By Chef K.T. Murphy
Acne has plagued humans for centuries upon centuries and although we have improved our methods to reduce acne, not everybody is a fan of having to take pills or use chemical-based creams every day. Recently, studies relating to natural or home remedies for acne treatment have been displaying some significant results. Products such as Manuka Honey, at-home facials, tea tree oil, and many others have progressively displayed the ability to reduce acne without the need for added chemicals.
If you prefer to go the all-natural route, then take a look at our list below and decide which natural remedy is right for your acne.
Manuka Honey comes from New Zealand and is known for its anti-bacterial traits. Since Manuka honey is known for treating bacteria, it is likely to only work on bacteria-based acne.
Manuka Honey is to be used like a topical cream or gel. You apply a thin layer to the area of acne everyday (once/day is fine) and let the anti-bacteria agents in the honey do the rest.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a widely known and accepted method for treating acne. Several studies have been done in order to display the effects of tea tree oil on acne and the results tend to remain consistent. Although tea tree oil does not work as quickly as conventional acne treatments, studies have shown that a significant reduction in acne was seen after about three months.
Side effects such as dry skin, excessive oil, dry lips, dry mouth, etc. are common amongst chemical-based acne treatments. Many participants in these all-natural studies reported a decrease in these side effects with the tea tree oil, making it effective and just less irritating over all.
*Works for all types of acne.
Azelaic acid is typically found in whole-grains and several animal products. The natural acid is known for its antibacterial agents and has shown to be just as effective in treating acne as most conventional methods.
A doctor prescribes Azelaic acid in a cream form. The user applies a thin layer twice/day to his/her acne and should begin to see results after 3-4 weeks. This form of acne treatment only works with bacteria-based acne.
There are side effects to Azelaic acid, but they are mild. Consult with your doctor about possible side effects and inform him/her if any occur.
No this is not the act of rubbing actual bark on your skin, don’t worry! A few studies have been done regarding the use of a cream containing willow bark as a way to reduce acne. The results were fairly consistent, showing that willow bark works about as well as salicylic acid when used daily for several months.
Willow bark contains a natural form of salicylic acid, which helps reduce the possibility of harsh side effects. The product naturally removes skin cells that have died while gently exfoliating the skin.
Willow bark is much more gentle than conventional salicylic acid, so dry skin or redness and irritation are less likely to occur as well.
Change up your diet
For those of you readers who don’t like the idea of putting creams or gels on your skin, you do have another option.
Not all acne is caused by stress or bacteria; some forms of acne are actually caused by what we consume and how our body reacts to it. The most common dietary supplements that are known for causing acne are dairy products, sugar, and greasy foods. Look at your diet. Stop eating fast food, deep fried foods.
To reduce acne, try eliminating certain substances from your diet and see if that helps clear your skin. If your skin is very oily, reduce your consumption of greasy foods or fast foods. If your acne is more cystic, try cutting out dairy products (or at least limiting yourself). For inflammatory acne, cut out spicy foods.
There are plenty of other holistic options for reducing acne, but the ones above have been thoroughly researched and backed by doctors. Take some time to test out the ones that you feel apply to your type of acne and give the all-natural method a try!
All the best