How to get rid of acne fast? This is a question that over 50 million affected Americans face each year. Acne is one of the most common skin diseases in the world, making people frantically look for home remedies for acne or resort to prescription antibiotics.
Acne is a skin problem that can affect anybody but is mostly seen in teenagers because of their hormonal rush. American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) says that as many as 85% of adolescents and young adults aged 12-24 experience acne at least once in their lifetime.
The ubiquity of acne parallels the number of myths shrouding it.
Some say your diet has nothing to do with acne; others say you get pimples because you don’t keep your skin and thoughts clean. These beliefs were so strong that people latched onto them for decades. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) dispel all such myths as old wives’ tales.
We need to distinguish between old wives’ tales and scientific truth. And for that we need to know acne pathology.
What Is Acne?
Acne, commonly called pimples or zits, occur when a skin pore containing a hair follicle gets clogged with dirt particle, oil or dead skin cells. The hair follicle sits atop or shafts right through the sebaceous glands that produce a secretion – called sebum – to keep your skin and hair moist and soft and ward off dryness. The sebum travels to your skin surface through hair follicle.
Dermatologists call this whole set of sebaceous gland, hair follicle and cells lining the follicle (keratinocytes) “pilosebaceous units (PSUs).” PSUs are found ubiquitously all over your body but are most common on face, back and chest.
When a pore becomes clogged, sebum begins to build up. If the sebum is built just under your skin, you get the white bumps called whiteheads.
Sometimes the pore becomes wide and opens up pushing the dark plugs of sebum outside. This is when you get blackheads.
The plugged pore may become infected with bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes (P.acnes). These bacteria are natives of your skin but favor growing in warm, fluidic milieu. Beside P.acnes, Staphylococcus aureus can also infect pores. Once this happens, the pore becomes red and inflamed, called papule.
If the inflamed papule contains pus, you would call it a pustule. When the wall of pustule gets ruptured, it spills everything – sebum, shed skin, dead cells and bacteria – leading to acne spread.
An acne lesion or a scar, called “comedo (pronunciation: KOM-e-do), can go deep into your skin where it may cause pain and scars. The scars are what you casually refer to as “spots”.
Acne can emerge on any part of the body, but is mostly seen on the face, scalp, back and chest.
Factors that increase your risk of developing acne include:
- Hormones – male hormones – androgens – increase in both girls and boys during puberty. Androgens make your skin produce more sebum.
- Certain diets – including carbs such as bagels, chips, dairy products and everybody’s favorite delight – chocolate!
Yes, chocolate is bad for your skin, even dark chocolate is. A recent study, published in the journal of Dermatology, asked 25 acne-prone men to eat 25g of 99% dark chocolate for four weeks. However, before the time could conclude, the poor subjects had their skin decked with cruel acne.
- Oily and substandard makeup can block the pores and trigger acne. So can grease from kitchen and environment.
- Certain medications – such as steroids, androgens or lithium) and stress can worsen acne. So can everybody’s favorite delight – chocolate!
- Reproductive age – women of reproductive age are also an easy target and can get acne two to seven days before their period.
- Irregular menstrual cycles – women with elevated serum androgen levels are at an increased risk of developing acne.
Whatever the cause, acne is frustrating. One day you think you are done with acne and next day you wake up to a new pimple! It feels horrible but the good news is that you can fix this with natural items.
Home remedies for acne are the best solution to cure acne.
According to a government report, more than one-third Americans love alternative or contemporary therapy. We have detailed top 15home remedies for acne that actually work. The best thing about these home remedies is that they are safe for those who have sensitive skin and are scared to use over-the-counter products.
Only a few prescription medications are considered safe in pregnant women. The British Medical Journal (BMJ) recommends that pregnant women with acne vulgaris avoid using prescription medications. Home remedies, thus, suit them as well.
How To Get Rid Of Acne Fast
Do you want to know how to get rid of pimples overnight fast? Before you investigate ways to dispose of pimples or acne. Treatment at home can help reduce acne flare.
Baking Soda For Acne Treatment
Baking soda, which is also known as sodium bicarbonate, can be utilized on the skin as an excellent exfoliant. It aids in getting rid of dead skin and cleans the pores. It also balances the pH level of the skin (pH – 5.5) and helps cure acne.
Baking soda rapidly soothes burning skin and reduces the painful inflammation of acne. Dr. David E. Bank, the director of the Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic and Laser Surgery, and other dermatologists approve of a facial mask made up of honey, lemon and baking soda to prevent skin outbreaks, get rid of excess sebum and dirt and unclog pores.
This one’s a nice one,” says Bank. “Honey is soothing and hydrating, [and] because of its own viscosity and consistency can help break apart excess sebum. Lemon again has antibacterial properties. Baking soda we love in dermatology — it’s anti-inflammatory, it’s antibacterial.” Again, be careful not to get lemon juice in your eyes.
Experts advise that baking soda must be applied twice a week to keep the skin healthy.
Baking soda can also be utilized in form of mixtures, since using it alone may dry the skin out. You can put 2 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder, 5 tablespoons of honey with juice of half lemon. Mix it well and apply it on the face. Rinse it after 5 minutes to find a soft beautiful skin.
Oatmeal For Acne Treatment
Oatmeal is another of our top home remedies for acne for cleansing the skin. Oatmeal exfoliates the skin and soaks up the oil, which gives rise to acne. An oatmeal mask can be made by adding 1 teaspoon of honey in a cup of cooked oatmeal. Add juice of half lemon in it and apply it to the affected area. You can also add a ½ cup milk to the mixture.
Leave the mixture on the skin for about 30 minutes. Wash the skin with warm water. This can be done twice a week.
The mixture moisturizes skin and manages breakouts. Oatmeal exfoliates the skin and honey makes your skin moist and soft. Dr. Doris Day, a New York City dermatologist and author of Forget the Facelift. has a word of caution for you:
“Just make sure it’s lukewarm, not hot, when you put it on your skin,” says Day. “It’s also unclear if you’re going to really get the same effect as oatmeal products made for your skin. But it’s not a bad thing, and it’s inexpensive and fun to do at home.”
Fuller’s earth, popularly known as Multani Mitti, is an effective remedy for acne. It absorbs excess oil and does not let the skin get dry. It cleanses pores and gives a glow to the skin when applied.
The effectiveness of fuller’s earth as one of the top home remedies for acne is well established. In one study, researchers from VIT university, India, tested various natural and chemical substances to identify whether they bore antimicrobial effect.
Researchers put toothpastes, Neem, aloe vera, fuller’s earth and pimple removing cream in discs, slides and broths inoculated with bacteria and observed the number of colonies after 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 minutes.
Of all the products, Fuller’s Earth and Aloe Vera showed maximum antimicrobial activity that was sufficient enough to cause lysis of pimple causing bacteria.
Fuller’s Earth should be mixed with rose water and sandalwood powder in equal quantities so that it becomes like a muddy mask. Apply it on your face and leave it till it dries. Rinse it and find yourself with glowing skin! Apply this mask one a week to keep your skin beautiful.
Lemon Juice For Acne And Scars
There is a reason lemon juice is a part of most popular home remedies for acne. The astringent attribute present in lemons is the key element in curing acne. Rich in vitamin C, lemon has the natural power of removing the dirt from pores and hardening the sebaceous glands that excrete oil. A single lemon contains about 30-40 mg of vitamin C.
Lemon is also a rich source of skin renewing alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and antimicrobial compounds.Natural lemon juice or a blend of cucumber and milk is commonly used by Arab-Americans to clean and moisturize skin. Arabs, we all know, boast the healthiest skin in the world.
A study by Hakim IA and researchers from University of Arizona has shown that citrus peel (Limonene) use reduces the risk of squamous cell carcinoma.
A piece of lemon may be used to the acne affected area and rinse it after 20-30 minutes. Other ways are mixing lemon juice with rose water or honey and applying it on the skin for 20-30 minutes before washing it off.
However, you must be careful with lemon juice since it can dry the skin out. Your skin has a pH between 4.5 – 5.5 but lemon has a pH of about 2-3 which makes it really acidic (and perfect to eliminate bacteria which cannot survive at such as a low pH).
