Education > Self-Help
Acne Home Remedies
Not all home acne remedies are bad, indeed some can even alleviate irritation or inflammation, but the only thing that will get you clear is a managed home care routine that works to prevent the acne cycle from starting in the first place. This includes daily use of exfoliants and anti-bacterial ingredients used together in the right way. Anything short of this has only a band-aid effect and won’t do anything for long term control of your acne.
Some common home acne remedies are: toothpaste, apple cider vinegar, just water, clay or honey masks, liquid or bar soaps, lemon juice, hard scrubbing with wash cloths or sugar, tea tree oil, egg whites and coconut oil, to name a few. Some of these are complete myths, like just water or toothpaste, others have beneficial properties, but are only part of the puzzle (tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar, masks or egg whites), while still others are downright harmful and can actually make acne worse: bar or liquid soap, hard scrubbing and coconut oil, to name a few. Even though coconut oil sounds nice for the skin, it is actually highly comedogenic (pore clogging).
It is important to understand that while some of these home acne remedies can help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with acne, none of them will do anything to stop you from breaking out in the first place. Acne is a chronic disease of the skin whereby the dead skin cells are shedding at a rate 5 times faster inside the pore than in a “normal” skin pores. This means that if you are not using exfoliants to help the dead skin sloughing off inside the pore, and using anti-bacterials to kill the bacteria that feeds off this dead skin, you will never get the acne cycle under control. You will continue to break out no matter what home acne remedy you try.
Sure, toothpaste might dry out a pimple because of the small amount of sulfur present in the product, but it will not prevent a new one from coming up. Lemon juice might be lightening, but it can also be very irritating for certain skin types and makes you more sensitive to the sun. Tea tree oil and apple cider vinegar are potent anti-bacterials and anti-fungals but they must be used with caution because overuse can burn the skin. Harsh soaps can make acne worse by stripping the skin of its natural oils, sometimes making you break out more because of the imbalance of oil and moisture in the skin. Even worse, coconut oil might have anti-inflammatory properties, but when applied directly to the skin it is actually highly comedogenic and will clog your pores even more than they already are! Finally, egg whites and honey or clay masks may temporarily help to reduce redness, kill bacteria or absorb oil, but they will do nothing to keep you from breaking out.
Only with the guidance of an experienced professional showing you how to use the appropriate products in the right way and educating you on the common pitfalls, will you get and maintain consistently clear skin.
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