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 side effects noticed. These usually include dryness, redness, discoloration among others. So, people look for home remedies for treating acne. In this blog, we can look at some of the best acne treatments at home that use 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 skin condition that causes pimples or spots on face, neck, shoulder, back, chest or upper arm.
What causes acne?
Acne is caused by the blockage of pores on the skin. Pores may get blocked from oil, dust, dead skin cells or bacteria. These blockages lead to lesions breaking out on skin.
Some reasons which trigger or worsen acnes include:
- Hormonal changes: Androgens are hormones which increase during puberty. These lead to an increase in production of sebum. This often clogs the pores leading to breakouts and acne.
- Diet: Carb rich foods like bread, chips etc. worsens acne.
- Stress: While stress does not lead to acne, it is found to make it worse in people with 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 includes both blackheads (open comedones) and whiteheads (closed comedones). Black or white color depends on its exposure to oxygen (and not dust). Exposure to oxygen gives it a black color while outbreaks within skin are flesh colored.
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 skin with pus.
What are the home remedies for acne?
There are various natural acne treatments that 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 commonly found at home.
- 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 with 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: 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.
- Green tea: Polyphenols in green tea fights bacteria and reduces 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 on the affected area using cotton and then washed off when it dries off.
- Grapes: Skin of red grapes contain resveratrol which fights bacteria in sebaceous glands (which produces sebum oil). Rubbing with half cut grapes on 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 eases the inflammation from acne, although they are not found to be effective in treating the underlying pimples. A blended cucumber with yogurt when applied to the face for 20-30 mins eases the inflammation that arises due to acne. The mask should then be washed off.
While there are innumerous home remedies available for acne treatments, ones listed above use the most commonly available ingredients that are found to be effective.