Acidic formulations have a potential to irritate skin and weaken skin barrier function. A study found that formulations with acidic pH (3.3) caused 6x more skin irritation that neutral formulations (with a pH of 6.9 – 7.0).
Ideally, you should not use lemon alone. Always mix it with equal quantities with a moisturizing ingredient like honey and use it as a mask. You must also not use it more than twice a week, and take special care not to expose your skin to sunlight with the lemon juice still on.
Does Toothpaste For Acne Really Work?
You must be very amazed but yes, toothpaste can help removing acne. In fact, it is one of the easiest home remedies for acne!
A 2014 study, by Dr. A.V. Gomashe and researchers from Shivaji Science College, Maharashtra, India, tested various toothpaste brands in curbing propioni-bacterium and Staphylococcus aureus acne and found them to be a natural alternative to antibiotics. The study strongly suggests choosing natural remedies (Neem, tulsi, toothpastes) over antibiotics.
All you need to do is to use toothpaste for spot-treatment and apply it on the acne affected areas before going to sleep. You will find the results in 2 days, as the toothpaste minimizes the inflammation and dries out whiteheads. The trick is to use a small amount only on the affected area, and to rub it in till it dries. Ideally, you should not use toothpaste with menthol since it may further irritate the skin.
Tea Tree Oil for Acne
Extracted from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, the pleasant smelling tea tree oil is considered to be among the most effective home remedies for acne, as it kills the bacteria which produce acne.
Tea tree oil has both antibacterial and cosmetic properties.
It is also helpful in purifying pores and must be applied twice to thrice in a day for noticeable results. You can also apply a facial mask made up of:
- 3 Drops of tea tree oil
- 1 Packet of unflavored gelatin
- ½ Cup milk
- 1 Tablespoon honey
Combine ingredients and microwave for 10 seconds. Apply on face and rinse after 15 minutes. The mixture actually works for acnes. Gelatin dries out the pores, tea tree oil is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, milk moisturizes your skin, and honey softens your skin.
A handful of studies have found tea tree oil to be effective against mild to moderate acne outbreak. In one study, for instance, researchers from Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Australia recruited 124 acne patients. Patients were divided into two groups; one group applied 5% tea tree oil; the other 5% benzoyl oxide solution (touted to be an effective anti-acne therapy).
Both groups showed ameliorating effects by reducing inflamed and non-inflamed lesions.
But you need to watch out – tea tree oil can cause irritation or redness for certain people, so always patch-test it before using it. You may use diluted oil in water to avoid inflammation.
Orange Peel For Acne
Orange peel has similar properties as lemons. It is rich in vitamin C and its acidic properties make for the best home remedies for acne. Evidence shoes that vitamin C is actually a magical potion for wound healing, preventing and treating acne as well as preventing post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Orange peel can be dried out by keeping it in the sun or leaving it overnight in the oven on a very low temperature. Then, grind the peel and store it in a jar. Add water or rosewater to it when you need to apply it – preferably once a week. Leave it on the affected area for 15 minutes, then wash it with lukewarm water.
Just one caution though, if you use citrus on your face, scalp or any other part of the body, avoid going in the sun. Chances are you can get chemical burn called phytophotodermatitis – an acid like irritation occurring following a contact with light-sensitive botanical substances (such as chemicals found in lime, carrots, celery, parsley) and UV rays.
These chemical compounds can react with UV rays and lead to painful skin eruption. There have been accounts of people rubbing the lime juice on their scalp or skin and getting phytophotodermatitis subsequently. The eruption typically occurs 24 hours after the exposure and peaks at 48-72 hours.
Aloe Vera Gel for Acne And Pimples
Aloe Vera gel are perhaps the most reliable home remedies for acne that actually work.
The succulent plant and gel is rich with anti-inflammatory ingredients that can treat acne within days. It is also one of the most popular home remedies for acne scars! Its effectiveness is well-studied and well-established in various scientific studies.
In one 2014 study, the researchers from Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Iran, recruited 60 people with mild to moderate acne and treated them with either topical retinoid (TR) cream or TR cTHream + aloe vera gel (TR/AVG).
Not only TR/AVG treatment was well tolerated, it also showed remarkable improvement in patients within 8-weeks of use.
