Oh, the glorious world of acne products. Remember when we all thought our acne would end the minute we aged out of our teen years? How is it that some of us now have to worry about wrinkles while still dealing with acne?! So unfair. But whether we like it or not, it is our reality and it looks like it’s going to be something a lot of us have to work around for awhile. So let’s focus on the solutions, right? Of course, the most obvious solution would be to go to a dermatologist, get evaluated, and have them prescribe a treatment plan for you. But what if you don’t have the time (or, really, the money) for that? Or what if you don’t want to wait another day to find a solution? These acne stopping solutions may be just what you’re looking for; since they can be done in the comfort of your own home at a relatively low cost. But, caution, try these treatments at your own risk. While they may be heaven sent for some, they could wreak havoc for others.
15 Grapefruit and Sugar Scrub
This is an oldie but goodie. Anyone who gets their daily vitamin C from a grapefruit at breakfast will most like have everything they need for this homemade scrub lying around their home. For those who don’t, all you will need to do is buy a grapefruit. Once you have your grapefruit, cut it in half. Then stab the pulp a few times to release the juices. Once you feel like you’ve just acted out a scene from a Hitchcock film, sprinkle sugar over the halved fruit. Now how much you want to sprinkle depends on how gentle or rough of a scrub you prefer. Obviously, the more sugar you add, the rougher it will be. Once you have the texture just the way you like it, use the grapefruit to scrub your face in circular motions. Think of it as a natural face cleanser and facial brush in one. Just make sure you keep the grapefruit away from your eyes. Once you feel sufficiently polished, rinse your face completely. The sugar, of course, acts as the scrubbies and the acid from the grapefruit will act an astringent for those with oily skin. Just make sure to do a spot test before covering your entire face. Those with sensitive skin may react to the acid in the grapefruit.
14 Benzoyl Peroxide Treatments
This may be a more tradition route than the solution mentioned above, but it is definitely one that works for many people. Benzoyl Peroxide works to dry out large pimples and is especially effective for cystic acne. It is also the main ingredient in the famous Proactiv. But, you don’t have to buy the infomercial/ celebrity endorsed product to get a benzoyl treatment. Many drugstore brands such as Acne Free and Oxy contain this wonderful active ingredient. This may not be for you if you have dry skin (Benzoyl will turn your skin into the Sahara desert) or if your skin tends to react to harsh products.
13 Salicylic Acid treatments
Like its competitor Benzoyl, Salicylic Acid is a very common acne solution. It’s found in more drugstore acne products than Benzoyl Peroxide, and seems to work for many different types of skin (instead of favoring the oilies like Mr.BP over there.) Neutrogena products are known for making use of salicylic acid, as it is contained in almost all of their acne products. Another benefit of this ingredient? It can fade the appearance of acne scars. Many anti-aging and tone correcting skin care products also contain salicylic acid for this reason.
12 Drying masks as overnight treatments
You know that mask you love that just makes your skin look and feel SO GOOD after 10 minutes? Try using it as a spot treatment. Proactiv (yes, them again) already advertises its refining mask as an overnight spot treatment. Other possible drying masks that may work for you? Queen Helene’s Mint Julep Masque and Origin’s Out of Trouble mask. You may look like a polka dotted disaster going to bed, but just wait until you wake you in the morning and wash off your not so discrete acne treatment. You may just find your skin has had a Cinderella moment and transformed overnight.
11 Vick’s Vapor Rub
Yes. The stuff your mom put on your chest when you were sick as a kid. Yes, the stuff that now reminds you of cold medicine. Yes, that greasy balm that has been around forever. I know. It sounds crazy. But many people claim this is a great solution for cystic acne. The thought is that the same antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory properties that keep away your cough at night, also work in reducing swelling and bringing deep pimples to a head; providing relief from the pain cystic acne is known to bring along with its annoyingly large blemishes. Many also report seeing a large reduction in redness and size in as little as two nights of using Vicks. But unless you want to look like Taylor Swift in her blank space video, keep it away from your eyes.
10 Combining Products
Now this solution is only for the very brave. Or, more likely, those who have tried everything and feel they have nothing to lose. (There’s nothing worse than looking at your skin and thinking ‘well…it can’t get much worse than this.’) Two products you may think of combining (if none of them seem to put a dent in your acne when used alone) are a benzoyl peroxide treatment and a drying mask. Mixing the two together and applying as a spot treatment at night can act as a potent weapon against the most inflamed pimples. Just be careful, this IS a harsh treatment. So maybe try it on one blemish before dabbing this concoction all over.
