Approximately 85% of people will suffer from acne at one point in their life. Thus, acne is considered as one of the most common skin problems that no one is immune to. Whether you’re a teenager who’s often suffering from acne breakouts or an adult suffering from adult acne caused by hormonal imbalance or other factors – I know that it can be a real struggle!
Even if you’re consistent and diligent in your skin beauty routines, acne breakouts can still appear once in a while. When this happens, you usually reach out and take your retinol cream or your store-bought acne cleanser. However, sometimes we just don’t have the nerves, energy or budget to wait for these things to start working.
Instead, why not try a home remedy to help you with your acne?
Yes, some of these are proven, and others can be a complete loss of time. Here, I've decided to help you make the right decision by giving you a list of 25 proven home remedies to help you with your acne.
Knowing what works and what not will save you the nerves and potentially the possible side effects that might appear when someone suggests you put mayo on your face… Simply ridiculous. So, continue reading and find out which home remedies actually work!
But before you try some of these, do a skin check and make sure you're not allergic to it. Also do note that, not all of these will work for everyone. If you're skeptical, consult your dermatologist beforehand!
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar consists of citric acid. And citric acid is basically alpha hydroxyl acid – probably sounds familiar because many skincare products contain this acid. Aside from killing bacteria present on the surface of your skin, apple cider vinegar will also act as a gentle chemical peel. Peels get rid of dead skin cells and reveal a new, healthy layer of skin underneath.
Remember to use a raw, unfiltered, organic Apple Cider Vinegar. Braggs is a popular choice!
To reap all the benefits of apple cider vinegar as an effective home remedy for acne, mix one part of the vinegar with 3 parts of water. And there you go – you have an effective acne-fighting toner! Apply this toner to your face with the help of a cotton pad and watch your face improving.
2. Egg Whites
My second choice of home remedy when it comes to fighting acne is egg whites. The proteins in egg whites act as nutrients for your skin, making it tighter and softer. Plus, egg whites have the power to extract and absorb oil and sebum from your pores. And when your pores are oil-free and dirt-free, acne will not appear!
One way to use egg whites for fighting acne is by simply slathering the egg white on your face, waiting 10 to 15 minutes and then washing it off.
Another way to use them is to apply them to y our face and then stick paper tissues or napkins on top. Like this, you’ve created your own peel-off face mask. Wait for it to dry off and then peel all the dirt out.
This is one of those bizarre home remedies that actually work! Toothpaste has been used for decades as a spot treatment for acne. Almost all kinds of toothpaste contain sodium bicarbonate and hydrogen peroxide – two ingredients known by their effectiveness in fighting acne and pimples.
The best way to use toothpaste as a spot treatment for acne is to put a small amount of it only on your acne surface. Never put toothpaste all over your face since it can be extremely damaging to sensitive skin.
You can choose to keep the toothpaste on your acne for a few hours or overnight if possible. In the morning, just wash it off your face, and your acne will be visibly diminished.
4. Ice Cubes
Ice is a natural way to restrict blood supply to an area of your skin. You know how they say to apply ice after a burn or after waxing to prevent redness? Well, it will do the same with your acne spots. Applying ice for a few minutes will significantly reduce your acne size, redness, and inflammation.
If you decide to use this remedy, always make sure that you don’t place the ice directly on your skin but wrap it up in a thin cloth first. And, make sure that you don’t hold it in one spot for more than a few minutes. Placing the ice straight on your skin and holding it there for longer can actually burn your skin, so be careful!
5. Tea Tree Oil
Every essential oil has a different but powerful strength to help us with many health issues. Tea tree oil has proven to be the most effective oil for treating acne! This essential oil has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties which will reduce inflammation and irritation, and can even prevent acne breakouts when used regularly.
Using tea tree oil can be a bit tricky since you always need to make sure that you dilute it with water. Pure tea tree oil is extremely strong and should never be used without water.
Depending on your acne severity, you can either use tea tree oil as a spot treatment or all over your face. If you use it all over your face, dilute it even more, since it can cause dryness and irritation.