Aloe vera gel can simply be squeezed out of its leaf and used twice everyday. Ideally, you should use natural gel from the plant instead of packaged versions of it. The best part about aloe gel is that you can leave it on throughout the day, since it is odorless and dries like water. Refrigerate the remaining gel for later use to make it more soothing.
Effects begin to appear within two weeks.
How To Get Rid Of Acne Fast With Fenugreek
Fenugreek is an antioxidant and disinfectant herb which cures skin diseases like acne. Fenugreek herbs can be crushed and mixed with water. Apply for 15 minutes and then wash. It should be used regularly for 3 to 4 days to see results.
Several studies have established effectiveness of fenugreek seeds in treating acne and other symptoms in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). In PCOS, women experience a hormonal tumult manifesting in a myriad of symptoms including acne, hirsutism, obesity, and acne among others.
Use Indian Lilac For Acne
Indian lilac, which is known as “NEEM”, is an antiseptic herb and kills bacteria that increases acne. It has been among the most popular home remedies for acne since centuries!
Neem can be used by mixing with water and turmeric powder. You can also let neem leaves sit in warm water for a few minutes and then apply the water to the face with a cotton call. Rinse it after leaving it on for 20 minutes. Repeat twice a week.
Studies have established anti-acne properties of Indian lilac. In one study, Rasheed A and team of Sree Vidyanikethan College of Pharmacy, India formulated an anti-acne moisturizer made from extracts from various herbs and plants including Neem and found it to adequately control acne-inducing bacteria.
Neem has also been touted to protect from cancer. In a 2011 study, for instance, mice were injected with carcinogenic products and were later treated with neem extract for 20 weeks. Neem exhibited anti-cancer and chemopreventive properties.
Treat Acne With Green Tea
A Chinese proverb says, “Better to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one.”
A growing body of research and scientific evidence suggests drinking green tea regularly improves your skin, reduces blemishes, sebum and inflammation and prevents acne-busting.
Green tea is rich in a catechin called (–)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). EGCG is an antioxidant that is 25-100 times more potent than vitamin C and E. Acne patients have higher than normal levels of inflammation, so drinking green tea can be extremely beneficial. Drinking green tea also reduces insulin resistance and balances blood sugar. This, in turn, can be good for people with hormonal acne.
Green tea also prevents the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which is the enemy #1 when it comes to acne. Green tea is definitely good for you.
So how much you should drink in a day – there is no specific recommendation but to max out at the benefits, you should drink 2-3 cups in a day. The number can be safely increased to 6 cups.
You can also make a green tea mask by mixing 1 tsp green tea powder with ½ tsp coconut oil and ½ cup of water. Apply the mask on face and rinse after 15 minutes.
Coconut oil is an antiseptic and green tea helps reduce inflammation and redness.
How To Get Rid Of Acne Fast With Honey Mask
Honey is perfect if you want to combat acne and fade acne scars. P.acnes really hates honey and for all the right reasons. Honey kills the bacterium. It is super friendly for your skin and makes it soft and moistened, helps break apart sebum and erase scars. It also glows your complexion and rarely causes any side effects.
What’s more is that it is extremely compatible with a range of ingredients. You definitely do not need to run here and there to collect the ingredients. All are already present in your kitchen. All you need to do is a make a honey trap for the bacteria – as this review by Eady Anne and colleagues of University of Leeds, UK, suggest.
Make a quick face mask by mixing 1 tsp baking soda, ½ tsp ground cinnamon and 1 tsp honey. Mix ingredients until smooth and apply it on face. Rinse after 15-30 minutes.
Cinnamon can cause rash on sensitive skin. Patch test a small mixture before applying it all.
You can also dab honey on the pimples several times in a day or leave it overnight. The result becomes palpable within a few days.
Heal Acne Cysts With Crushed Aspirin
If you see a sudden monstrous pimple that you want to quickly get rid of, crush an aspirin in a little water and dab it generously over the zit. Let it stay there for a few minutes. The redness and swelling will instantly ebb away.
If you want, you can also mix aloe vera and water with aspirin for a cooling effect and to prevent the excessive dryness that aspirin might cause.
Aspirin is an analgesic as well as an anti-inflammatory agent. It works by reducing the swelling. However, this remedy is only for short-term use since aspirin is a blood thinner and can absorb into your skin leading to bleeding, although chances are rare.
How I Cured My Acne With Apple Cider Vinegar
Anti-acne clay mask of apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a super remedy for acnes. All you have to do is mix 1 tsp of bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar and apply the mixture on your face for 15 minutes. Do it every day until skin cleanses.
Clay can help dry oily skin whereas apple cider vinegar serves as an antibacterial.
Dermatologists believe that the combination is the perfect blend to dry the oily skin which is an open invitation to P.acnes and S.aureus.
Apple cider vinegar is often claimed the magical potion and all-cure potion but ironically there is little scientific evidence on its usefulness.
The scientific literature on humans ingesting vinegar is very, very limited,” says Carol Johnston, Ph.D., R.D., a student of medicinal uses of vinegar at Arizona State University.
But we know for sure that ACVimproves blood sugar, improves skin and rids acne scars within two to three weeks.
Can Raw Garlic Really Help Get Rid Of Acne?
Applying garlic on acne scars is one home remedy Farah Dhukai, a beauty vlogger and a social media celebrity, swears upon and we agree with her. On her Instagram account, she tells and shows you how to use garlic to make your acne vanish overnight.
She recommends taking a clove of garlic and making several cuts in it so that it will ooze juice and applying it directly on the pimple. If the pimple is small, say a whitehead, it will vanish within a few minutes; if the pimple is huge, you should leave the juice overnight and see the magic the next day.
With all of these home remedies for acne, the key is to stick to the one that works best for you instead of oscillating between them, and practicing it regularly. You must also be patient, since these methods may be slow but are safe and definitely effective!
Apart from being a culinary spice, garlic has a medicinal value. That it works as an anti-acne agent is a well-established fact that many botanists and health experts endorse. For instance, Tabassum N and Hamdani M, of University of Kashmir, write a detailed analysis of medicinal plants in journal Pharmacogn Revand award highest credentials to garlic as an effective anti-acne treatment.
Here are some useful tips, endorsed by the ADD and NIAMS, for acne care that can benefit you in the long run.
How To Get Rid Of Acne Fast With Minor Care
- Do not pop the pimple no matter how irresistible or gratifying it may be. If the acne is on the face, avoid rubbing, popping, scratching, peeling or itching it. We all subconsciously touch or feel our face every few minutes but dermatologists advise against it, particularly if you have an acne outbreak. Michelle Rodrigues, a consultant dermatologist at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, says squeezing a pimple can lead to a permanent scar. Leave it as such, as advices, in an article she wrote for The Conversation.
“If you resist the urge to squeeze, pimples will usually resolve over a week or so without scarring.”
- In their update, the AAD advises that you gently wash your face, or any other area affected by acne, twice a day with a mild cleanser. Vigorous washing can exacerbate the acne. AAD also recommends seeking early treatment.
- Use non-acnegenic cosmetics, including toiletries and sunscreens. Do not use astringents unless your skin is very oily.
- If you have oily hair, NIAMS recommend that you wash your hair regularly.
- Avoid sun or indoor tanning; it reddens or darkens the skin, which is the main reason why Caucasians seek the treatment but evidence suggests these benefits are only temporary and excessive sun or radiation exposure can actually damage skin, accelerate aging and lead to skin cancer. This systematic analysis by researchers from Stanford University has some real shocks on indoor tanning and melanoma for you.
Here are some more facts on sun exposure and tanning by Cancer.org.
- Seek early treatment. There are many effective treatments. However, acne doesn’t disappear overnight. Be calm and focused. Topical therapy is the standard treatment for mild acne; for moderate to severe therapy, your dermatologist may recommend oral antibiotic therapy (with azithromycin tetracycline, erythromycin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, doxycycline, minocycline, and trimethoprim).
- Always use a mild and non-drying cleanser your face. The skin on your face is super sensitive and can easily be irritated should you try to go a little adventurous with ruthless scrubbing and scratching.
Laser and light-based therapies for acne are still under investigation, although for the most part they are a safe treatment for acne scars.