Skin is a reflection of health. A skin full of whiteheads, blackheads and acne indicate oxidative damage, hormonal imbalance, and poor nutrition. Every year tens of millions of Americans suffer from acne breakout. While genetics play a crucial role in skin health, proper care, adequate hydration, a good diet and regular exercise enhance skin health.
It is not uncommon to find people constantly struggling to get rid of blackheads, whiteheads, and acne. Acne could be mild or severe, and it outbreaks on face, chest, back and arms. In severe cases of acne, a person may get permanent scars, which may lead to low self-esteem.
Prescription drugs and topical medicines may improve symptoms of acne, but bring potential side effects. Through natural treatments, acne could be reduced and scarring minimized.
Causes of Acne
Excessive oil production in skin, clogged pores, bacteria and dead skin cells lead to acne. Hormones, stress, diet and certain medications, including birth control pills, may worsen the condition of acne. Research studies are also being conducted on whether sleep deprivation, stress and modern lifestyle have any contribution to acne in female adults who did not have any acne issues as teenagers. Acne in females is usually linked to hormonal changes/imbalances linked to menstrual cycle and onset of Menopause. Acne could also result due to irritation caused by friction from sports equipment or backpacks.
Skin irritation in condition of acne could further be enhanced by prescription drugs and harsh chemicals. Home remedies/ natural remedies must be used in order to get rid of acne.
What not to do in treating Acne
- Do not pick blemishes
- Do not use harsh chemicals for cleansing
- Do not stay dehydrated
- Do not treat only symptoms of acne, work on cause instead.
Top Remedies for Natural Acne Treatment
Everyone has a different skin; therefore a treatment that works for one may not be the best treatment for another. One needs to know, which treatment best suits their skins.
- Gentle Cleansing: It is important to gently, but thoroughly, cleanse affected area. For cleansing the affected area, a mix of coconut oil, honey, apple cider vinegar, live probiotics and melaleuca essential oil could be used.
- Toning: Toning is essential for skin care as it restores the pH level of skin and removes any residue after the cleansing process is completed. Apple cider vinegar is an excellent toner. It is a rich source of potassium, magnesium, acetic acid and contains several enzymes which help in killing bacteria, which may be responsible chronic acne growth. Apple Cider Vinegar can be used twice in a day at affected areas.
- Therapeutic Masks for Acne: Acne can be effectively reduced through application of healing masks which help in hydrating skin and fighting bacteria.
- Honey and Cinnamon Mask: Add half teaspoonful of cinnamon powder to one teaspoonful of coconut oil and two tablespoonfuls of raw honey for making the mask. Now apply the honey and cinnamon mask to clean skin. This mask must be kept away from eyes as cinnamon is an irritant to eyes. After application, the mask must be kept for 5 to 10 minutes. A damp cloth must be used for clearing the mask. Honey and Cinnamon mask helps in fighting bacteria and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. For active acne, few drops of tea-tree oil can be added to the mask as Tea-tree oil is one of the best natural remedies for Acne.
- Honey and Yogurt Mask: Equal parts of honey and yogurt must be mixed for preparing the mask. Apply this mask and relax for 5 to 10 minutes, wipe using a damp cloth. Yogurt and honey help in hydrating the skin and in fighting common cause of acne.
- Exfoliation: Exfoliation is an important step for removing buildup leading to clogged pores and for getting rid of dead skin. Although many exfoliating scrubs are available in the market, chemicals and preservatives contained in them may further lead to skin irritation. It is advisable to use natural exfoliating scrubs.
- Recipe for making exfoliating scrub at home: Mix sea salt/ brown sugar/ground oatmeal with a base (Coconut oil/ Yogurt/Honey) for making exfoliating scrub at home. While natural bases help in fighting bacteria and fungi, coarse ingredients help in unplugging pores and removing dead skin cells.
- Tea Tree Oil (Melalecua) for Acne treatment: Tea tree oil is very commonly used as an antiseptic and helps in treating wounds. It also helps in fighting bacteria and fungi. Research indicates that effect of gels that contain as low as 5 percent tea tree oil may be same as those containing 5 percent benzoyl peroxide.Tea-tree oil may give slower results though. For applying tea-tree oil, mix four to eight drops of tee tree oil in one teaspoonful of jojoba oil or coconut oil. Now, apply to the affected area. The mix must be dabbed lightly to the affected area. This may cause slight tingling, which is normal. It must be noted that tea-tree oil should not be directly applied to affected area as it may be too harsh for direct application.
- Basil for fighting Acne Bacteria: According to a research published in International Journal of Cosmetic Sciences, Sweet basil and holy basil essential oils may be effective in fighting acne caused by bacteria. In the research study, sweet basil was found to be more effective than holy basil when topically applied. Consumption of tea made from Holy Basil helps in managing blood sugar and hormone levels, which further helps in condition of acne as these conditions are associated with acne. Basil oils can also be added to therapeutic masks for acne.
- Moisturizing: It is commonly believed that acne–prone skin should not be moisturized, but acne-prone skin still needs to be moisturized. In fact, certain topical medicines which dry out skin, trick skin into making more oil and thereby increase acne. Research studies have shown that lauric acid found in coconut oil helps in fighting acne caused by bacteria. Coconut oil helps in moisturizing skin and hair. Small amount of coconut oil can be applied to skin, and it be allowed to soak coconut oil for 5 minutes, afterwards excess oil could be wiped with a cloth.
- Keeping Digestion Strong: Acne treatment should cure internal problems of the system (body) leading to acne, rather than focusing only on curing symptoms of acne. It is essential to keep digestive system strong. Consumption of probiotics is known to improve digestive system leading to better skin health.
- Diet for Acne: Several research studies have shown that consumption of food items rich in Zinc improves condition of acne as there is believed to be a correlation between low-zinc levels in body and severity of acne. In condition of Acne, one must focus on eating food items which do not spike blood sugar levels.