Thursday, September 8, 2011

Overview: Natural Acne Remedies

Do not fret, my dears, I haven't switched to food blogging! This is part deux of my spot treatments overview (check out the first part here), this time focusing on natural acne remedies. Obviously, the list is not exhaustive, these are just some of the things I've tried over the years that did and did not work for me. I hope this helps, most of these ingredients are inexpensive and easily found in any kitchen, so they might be worth a try!

1. Clay (in the photo: Pink Kaolin and Green Bentonite). Clay is a skincare ingredient that has been used for centuries, and for a good reason! It comes in many varieties for different skin types and is mostly added to various commercial face masks, but you can also purchase 100% pure powdered clay and make your own masks, knee packs or spot treatments. The common effect of many kinds of clay is tightening of the pores and smoothing the skin, some also help to deep clean the pores by bringing impurities to the surface. It's definitely an effective product that supports the results of other acne treatments, but I honestly doubt it would get rid of anything more than occassional spot or two on its own. I'll be reviewing a natural clay face mask very soon, so keep your eyes out for that!

2. Essential Oils (in the photo: Simplers Organic Lavender Essential Oil): You've surely heard about the acne-fighting benefits of tea tree essential oil, but there are many more than can help diminish blemishes, e.g. lavender, lemon, clary sage, even patchouli. In my experience, applying undiluted essential oils to the skin is not only unpleasant, but can also end up in a pretty nasty irritation. My favorite way of using essential oils is adding them to other skincare products: my cleansing oil blend, toner or homemade masks. Again, I do think they help fight acne when used in conjunction with other products, but don't make a drastic difference on their own.

3. Neem Oil (in the photo: Allafia Basics Neem Oil): I've already reviewed this product in detail here, but let me sum it up for you: neem oil looks nasty, smells nastier, and doesn't seem to do much for me. I know neem also comes in the form of leaf powder, so if you're considering trying it, that might be a better bet.

4. Plain Yogurt (in the photo: FAGE Total 2% Greek Yogurt): Apart from being yummy and nutritious, yogurt can also be an effective acne treatment; if you want to know why, read Brilliant Farmgirl's post on yogurt face packs. What I like about putting yogurt on my face is that it's so cooling and soothing, and my face looks calmer and more hydrated afterwards (this is why it's also awesome on sunburns). I feel that yogurt helps more with redness than pimples, but I still like this method a lot and use it occassionally.

5. Lemon Juice (or other acidic liquids, like Apple Cider Vinegar): Careful, lovelies! Lemon juice has the pH level just above battery acid and can indeed feel like the latter on your skin (i.e., it BURNS). I completely do not recommend putting undiluted lemon juice on your breakouts, it's painful, makes the blemishes angry, and will probably result in peeling. The citric acid in lemons can help exfoliate your skin, but better use it in conjunction with other ingredients.

6. Honey (in the photo: Wedderspoon Organic 100% Raw Manuka Honey Active 16+): Well, I'll be the first to admit that I love honey in general, but it's also a fantastic skincare ingredient. Honey, especially Manuka honey, has hydrogen peroxide antibacterial properties, on top of being a humectant (moisture-binding ingredient). It does help calm cystic blemishes, as well as heals cracked and dry skin (for example, on the lips). If you haven't tried it already, what are you waiting for?

I hope you enjoyed this little overview of natural acne remedies and maybe found some new ideas to try out. Let me know in the comments below what is your favorite natural acne fighter!


  1. AAAH I love Manuka honey, it's SO cool. I remember the first time I ever used it for a blog post, and my skin was the softest I've ever felt it. THAT's what my skincare is missing. Much love xx

  2. This was a really helpful post and I definitely learned something new. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Wonderful post! All this is something my grand mother used and recommended to all of us :) She had gorgeous skin and hair at 93! I have to go back to the time tested remedies. Thank you for all the useful info <3

  4. @Cami: Well, and if honey's not working on your skin, you can always just lick it off :) I think I have an overdue honey mask to put on in the evening!

    @Amyboo: I'm glad you liked it!

    @Sue: Hmm, the only recommendation I got from my gran was to use red currant juice on my freckles when I was 12 :) I've always liked my freckles! x