There’s so much information online it can be overwhelming. Finding an effective and chemical-free way to clear up problematic skin can be challenging at best.
Do not stress (it’s bad for your skin): I’m going to break that information down for you and outline my 5 top natural home remedies for acne.
Whether you’re a chronic acne sufferer or just get the occasional spot, there’s always an underlying reason why acne breakouts are occurring in the first place.
Before we jump into the best natural remedies for acne, let’s first take a look at the real causes of spots and breakouts.
The Real Cause of Acne
Since acne appears on the surface of the skin, that must mean there’s something wrong with your skin, right?
First of all, it’s true that your pores can become clogged from using chemical-laden products such as makeup and commercial cleansers. Clogged pores can turn into acne breakouts.
But if you don’t use makeup or other harsh cleansers on your skin and you still suffer from acne, it’s almost always caused by an internal issue.
The best home remedies for acne can help with the internal issues, and it’s also important to take a look at what your body is receiving in terms of nutrition, too, to ensure health of your organ systems.
For example, let’s take a look at oily skin, which is naturally more prone to acne.
There’s a reason your skin is naturally overproducing oil – and this reason comes from within. Excess sebum production is often a sign of unstable blood sugar levels or an overwhelmed liver (1).
Both of these conditions can be improved through proper nutrition in addition to home remedies for acne. For help, check out these posts:
- 11 Quick and Easy Ways for Lowering Blood Sugar Naturally
- What You Need to Know About Taking Care of Your Liver
Why Acne is an Internal Issue
From a holistic perspective, acne occurs when your detoxification organs become overburdened due to a heavy load of toxins in your body.
Your primary detox organs include your liver and your skin. Your liver is responsible for filtering out all of the toxins that enter your body, much like how a water filtering system works.
Toxins enter your body from all different directions:
- through the air you breathe,
- the pesticides on the food you eat (yes, even if it’s organic it can still contain pesticides), and
- chemicals from household cleaning products, and
- ingredients in body care products.
Your body also naturally produces metabolic waste and hormones that your liver must detoxify.
Refined sugar, food additives, and preservatives are also considered toxic to the body.
Since the liver is responsible for several other jobs in addition to detoxification, it can become overburdened when toxins are entering your body consistently (2).
When the liver becomes tired, there’s a greater risk for toxins to be eliminated through a different organ, like your skin.
When toxins accumulate in your system, it’s your body’s natural reaction to eliminate them.
If they linger in your body, they can lead to illness and disease. When these toxins come out through your skin, they can cause acne breakouts.
Get Rid of Acne Through Diet and Lifestyle
Now that you have a brief understanding about how external toxins can lead to internal imbalances – which can then lead to acne – what do you do about it?
Before you try to to find the best natural acne remedies, it’s important to consider how your current diet and lifestyle may be contributing to breakouts.
For example, diets high in refined sugar create toxicity in the body, which the liver has to deal with.
Refined sugar also wreaks havoc in your gut, which causes stress on your digestive system and allows bad bacteria to thrive. Bad bacteria overgrowth is a common cause of acne.
Refined sugar also messes with your blood sugar levels, which can trigger the overproduction of sebum (oil) in your skin.
Other dietary factors such as frequent alcohol consumption, a diet low in fiber and food sensitivities to dairy, wheat, and gluten can also cause acne.
Here are the best diet and lifestyle tweaks to help get rid of acne:
Remove dairy, wheat, refined sugar and gluten.
These are the most common dietary offenders for acne breakouts, as they are highly acidic, allergenic foods that can be hard on your digestive system and the liver.
Removing them from your diet for a minimum of three weeks can help clear up skin breakouts, especially if they occur on your cheeks (a common sign of food sensitivities).
Drink your greens.
Green smoothies are a great way to support the health of your liver so it can perform its jobs more efficiently.
Drinking a green smoothie alone on an empty stomach each morning – at least 20 minutes before having anything else – ensures that the nutrition from the plant-based ingredients gets absorbed as efficiently as possible.
Combining leafy greens such as spinach, romaine, swiss chard or watercress with a few low-sugar fruits (pears, apples, berries) and a handful of hemp hearts is a great way to kickstart your morning with plenty of fiber for digestive support, antioxidant vitamins for the liver and energy to last the entire day.
Note: blending fruits and vegetables into green smoothies is recommended over juicing, as blended smoothies contains more fiber to promote blood sugar balance and detoxification.
Sleep 7 to 8 hours each night.
During the hours you’re asleep, your body has the opportunity detoxify, rebalance hormones, repair tissue, and perform several other functions.
If you skimp on sleep, not only will your body have less time to repair and regenerate your skin, but your hormones are also negatively impacted.
Since acne is a hormonal issue in its entirety – which relates back to the health of the liver – imbalanced hormones can make acne very difficult to get rid of.
