One of the most annoying things about pimples is that they pop out of nowhere but they take so long to go away. And the worst part? They seem to know exactly when you’re about to go on a date or a job interview.
If you woke up today with a really angry spot on your face, don’t worry. we bring you a comprehensive list of acne remedies that can help calm your skin.
Note: Your skin is sensitive. If this is the first time you’re trying out a remedy from this list, we highly recommend that you test them on another part of your skin, like your inside wrist or inside elbow, just to check for allergic reactions.
Overnight Acne Remedies
Acne patches generally come as semi-transparent stickers. You put them on your acne and if you want to heal it as soon as possible.
How does it work?
These patches are made of hydrocolloid dressing. It’s like a type of wound bandage that works by drawing out moisture from your pores without leaving the surrounding areas dry.
The patches absorb the excess fluid so your skin can heal faster. They also prevent you from getting your pricking tool and popping your pimple.
You see, picking your pimple isn’t an effective overnight remedy. In fact, it’s the other way around. Popping your pimple can actually increase your risk of infection, scarring, and discoloration.
Now, here’s one thing to keep in mind:
While acne patches work, you have to make sure you are using them on the right type of acne.
In general, acne patches work better on superficial pimples, like pustules and small whiteheads. However, if you have congested pores, blackheads, and cystic acne, they will take time to work and definitely won’t be an overnight solution.
Acne Gels and Spot Treatments
Acne spot treatments contain a varying percentage of either benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.
Here’s how the two active ingredients differ from each other.
Salicylic acid works as a powerful chemical exfoliator. It dissolves the “glue” that holds the skin cells together. This is why it’s super great in treating acne due to clogged pores.
Benzoyl peroxide, on the other hand, kills acne-causing bacteria. This property makes it effective in treating inflammatory acne.
To make acne spot treatments more effective, you need to apply them after washing your face and right before you apply the other products in your skincare routine. This is one way to make sure that you don’t dilute the formula.
Take note that spot treatments may leave you with dry and flaky skin. With that, try to add a cleanser and moisturizer that have soothing and calming ingredients.
Home Remedies for Acne
These home remedies won’t make your spots magically disappear overnight but they certainly have a long history of being effective against breakouts. Find out which home remedy works best for you.
Turmeric doesn’t just make food extra tasty but it also happens to have great benefits for the body, particularly the skin. It’s loaded with anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-oxidant properties to effectively treat the underlying cause of your skin breakouts.
And while your skin is still healing, using turmeric can increase your skin’s defenses so that it’s less likely to break out in the future.
There are a couple of ways to use turmeric for acne. you can drink it as tea or take turmeric supplements daily.
For topical applications, here are a few options for you:
Option #1: Mix one-half teaspoon of your turmeric powder with 2 to 3 teaspoons of plain yogurt (Greek). Add a small amount of honey. After mixing all the ingredients together, apply the mixture to your skin. Wait for about half an hour before washing off with cool water.
Option #2: Mix one part lemon juice with one-half part of your turmeric powder. Stir the mixture well until you get a smooth paste. Using a piece of cotton ball, apply it to your problem areas. Wait for about 15 minutes before washing away.
Turmeric can leave a yellow stain on your skin and clothes.
Garlic has anti-bacterial properties that can fight off bacteria invading your skin. In addition to that, it also contains natural components like sulfur known to quickly heal acne.
To use it as an acne home remedy, slice a garlic clove into two. Then, rub the garlic and its juice directly to your pimples. Leave it on for five minutes before washing with lukewarm water. Repeat as desired or when the skin shows no signs of sensitivity.
Cucumber has long been known as a natural remedy to soothe skin. It is also a rich source of different nutrients that can help in acne healing and prevention. These include vitamins A, C, and E. When used regularly, cucumber can prevent the development of oily skin and eventually, acne breakouts.
There are three different ways to use cucumber as an acne home remedy:
Option # 1: Apply grated or sliced cucumber to the affected area and let it sit for 20 minutes before washing.
Option # 2: Cut the cucumber into pieces. Let them soak in a bowl of clean water for at least one hour. During this process, the nutrients from the cucumber including chlorophyll will slowly transfer to the water. Strain the solution and use the water either as a drink or as a facial wash.