6. Green Tea
Surprisingly, green tea is not only a great weight loss and antioxidant tool, but also an incredible acne fighting agent. The power of green tea to reduce and prevent acne comes from its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties which will reduce irritation, redness, and inflammation caused by acne.
You don’t need to be an expert to prepare this home remedy. Simply wash your face with a cooled cup of green tea or drink the tea and use the cooled teabag as a facial mask. Either way, you get all the benefits of green tea absorbed into your skin.
A pill that you probably have in your medicine cabinet – aspirin – can be a real lifesaver when it comes to unwanted acne. The reason why aspirin is effective in treating acne is that it contains salicylic acid, an ingredient used in many skincare products.
To use aspirin as a home remedy for acne, simply crush 4 or 5 uncoated aspirin pills into 1 or 2 tablespoons of water. Then, apply this paste only on your acne spots and wait until it dries out. I recommend that you don’t apply this paste all over your face since it can cause severe dryness.
Lemons are well-known for their ability to brighten and tighten our skin, as well as to gently exfoliate dead skin cells. However, lemon can also be a powerful weapon in getting rid of acne. This comes from its disinfectant properties as well as its acid composition which reduces the extra sebum that clogs our facial pores.
To use lemon as a home remedy for acne help, either use a cotton ball soaked in lemon juice or simply cut a lemon in half and apply it straight to your face. Depending on your skin’s sensitivity, you can decide if you wish to apply it all over your face or only to your problem areas.
9. Zinc Supplements
We all know zinc as a nutrient which allows the body to grow healthy cells, repair cells, and function with an optimum metabolism and immune system. However, zinc is also one of the most researched supplements in the field of acne help.
Many studies have shown that people had a significant decrease in acne appearance when they used zinc supplements for a few weeks or months. So, get your zinc supplement today and see what happens.
A word of caution – never go over the recommended daily intake of any type of supplement. Just because they’re natural doesn’t mean that supplements cannot cause side effects.
10. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera gel is commonly used to treat burns, scars, and rashes on the skin. However, did you know that you can use this magical plant also for acne treatments? Aloe Vera gel contains both salicylic acid and sulfur, both of which are amazing for skin health and acne help.
It’s best if you can use Aloe Vera gel that comes straight from the leaf. But if not, look for the most organic and natural gel for topical use. Ideally, without any additions. This should give you the maximum benefits and reduce your acne scars and inflammation.
11. Avoid Dairy
Even though the connection between acne and dairy products is still not completely clear, many people claim that they have found relief after they stopped consuming dairy products (or at least restrict them to once a week).
The most logical explanation for this occurrence is that dairy products can contain hormones which might disrupt your body’s hormonal balance. This is especially pronounced when it comes to milk.
If you’re unsure of whether or not dairy is the culprit for your acne, do a test trial and stop dairy for 1 or 2 months. If you see an improvement than this means that your skin doesn’t react well to dairy and you should avoid it in the future. On the other hand, if you see that nothing is changing that feel free to continue eating your favorite cheese and look for the root of the problem elsewhere.
Mint is not only good for fresh dishes and drinks, but also for your skin! Crushed mint leaves have the ability to absorb and remove excel oil, dirt and bacteria from your pores. The only effective way to achieve this is by using fresh mint leaves.
As a way to create a mint paste which will be easier for application, you can use yogurt or kefir. These two will give your face moisture and feed it with healthy bacteria. Simply apply the paste of mint and yogurt on your face and leave it there for a while – 15 to 20 minutes. After this time has passed, rinse well with lukewarm water, pat-dry your face, and apply your favorite water-based moisturizer (oil-based moisturizers can additionally clog your pores)
Omega-3s are famous for their skin health properties as well as their anti-inflammatory power. Not only that Omega-3s will make you healthier in general, but it will also improve your skin quality and make your skin brighter, fresher, and cleaner.
One capsule of Omega-3 daily is enough for seeing results!