Consciously drink more water.
Since the primary cause of acne is toxicity in your body, it’s important to get those toxins out.
Drinking enough water each day is just as important as drinking green smoothies that contain proper nutrition for your liver. Water is the fluid that helps substances move through your body, including acne-causing toxic waste that needs to be eliminated.
Just like water, exercise helps get toxins moving through your system and eliminated through sweat and your skin.
Exercising each day also helps reduce stress levels.
High stress levels negatively impact your stress hormones such as cortisol. The constant release of stress hormones may trigger acne breakouts.
By exercising each day – even if it’s just a walk after dinner – you’ll help reduce your body’s stress response and promote the health of your hormones for clear skin.
Avoid plastic containers.
Plastic containers contain a chemical called xenoestrogens, which mimic the acne-promoting hormone estrogen.
When your food or water is stored in plastic containers, xenoestrogens can leach into it, which enter your body and get absorbed into your bloodstream, which the liver then has to detoxify.
The body naturally produces estrogen, as it’s required hormone for health in both men and women. But both too much and too little estrogen can cause acne breakouts.
Xenoestrogens are considered endocrine disruptors because they mimic estrogen in the body. The body will continue to produce estrogen while xenoestrogens are being absorbed in the body, which can create high levels of estrogen that contribute to hormonal acne breakouts, especially those in the form of hard, painful bumps.
Switching out your plastic containers for xenoestrogen-free containers such as glass can help prevent the absorption of xenoestrogens.
Increase your probiotic intake.
Probiotics are also known as friendly gut bacteria, which help keep your gut free of toxins and debris, while also preventing the overgrowth of acne-causing “bad” bacteria.
A chronic overgrowth of bad bacteria is also known as a condition called Candida albicans, which is often accompanied with acne breakouts as a symptom.
Eating probiotics from unsweetened, plain organic yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, and kimchi are all great ways to begin including more beneficial bacteria in your diet.
To receive a more concentrated dose of probiotics, you may also want to consider taking a high quality probiotic supplement.
The 5 Best Home Remedies for Acne
Now that you have a basic understanding on how to prevent and eliminate acne breakouts from the inside, there are also effective ways to address acne breakouts from the outside.
1. Local Raw Honey
Raw honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it a helpful natural remedy to remove acne causing bacteria from your skin and soothe inflamed bumps.
You can use raw honey on its own as a natural face mask, or try it out as a natural spot treatment.
Before using raw honey as a home remedy for acne, be sure to do a spot test first to ensure your skin doesn’t turn red from an allergic reaction.
2. Jojoba Oil
Jojoba oil is a natural oil that’s extracted from plant seeds.
It’s especially helpful for those who have oily skin, as the natural oils in jojoba can work to prevent the skin from over producing excess oil.
Jojoba oil is a rated as a 2 on the comedogenic scale, which means it is less likely to clog pores when applied to the skin.
Since jojoba is more like a wax than an oil, it can work well as a natural moisturizer that won’t leave skin oily and more prone to breakouts.
You can find pure, organic jojoba oil in the body care section of your local natural health food store or online through e-commerce health food stores.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Vinegar has been used for centuries to help remove harmful bacteria from the skin.
It’s suggested that the antibacterial properties of vinegar can help remove excess dirt and grime from the skin that can clog pores and promote breakouts. Apple cider may be particularly helpful to the skin because it contains polyphenols (antioxidants) from fermented apples.
To use apple cider vinegar as an antibacterial ingredient for your skin, you can turn it into a natural toner by mixing one part apple cider vinegar to three parts water. Apply the mixture to a cotton ball and apply after cleansing and exfoliating.
4. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has been used as a natural acne home remedy for its ability to fight inflammation and rid the skin of acne-causing bacteria. This is why you’ll typically find it as an ingredient in many cleansing skin care products.
A few drops of tea tree oil can help reduce and present the occurrence of breakouts.
But be sure to dilute tea tree oil with water before use, as it can be very harsh and burn the skin.
5. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is another ingredient commonly used in natural antiseptic acne remedies to remove bacteria from the skin. It may also be effective for shrinking pimples.
Witch hazel can be mixed with a few drops of tea tree oil and diluted in water to create a natural homemade toner. You can also dilute witch hazel in water to be used on its own as a cleanser, and applied to the face morning and night with a cotton ball before applying moisturizers or makeup.
Like jojoba oil, witch hazel is typically available for purchase in the body care section of your natural health food store or e-commerce health food stores.
Holistic, Natural Home Remedies for Acne
When you take a total-body approach to healing acne, starting from the inside out, you’ll get long-lasting results that radiate health.
Remember: What you put in your body is just as important as what you put on it. When you take a holistic approach you’ll glow with natural health.