101 Ways to Rid Yourself of Acne
Acne doesn’t just plague teenagers. Adults with good hygiene habits can suffer with blackheads, body acne and random breakouts, too. To rid yourself of inconvenient, surprise pimples and severe acne, check out this list of over 100 home remedies, diet changes, articles, acne-fighting ingredients, popular cleansers and more that will help you put your freshest face forward.
From lime juice mixes to oatmeal masks, this list of home remedies can help you fight acne without a prescription.
- Toothpaste: Dab toothpaste onto your pimple before you go to bed at night to dry it out.
- Make an oatmeal mask: Oatmeal reduces inflammation, so wash your face with an oatmeal paste or leave it on for about fifteen minutes and then rinse off.
- Nettle and rosemary bath: If you’re trying to get rid of acne on other parts of your body besides your face, try soaking in a bath of nettle and rosemary.
- Fresh mint juice: Applying fresh mint juice to your pimples supposedly reduces acne.
- Pomegranate: Apply a paste of roasted and powdered pomegranate skin, mixed with fresh lime juice, to your pimples and then rinse off after several minutes.
- Garlic cloves: Gently massage your acne with garlic cloves to reduce inflammation.
- Honey and cinnamon powder paste: Mix these two ingredients together, apply to your face at bedtime, rinse off the next morning.
- Cucumber juice: Squeeze the juice out of a cucumber onto a cotton pad and apply it to your pimples to promote faster healing and to reduce inflammation.
- Get a little sun: Lay out in the sun for a few minutes to dry out acne, especially cystic acne.
- Ice: Another home remedy recommends icing down your acne before bed, reducing inflammation.
- Orange peel: This ingredient, mixed with water, can be used as a paste on your pimples as a natural way to zap acne.
- Lavender oil: This soothing natural oil can be used as a preventative acne solution and will clear away redness.
These products may not work for everyone, but they’re certainly worth a try. From DDF to Accutane to birth control, these are some of the most popular acne products out there.
- Clinique Acne Solutions Emergency Gel Lotion: About.com ranks this solution as one of the best overall acne fighting treatments because of its bacteria-fighting action and ability to control oil and redness.
- Oral contraceptives: Many women choose oral contraceptives as an acne fighting agent because of birth control’s ability to control hormones.
- DDF BP Gel 5% with Tea Tree Oil: This medicine uses the natural tea tree oil to fight bacteria and inflammation. The treatment also has benzoyl peroxide to get rid of acne you already have and prevent it from coming back.
- Proactiv: This very popular treatment is often recommended for those with serious acne and has been endorsed by celebrities like Jessica Simpson.
- Accutane: Accutane is a very intense remedy for serious acne and cannot be used by pregnant women or women who are thinking of becoming pregnant in the near future. It is a type of vitamin A that “reduces the amount of oil released by oil glands in your skin,” according to Drugs.com.
- Neutrogena products and cleansers: This brand of soaps and on-the-spot acne medications are considered to be highly effective.
- Cetaphil: This respected line of skin cleansers and moisturizers can be an effective way to prevent acne.
- DDF: These acne products are designed to exfoliate dead skin cells and control oil.
Stress has been linked by researchers to more acne breakouts, so if you’re struggling to control your blemishes, make a concerted effort to also manage your stress levels. Otherwise, the stress you get over a new pimple could lead to several new ones.
- Acne Prevention: Stress: Learn about external stressors and internal stressors and how to manage both in this article.
- Stress Causes Acne: This personal story from the author of I am Fashion also explains why stress causes acne breakouts. Also read the review of Origins Spot Remover.
- Manage Stress: WebMD’s stress center has tips for being more organized, eating right, making time for exercise, and other options for reducing stress.
- Ways of Dealing with Stress: This blogger lists several ways to de-stress, including finding personal time, meditating, and dealing with stress at work or at home.
- Managing Stress Blog: Get tips for managing stress and read about the different causes of stress here.
- CampusBlues: This website tackles many physical and emotional health issues that college students experience, including stress.
- Link Found Between Teens’ Stress Levels and Acne Severity: Read this ScienceDaily article to learn why “teenagers who were under high levels of stress were 23 percent more likely to have increased acne severity.”
- Back-to-school stress can trigger acne in teens: Don’t let the stresses of going back to school or starting a new school get the best of you and your skin.
- Dealing with College Stress: Dr. Drew offers college students his advice for dealing with stressful situations and semesters.
- Clearing a Path to Healthy Skin: This article goes over the reasons why you break out and how you can de-stress in order to prevent acne.
There’s a lot of debate about what foods cause or irritate acne, but a healthy diet based on fresh ingredients can’t hurt.
