- Alternative & Natural Medicine
Acne - Natural Remedies and Home Cures
When dealing with acne, natural remedies and home cures are by far the best option.
Acne is an inflammatory disorder, of the oil glands under the skin. These are called sebaceous glands, and secrete Sebum.
With an increase in glandular activity, overproduction of sebum occurs, this becomes trapped under the surface of the skin. The gland will break, spilling sebum, thus irritating the skin and forming pimples.
Acne affects not only the face, but other body parts including neck, back and chest.
There are prescription drugs to help acne, but they do have some side effects. Natural remedies and home cures are plentiful, and have no side-effects.
Natural Remedies and Home Cures
With acne a hormone imbalance will overstimulate the oil glands, which is what makes it so common in adolescence, and during menstruation and sometimes in menopause. Can also occur in infancy.
The skin is the body's largest detoxification organ, flushing out as much waste each day as the kidneys. When the liver or the colon are not functioning correctly, the skin has to take over.
Insufficient liver function will increase the buildup of steroids that cause acne. Antibiotics or topical creams will relieve symptoms, but don't cure and have significant side-effects.
Natural remedies from herbs etc can have natural antibiotic, antibacterial effects, which used together with others known for their detoxification properties, can strengthen the immune system and help the function of the intestines and the liver.
A sprig of mint leaves, crushed and rubbed onto the face. Left for 10 to 15 minutes, will bring oils and infections to the surface, effectively drying them out. Rinse thoroughly with cold water. Spearmint leaves would do, but Mint is better as it contains menthol, more helpful in this case.
Cook plain oat flakes with water to the same consistency as you would to eat it. Add 2 dessertspoonfuls of honey to each serving size amount of oatmeal. Mix well and leave to cool.
Apply to the face like a mud pack, avoiding the eyes, and leave in place for 10 to 20 minutes. No longer, as you will have difficulty removing it.
Wash thoroughly with warm water, using soap only if necessary. Then only a gentle soap, or special acne soap.
The oatmeal works by absorbing the oils, and acts as an exfoliant. The honey helps with application and also serves as a skin toner.
Acne can be caused by a vitamin A deficiency, so taking on extra vitamin A will obviously help, whether in your diet or in supplements.
A centuries-old cure, as a herbal remedy taken in infusion. Drying the nettle, or soaking it in hot water, kills the inflammatory properties, making it digestible and easy to handle.
To begin with, use gloves, to remove and discard the stems.
Take a handful of nettle leaves, and pour on boiling water. Leave to steep for about five minutes, and strain. Drink like a tea, although it is a little bitter, and you may want to add honey, and possibly lemon to hide the taste. It is high in calcium and very nutritious.
Nettles have anti-inflammatory properties, and drinking them this way adds to your fluid intake, which helps flush toxins from your system.
The gel from the aloe vera plant has a soothing effect on acne, and is a natural antibiotic.
When possible, get the fresh aloe vera plant. Choose an outer leaf, and remove it as close as possible to the trunk.
Slit it through the middle to allow the yellow gum to drain. This gum is latex, and is good for other uses, but not for irritated skin, as it can cause inflammation.
The gel that you are looking for is inside the leaf once the latex is removed.
Cut a piece of this gel away, and rub it gently, directly onto the skin. Avoid your eyes. Rinse away when it starts to feel uncomfortable.
This gel can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container, for about a week.
You can buy pure Aloe Vera gel in a health store.
Rose water and lemon juice
Rose water mixed with lemon juice and applied directly to the skin is a good cleanser and astringent.
Garlic is a wonderful booster for the immune system, and is a natural antibiotic and antibacterial. The bacteria in acne stands no chance against garlic! You can make a paste from fresh garlic, and apply to very bad spots, but this will sting immensely. Crushed garlic in water is a good thing to drink if you can do it. You can get garlic in capsules, easier to take and less smelly!
Dandelion and Burdock
The dandelion leaf and burdock root contain inulin, which kills bacteria. These two go a long way to helping the liver to eliminate blood toxins.
Applied directly onto the skin, a good cleanser for acne.
Tea tree oil
Another natural antibiotic, will destroy a vast amount of microorganisms, while reducing irritation, stinging sensations, and redness.
Spread toothpaste on to affected areas, allow to dry and where possible leave on overnight, to wash off in the morning.
Repeat every night until skin clears.
Boil carrots until very soft and mash into a paste. Spread over affected area and cover with a hot towel. Leave in place for about half an hour before washing off with warm water. This is very soothing and cleansing, and works on allergy rashes too.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar is not only good for clearing up acne, but also helps to eliminate the scars left behind.
Dab gently with cotton wool directly onto the spots, and leave on, preferably overnight. It should clear up acne boils in three or four days, and scars in a couple of weeks.
An often forgotten, quick easy remedy for any skin irritation, calamine lotion has been used by mothers for years for all sorts of sunburn, allergy rash, insect bites. It is also a surprisingly efficient lotion on acne. Especially before a night out, if you have a particularly red & conspicuous zit, a dab of lotion left on for at least half an hour will cool the pain and calm the redness.
Honey alone, or mixed with clove, directly on the face, can be very soothing, but extremely messy! Not being very thick, it tends to slip off your face, so only use small amounts on particular areas. You could also try honey mixed with ground nutmeg and cinnamon, and a little lemon juice.
Shellfish, nuts, soy beans, and sunflower seeds are all rich in Zinc, another natural antibacterial. Eat plenty of these, as well as foods high in fibre, which helped to keep the colon clean and functioning.
Acne can also be caused from overly greasy hair. Hair follicles also have glands that secrete sebum. This oil mixes with skin cells and secretes outward from the hair follicle. With an excess of sebum or dead skin cells, this outward secretion is blocked. Around this blockage, bacteria forms, causing acne.
It's imperative not to touch areas affected by acne, although this is very hard not to do. Everyone touches their face a lot more than they probably realise. As it's almost impossible to stop yourself doing this, the next best thing is to make sure your hands are scrupulously clean.
Wash your face regularly; in the morning, mid day and night time. But not too often, as this will dry your skin and cause the body to want to produce more oils.
Regular exercise will help, not only to improve blood flow, and help physical, mental and emotional health, but producing sweat is another way to keep your skin clean. As sweat comes out through the pores it takes dead skin cells along with it. This is good as the accumulation of dead cells is what leads to blockages. But you must be sure to wash off immediately, because once the sweat evaporates it leaves salt behind as well as these dead skin cells laying on the surface of your skin. Dead cells and salt buildup will block again those recently cleaned pores.
Stress can cause acne too, so the best thing is to try not to worry too much. Again, easier said than done, but do try to avoid stress where possible. Here's another way that exercise will help, reducing stress.
As with anything else, you should drink PLENTY of water. I cannot stress enough the importance of water, particularly in this case; the more you drink, the more you urinate, thus flushing out toxins more quickly.
Drinking copious amounts of water has been attributed with improving skin clarity, so obviously when suffering with acne, water is a must!
Natural remedies and home cures are by far the best, and the greatest of these is, without doubt, WATER !!