Acne is frustrating, especially as an adult when you feel like these days should be well past you. The truth is, acne affects us at all stages of our lives.
With so many homemade acne remedies and products on the market, finding ones that actually work can be a challenge.
Good news is we’ve tried out most of them and have put together the ultimate guide to pimple treatment for you.
Read on to learn more about acne, how to prevent it and how to treat the pimples you already have!
STRIPPING IT DOWN
- What is Acne?
- What Causes Acne?
- How to Treat Acne Naturally
- How to Get Rid of Acne with Store Bought Products
- How to Prevent Acne
What is Acne?
Acne is result of clogged skin pores. This can happen when there is a buildup of dead skin cells, oil and bacteria.
Though no one likes a breakout, you may find comfort knowing that 85% of all people in the world experience acne at some point in their life. Moral of the story – you are not alone.
Acne can present itself in different forms:
Blackhead – open to the surface of your skin and turns black
Whitehead – stays below the skin and forms a white bump
Papule – a small, inflamed bump that turns pink
Pustule – Red and inflamed with a pus sac exposed
Cyst or Nodule – pimples deep in the skin layers that are inflamed and painful to touch
Acne does not confine itself to just the face either. Many people experience it on their neck, chest or even back acne. In extreme cases it can make its way as far down as the buttocks, which is not so pleasant.
What Causes Acne?
So many factors can impact your skin and cause acne. Some of the most notable are hormones, diet, genes, and lifestyle contributors.
Hormones and Acne
Our body goes through many different stages. Puberty, pregnancy, menopause and our menstrual cycle all affect our hormones and can cause our internal balance to go out of whack.
Changes in hormone levels can cause acne. We are especially sensitive to androgens. When our hormones shift the androgen in charge is testosterone and this can wreak havoc on our skin.
Diet and Acne
High glycemic foods have been attributed to increased acne flare ups. The glycemic index (GI) rates foods based on how high they raise blood sugar levels. Foods like grains, milk, yogurt, fruits and those containing added sugars all rate high on the GI.
By avoiding higher GI rated foods and introducing more greens and clean protein sources you can reduce your risk of frequent breakouts.
How Genes Affect Acne
Depending on your genes you may be more prone to pimples. This is often because your genes impact your skin’s oil (sebum) production. The more sebum, the more likely you will experience clogged pores and get a zit.
Poor Lifestyle Habits
There are so many ways our lifestyle can dictate our skin’s condition. Feeling constantly under stress, not getting enough sleep, failing to shower after sweating and more can all lead to breakouts.
Stress throws your hormones off balance, which we already learned is a major player. Sleep also shifts our internal functions and allowing sweat to rest on our body can prevent bacteria and dirt from escaping and cause your pores to become clogged.
How to Treat Acne Naturally
If you enjoy homemade acne remedies and quick and dirty DIY acne recipes then you will want to pay special attention to this section.
Acne Steam Facial
A simple yet highly effective way to clear your pores is to steam your face regularly.
You will need:
- A large bowl or basin
- Kettle to boil water
- Towel large enough to cover head and bowl
- Optional – 3 drops Tea tree oil
Boil 6 cups of water and pour in your bowl/basin. If you plan on using tea tree oil, place your 3 drops in now.
Sitting or standing at least 1-2 feet away from the bowl, drape your towel over your head and the basin so that you trap in the steam.
The steam will help open up your pores allowing dirt, dead skin cells and oil to be pushed outwards where you can rinse them away.
Steam your face for 3-5 minutes. If you feel uncomfortable do not force it – safety first.
Once your time is up, remove the towel and wash your face with a mild cleanser. Important: rinse off your cleanser with cold water. This will help constrict your pores, reducing your chances of clogging them.
Homemade Acne Face Masks
Face masks are fantastic for preventing acne and soothing current breakouts. This autumn-inspired one is no exception!
You will need:
You will need:
- 1 cup canned or fresh mashed pumpkin
- 2/3 cup mashed papaya (or pineapple if you cannot find papaya)
Mix together both your ingredients until they form a smooth paste
On your clean, dry face, slather your mask all over your skin. Let it soak in for 10 minutes.
Rinse off your mask with lukewarm water and pat your face dry with a clean towel. Don’t forget to moisturize afterwards.
Pumpkin is great because is full of skin-healing antioxidants that strengthens your skin. Papaya (or pineapple for that matter) are rich with AHA, vitamin A and C that can slough away dead skin cells and excess oil, ultimately encouraging the production of new skin cells.
Homemade Acne Face Wash
You don’t have to spend tons of money at the pharmacy to get a high quality acne face wash. This DIY acne cleanser will do the trick.