- You Are What You Eat: This article explores the different types of foods to avoid if you want clear skin — like refined sugars — and those you should eat more of — like foods rich in vitamins A, B, and C.
- Acne Relief: The Clear Skin Diet: Care2’s article recommends eating lots of protein, vegetables, fruits, nuts and omega fats for clearer skin.
- Acne: How Food Can Cause It: This article considers how food allergies may cause acne.
- Less dairy and sugar: Refined sugars and dairy products can irritate your skin and cause your skin to produce more oil. If you are going to eat dairy, make sure it’s low-fat.
- Avocados: Avocados are supposed to be great for your hair and your skin, due to its rich essential oils and complex B vitamins.
- Berries: Berries are “rated as one of best bets for good skin health” and are great sources for vitamin C and antioxidants.
- Essential fatty acids: Foods that contain essential fatty acids, like salmon, walnuts and flax seed, are excellent for overall health and for your skin, as they help your cells hold in moisture.
- Hard water: Water keeps your skin looking fresh, and hard water with lots of minerals is especially good for removing toxins.
- Oysters: Oysters are a natural source of zinc, and acne sometimes results from a zinc deficiency.
- Mushrooms: Mushrooms are rich in vitamin B2, which helps with tissue repair. Vitamin B2 is also good for helping skin recover from acne rosacea.
This list will help you select and use the best cleansers and cleansing systems for fighting acne.
- Don’t use heavily scented soaps: Soaps and cleansers that have a lot of unnatural fragrances and perfumes can cause more irritation to your skin and acne.
- Use a soap with little to no residue: Extra residue that lingers on your face can keep pores clogged.
- Chemical peels: Chemical peels with salicylic or glycolic acids can be effective for getting rid of blackheads.
- Use makeup remover: When you wash your face at night, make sure you use a good makeup remover too.
- 3-step program: Many skin care regimens encourage the three-step program that includes cleansing the skin with a special face soap or cleanser, then using a skin toner, and then moisturizing.
- Know how and when to wash your face: Washing your face at the end of the day is best, since that’s when it’s dirtiest. Over washing your face could just put your skin’s oil glands into overdrive, as they try to overcompensate for drying out.
Natural, Organic and Herbal Remedies
For natural acne-fighting ingredients and regimens that are gentler on your face and the environment, turn to this list.
- Aloe vera: Aloe vera can work as a home remedy for treating your acne.
- Bergamot oil: Bergamot oil dries out acne naturally, so make sure you only use it on pimples and blemishes, not your entire face.
- Acneed: This herbal capsule can treat all types of acne through a detoxification system.
- Acupuncture: This alternative method also includes a lifestyle and dietary change.
- Natural Herbal Acne Treatments: Get reviews of natural skin care cleansers that smooth over skin and reduce breakouts.
- Oeco: Research this company’s line of organic acne treatments that are also eco-friendly.
- Herbal Acne Treatment Recipe: This treatment involves steaming your face and rinsing with honey water or rose water.
- Conventional, Holistic and Integrative Treatments for Acne: Learn how black currant seed oil and Chinese herbs can battle acne.
- Dandelion: This ingredient helps your body rid itself of bacteria.
- Calendula: Calendula “promotes healing of skin tissue,” according to HerbalRemediesInfo.com.
Forums, Blogs and Websites
The following sites are overflowing with reviews of acne products, tips for making your own home remedy, and finding out what dermatologists and other acne sufferers are doing to combat acne.
- Acne Talks: Learn about different types of acne and get tips on how to get rid of each kind on this website.
- Acne.org: This very popular site features a community-driven portal for swapping tips, information on acne and acne products, message boards and more.
- The Acne Help and Treatment Center: Learn about acne and acne treatments here.
- AcneGuide.com: Learn about treament options, aggravating factors, types of acne scars and non-surgical treatments, antibiotics and more.
- AcneForums.net: Recent threads on this site include “Body Acne” and “Adult Acne.”
- How to Get Rid of Acne: This blog has great archives with tips for banishing acne.
- Acne Forum: Participate in acne discussions and product reviews here.
- AcneForum.com: Categories on this forum include blackheads, scars, acne treatment and others.
- Acne Treatment Blog: This blog covers topics ranging from diet to topical meds to light therapy.
- Acne Home: Learn all about some of the best acne products on this website.
Learn to keep your hands away from your face, control stress and use yoga to fight pimples.
- Stop touching your face: The more you touch your face, the more dirt, oil and bacteria you add to your skin.
- Stop stressing: Stress triggers more acne breakouts, so try to be proactive about your acne, instead of worrying about it.
- Don’t pick: Picking at pimples or scars only makes them more irritated. It can also open them up and pour bacteria into them, causing infections.
