Acne is one of the most dreadful skin issues to deal with, and most creams out there are filled with toxic ingredients. Many of these products may also be produced by companies that test on animals and do incredibly cruel things to see if the products would hurt humans the same way they hurt animals. Plus, keep in mind that whatever we put on our skin (our largest organ) ends up in our bloodstream, so it’s important to treat your skin with care and keep your entire body in mind at the same time.
Why Most Skin Products Are No Good
Most likely, any ingredient you can’t pronounce on a skin product label, shouldn’t be used on your skin. Parabens and other hormone disruptors, not to mention environmentally toxic ingredients are found in beauty products everywhere, even some that advertise themselves as natural. Just like food products, skin product and acne treatments should be scrutinized by their ingredient list, not fancy marketing.
However, if you want to skip the shelved products altogether, (even those that are cruelty-free), you can use some natural remedies that are simple, a bit greener, and also can be used for other uses as well. Here are some of the best natural remedies for clearing up acne that have been shown to help your skin and also don’t promote inflammation or irritation like chemically based products do.
1. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a miracle beauty treatment for many reasons. Though the idea of oil sounds scary for treating acne, coconut oil is one of the most beneficial skin treatments out there. Because it’s anti-bacterial and anti-viral, it fights bacteria naturally. It also prevents dryness, which most people overlook when treating acne. If dry skin builds up on your face, it can clog the pores and cause bacteria to linger within the pores, leading to a wide variety of breakouts like blackheads, whiteheads, and other types of acne. Keep in mind that coconut oil should be bought extra virgin and cold-pressed as the best option possible.
After washing your face, it’s best to use coconut oil as a moisturizer or you can also use it to take your makeup off with (which is awesome!). To use coconut oil, take about 1 tsp. amount and using clean hands, rub some on your face and make sure to pat dry to prevent any excess from sitting on your skin. You can also use coconut oils to condition your hair, cuticles, as a natural body lotion, and some people also cook with it as well.
2. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a remedy that’s often used for many different skin issues. It helps fight bacteria on the skin, including acne, yeast overgrowth, and even dandruff and psoriasis. The best way to use tea tree oil for acne is to either mix a drop of the pure essential oil into some coconut oil when you apply coconut oil to your skin, or tab some on a cloth diluted in water and apply as a natural toner after washing your face and before applying coconut oil or another moisturizer. Be sure to choose pure essential oil tea tree oil, not just extract which often has processed alcohol or other chemicals added.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another marvelous skin tonic (along with a body tonic as well). It makes a great toner and though it’s very acidic, it will help kill bacteria on the skin and is alkalizing once in the blood. To use apple cider vinegar, choose one without additives (prererably raw and organic), dilute a teaspoon with a teaspoon of water and apply as a toner on your skin after washing and before moisturizing. Feel free to incorporate tea tree oil in the mix as well for even more benefits.
4. An Oatmeal Mask
Think this is crazy? Hear us out! Oatmeal is a common type of remedy for chickenpox because it helps fight inflammation and redness. It also soaks up excess moisture and in the meantime, kills bacteria. To make an oatmeal mask to fight acne, redness, and inflammation, you’ll need to do this treatment a few days in a row. Mix 3 tablespoons rolled or quick oats (not those with added sugars or steel cut), and press with 1 tablespoon coconut oil and 2 teaspoons of water. Mix into a paste, apply to the whole face or just the infected areas, covering well. Let it sit for one hour (go take a bubble bath, get some work done, or just catch up on some studying, reading, or iPad time), and then remove. Do this a few days and you should notice a reduced scarring, redness, and breakouts overall.
5. Avocado and Lemon Juice
While avocados don’t kill acne, lemon juice can and mixing lemon juice with avocado will help ensure your skin stays moisturized and receives enough Vitamin E. This will feed the skin cells, kill bacteria, and also provide an alkalizing effect to the skin. Plus, avocados are amazing at fighting off wrinkles, so why not apply them to the skin instead of just enjoying them as a delicious food option? To make this mask, take 1/2 a ripe avocado (the riper, the mushier it will be) and mix with the juice of one lemon. Mix all together and apply as a mask a couple days a week.
These remedies will help fight acne but will also improve skin quality over time. While you can’t completely control your hormones related to acne, you can control what you put on your skin. If you find your acne is painful, keep in mind that the lemon juice and apple cider vinegar may sting a bit at first, but they won’t hurt your skin – just don’t leave out a moisturizing agent like coconut oil. Some people have success with olive oil, but others find it causes breakouts. Experiment with these options and let us know if you have your own natural acne remedy too!
Also keep in mind that a diet rich in sugar, refined and processed foods, and especially dairy products, have all been linked to breakouts. A diet rich in anti-inflammatory plant-based foods is another way to ensure your skin stays healthy and less prone to breakouts.
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