You will need:
- 1/2 oatmeal (gluten free if you have allergies)
- 2 tablespoons plain yogurt (no sugar added)
Stir your oatmeal and yogurt in a bowl together until it is nicely mixed up.
Using clean hands, apply this acne face wash all over your face using circular motions. Spend at least 1 minute massaging into the entire surface of your face. Be mindful not to get any in your eyes though.
Using a clean, warm face cloth, wipe off this cleanser. Splash your face with water before patting dry with a clean towel.
Yogurt contains lactic acid that works to naturally exfoliate your skin, clearing out your pores from any acne-causing bacteria and grime.
Oatmeal is also an exfoliant, but it’s role here is to absorb any excess oil that may be clogging your pores.
DIY Acne Spot Treatment
For days when you have one solo pimple invader, a DIY acne spot treatment is all you need.
You will need:
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 slice of fresh lemon
In a small bowl, mix your baking soda and a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Stir until it forms a paste.
Using clean fingers, apply this paste to your pimple. Let it soak for 20 minutes or overnight, if you have the time.
Rinse off with lukewarm water and pat face dry with clean towel.
Lemon, and other citrus based fruits, are full of AHA’s and vitamin C that contain both antibacterial and skin rejuvenating properties.
Baking soda, on the other hand, gently exfoliates your skin to rid it of anything that may be clogging your pores. Regular exfoliation also stimulates new skin regeneration so you can see brighter, healthier looking skin.
DIY Acne Facial Spray
Looking for an on-the-go alternative to getting rid of acne that takes literally seconds to apply and leaves you feeling fresh? Then this one’s for you.
You will need:
- 1 travel sized spray bottle
- 1 tablespoon witch hazel
- 10 drops tea tree oil
- Filtered water
Carefully funnel your witch hazel and tea tree oil into your spray bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle up with filtered water, leaving 1-2 cm of space at the top.
After putting the lid back on, give your mix a good, strong shake to blend all the ingredients together.
Spritz your face, neck or body whenever you need to freshen up. Just be sure to shake each time before you spray.
Tea tree oil contains natural antibacterial properties that can kill acne-causing bacteria on the spot. Witch hazel is Mother Nature’s skin toner, meaning its astringent properties clean and tighten your pores to reduce the risk of clogging. It also provides moisture so your skin doesn’t dry up and leave you feeling chapped or flaky.
How to Get Rid of Acne with Store Bought Products
If you are looking for a store bought solution because you aren’t much for DIY’s, then there are plenty of options available. Here are a few of our favourites:
At Home Microdermabrasion Machine for Acne
At home microdermabrasion machines are exactly as they sound – machines designed to exfoliate your skin.
Often battery powered or electric, microdermabrasion machines usually have a wand with an exfoliating tip that rotates when on. When used on your facial skin it exfoliates away the dead skin cells to reveal healthy, rejuvenated skin.
It’s this intense exfoliation that helps prevent acne by strengthening the skin and removing all the buildup.
Though great for treating acne, you should not use them more than once or twice a week or you will dry out your skin. Always apply a facial moisturizer afterward to rehydrate your skin after use.
You can buy cheap models in the pharmacy or higher quality ones like Microderm MD online.
Exposed Acne Treatment
Exposed Skin care is dedicated to acne treatment and has several products that target different types of acne. From a body wash to face cleansers and spot treatments, Exposed is one of the better products available online.
Though not without it’s faults, we do love Exposed because there are several products to choose from so you can essentially build an acne regimen that works for your particular acne issues.
How to Prevent Acne
Try as we might, we will always suffer a breakout or two. But rather than wait till the damage is done, we can work on how to prevent acne.
There are several preventative measures you can take and they are easy to implement.
For starters, wash your bed sheets and pillow cases regularly. Sweat and bacteria can build up on your sheets and your face and body come in contact with this for hours while you sleep. Fresh pillowcases can especially help reduce your odds of a break out.
Another step you can take is to avoid wearing sweaty clothing. Whether you’ve completed a workout or simply sweat it out in the sun, change into clean clothes. Sweaty clothes can prevent your skin from breathing, allowing not only the sweat, but oil to clog your pores and lead to acne flare ups.
Tight clothing can also prevent your skin from breathing so consider more relaxed fit clothing if you are experiencing a breakout.
A good night’s sleep, healthy diet and drinking lots of water are all lifestyle habits that can help you have radiant skin as well. Healthy skin starts from the inside out, so if you take care of your insides they will reflect on the outside.
Acne is not pleasant and can seriously affect our self confidence. Our strategies on how to get rid of pimples are easy to follow and implement even in the busiest of lives.
Now tell us, what are some of your acne-fighting strategies? Share in the comment section below.