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4 Best Natural Acne Treatments & Home Remedies for Acne

By Sally Aquire

pimple girlAs anyone who has suffered from skin blemishes knows, acne remedies don’t come cheap and the costs really add up when you have to switch around to find something that works. As a teen, I was lucky enough to only get a few pimples here and there. Fast forward to my twenties, though, and I’ve developed a relatively mild form of late-onset acne on my face, chest, and back, so spots have been pretty much a constant occurrence for the last few years.

I tried the traditional commercial acne treatments, none of which proved effective. Most were just plain useless, but some made the spots worse and affected the surrounding skin. My dermatologist then steered me towards acne treatments that included salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, but these proved too harsh for my skin and often left it looking worse than before. At a loss, I started experimenting with natural remedies, which have proven more effective and much easier on the wallet!

The Benefits of Homemade Spot Treatments

If your skin is similar to mine, you’re probably also sick of spending money on products that do nothing to clear your skin up quickly. My solution was to make my own natural acne treatments from scratch. I’ve already experimented with making my own green and natural skincare products, so I knew how easy it was to make effective products at home. Making the switch to homemade acne treatments really had two big incentives:

1. Saving money: I used to think nothing of handing over $10 for a spot treatment, only to pay it all over again the next month when the treatment had no lasting effects. On average, I spent well over $100 a year and what did I have to show for it? Certainly not better skin!

2. Greater control: Now that I’ve taken control of my pimple remedies, I know exactly what I’m putting on my skin. A quick glance at the ingredients list on most skincare products freaks me out—I don’t recognize half of the ingredients. Making your own products takes that concern away because you get to decide what goes into them.

4 Effective Natural Acne Remedies

After some experimenting and research on natural spot-treatments, I have narrowed it down to these 4 simple, inexpensive homemade beauty skincare recipes that are worth a try:

1. Yogurt Face Mask

natural spot treatments

Why it works: Yogurt acts as a gentle natural cleanser thanks to its antibacterial properties. Even better, yogurt that contains probiotics is recommended for improving skin conditions, including acne. You can also add other ingredients to enhance the mask’s benefits. Try oatmeal, for example, which gently exfoliates and helps to tighten pores.

What to do: Take 2 tablespoons of plain low fat yogurt and apply a thin layer to your face (the oil in full-fat yogurt can make your skin greasy). Allow it to dry and rinse off with lukewarm water. To make a yogurt and oatmeal face mask, just add a handfuls of oatmeal to the yogurt, mix into a paste and leave in the refrigerator for a few hours to give the oatmeal a chance to absorb some of the yogurt. Apply to the face, leave for around 20 minutes and rinse off with warm water.

Where to buy: You can pick up plain yogurt and oatmeal in most grocery stores. If you’d prefer to use finely milled oatmeal instead of the regular variety for milder exfoliation, you can find it in most health stores.

The verdict: When I first tried a basic yogurt face mask, I had several large spots that showed no signs of disappearing so I wasn’t too hopeful of seeing any positive results. My spots didn’t magically clear up overnight, but they definitely looked less inflamed and weren’t as noticeable. Now that I’ve been using the face mask on a twice-a-week basis for several months, I’ve seen a good improvement in the condition of my skin, and my low-grade acne is even starting to clear up.

2. Garlic, Turmeric, and Manuka Honey Face Mask

natural spot treatments

Why it works: Garlic is antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral, so it’s perfect for fighting pimples. Turmeric has similar qualities and is also anti-inflammatory. Manuka Honey, produced by bees in New Zealand who feed on the manuka bush, has been shown to heal blemished skin and help prevent breakouts.

What to do: Cleanse your face before you start. Crush 6 garlic cloves, add 2-3 spoonfuls of Manuka honey and a tiny amount of turmeric powder. Mix together and spread onto your skin’s problem areas. Alternatively, you can swap turmeric for 3-4 spoonfuls of cinnamon and forgo the garlic altogether if you’d prefer.

Where to buy: The grocery store will carry whole garlic, but you’ll probably need to go to a health food store to find Manuka Honey.

The verdict: This isn’t one that I’ve personally used but it’s worked wonders for a friend of mine, who absolutely swears by it to treat her acne-ridden skin (which was considerably worse than mine). Thanks to regular usage of this face mask, she’s successfully managed to bring her acne under control.

