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13 Surprising Home Remedies for Acne

Instead of shelling out for expensive acne treatments, learn how to get clear skin with these natural at-home remedies.

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Acne home remedy: Tea Tree Oil

With its natural inflammation-fighting properties, a 5 percent solution of tea tree oil is less harsh than a 5 percent benzoyl peroxide solution and can be just as effective against acne, though it may clear up a little less quickly. Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with between 20 and 40 drops of witch hazel, then use a cotton swab to apply. This is one of those home remedies for acne that you can try up to twice a day; more could dry your skin and make the acne worse. And make sure you avoid making these essential oil mistakes.

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Acne home remedy: Green Tea


Green tea has antimicrobial and antioxidant compounds that can help fight acne. To get its effects, use a cooled cup of green tea as a face wash or lay the bag over the affected area.

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Acne home remedy: Honey


Honey’s antibiotic properties can help improve acne. Apply a teaspoon of honey to affected areas, or make a mask by mixing 1/2 cup of honey with 1 cup of plain oatmeal and leaving it on for 30 minutes. After, try these remedies to treat acne scars.

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Acne home remedy: Mint


Mint can help remove pore-clogging oil. To help clear acne before it begins, mix 2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh mint with two tablespoons each of plain yogurt and oatmeal (use a blender to pulverize the oatmeal to powder). Leave the concoction on your face for 10 minutes, then rinse off with water. But watch out for these strange skin symptoms that could be a sign of disease.

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Acne home remedy: Echinacea


Echinacea is traditionally used to speed wound healing and prevent colds and flu, but its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties can help with acne as well. Use echinacea tea as a daily face wash by soaking a cloth with it, or put a few drops of tincture on a cotton ball and dab it on blemishes. Turmeric is another home remedy that has benefits for your skin. Learn more about them here.

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Acne home remedy: Asprin


The salicylic acid in aspirin is a go-to for acne treatments, and the aspirin can dry up pimples and reduce inflammation. To take advantage of these home remedies for acne, form a paste by mashing aspirin in a little water, or dissolve four pills in 2 tablespoons of water.

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Acne home remedy: Chamomile


Chamomile helps decrease inflammation from acne. In a blender or coffee grinder, combine the contents of a chamomile tea bag with enough water to form a paste, and apply that to acne. Alternately, steep two chamomile tea bags with 1 cup boiled water for 15 minutes. Let the tea cool, then use a cotton ball to dab it on your face after cleansing.

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Acne home remedy: Witch Hazel


Witch hazel can act as an astringent, naturally drying and shrinking blemishes. To get its benefits, pour witch hazel onto a cotton ball and wipe your face each morning and night.

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Acne home remedy: Aloe


Aloe, known for its burn-relieving properties, can promote healing, fight infection, and even reduce scarring. Scrape the gel from an aloe plant out with a spoon to make one of these home remedies for acne, and apply to acne. You can also buy aloe gel from health-food stores—just make sure it’s pure aloe, with no added ingredients. Here’s why you should never pop a pimple in the “danger zone.”

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Acne home remedy: Lemons


Lemons act as an exfoliant, skin lightener, and disinfectant to reduce the appearance of scars and prevent new pimples from forming. On a clean face, dab acne with a cotton ball or cotton swab dipped in lemon juice, then rinse with cool water.

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Acne home remedy: Apple cider vinegar


Apple cider vinegar contains malic and lactic acids that can exfoliate, reduce red marks, and treat acne. For a DIY toner, mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water and apply to skin with a cotton ball, making sure to shake well before each use. Here’s more on the correct way to use apple cider vinegar.

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Acne home remedy: Acidic foods


Acidic foods like citrus fruit juice or vinegar can flush pores. Dab a little onto a cotton ball to help battle acne; gently swipe the cotton on the affected areas. What you eat matters, too. Eat these foods for clear skin.

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Acne home remedy: Omega-3 fatty acids


Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that can improve acne. Get the benefits from a taking a multi-nutrient capsule containing fish oil, or add more salmon, albacore tuna, flaxseeds, and walnuts to your diet. Next, learn about the daily habits of people who never get acne.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest