Struggling with acne? The remedy is in your kitchen! These 7 Kitchen Ingredients for Acne Treatment will help get rid of acne – naturally and gently!
Becoming an adult is something every teenager longs for. We all did too, and it’s not for nothing – being an adult has its perks. You can drive, you don’t have to attend boring classes, you don’t have to wait for pocket money and you’re past the awkward phase of puberty. Unfortunately, for some of us, a few teen troubles follow us into adulthood – like acne!
Adult acne is extremely common, and it is said to affect approximately 65% women and 20% men. Acne is the eighth most common skin disease across the world, with the number of people suffering from adult acne increasing in recent years. No wonder it’s such a big deal!
What causes acne?
When we enter puberty, our bodies start producing more androgen hormone, whether we’re male or female. This hormone increases the size of the oil glands, producing more oil which causes blocked pores. This encourages the growth of bacteria and then, ta-da! You have acne.
As we get through this phase and our hormones settle down, it should end the acne too, but there are a few other factors that may cause acne in adulthood. People with naturally oily skin will produce more oil that blocks their pores. Any hormone imbalance can also play havoc with the activity of the sebaceous glands.
For some people, it can be their diet – an over consumption of certain foods like dairy, carbs or chocolate can cause acne. Some people break out when they’re going through a stressful situation. In many others, it’s just genetics. According to Ayurveda, acne occurs when the doshas are out of balance, and the pitta dosha is aggravated.
Whatever the reason, the suffering is the same, and most people’s first reaction is to reach out for an OTC acne cream. Unfortunately, these creams can have side effects, not to mention being expensive. They can cause dryness and irritation and in some cases, it can completely alter the way the sebaceous glands work.
But you don’t have to go through all that when the solution is right at home – in your kitchen! Yes, simple everyday things in your kitchen are effective at treating acne, perhaps even more than an OTC cream. Here are 7 kitchen ingredients for acne treatment – without side effects!
7 Kitchen Ingredients for Acne Treatment
1. Raw Honey
For years now, honey has been used to treat all kinds of skin conditions, including wounds and burns. With its superb anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, acne is a piece of cake for honey!
Raw honey is also rich in several plant antioxidants that clear out clogged pores and keep them healthy. It inhibits the growth of bacteria and offers other benefits like moisturization and nourishment. However, it’s important to note that refined and processed honey may have less pollen and spores which are responsible for these benefits.
Honey can be applied as is on the face and left on for 15 minutes. It can also be mixed with cinnamon for some extra power and then rinsed off after half an hour with lukewarm water. Honey also works as a spot treatment – use a cotton bud or Q tip to apply a little honey to the affected spots.
2. Green Tea
Green tea is popular among weight watchers and those trying to get in their daily dose of antioxidants. It is these very antioxidants that makes green tea great to tackle acne.
Many cases of acne are due to naturally oily skin. The main compound in green tea, EGCG is known to help reduce sebum production that nips the problem in the bud. Moreover, it fights inflammation, soothing the skin. Green tea also contains catechins, a kind of polyphenol antioxidants. These antioxidants clear out clogged cells and fight free radicals.
To get the benefits of green tea, you can either take a chilled bag and place it over the affected area, or go ahead and brew the tea and let it cool. Then dip a cotton ball or pad in the tea and pat over the face. It can also be made into a spray and spritzed all over the face. Green tea can also be used as a base for an acne-clearing face mask.
Turmeric is a spice that can heal a great deal of maladies, both internal and external. It is anti-many things: anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-allergic and antioxidant. This golden spice has all the qualities needed to fight acne and keep it away.
Turmeric is a part of many Ayurvedic formulations to fight acne. It cleanses the pores and detoxifies skin in the process. The main compound of turmeric is curcumin, which has all these benefits. Curcumin also helps control sebum production, limiting that oily feeling.
Turmeric can be used in many ways. Simply mix with rose water or honey to make a paste and apply all over the face. Let it dry, then rinse off. It can be mixed with sandalwood powder and chickpea flour for a nourishing face mask. Leave on for 10 minutes, massaging it into the skin and then wash off.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar, or ACV, as it’s commonly known, is quite the trend when it comes to DIY skin and hair care. ACV is popular as a post shampoo hair rinse, but it’s just as great for the skin.
ACV is made by fermenting cold pressed apple juice. Being acidic in nature, it creates an environment that’s unfriendly for bacteria to grow. But there are more benefits, thanks to the various organic acids within ACV.
ACV contains malic acid, succinic acid and lactic acid, all of which control the inflammation related to acne. It helps get rid of excess oil and it also promotes fading of acne scars. ACV also works as an exfoliator and smoothens skin.
Use ACV by diluting it, not in its concentrated form. Mix 1 part ACV and 3 parts water and apply all over skin with a cotton pad or ball. It works best as spot treatment on the affected area, especially if you’re afraid it’ll irritate your skin. Do a patch test on the inside of your elbow to see how your skin reacts.
5. Lemon Juice
Just like with ACV, the acidic properties of lemon juice also work well against acne. It’s such a common ingredient and it’s a part of so many skin care products – this should tell you how good it is for you!
Lemon juice has many benefits – it is an astringent and clears out the pores and prevents any more accumulation of bacteria. It’s also a great exfoliator, so it cleans up the skin by getting rid of dead skin cells and gives it a great smooth look. Lemon juice also brightens skin and gets rid of acne scars.
You can simply dip a cotton pad in lemon juice and dab it on your acne spots, leave it on for a few minutes and wash it off with cold water. Otherwise, you can mix it with honey or rosewater for a brightening and moisturizing face mask. Leave it on for 10 minutes and then wash it off.
Have you noticed how so many soaps nowadays contain oatmeal? That’s because oatmeal is an excellent kitchen ingredient not just for your waistline but for your skin too! Oatmeal is great for soothing skin, and is even used for more serious skin conditions like eczema.
The soothing properties of oatmeal are due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It is also an exfoliant that draws out excess oil, clearing up the skin in the process. It contains antioxidants and zinc that balances the skin and maintains the moisture.
A good use of oatmeal is with the lactic-acid rich yogurt to make a face scrub. You can also mix oatmeal with baking soda and water to create a paste that you can apply all over your face and scrub in a circular motion. Rinse thoroughly with water.
Yogurt is something we’ve all grown up seeing people apply to their face, either on its own or mixed with something else, like honey. There’s a reason yogurt was such a popular skin care pick – it’s packed with probiotics and lactic acid, to begin with.
Fermented foods have several health benefits, and the probiotics in yogurt make it an excellent skin food. It also contains lactic acid, which is an alpha-hydroxy acid or AHA, calcium and zinc, all of which act as a cleanser to get rid of acne. Yogurt also heals the skin and offers relief to the irritation caused by acne.
To get most of the benefits of yogurt, use plain, unflavored and full fat yogurt. You can massage it as it is on to damp skin and leave it on for 10 minutes before rinsing. You can also make a paste of yogurt, oatmeal and a small cucumber for a face pack. Leave it on for half an hour before washing off.
All these ingredients are quite likely to be sitting in your kitchen right now! If not, you can easily get them on your next grocery order, and they don’t cost a bomb either. Homemade remedies for acne are safe for the most part, but if you have sensitive skin or any underlying skin issue, you can do a patch test and wait for 24 hours before applying it on your face. Most treatments show effects within two weeks, so be patient and be consistent!
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