By Jamie Joseph
At some point in time, you’ve experienced the horrors of the most common skin disease: acne. I bet you remember the first time a zit appeared on your face–and if you don’t, you’re probably one of 15 percent of lucky people who have never had to deal with acne, most likely due to genetics. According to the British Journal of Dermatology, 85 percent of people between the ages of 12 and 24 experience at least minor acne. While over-the-counter skin medications can be expensive and too harsh on different types of skin, there are a few all-natural remedies you can try in the comfort of your home that have worked for me over time. Like any acne medication, there probably won’t be overnight changes. However, pair these natural home remedies with a consistent and balanced diet for at least 2-4 weeks to see results. Before applying anything to your skin, remember to wash thoroughly.
The oldest trick in the book is applying toothpaste to zits! The mint aids in drying up pimples. So, after you finish brushing your teeth before bed, apply some toothpaste to your skin and wash it off the next morning.
What you’ll need: Toothpaste
2. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is a natural astringent. If your skin is prone to excessive drying, mix it with water to lessen the acidity. Dab the lemon juice gently onto skin and wash off after 15 minutes.
What you’ll need: A lemon, bowl and cotton ball
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar will kill off the bacteria causing pimples on your skin and then will turn into alkaline, which will balance your skin’s PH. Similar to lemon juice, if your skin is prone to excessive drying, only apply a small amount. Only use this product 2-3 times a week; once a day to avoid skin peeling.
What you’ll need: A bottle of apple cider vinegar, bowl and cotton ball
4. Lemon Juice Mixed With Honey
Lemon juice and honey can be used as a cleanser and mask. Since they are both natural lighteners, this is especially good to fade acne scars and blemishes. The lemon juice will cleanse the skin while the honey, the antibiotic, will tighten the skin and leave it feeling moisturized after being washed off. Apply a generous amount of honey mixed with one squeezed lemon for a thick mask. You can do this twice a day, leaving it on for 10-20 minutes at a time.
What you’ll need: Lemon, honey, bowl and cotton ball
5. Tea Tree Oil
Even if you have oily skin, tea tree oil has antibacterial properties to combat extra sebum and unblock clogged pores. To dilute its oily properties, mix it with water. To strengthen its use, dab it on as is.
What you’ll need: Tea tree oil, bowl, water and cotton ball
6. Sea Salt, Brown Sugar and Water
Mix these three together to create a natural exfoliator! Salt and sugar both have antibacterial properties that will help unclog and clean pores. Wash gently onto skin for two minutes once a day.
What you’ll need: Sea salt, brown sugar, water and bowl
In addition to these remedies (there are many more you can research!), make sure to adjust your diet if needed. According to the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, foods with a high glycemic load such as white grains (bread, rice, pasta) and sweets have been linked to acne.