Acne is one of the most annoying and most common skin conditions globally, affecting 86% of the young adult population. Acne treatments like salicylic acid, niacinamide, or benzoyl peroxide are the most effective acne solutions with scientific backings. However, they can be expensive and have side effects like dryness, redness, and irritation. This is why many people look into home remedies to cure acne naturally. Many home remedies have shown promising results against acne. Although they lack very strong scientific backings, they’re still options you can try. Before we go into home remedies for acne, let’s look into the common causes of acne.
Causes of Acne
Acne can start when the pores of your skin get clogged by some materials. These materials specifically include dead skin cells and oil. Each pore on the surface is connected to an underlying gland called the sebaceous gland. The sebaceous gland is responsible for producing an oily substance called sebum. The work of this sebum is to moisturize and protect the skin. However, extra sebum can plug up the skin pores, supporting the birth and growth of Propionibacterium acnes, or P. acnes.
Furthermore, in accordance with their function, white blood cells attack the bacteria, and this causes skin inflammation. Apart from this, many other factors can cause acne. These factors include genetics, stress, infections, diet, medications, and hormonal changes.
Optimal clinical treatments remain the best for skin acne. However, below are some home remedies that prove effective against acne, although some lack concrete scientific backing.
Apple cider vinegar is obtained from the fermentation of the unfiltered juice from pressed apples or simply fermenting apple cider. Like other kinds of vinegar, it is known for fighting off fungi and bacteria. Scientifically speaking, apple cider vinegar contains some organic acids such as citric acid, which has been proven to kill Propionibacterium acnes. Another research shows that succinic acid present in vinegar helps reduce inflammation caused by P.acnes. Although many components of apple cider vinegar show potential against acne, there’s not much evidence to support its effects against it. One thing to note before trying this is that apple cider vinegar has the tendency to cause skin burns and irritation. Therefore, it’s advised to be used in small quantities or diluted in water.
Honey and cinnamon both can fight off the two factors that cause acne, bacteria, and inflammation. A study showed that the combination of honey and cinnamon bark exerted an antibacterial effect against P.acne. Some other research shows that honey, on its own, can be used against P.acne. Honey and cinnamon antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties might give them a fighting chance against acne, but there’s little research to back up this claim.
Zinc is an important element that helps produce hormones, proper cell growth, immune function, and metabolism. In addition, zinc has enough research to back up its effectiveness than other natural home remedies for acne. Several studies have shown that orally taking zinc can help reduce the likelihood of developing acne. Zinc also helps reduce inflammation and therefore reduce the scars caused by acne.
Tea tree oil is naturally anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, making it effective against P.acnes. The anti-inflammatory properties of tree oil enable it to reduce the swelling and redness of pimples.
Garlic has been used to cure infections for several years by many traditional medicine practitioners. The presence of organo-sulphur compounds in garlic can help build the body’s immune system, making it more adapted to fighting off germs and infection.
Aloe Vera is a tropical plant whose leaves produce a clear gel which is often added to creams, lotions, soaps, and ointments. Its gel is used for treating abrasion, rashes, sunburns, and other skin conditions. In addition, Aloe Vera contains sulphur and salicylic acid, which are extensively used in the treatment of acne and other skin infections. Research has shown that applying salicylic acid to the skin helps reduce and stop the growth of acne.
Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the outermost layer of the skin. This can be achieved by using chemicals or manually scrubbing dead skin cells off using a brush or scrub. Exfoliating works against acne by getting rid of the dead cells that clog skin pores. Besides that, it also assists other acne treatments by allowing them to penetrate deeper into the skin once the dead outermost layer is removed.