The 8 Best Home Remedies for Acne

Medically Reviewed by Carolin Schneider, MD

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Dealing with acne can impact your self-esteem, and in some cases it can become a relatively severe health issue for some people. While acne isn’t exactly life-threatening, it can negatively impact your confidence and cause emotional distress that changes the way you see yourself. If you’re tired of spending money on pimple treatments that don’t seem to work, you might want to try some of these top home remedies for acne.

Applying Orange Peels

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Not only can oranges benefit the inside of your body, but they’re also beneficial when you apply them outside — to your skin. Pound an organic orange peel and a little water using a mortar and pestle. Try to mash them until you have a pulpy mixture. You can apply this paste directly to your acne. The idea is that the citric acid inside the orange peel can help cleanse the affected area by eliminating bacteria.

Using Ginger

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Ginger is a popular home remedy for acne. Its anti-inflammatory properties are great for warding off the redness and irritation that often come along with pimples. You can start using this acne treatment by either drinking ginger water or adding it as a spice to your meals. Ginger can also improve your body’s blood circulation, which is good for your skin. You can even apply it directly to acne on your body. Just extract some juice from a ginger root and spread some on the affected area.

Adding More Zinc to Your Diet

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Among the many functions of zinc within the human body is its skin-healing properties. Try adding more zinc to your diet to lessen your chances of developing acne. Good sources of zinc include:

  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Shellfish
  • Whole grains
  • Dark chocolate

Aside from its skin-healing properties, zinc may help you keep your cholesterol at healthy levels. Before supplementing your diet with more zinc, make sure you talk to your doctor first.

Drinking More Water

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Drinking at least 2 liters of water per day may help clear acne from your skin. Water can keep your skin hydrated, which prevents your skin from drying out and producing extra oil to compensate for that dryness. Try to avoid drinks containing artificial sweeteners — stick to plain water instead.

Finding Ways to Relieve Stress

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High levels of stress can affect the hormones in your body. This may cause your sebaceous skin glands to produce more oil, leading to more acne. One way to counteract this hormonal imbalance is to find effective ways to relieve stress. Try getting an adequate amount of sleep, meditating, exercising and eating healthier foods to help relieve stress and keep your acne from flaring up.

Trying Yoga

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Not only is yoga a great stress reliever, but it can also help with blood circulation, especially to your face. If you’re looking for an alternate way to fight pimples at home without using skincare products, try adding yoga to your daily fitness routine. By relieving stress and increasing your blood circulation, especially in your face, you can reduce acne breakouts.

Getting More Omega-3s

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Whether you’re getting them in pill form or from the foods you eat, like salmon or tuna, omega-3 fatty acids can help you fight acne. Omega-3s can be very beneficial to your skin, giving it a nice glow and shine while reducing your acne breakouts.

Using Plain Soap and Water

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A common acne myth is to constantly wash your face to keep your skin clean and free of oils that can cause acne. The truth is, washing your face and other acneic areas too often can worsen this skin condition. To avoid dry, irritated skin, wash your face only twice a day with regular soap and warm water. Also, look for mild soaps or cleansers to prevent skin irritation.

When you’re using any of these home remedies for acne, remember to be patient. You won’t see results overnight. Before making adjustments to your diet or applying any of these remedies directly to your skin, speak with your doctor first, too. You want to prevent potential allergic reactions and medication interactions to stay safe.

Resource Links:

Complementary and Alternative Methods for Treatment of Acne Vulgaris: a Systematic Review – Current Dermatology Reports,” Springer

Medicinal Plants for the Treatment of Acne Vulgaris: A Review of Recent Evidences,” U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

Seeking new acne treatment from natural products, devices and synthetic drug discovery,” National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information

Acne vulgaris,” National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information

Current Issues in the Treatment of Acne Vulgaris,” National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information

Treatment Modalities for Acne,” National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information

Aromatherapy, botanicals, and essential oils in acne,” National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information