Oh, yes. That medication you take for headaches. Or hangovers. Whatevs. This little pill can also be very helpful when it comes to those pesky little red demons we call pimples. Simply crush up a few tablets (you may feel slightly like a drug dealer here) and add a bit of water to form the consistency of a thick paste. Now you can either do one of two things: Apply the solution all over your face and leave for 10 minutes before rinsing or dab it on your most life ruining zits and leave overnight. Either way, aspirin can be effective in reducing the size and redness of your blemishes. If you prefer to be a little fancy with your mask, you can also add honey or yogurt to the mixture.
8 Manuka Honey
I know it sounds like this would be a sticky, pore clogging, horrible time, but many are turning to Manuka honey as a natural solution to their skin problems. Now this isn’t the ordinary bear bottled honey you buy at the grocery store. Nope. Manuka Honey supposedly has many antibacterial and “wound healing” properties. Just like any skin care solution, there are some who completely dismiss Manuka honey as a treatment, while others give it rave reviews. Either way, it’s showing up in all sorts of skin care products and becoming a big trend among those who like to use natural products.
7 Coffee Grounds
Wait! Don’t throw out those coffee grounds! Do you know how valuable they are?! Well, not monetarily, of course, but those babies are like a pretty stick to the skin. Use the grounds as a facial mask and you will find that not only does the caffeine contained within it tighten skin, the grounds seem to also correct skin tone, and leave skin feeling soft without over drying. You can also use them as a deliciously aromatic scrub.
6 Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is another natural solution. Removed from the small leaves of the tea tree native to Australia, this oil is effective for many in not only reducing pimples, but also doing so without drying the skin. Studies have even been conducted to prove its effectiveness. And while Tea tree oil does work, it doesn’t work as quickly as some other acne solutions such as benzoyl peroxide. But for those looking to keep it natural, this slippery substance has it all.
5 Witch Hazel
Sounds super appropriate for Halloween, doesn’t it? But this zit fighter is actually derived from tree bark. It is often used an as an alternative astringent. Many don’t like using alcohol based toners since, over time, the alcohol can actually cause your skin to develop MORE oil. And no one with slick skin wants the issue to get worse after trying to fix it. So, you will find this wicked ingredient in many natural toners and washes. It is known for having a distinct smell. But, hey, if it clears up unwanted acne (and what acne isn’t unwanted?) it’s all good in my book.
4 Glycolic Acid
I’m going to bring it back to Proactiv for a moment. I know. But their products have become so well known because they do work for so many people. And this ingredient is one of the reasons why. In their original toner solution, Proactiv didn’t use alcohol at all. Which was (and unfortunately still is) rare. They also didn’t use witch hazel. So what was it that was clearing skin, cutting back on oil, and leaving skin feeling fresh and dry just moments after applying the toner? Glycolic acid. Glycolic acid is a very safe alpha hydroxyl acid. Made from sugar cane, glycolic acid is pretty gentle on the skin and also very effective when it comes to exfoliating. It’s generally only used for toners but does appear in some “stay one” products, or creams. Just make sure the product you’re using has less than 10% glycolic acid to avoid any unpleasant side effects.
3 Lactic Acid
Related to glycolic acid, lactic comes from, you guessed it, milk. Not only does lactic acid do an excellent job of drying out blackheads, it also has several anti-aging effects. Firming skin, evening skin tone, and reducing the appearance of wrinkles are just some of the added benefits of using this alpha hydroxyl acid. It’s also found in many acne solution products marketed specifically to pregnant women who want to stay away from salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide during their 9 months of baby carrying.
Ever gotten a facial at your dermatologist’s office? If you have, you know they are all about using steam to open up pores and extract dirt and yuck from your face. So how do you achieve this at home? I mean, I know not many of us can afford to order that fancy equipment. Simply do it the old fashion way. Pour some hot water into a bowl, lean your face over it (not to close! Burns are not going to help your skin!) and put a towel over your head and face. Sit for a few minutes and viola! Your pores should have opened at least a little bit. Now would be a great time to apply that mask, use that cleanser, or apply a spot treatment.
This one may sound a little similar to the grapefruit facial brush, but it is much, much more simple. First off, you only need a few grapes. Secondly, it doesn’t involve a violent scene with the fruit. Simply cut the grapes in half, rub them on your face, and then rinse with cool water. And there you have it; A delicious and natural cleanser. Apparently grapes contain resveratrol which help weaken acne bacteria. Resveratrol is also found in red wine…hmmm…Anyone else getting an idea?