Waking up with a surprise zit on your face or getting acne after trying that face wash your friend swears by – all this can feel like getting started on the wrong foot and, at times, can be frustrating. So, it is no surprise that ‘good skin is good mood’.
Read on to know more about acne and some naturally powered acne-fighting home remedies.
Acne is a common problem faced by all age groups of people. While there are a variety of medical treatments and products available in the market, there are a lot of adverse side effects noticed.
These usually include dryness, redness, and discolouration among others. So, people look for home remedies for treating acne.
In this article, we can look at some of the best acne treatments at home that are the most commonly available ingredients found in Indian kitchens. But before that, let’s have a look at what acne is, the causes of acne and the different types of acne.
What is Acne?
Acne is a bump or sometimes a cyst on the surface, formed when the pores of the skin get clogged. It can appear on the face, neck, shoulder, back, chest or upper arm.
What Causes Acne?
When it comes to the cause of acne, many of us think it comes along with the teenage years and goes away with it. But, many factors trigger acne – hygiene, hormones, diet, stress, etc.
Acne is caused by the blockage of pores on the skin. Pores may get blocked by oil, dust, dead skin cells or bacteria.
These blockages lead to lesions breaking out on the skin. Practices like not changing pillow cases, not cleansing the skin after a workout, and touching your face with dirty hands, all can transfer bacteria on your skin and cause acne.
Hormones play a part in triggering acne. In both boys and girls, androgens are hormones that rise during puberty and induce the sebaceous glands to grow and produce more sebum. Breakouts can also result from hormonal changes around midlife, particularly in women.
With all the other factors, healthy skin also comes from healthy eating. Dairy, sugar, and foods with high GI index like sugar, and bread can trigger acne. Limiting such food can help with acne and also improve gut health.
Stress is one of the factors that trigger acne. While it does not lead to acne, it can make it worse. A little meditation daily, adequate sleep, practising yoga or just a chat with your loved ones can calm the nerves and release stress.
Acne can be inherited. Research shows that a person is more likely to get acne if their parents had acne.
What are the Different Types of Acne?
There are different types of acne one might notice on the skin.
Most common is often called comedones, which include both blackheads (open comedones) and whiteheads (closed comedones).
The Black or white colour depends on its exposure to oxygen (and not dust). Exposure to oxygen gives it a black colour while outbreaks within the skin are flesh-coloured.
Inflammatory lesions, on the other hand, often lead to scarring. These include
- Papules – small, red, raised bumps from infected hair follicles.
- Pustules – red with pus
- nodules – solid lumps beneath the skin
- Cysts – lumps beneath the skin with pus.
What are the home remedies for acne?
Acne treatments do not just come in tubes and bottles packed with chemicals. Various natural acne treatments can be done at home.
Home remedies for acne help us avoid the harmful chemicals often found in acne treatment products that harm the skin. Some of the best acne treatments can be done using natural ingredients in your home’s comfort.
Apple cider vinegar
This is among the most used home remedies for acne. Fermented unfiltered juice from pressed apples has citric acid which has the ability to fight bacteria and fungi.
Applying 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water using a cotton ball and then washing it off after 5 to 20 seconds – twice a day over a few days helps. It is always recommended to do a patch test before using it on your face as it can cause skin burns or irritation.
Honey and cinnamon mask
The research found that a combination of honey and cinnamon has antibacterial effects on the skin. Applying a paste made with 2 tbsp of honey and 1 tsp of cinnamon as a mask on the face and leaving it for 10 to 15 mins and then rinsing it off completely does the trick.
Here also, cinnamon may cause skin irritation and a patch test is recommended before it is applied to the face.
Polyphenols in green tea fight bacteria and reduce inflammation. Excessive production of sebum, an oil produced in the skin pores, is often a reason for acne and applying green tea reduces sebum.
Green tea brewed in water for 3 to 4 mins can be applied to the affected area using cotton and then washed off when it dries off.
The skin of red grapes contains resveratrol which fights bacteria in sebaceous glands (which produces sebum oil). Rubbing with half-cut grapes on the face or neck followed by a rinse cuts the bacterial activity in skin pores, a common reason for acne.
Cucumber face mask
Cucumber’s hydrating effects ease the inflammation from acne, although they are not found to be effective in treating the underlying pimples.
A blended cucumber with yoghurt when applied to the face for 20-30 mins eases the inflammation that arises due to acne. The mask should then be washed off.
Now that there is a new wave of people asking for natural ingredients in skincare, vegan beauty brands like Qaadu have emerged that develop products using natural and pure ingredients and use formulas based on herbal remedies.
Skin is the largest organ of the human body and should be treated and invested in its health wisely. When it comes to acne, treating it timely and wisely is crucial.
It just takes a few steps of knowing your skin, finding the underlying root cause of acne and doing effective treatments.
While some people use chemical-based products, many of us hope to treat those naturally. This is where the home remedies come in.
Turn to the kitchen to DIY a cucumber face mask to ease the inflammation or use apple cider vinegar to fight the bacteria.