3. Tea Tree Oil

Why it works: Tea tree oil is widely featured in facial washes and cleansers because it’s a natural antiseptic and has antibacterial qualities. However, commercial products will often only include a relatively small amount of the oil. Using the oil in larger does gives a much stronger impact.

What to do: Rub a small amount of tea tree oil onto blemishes.

Where to buy: Health food stores should stock tea tree oil and it may also be available in some pharmacies.

The verdict: This is the first natural spot treatment that I tried and I dabbed it on individual blemishes. It did work, but I went through a bottle quickly because I had a lot of blemishes to treat, so it wasn’t particularly inexpensive. If you’ve got just a few spots or occasional breakouts, though, I’d recommend this remedy.

4. Kaolin Clay

natural spot treatments

Why it works: Kaolin clay draws out impurities from the skin and soaks up excess oil. If you’ve got large pores, it can reduced their size. French green Kaolin clay, in particular, is great for removing impurities from oily skin.

What to do: Cleanse your face and make sure that your skin is damp before you apply a thin layer of clay and allow it to dry. Rinse off with warm water.

Where to buy: It can be hard to find Kaolin clay, but it is available online.

The verdict: When I first tried Kaolin clay, I was dismayed to see that my breakouts intensified. After I’d given it some thought, I realized that was probably just a by-product of drawing out impurities. After all, they’ve got to come out somehow! I persevered and was very relieved to discover that the clay helped to dry up the spots with regular use so they were less intense.

Final Word
I’ve noticed an impressive difference in my skin since I switched to natural acne remedies, and I love that I’m not overloading my skin with harsh chemicals. I’m currently alternating between the Kaolin clay face mask and the yogurt and oatmeal face mask, but I have plans to try the garlic and honey face mask, too.

Do you use homemade skincare products to keep your skin under control? If so, I’d love to hear about remedies that you’ve had success with!

(photo credits: thepresidentwearsprada, felipe_gabaldon, Shutterstock)

Sally Aquire
Sally is a UK-based freelance writer. As well as personal finance, she also writes on health & beauty and lifestyle topics. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, shopping, hanging out with friends and generally making the most of her downtime!

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  • http://www.acnefreefreshface.com FSA

    Honey really softens your skin too if you use it as a mask. It has antibacterial and moisturizing properties. Just heat a little bit up so it’s easier to spread, and leave it on for 20 minutes. Feels weird at the time, but your skin will thank you for it.

    The best way to treat acne is finding out the root cause of it so you can stop it before it starts. Topical treatments are only band-aids — they don’t get to the cause.

  • Sally

    Thanks for the tip! I agree with the advice about getting to the bottom of it, although I’ve not managed to do that for myself yet.

  • Jessi

    I have trouble with really dry skin on my face, especially on my forehead. I heard about using adzuki beans as a natural exfoliant. You need about a quarter sized amount of finely ground beans mixed with a bit of water to make a paste, then you apply that paste to your face and rub it in till it dries and crumbles off. I have never had my skin feel smoother and it has cleared up a lot. I love the fact that it did not come from using harsh chemicals also. The only supplies you need are a small bag of dried adzuki beans, which can be found at a health food store for around $5, and a grinder for around $10. The bag will last for months (maybe even a year) since you only need such a little amount. After exfoliating, it’s also nice to put on a little honey to warm and moisturize. :)

  • http://www.beaconfaceanddermatology.ie/ laser treatments

    natural treatment is the best treatment for sure but laser treatment is the quickest and there is no doubt about that.nice post.i liked it very much.

  • Chattingotter

    I’ve mixed honey with Kaolin clay before. It doesn’t really matter what honey, but generally more raw and quite crystallized honey works best. The Kaolin clay shrinks the pores, and pulls out the impurities, while the honey moisturizes, and if raw and crystallized, it exfoliates as well. About a half cup of Kaolin clay, and quarter cup of honey lasts for about fourteen to sixteen uses.

  • Jenna

    I do a yogurt mask every night to help with future breakouts and scaring. I use Burt’s Bees products since it is natural. And I really love a cinnamon and honey mask (: smells and tastes great on your face and fights acne. Best of both worlds.

  • Ritu

    Advances in natural remedies have now made it possible to
    develop natural therapies for preventing reoccurrence of acne and boosting
    immune system. Homeopathic remedies such as acne 200 and skin liquescence give
    quick relief and prevent reoccurrence.

  • http://www.richamorindonesia.com/ Rich Amor Indonesia

    Kaolin is really hard to find. Is it more effective than others?

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