Option # 3: To make a facial mask, mix grated cucumber with one cup of oatmeal. You can then combine this mixture with some amount of plain yogurt to give a smoother consistency. Apply the mask for about 30 minutes before rinsing with a lukewarm water.
Toothpaste basically works like your ordinary facial mask. If applied directly to the affected area, the toothpaste will help in drying up the pimples and absorbing excess oil. This is a very effective acne home remedy for people suffering from mild forms of acne, like whiteheads or blackheads.
However, toothpastes made from gel or those containing whitening properties should be avoided at all cost. These products contain hydrogen peroxide and other chemicals that can harm sensitive skin.
Before applying toothpaste on your skin, apply an ice pack to the affected area just to soothe your pores. You can then apply small amounts of toothpaste to the pimples and let it stay for at least 30 minutes before rinsing.
Honey may be sweet for your taste buds but for your skin, it can act as an amazing antimicrobial and wound-healing remedy. Manuka honey, for instance, has been a popular acne remedy in New Zealand where the Manuka bush is indigenous.
To use as an acne home remedy, dip a cotton swab in the honey and apply it to the affected area. Leave it for at least 30 minutes before rinsing.
Lemon contains Vitamin C and has acidic properties to fight off acne-causing bacteria. But in using it as an acne home remedy, it’s best to use natural fresh lemon juice. Those that are commercially sold in bottles often contain preservatives that may bring more harm to the skin than good.
There are two ways to use lemon juice as an overnight acne home remedy:
Option # 1: Dip a clean cotton swab in lemon juice. Apply it to the affected area and let it stay overnight. Wash it with a lukewarm water the following morning.
Option # 2: Mix one tablespoon of lemon juice with one teaspoon of cinnamon powder to create a mask. Apply it to the affected area and leave it overnight. Wash it with a lukewarm water the following morning. Note: This may not be recommended for people with sensitive skin.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Believe it or not, apple cider vinegar can also help tone down your breakouts. It works as a natural astringent that can make your skin feel smoother and your zits less inflamed and obvious.
ACV can absorb excess oil to make sure that it doesn’t end up clogging your pores. It can restore your skin’s pH level, too. This ensures healing and prevents further damage.
Apple cider vinegar is best used for spot treating acne. Simply dab a few drops of diluted ACV on your pimples overnight and you’ll be able to see a huge difference the morning after.
Aside from pimples, this remedy works great on age spots and acne scars as well.
Tea Tree Oil
With its ability to reduce redness and dry out pimples, tea tree oil is one of the most effective natural remedies you can use. It has antibacterial properties which help eliminate acne-causing bacteria from your skin. It also works well in eliminating blackheads and whiteheads so you can get the clear skin you’ve always wanted.
Using tea tree is pretty simple. You just need to dip a piece of cotton ball in your choice of tea tree essential oil. Dab the cotton ball on the affected area and wait for 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing off.
Another way you can try is mixing the oil with a tablespoon of aloe vera gel. Apply the mixture on your blemishes and leave it on for about 20 minutes. Don’t forget to rinse it off.
Green tea isn’t just well-known for its health benefits; it’s also famous for its ability to fight acne. With a potent antimicrobial property, this tea can help heal your acne in no time. It even has antioxidant compounds to slow down premature skin aging and free radical damage.
To use green tea as an acne remedy, simply lay a cooled bag on the affected area. You can also use a cooled cup of green tea as your face wash.
One of the most common causes of acne is clogged pores. This is where mint can help you.
It contains a great amount of salicylic acid which is the same active ingredient you can find in most skin care products for acne. The acid helps loosen dead skin cells to make them easier to shed.
In addition to that, mint also has vitamins A and C as well as omega-3 fatty acids. It’s loaded with antioxidants, too.
As a remedy for acne, you can combine crushed mint leaves with just the right amount of honey to create a paste. Apply the mixture on the affected areas on your face and leave on for about 20 minutes. Rinse it off with warm water and don’t forget to moisturize after.
What makes aspirin effective as an acne remedy is its salicylic acid content. It can dry up pimples and tone down inflammation quickly, making it a really effective overnight acne treatment.
To get its full benefits, you need to mash the aspirin and mix it with a small amount of water. Mix the two until you’re able to create a paste. Apply the mixture on your acne spots and leave it on overnight. If your skin is sensitive, you can rinse off after a few minutes.
