You cannot think of teenage years without thinking about acne. And these nasty, pesky things have the irritating habit of appearing whenever there is an important event. Acne is caused when the pores on your skin get blocked and infected. Whiteheads are caused when the pores get closed and it gets bulged, but not infected. During your puberty, the body produces more androgens, the sex hormones. This causes the oil glands of your skin to produce more oil or sebum. The sebum blocks the skin pores and stimulates an overgrowth of Propionibacterium acnes, the bacteria.
One of the most common acne triggers is hormonal changes. Acne appears during pregnancy, menstruation and if you are on birth control pills. Other triggers include greasy ointment for face or hair, hair dye, cosmetic and creams. These products can increase the chances of pore blockage. Acne can grow on chest and back and it gets worse with clothes rubbing on it. The condition can also worsen with humid, hot climate as well as stress. Stress is the reason you get a new pimple right before your big date.
So, how can you treat acne? The first step is to ‘love your skin’. Treat your skin as your friends and protect it from any type of harm. Harsh chemicals will just rob your skin of moisture and make it dull and patchy. Your skin needs all the care in the world, just like your friend, when it has a new crop of acne. Instead of using chemicals, you can try home remedies, which will sooth irritated skin. So here is a list of some of the most effective home remedies for acne.
1. Use papaya
You will see papaya in many beauty products as it is a natural remedy for acne. Papaya removes excess lipid and dead skin from the skin surface, clearing the skin and leaving it smooth. The enzyme papain in papaya helps prevent pus formation and reduces inflammation. All you need is a fresh papaya.
How to use: Wash your face and pat dry. Take a papaya, peel it and mash it up until you get a semi-liquid consistency. Now apply it onto your face and leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes. Using warm water, rinse it off. Now apply moisturizer based on your skin type as papaya treatment tends to dry your skin.
2. Use Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is great for the treatment of acne and pimples. It soothes your skin and reduces the inflammation and redness. The antibacterial properties of tea tree oil help fight the acne causing bacteria. It will also help in drying out the whiteheads and blackheads.
How to use: You can directly apply Tea Tree oil on the affected area using a cotton ball. Just dip it in the oil and dab it on the skin. After 15 to 20 minutes, rinse it off completely. Another method of using Tea Tree oil is by mixing it with aloe vera gel. Take a tablespoon of aloe vera gel and add a few drops of Tea Tree oil to it. Apply this on the affected area and leave it for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse it off using warm water. Please note, you should stay away from Tea Tree oil if you have sensitive skin.
3. Use mint
Mint is another thing in the kitchen you could use to treat acne. Menthol in the mint works as a natural pain killer and anti-inflammatory agent. It can help remove the oil that clogs the pores. Mint will help ease the inflammation, redness and the discomfort caused by painful acne.
How to use: Take few leaves of mint and crush it up using mortar and pestle or a blender. Now apply the crushed leaves and the juice on the pimples and acne. Leave it on the affected area for 5 to 10 minutes and then wash it off with cold water. Another way of using mint for acne treatment is by mixing it with oatmeal and yoghurt. Take two tablespoons of chopped mint leaves and mix it with two tablespoons of powdered oatmeal and two tablespoons of plain yoghurt. Apply this mixture on the affected areas and leave it for about 10 minutes and then rinse it off.
4. Use garlic
Garlic is a good remedy for acne as it contains antibacterial properties. You can apply it on the acnes and pimples to reduce breakout severity. We know it will be smelly, but it is effective.
How to use: Take few cloves of garlic, crush it up and extract its juice. Now apply it to the affected areas using a cotton ball. If you cannot extract the juice, don’t worry, you can crush the cloves and place it in water for around 10 minutes. Now, take a cotton pad or a piece of cotton and soak it in that garlic water. Place this soaked cotton on the affected parts. If you want, substitute water with aloe vera gel and apply it directly to the face without using the cotton. You can also ingest a clove or two every day to treat acne.
5. Use natural homemade face wash for gentle cleansing
One of the most important parts of the acne treatment is cleansing. As your skin is already inflamed and red due to the stubborn acne, store-bought chemical face wash will only worsen the condition. Instead, use homemade face wash and making it is easier than you think.
How to make a face wash: Take three tablespoons of honey, one tablespoon coconut oil, one tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 20 drops of lavender essential oil and two capsules of live probiotics (you will get this online or in a medical store). Blend all the ingredients and store it in a jar in cool place. Use this homemade face wash twice a day every day to cleanse your skin.
6. Use green tea
According to a study, green tea is effective in reducing acne when used for topical application. Green tea contains antioxidants, which is said to reduce production of sebum, bacterial growth and inflammation. Keep reading to know how to use green tea for acne treatment.
How to use: Make tea concoction by pouring boiling water in a cup containing a tea bag. Let it steep for 4 to 5 minutes. Take out the tea bag and let the liquid cool. Now, using a cotton ball, apply it on your face and other affected areas. You can also put the liquid in a spray bottle and spray the liquid on your face lightly. After some time, rinse it off. The tea bag used to prepare the liquid can be placed on the affected area directly.
7. Use baking soda
Baking soda is a magic ingredient and is one of the most effective home remedies for acne treatment. It gently exfoliates the skin to get rid of the dead skin, dirt and excess oil. Using baking soda tends to dry out your skin, so make sure to apply moisturizer.
How to use: Add water or lemon juice to one teaspoon of baking soda to make a slurry. Apply the slurry on the affected area and leave it for few minutes. Now, rinse it off with warm water. For quick results, follow this procedure twice a day.