However, you do have to be persistent and take them regularly for a while. If you’re not much for supplements, try incorporating more salmon, nuts, avocados, and tunas in your diet and get Omega-3s naturally
14. Facial Steaming
Facial steaming has many benefits face is an incredibly effective way to get rid of all the blackheads and whiteheads which will eventually become acne. Plus, any type of treatment or product that you usually do and apply for acne will be a hundred times more efficient after steaming.
Steaming opens up your pores and makes it much easier for all that’s bad to come out. This is the best, easiest, and the most effective way to clean your pores.
To steam your face, you need a special steaming machine. I wrote a post on the 5 best facial steamer to help you pick the best one!
For a better and more powerful steam session, cover your head with a towel so that the steam doesn’t go out. Additionally, you could even add beneficial ingredients into the boiling water such as green tea bags or even tea tree oil.
Next, steam your face for as long as you’re comfortable. After you’re done, you can either use clean tools to remove blackheads and pimples or apply your desired acne treatment product.
Yes, we do know that the smell can be a bit of a turn-off, but we cannot argue the healing properties of garlic when it comes to acne. Garlic is one of the best antioxidants, antifungals, and antivirals that nature can give us. These properties of garlic make it extremely efficient when you need acne help.
To use garlic to help you with acne, simply cut one garlic clove in half and rub the affected area with it. Do not do this all over your skin and avoid leaving it on overnight since garlic can be a bit too harsh on your skin.
Simply use it as a spot treatment and don’t leave it on for more than 15 to 20 minutes
Honey is a healing product of nature which prevents colds, strengthens your immunity, and gives you a great and acne-free skin.
The power of honey to treat acne comes from the fact that honey is a natural antibiotic which accelerates skin healing and kills damaging bacteria.
Usually, honey is well tolerated to be used all over the face, since it’s natural, gentle, and moisturizing. So, don’t be afraid to use it everywhere.
The best solution would be to apply honey to your face and leave it to absorb for about 30 minutes. Then, wash it off and apply your normal moisturizer.
Now you know – cucumber is not only magic for puffy eyes and under eye bags, but also for acne! Cucumbers contain a lot of Vitamin C, A, E, as well as potassium and water. All of these things will freshen up your skin, give it a lot of nutrients and moisture, and help you reduce the appearance of acne.
There are many different ways in which you can use cucumbers to help you with your acne. For example, you can make it a habit to regularly drink cucumber water which is an amazing detoxifying drink. Next, you could use cucumber slices and place them on your face. Or, you could even blend or grind a cucumber and create a face mask.
There’s no danger whatsoever in using cucumbers on your face, so feel free to improvise and add things until you find out what works best for you!
Papaya is not only delicious in a fruit salad, but also has many benefits for your skin – especially when it comes to treating and preventing acne. Papaya is known for its powerful composition of enzymes and antioxidants. The antioxidants in the papaya will keep the general health of your skin in check, while the enzymes will act as chemical peels and exfoliators.
Exfoliation of your skin can be tricky when you suffer from acne, especially when it comes to manual exfoliation with sugar or salt. Doing this is virtually impossible when you have acne wounds that haven’t healed yet. So, papaya can be an amazing alternative which will give you the features of a chemical peel – no need to scrub your skin!
The best way to use papaya for acne help is to crush the flesh of the fruit and apply it to your skin. Depending on the strength of the treatment and the results you wish to achieve, you can leave it on for only 10 to 15 minutes, or you can wait until it dries completely.
This beautiful golden colored spice finds many uses outside of your kitchen. The greatest use you can have from turmeric is getting rid of acne!
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, and thousands of people swear by its abilities to prevent and decrease acne.
When you're using turmeric for acne treatments, you will usually need a paste that's easy to apply and stick to your skin's problem areas. To form a paste, you can add a little bit of yogurt, kefir, or even Aloe Vera gel.
