Adolescence was a hard time for most of us. Besides dealing with raging hormones, embarrassing body changes and emotional outbursts, there were the zits—just one more hardship among many that teenage life had to offer.
Unfortunately, skin problems aren’t always left behind in adolescence. Breakouts and acne continue to haunt a lot of us, even in our 20s and 30s. I’ve been battling with a constant outbreak of pimples for as long as I can remember. I tried going the traditional beauty product way, and when that didn’t work I tried prescription medications. Though these solutions would help to alleviate my condition temporarily, my skin would always eventually revert to its previous red, bumpy, irritated state.
I could never find a permanent cure for my problem. Having exhausted all other options, I started looking into home remedies and was pleasantly shocked by the results I got.
Here are the top five home remedies that have done wonders to help me fight my pimple problems:
Let me be honest here. I was a little apprehensive about applying aspirin on my tender skin. Given that it’s already so sensitive, I didn’t want to deal with a barrage of new problems because of a negative reaction. I still decided to give it a go since I had read a lot about the magical effect of using aspirin on the skin, and I wasn’t surprised either. Aspirin contains salicylic acid that loosens up dead skin cells, clearing up clogged pores that are one of the major causes of acne. Its anti-inflammatory properties also help reduce irritation caused by acne.
How to use it – Crush an aspirin tablet and mix it with few drops of water. Apply it on the affected areas of your skin and leave it on overnight.
2. Aloe Vera
I thank my darling Granny for having introduced me to the marvels of aloe vera. Aloe has been my one-stop remedy for a lot of health and beauty concerns, including digestive issues, hair problems, and of course skin woes. Aloe vera gel contains polysaccharides that have antibacterial and antiseptic properties. It helps kill acne-inducing bacteria, heals acne scars and soothes the skin. Aloe vera also improves blood flow to the skin, promoting the growth of new skin cells.
How to use it – Clean your face and apply the gel on the affected areas using a cotton ball. Let it dry and then rinse it off with water.
Honey’s therapeutic and healing properties are well known, so it’s no surprise that it also helps treat pimples. Honey is a natural source of skin exfoliants like fructose and alpha-hydroxy acid. These ingredients improve skin tone and reduce the recurrence of acne. According to the University of Waikato’s Honey Research Unit, the hydrogen peroxide contained in honey has antimicrobial properties that in addition to reducing the appearance of pimples, also prevents them from reocurring. Honey is a humectant that can even work well for treating pimples in people who have dry skin like me.
How to use it – Cleanse your face and apply one teaspoon of honey on the affected areas of your skin. Leave on for 30 minutes before washing it off.
We all love lemon because it makes one of the most refreshing drinks of summer. (Who doesn’t love a chilled glass of lemonade?) But did you know it can also help fix your pimple problem? Lemons contain a natural astringent and exfoliant called L-ascorbic acid that helps soak up excess oil from the skin and remove dead skin cells that clog pores. It also contains antibacterial properties that work their healing magic, reducing acne scars.
How to use it – Add a few drops of lemon juice to a cotton pad and dab it on the affected areas of your skin. Leave it on for 30 minutes and rinse with water.
5. Green Tea
I had heard a lot about the benefits of green tea for weight loss, but the fact that it also works to cure pimples was a pleasant surprise. It’s not every day you come across a remedy that tackles two of your biggest concerns! Studies suggest that Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the main polyphenolic fraction of green tea, acts as an acne therapeutic agent owing to its anti-inflammatory properties. According to the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, the active compounds in green tea improve skin health and promote skin cell repair.
How to use it – You can enjoy a freshly brewed cup of green tea, or apply it topically. Wash your face with a cup of cooled green tea. You could also dab green tea bags onto the affected areas of your skin.
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While these remedies have helped me a great deal to control pimples, they aren’t enough without positive lifestyle changes. The makeup you use must be good quality. Never forget to remove it before you sleep. Use a mild exfoliating face wash to clean your face twice daily. Be vigilant about the food choices you make, and refrain from extremely oily, sweet and starchy foods like potato chips, white breads, white pasta, cakes and cookies. Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep daily. Consult a dermatologist if your problem persists.
Vineetha Reddy is a regular practitioner and adviser of everything related to nutrition, fitness, health and wellness. Reddy writes on these topics so she can contribute to this knowledge ecosystem. She strongly believes that the organic food you find in your pantry will provide the best benefits for good health. Follow her for her best ideas and solutions @rk_vin.