Preventing Acne: 10-Step Skincare Routine
Once you get rid of your acne, the next step is PREVENTION. Our Nursebuff editor swears by the Korean 10-step skin regimen which she’s been doing for over a year. She swears that pimples and blackheads (and even her dermatitis) have become a thing of the past since she started this routine.
Ten steps sounds like a lot but when you’re actually doing it, it only takes 5 minutes every night.
Night-Time Skin Regimen
Step 1: Oil-based cleanser
If you haven’t tried double cleansing, you’re missing a critical step in your skincare routine. You see, double cleansing removes so much more dirt, oil, and dead skin cells from your skin than just using your cleanser.
For double cleansing, you’ll need to use an oil-based cleanser. It works on the surface of your skin so you don’t really need to worry about it clogging your pores. Plus, most oil-based cleansers have ingredients that are safe to use on any skin types.
Apply the oil cleanser onto your dry face. Yes, you can apply it directly over your makeup. Gently massage the product on your skin and then rinse.
Step 2: Foaming cleanser
On wet skin, gently massage the cleanser using small circular motions. Take your time in reaching all areas of your face. After completely cleansing your face, you can rinse with clean water and pat the skin dry.
Step 3: Toner
Toner primarily restores the balance of your skin’s pH while gently removing the extra dead skin cells that can clog your pores. It’s an important step in your skincare routine because it prepares your skin for the other products you’ll apply.
For acne-prone skin, it’s a good idea to avoid toners with alcohol. This ingredient can leave your skin super dry and that can easily aggravate your acne problem.
Step 4: Essence
Your toner creates a better surface for your products. Your essence, on the other hand, allows your skin to accept the products easier.
Essences can be applied in different ways. You can use a cotton pad for application or you can just pat the product on your skin with clean hands.
Step 5: Serum
Serums contain super small molecules that are able to penetrate the outer layer of the skin easily. There, the products deliver really intensive doses of ingredients to target specific skin issues.
For acne-prone skin, look out for serums that contain vitamin B3 as it’s effective in easing inflammation and balancing sebum production. Serums with vitamin C are also great for your skin type since they can help eliminate the obvious skin imperfections that result from acne.
Step 6: Eye Cream
Applying eye creams may not help ease your acne but since you’re putting together a skincare routine, might as well use one. It can help minimize dark circles and lessen the signs of aging.
Eye creams should be applied with your ring fingers with a patting motion. Massaging or rubbing the skin under your eyes is a big no-no as that can oly cause fine lines and irritation.
To get the best results, apply eye creams in the morning and at night.
For Day Time Or Relaxation Days
Instead of essence and serums, use a simple moisturizer for daytime.
When you have acne-prone skin, it’s easy to think that your skin doesn’t need moisturizer. In reality, however, skipping this step is probably one of the reasons why your skin is breaking out.
You see, when you’re skin is dry and dehydrated, such as after washing your face, your skin feels vulnerable. So, as a way to compensate, it produces more oil to restore its balance and protection.
Now, with too much oil, it becomes easier for your pores to get clogged and you get acne.
For your skin type, choose a water-based moisturizer. Try to avoid products with a heavy formula as that can leave your skin congested.
Make sure to apply sunscreen every day whether you are staying in or going out.
If you are worried about acne, you need to be extra careful about the other ingredients in your sunscreen. Fragrances, emollients, and preservatives can definitely cause skin breakouts.
To keep your skin healthy and intact, try to limit exfoliation to one to three times a week.
Only use a dime sized amount of your exfoliator and gently massage it over your face. Be careful in using it over the sensitive areas of your face as well as the areas you often overlook, such as the area around your nose and jawline.
Don’t apply too much pressure in exfoliating your skin. If you scrub aggressively, it can cause irritation which can lead to more problems.
For acne-prone skin, stay away from coarse scrubs and exfoliators with harsh ingredients. Your skin will benefit more from chemical exfoliants which generally use enzymes or acids to dissolve the glue that binds skin cells together.
Our personal favorites! For deep relief and hydration, put on a sheet mask. Depending on the ingredients, it should soothe and reset your skin. It can also help fight inflammation and calm your irritated and inflamed skin.
Sheet masks come in different variants like tea tree, strawberry, aloe, and honey. Pamper yourself with one or two a week or when you need a pick-me-upper.