20 Natural Home Remedies for Treating Acne & Acne Scars
I’ve struggled with breakouts since my teen years and I am still prone to getting pimples when I am stressed out or PMSing. In the past I have taken oral contraceptives (birth control) as well as applied topical antibiotics and body washes containing “miracle ingredients” like salicylic acid. Since I no longer wish to support conventional pharmaceutical drugs and products, I have come up with some really wonderful treatments for acne and acne scars that I have found to be just as effective if not more than the previous methods I used. Furthermore, using harsh chemicals and medications topically or orally can cause long-term side effects that often bring about more issues in the future. Something that has really helped me treat my skin effectively is the realization that symptoms such as acne usually need to be treated internally, in addition to externally. When treating acne, it is really important to take into consideration the health of your gut, you can read a little bit about that here in a previous post I wrote.
In Chinese medicine there are meridians, or energy lines that run across your body, passing through their corresponding organ. I have taken this idea into consideration when treating my skin. When I experience breakouts, I normally have them on the shoulders (corresponding to the small intestine and the meridian related to circulation) and on my cheeks and chin (corresponding to the stomach line.) What this tells me from my holistic training, is that I may be experiencing inflammation or stress within my digestive process or a deficiency of some kind. Since I have increased my supplementation in the areas below my skin has improved dramatically.
It is important to always keep in mind that toxicities (too much of one vitamin or mineral) exist in addition to deficiencies (too little of one vitamin or mineral). Everyone is different and has different needs, so it is important to get your levels checked by a professional before assuming that any one supplement is right for you.
Treating Acne Through Oral Supplementation (Internally)
Vitamin C - works as an anti-inflammatory
Vitamin D - research shows a correlation between acne and vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin E - prevents spread of bacteria and helps vitamin A function
Omega 3 - anti-inflammatory fatty acid that inhibits chemicals related to breakouts
Lysine - an essential amino acid that improves the health of the skin
Probiotics - helps reduce flare-ups in skin when gut bacteria is out of balance
Zinc - decreases oil production, reduces inflammation and bacterial infections
B Vitamins (B2, B3, B6) - decreases dryness and flakiness
Magnesium - helps fight acne related to stress by lowering cortisol levels
Selenium - an antioxidant mineral that lowers inflammation associated with acne
Treating Acne Through Topical Treatments (Externally)
Lemon - has vitamin C, exfoliates the skin, works as an astringent, and reduces redness
Tea Tree Oil - has anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties that combat acne breakouts
Vitamin A - helps fight against infection, inflammation, produces an anti-aging effect
Vitamin C - reduces redness
Peppermint - cools the skin, inhibits growth of bacteria, and reduces testosterone 5
Green Tea - antioxidant that decreases bacterial growth and inflammation
Jojoba Oil - helps balance oil production, controls blackheads and reduces pimples
Sulfur - dries and clears pimples and blackheads
Treating Acne Scarring Through Topical Treatments (Externally)
Vitamin E - reduces the appearance of older acne scars
Aloe Vera - can hasten healing and fades dark spots
Squalene Oil - moisturizing, suitable for all skin types, has linoleic acid for scarring
Vitamin C - restores and brightens skin and stimulates collagen and elastin production
I hope that you learned about some new remedies that you hadn’t heard of before. If you have a natural home remedy for treating your acne that I didn’t list, I would love to hear about it! Also, if you are experiencing breakouts in any one area of your body repetitively, please don’t hesitate to reach out to receive a perspective from a Traditional Chinese Medicine standpoint. Thanks for reading!