Acne can be stubborn and seem to pop up at the worst time. Acne is a common skin disease that have affected about 85% of the people at certain point in their life.
However, There are many factors that can contribute to the development of acne:-
• Hormone changes
What Causes Acne?
Acne occurs when the pore in your skin get clogged with oil and dead skin cells.
Each pore on your skin is connected to a sebaceous gland, which produces an oily substance called sebum. So when extra sebum can accumulate on your pores, it causes the growth of a bacteria known as Propionibacterium acnes, or P. acnes.
In response to this bacteria, your while blood cells attacks P. Acnes which leads to skin inflammation and acne. Symptoms of acnes include whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples.
Conventional acne treatment such as salicylic acid, niacinamide, or benzoyl peroxide are widely used by people to heal their acne but they are expensive and have undesirable side effects such as dryness, redness or irritation.
Hence a lot of people have turned to natural alternatives to get rid of them without any side effect. Few of the effective and quick home remedies are listed below:-
1) Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is a natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. It contains a lot of water and is an excellent moisturizer especially for those who get dry skin from other anti-acne products.
Aloe Vera is known to reduce the appearance of acne and prevent acne breakouts.
How to use-Wash your face with a face wash and then apply a layer of aloe vera gel on your face like any moisturizer. It is easily available in stores or online.
2) Make a Honey and Cinnamon Mask
Both honey and Cinnamon have the power to fight bacteria and reduce inflammation that causes acne. Honey contains many antioxidants that can help to clear waste and debris from clogged pores.
*How to Use-*Mix 2 tbsp. of honey and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to form a paste. After washing your face with a good face wash. Apply this mask to your face and leave it on for 10-15 minutes. Rinse the mask off and pat your face dry.
3) Apply ACV
ACV or Apple Cider Vinegar is made by fermenting apple cider or simply from the unfiltered juice from the pressed apple.
Apple Cider Vinegar contains organic acids, such as citric acid which is powerful enough to kill Prances. It also contains another organic acid, succinic acid, which is responsible to suppress the inflammation caused by P. acnes, which may prevent scarring. Another organic acid, Lactic Acid, also helps in reducing the appearance of acne scars.
*How to use-*Mix 1 part of ACV and 3 parts of Water. Wash your face with a good face wash, and gently apply this mixture to your face with the help of a cotton Ball. Let this concoction sit on your face for 5-20 minutes (depends on how much sensitive your skin is). Then rinse with water and pat dry your skin.
Note- ACV is very strong and if used directly can cause burns and irritation to your skin. So try to use it in small amounts and dilute it with water before using.
4) Spot Treatment With Tea tree Oil
Tea tree is extracted from the leaves of the tree known as Melaleuca alternifolia, which is a native to Australia. Tea tree is well known for its ability to fight bacteria and reduce skin inflammation.
Tea tree have the power to fight P. acnes and S. epidermidis- two types of bacteria that causes pimples. Tea tree is very potent and hence you should always dilute it before applying it to your skin.
How to use it-First mix 1 part of tea tree oil with 9 parts of Water. Then Dip a cotton swab into this mixture and apply it to the affected area. Then apply moisturizer.
5) Green Tea for Skin
Green Tea is rich in antioxidants and drinking it promotes good health.
Green Tea contains polyphenols that can help fight bacteria and reduce inflammation.
Many studies also indicate that applying green tea directly to the skin can help with acne. According to the researchers, applying green tea extract to the skin significantly reduces the sebum production which in turn reduces the formation of acne.
*How to Use-*Steep Green tea in boiling Water for 3-4 minutes. Then allow tea to cool. With the help of a cotton swab, apply the green tea concoction to your skin. You can even pour the concoction into a spray bottle and spritz it to your face. Allow it to dry, then rinse it off with cold water and pat dry your face.
Other Ways to Reduce Pimples
1) Limit Dairy Intake
According to the studies, the people who drank more milk are tend to have more pimples.
Milk and other dairy products contain hormones such as IGF-1, which is related to acne. Hormones in milk can lead to hormonal imbalance and lead to acne.
However the relationship between milk and acne needs further study.
2) Reduce Stress
Studies have linked stress to increased acne severity. The hormones released during stress may increase sebum production and inflammation making your acne worse. Multiple studies have found a link between stress and acne. However more research is needed.
Ways to Reduce Stress:
• Get more Sleep
• Take deep breath
• Practice Yoga
• Engage in physical activity
3) Exercise Regularly
When you exercise, it promotes healthy blood circulation and the increase in blood flow helps to nourish the skin cells, which may help prevent and heal acne.
Studies also suggested that exercise decreases stress and anxiety and which in turn helps in reducing acne.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults should do aerobic exercise for 150 minutes per week. This includes cycling, walking, hiking, swimming.
4)Take Care of your Diet
Acne is greatly altered with a proper diet. According to the researchers, dietary factors such as insulin and glycemic index is associated with acne.
A food’s glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how quickly it raises your blood sugar level.
When you eat food with high GI it causes a spike in insulin which in turn increases the sebum production and hence the acne. Hence high GI food directly affect the acnes.
Foods with a high glycemic index include processed foods, such as:
• white bread
• sugary soft drinks
• sugary breakfast cereals
Foods with a low glycemic index include:
• whole or minimally processed grains
4) Exfoliate Regularly
Exfoliation is a process of removing the top layer of dead skin cells. It can be done chemically or physically.
When you exfoliate you remove the skin cells that clog pores which in return helps the acne treatments to penetrate more deep inside the skin.
studies suggest that microdermabrasion, a method of exfoliation, can improve the skin’s appearance, it also helps to repair skin cells and the appearance of acne.
There are 2 types of scrubs- physical and chemical. For physical scrub, it can be made with sugar or salt and can either be bought from a store. But for chemicals exfoliation, include AHA or BHA based scrubs. These are gentle to your skin. However if you chose a mechanical scrub, gently rub the scrub to your skin. Don’t be harsh to reduce any damage to the skin.
How to make mechanical scrub at home-
1. Mix equal parts sugar (or salt) and coconut oil.
2. Gently rub your skin with the mixture and rinse well.
3. Exfoliate as often as desired, up to once daily.
5) Take Fish Oil Supplements
The fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids that offer numerous health benefits.
The fish oil contains two types of omega-3 fatty acid- eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). With high levels of EPA and DHA, the inflammatory factors reduce, which are the reason for acne.
In one study on 45 individuals with acne. They were given omega-3 fatty acid supplements daily. After 10 weeks, their acne reduced significantly.
However, there is no specific recommendation of the daily intake of omega-3 fatty acid.
6) Zinc Supplements
Zinc is responsible for cell growth, hormone production, metabolism, and immune function.
Researches show that people with acne tend to have lower level of zinc in their blood. Several studies suggest that taking zinc orally may reduce acne. The optimal dosage of zinc should be 30-45 mg per day. Taking too much zinc may cause adverse effects including stomach ache and gut irritation.
A 2014 review found that zinc is more effective at treating severe and inflammatory acne than treating moderate acne.
Acne is a skin problem that have irritated almost everyone once in their lifetime.
You should focus on your diet and reduce stress to avoid the formation of acne. Avoid junk food, oily food, processed food all the time, Once in a while is fine but not everyday. Take care of your health and your skin will thank you for that.