Everyone’s had acne. It doesn’t matter how smooth or genetically skin-blessed you are, you’re bound to have days when angry red spots grace your face shamelessly. I’ve had acne. All kinds of acne. Mild acne, moderate acne, sprinkled around my face and back, as well as severe acne across my forehead. I had no choice, it is my skin and I had to find a way to live with it. Frustrated ? Oh definitely. But I’ve tried and a few DIY home acne treatments and they seem to cool the rage from acne off my skin.
I’ve had acne since I was ten years old. I still have mild acne now at 22, so mild you can’t see them unless you flashed a light on my skin. After much trial and error, and many visits to the dermatologist, trying out most of the medication they have on the market, I’ve finally found a few ways to keep my greasy, blackhead prone but dehydrated skin at bay. And the best part is, I do them all at home with such natural and economical substances. Most of these treatments can be applied on most skin types unless specified.
At the end of the line? Feeling hopeless? Give these a go and they may surprise your acne!
The Aspirin Mask
This mask has many devout followers and has been touted as the Holy Grail of all home acne remedies. It is so simple to prepare and it works for most people. Why? The reasons are purely scientific. The main ingredient in Aspirin is Salicylic Acid, used in most over the counter acne treatments. It works by dissolving plugs of dead skin and grease in your hair follicles so your pores get unclogged. It also dries out pus filled pimples and decreases the redness, making acne less inflamed. However, as it is a type of acid, people with more sensitive skin should avoid this.
How: Crush two aspirin tablets in a bowl with the back of a spoon. Try wetting the tablets a little prior to crushing to make the job easier. Add in enough water/aloe vera gel/rose water to form a thick paste. Spread paste on cleansed face avoiding the eye, sides of nose and lip area and allow it to sit for 15 minutes until dry. Just before washing the mixture off your face, moisten your hands and gently massage your face. Rinse to reveal smooth skin. Limit the usage of this mask to once a week as it can be quite harsh on skin. Remember to always moisturize your face adequately after application of this mask.
Cold Cucumber Slices
Cucumbers are high in water and mineral content. These two substances are effective at hydrating and soothing irritated, inflamed acne prone skin. Chilled cucumbers are also great at shrinking pores. Try it for an instant pick me up!
How: Refrigerate a cucumber for at least 3 hours. Cut the chilled cucumber as thinly as you can. Lay as many slices as desired on cleansed skin and over eyes. Leave the slices on until no longer cold. Remove slices and briefly splash with cold water. Pat dry and apply moisturizer. Repeat this treatment as often as desired.
Oatmeal is an all around health food. Even for your skin. It contains colloids that are excellent at calming agitated, acne prone skin. Apart from that , the fibers contained acts as sponges to absorb additional oil from pores. Moreover, it’s bulky texture is perfect for mild exfoliation of the skin.
How: In a bowl, put in 2-3 tablespoons of oatmeal. Add in 3 table spoons of water or more to form a paste. You can also add in a few drops of tea tree / lavender oils for antibacterial properties. Add in some honey or milk powder for extra indulgence. Spread evenly over cleansed face, avoiding lip and eye area and leave it to dry. Prior to rinsing it off, gently massage the mixture to exfoliate skin. Follow with moisturizer. Repeat this mask as often as desired.
Clay masks works by drawing out impurities and excess oil from pores and skin. Used regularly and with proper moisturizers, it can definitely improve acne ravaged skin. Individuals with dry and sensitive skin should avoid this treatment.
How: Choose a suitable clay mask and follow the instructions written on the product. Remember always to moisturize after the rinsing off the mask.
Hydration and Moisture
There is a common misconception for acne sufferers out there. Everyone seems to think that the cure to acne is to keep your face as oil free and as dry as possible. This can actually worsen acne conditions even more. When our skin is dry, the oils glands are compelled to produce even more sebum to correct the oil and water imbalance, leading to greasier skin and clogged pores. Try to wash your face only twice a day, in the morning and at night. Use a light moisturizer that is more gel like rather than cream based because the former would provide more hydration (water content) for the skin. Look out for water binding ingredients like Hyaluronic acid on the labels for effective hydration.
Healthy Lifestyle and Balanced Nutrition
Applying the most expensive product would never beat the efficacy of leading a healthy lifestyle and consumption of a balanced diet. What you put into your body will most definitely be reflected by the condition of your skin. Remember to consume fruits, vegetables, avoid refined carbohydrates (white flour, white sugar, cookies, cakes… etc), hydrate by drinking enough water and most of all to get 7 hours of sleep because that’s when all the repairing done to our body occurs, and, at least half an hour of exercise each day.
If you do not see any improvement in your acne, please consult a dermatologist. Early treatments will prevent you from getting scars and many unwanted effects from acne.