Apply this ready turmeric paste on your pimples and acne and leave it on for longer, or apply it all over your face and rinse off after 15 to 20 minutes. Don’t be afraid of your face becoming yellow – this easily goes away.
20. Enough Water
Here I’m not talking about washing your face with water but for drinking water, and drinking a lot of it! I know it sounds cliché, but water is necessary if you wish to get rid of acne fast!
Not only that water is necessary for the normal function of each and every cell in your body, but it’s also something you just HAVE to do when you suffer from acne. Water flushes out all the toxins that have been gathering in your body for a long time.
Lack of sufficient water can be the underlying cause of many problems, including acne. So, make sure you drink 10 to 12 glasses of water a day, or even more if you can. This will speed up any acne treatments that you’re currently undertaking!
21. Listerine Mouthwash
Yet another bizarre home remedy which seems to be working for most people is the well-known mouthwash Listerine.
Listerine is basically an antimicrobial and antibacterial agent which we normally use for killing bacteria in our mouth. So, someone thought of the brilliant idea – why not use it to kill acne bacteria?
The only thing you’ll need for this home remedy is a little bit of Listerine mouthwash and a cotton ball or cotton bud. Apply Listerine only to your existing acne, not your whole face! This is very important since Listerine is harsh and can severely damage your skin, especially if you have sensitive or dry skin.
Next, leave it on until it’s completely dry and wash it off gently.
22. Banana Peel
One more surprising home remedy to help you with your acne is the banana peel. Banana peels have been used for a while now for treating feet plantar warts, so many people have started to test its effectiveness on acne reduction – and it worked!
A banana peel as a natural home remedy for acne can be used by simply rubbing the peel over the affected area of your face for about 10 minutes. After this, rinse off your face with lukewarm water, pat dry with a clean and soft towel, and apply an oil-free moisturizer.
23. Orange Peel
Another beneficial fruit peel that you can use for acne treatments is the orange peel. However, even though this home remedy is effective, it will need a bit of preparation in advance.
The orange peel that you’re planning to use for your acne home remedy has to stay in the sun until it’s completely dry. Once it’s dry, grind it until it becomes a powder and slowly add drops of water until you reach a paste consistency. And there you have the ready product!
Apply this orange peel paste on your acne area and let it sit for about 15 minutes. And finally, wash it off with lukewarm water.
We all know Chamomile as a soothing tea we always drink when we have a cold. However, Chamomile tea is also an awesome acne remedy. It has anti-inflammatory and soothing properties which will calm down your inflamed skin and reduce the redness caused by acne.
Chamomile can be used in two ways. Either grind the contents of a teabag and mix it with water to get a paste or use a ready-to-drink cup of tea and soak a cotton ball in it. If you decide to make a paste, apply it to your acne areas and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Or, if you decide to use the tea itself then dab a cotton ball in it or simply wash your face with it a couple of times a day.
25. Witch Hazel
And finally, my last home remedy suggestion for you is Witch Hazel. Witch Hazel has natural pore-shrinking properties which can be of great help in fighting whiteheads, blackheads, and acne.
To best use, this remedy, pour some Witch Hazel on a cotton ball and use it as a toner for your face. Start by using it once a day and then see if you can handle using it twice a day.
As you can see, there are many natural home remedies for acne which can definitely replace their chemical alternatives. This will bring many different benefits to you.
First of all, you might finally get rid of your stubborn acne. Secondly, you will get to know your skin better and learn what works for you and what doesn’t. Next, you won’t need to waste half of your monthly budgets on anti-acne products! And finally, you will be sure that your skin only absorbs natural and homemade ingredients, instead of harsh chemicals and artificial products.
Personally, I’ve experienced that natural products can sometimes be more effective than store-bought ones. So, if you had doubts regarding their power to fight acne, I hope that now you will agree to give them a chance. I’m sure that at least some of them will surprise you.
As a final note, I would like to remind you to eat healthy, drink healthy, exercise, and reduce stress! These are all important factors that can contribute to the appearance of acne. Without controlling these areas, no magic cure will completely solve your acne problem.