot of products at the store that have its gel mixed in, but we’re not going to use those.

Instead, get a bottle of 100% pure aloe vera gel (or use your own plant and cut off the leaf). Using enough gel to cover the affected areas, gently rub it into your skin and leave it on. This gel will act as a moisturizer, and the benefits will be lost if you rinse it off too soon. Repeat 1-2 times per day.

aloe vera acne treatment

Image via Ayur Times

If you expect to need a lot of gel, definitely buy it from the store – you don’t want to kill a plant at home by taking too much of the gel.

Why Does This Work?

Aloe vera gel contains sulfur and salicylic acid, both of which are common anti-acne substances. Both are present in low concentrations, making it safe to apply aloe vera gel directly to your skin.

Unfortunately, the research on this method isn’t as complete as it is for the others. Early indications from studies are quite promising, but more evidence is needed before we can call this a recommended treatment. Instead, we suggest using aloe vera as either a backup plan or in conjunction with another treatment.

6) The Witch Hazel Treatment

Don’t let the name scare you – witch hazel is a mundane shrub native to North America, and it’s been used medicinally for hundreds of years. It’s last on our list for the simple reason that it’s also the most complicated to prepare. Commercial versions are available, but they usually remove some of the most beneficial chemicals, so we’re going to teach you how to prepare your own mix.

Start by mixing 1 tablespoon of witch hazel bark and 1 cup of water and allow the bark to sit for 30 minutes. After that, bring the water to a boil.

Once it’s boiling properly, reduce the temperature and simmer the bark, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove it from the heat and let it cool for another 10 minutes.

Strain the liquid, then store it in a sealed container. You don’t need to store it in the fridge – room temperature is just fine – but many people find the chilled version to be more soothing. Just be sure to label the container properly, so nobody drinks it by accident.

When you’re ready to use it, apply it to clean skin with a cotton ball. Repeat the treatment as needed, but no more than twice a day. (It’s not dangerous to use more frequently, but you’re not likely to see any additional benefit.)

Why Does This Work?

Witch hazel is a natural source of tannins, a kind of biological inhibitor with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory uses. This has made it a popular choice for medicines designed to treat a variety of skin conditions. Like aloe vera, more research on witch hazel’s effects on acne is needed, but the known properties are exactly what we want from a natural acne treatment.

Is There Anything Else I Should Know?

Your acne may seem bad now, but almost all cases stop within a few years (at most). Many cases go away much faster, especially when you’re using natural remedies for acne like those described above. Other than these, be sure to keep your face clean and gently wash it on a regular basis. Don’t scrub too hard – that can irritate your skin and make your acne worse.

If your acne is noticeably worse than that of your peers, you may have a genetic predisposition towards this condition. Don’t panic over this. It may look worse and last a little longer, but it will still go away over time. You already know how to get rid of acne – just relax and stick with your chosen treatment until it’s done.

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