- Yoga: Some believe that yoga helps reduce acne “by increasing the blood flow to your face… flushing away the toxins and provid[ing] nutrients to your skin.”
- Don’t squeeze pimples: If you squeeze your pimples, you may scar and irritate your skin, or cause an infection.
- Don’t let your acne overwhelm you: Teenagers and those with severe acne can understandably feel very depressed about their skin condition, but try not to let acne overwhelm you and hinder you from being social. Visit a therapist and dermatologist to help you deal with the issue.
- Don’t wear makeup: Makeup can cover up acne problems, but it can also add more oil to your skin. Consider going without any makeup for a few days to give your skin a chance to recover, or at the very least, choose a makeup that is oil-free.
- Dust: Make sure your home has been dusted and vacuumed. Those living in very dusty conditions have weaker immune systems, making it harder for their bodies to fight off acne.
Preparing for Acne Triggers
In some conditions, getting breakouts is unavoidable. Prepare yourself with these tips.
- After a long trip: Being stuck on a plane or in the car for a long period of time prevents your skin from breathing the way it should. Bring face wipes, rosewater or makeup remover to use during and after your trip to minimize breakouts.
- Getting your period: Many women notice breakouts just before or during their menstrual cycle. Monitor your diet, sleep schedule, and hygiene routines especially closely during this time.
- Stressful situations: Around exam time or when you’re gearing up for some other stressful time in your life, keep extra acne fighting treatments and on-the-spot treatments on hand.
Personal hygiene is one of the most important factors in preventing acne. Make sure you’re practicing good personal hygiene by checking your habits against this list.
- Change your pillowcase often: When you sleep, the oil from your hair and face are transferred to your pillow. Change your pillowcase often to avoid adding extra oil to your face.
- Wash your hair: Even if you’ve washed your face and your body, wash your hair to decrease the amount of oil being produced close to your scalp and your face.
- Shower at least once a day: Basic personal hygiene requires daily bathing, which also rinses out your pores.
- Shower after exercise: If you can, wash with a deep body cleanser to unclog pores and wash off sweat.
- Control facial hair: You may need to wash your face more thoroughly or more often if you have a lot of facial hair that pumps oil back into your face.
- Brush more, mouthwash less often: Using mouthwash everyday may actually lead to more breakouts around your mouth. Brush your teeth more thoroughly and more often to avoid bad breath.
- Wash your face at night: Rid your face of all the grit, dirt and bacteria your skin collected during the day.
- Don’t use a lot of heavy creams: Slathering your face with lots of night cream will just make your face extra oily. Use a moisturizer that works with your acne treatment.
- Soak up oil throughout the day: Use tissue paper or oil absorbing sheets without washing your face, which causes over drying and can take off your makeup.
- Use the right kind of detergent and soaps: Check the label before buying soaps and detergents. Avoid products that use a lot of oil to add moisture. These can irritate or cause breakouts.
Surgery and Prescriptions
For more severe acne problems, you may want to consider light therapy, acne surgery or even plastic surgery.
- Antibiotics: The American Academy of Dermatology provides information about using prescription medications to treat acne.
- Drainage and surgical excision: Some dermatologists will recommend acne surgery if major cystic acne does not respond to medication.
- Dermabrasion: This surgery, which removes the top most layer of skin, is used for wrinkles, facial scarring, and skin lesions.
- Isotretinoin: Cystic acne may be treated with this medicine, administered by a dermatologist.
- Light therapy: The Mayo Clinic explains this procedure, which specifically “targets the bacterium that causes acne inflammation.”
- Plastic surgery: Those wanting to recover from major acne scars may want to research plastic surgery as an option.
Ingredients to Look For
When shopping around for acne products, look for these ingredients and understand what they can do for your skin.
- Salicylic Acid: Those wanting to get rid of whiteheads and blackheads will want to look for treatments that use salicylic acid, which loosens up the pores.
- Glycerin and dimethicone: According to 10acne.com, these ingredients, when found in acne products, “improve the moisturizing effects.”
- Retinol: Retinol is a form of vitamin A that decreases redness and the appearance of acne scars.
- Benzoyl peroxide: This ingredient is found in most acne medications and kills bacteria. It can dry out unaffected areas of the face, however.
- B-5 vitamins: B-5 vitamins decrease the production of sebum, and some medications include this ingredient in their product.
- Before You Buy an Acne Treatment: Read this guide to determine your acne needs and how to read the label on medications.
- Sulfur and resorcinol: This pair of acne fighting ingredients “remove dead skin cells that clog pores and help remove excess oil.”
- Alcohol and acetone: Another combination of ingredients frequently seen in cleansers is alcohol and acetone, which work together to rid your face of dirt and oil.