One of the most common issues faced by many, especially teenagers, is acne. There are plenty of remedies to counter the niggling problem which often affects a person's confidence.
While a healthy diet, which includes junk food moderation, is possibly the best way to avoid acne, one can also use home remedies to reduce the appearance of acne and acne scars. Most of the products mentioned are easy to access and some might even be readily available in one's refrigerator!
(Photo: McKay Savage | Flickr)
1. Green Tea
Green tea is a new-age favorite thanks to its anti-aging properties made by the presence of the antioxidant Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG). The benefits of drinking green tea include weight loss, reduced cancer risk and prevention of heart diseases and diabetes.
Aside from its medicinal qualities, green tea also promotes glowing skin and healthy hair.
For Treating Acne
1 green tea bag
This acts like a toner and cleanser. Brew the green tea for 3 to 4 minutes. Once the water has cooled, take the concoction and apply it on your skin with cotton. Keep it on for 15 to 20 minutes.
Rinse off with water, pat dry and apply moisturizer. When done two to three times a week, this method can ward off breakouts or acne.
Tip: Don't throw the tea bag. Put it on your eyelids to ease the stress away. This also helps lighten dark circles!
Face Scrub To Reduce Acne Scars
2 green tea bags
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. gram flour
Steep the tea bags in boiling water for five minutes. Cut the tea bags and take out the tea leaves. Once cooled, add the sugar and gram flour. The scrub is now ready. Apply it over your face, avoiding the eyes, and scrub gently with a circular motion. Keep the "mask" on for 10 minutes before rinsing it off.
Use the scrub once a week to leave your skin exfoliated while reducing your acne scars over time. You can also add a drop of rosewater and a pinch of turmeric, as these components lighten dark spots.
Tip: Strain the brewed water and keep it in a jar to use it as a toner!
The ancients were well-versed with the benefits of honey. Winnie the Pooh's favorite has also been used in Ayurveda for thousands of years. Like green tea, honey has medicinal benefits and is rich in antioxidants and flavonoids.
Honey helps in weight loss and improves eyesight. Its physical application helps one have glowing skin and healthy hair. With its antifungal properties, honey wards off bacteria - which means less breakouts.
Face Mask To Reduce Acne Scars
1 Tbsp. honey (preferably raw)
½ Tbsp. fuller's earth
½ tsp rose water
½ tsp olive oil
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Apply the mask on your face and make sure to avoid the eyes. Leave on for 10 to 15 minutes and rinse off with lukewarm water.
The mask not only helps reduce appearance of acne and its scars, it also lightens a sun tan.
Tip: You can add an egg white to this recipe to tighten pores and act as a natural botox.
Honey Hair Mask
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. lemon juice or plain whipped yoghurt
Heat the olive oil and honey. Add the lemon juice/yoghurt once the oil and honey mixture has slightly cooled. Apply the hair mask while it is still warm. Leave it on for half an hour and rinse off.
Often, dandruff is the cause of acne so use this hair mask to reduce it.
Tip: Turban therapy - wrapping a hot towel around the head - moisturizes your hair and is especially effective with this recipe. Do this after applying the hair mask as the method helps the oil permeate into the scalp.
Photo: Janine | Flickr
Fruits are good source of nutrients and vitamins; they are also great for reducing blemishes. They make the skin supple and lessen the occurrence of breakouts.
Papaya Face Mask for Acne
2 Tbsp. curd/full-fat yogurt
½ tsp honey
2 cubes of papaya
½ Tbsp. milk cream
½ tsp lemon juice
Mash the papaya cubes into a smooth paste. Add in the honey and yoghurt. If you have dry skin use milk cream. For oily skin, add the lemon juice and skip the milk cream.
Apply the mixture on your face and leave it for 15 to 20 minutes before washing it off and patting your face dry. Do this twice a week and see your blemishes vanish.
Tip: You can also add a small scoop of oatmeal for a stronger scrub!
Aside from being a favorite side dish for hamburgers, potatoes can also be useful for skincare. Its juice is quite effective in reducing scars. It has lightening properties and, therefore, helps reduce acne scars - and even dark circles!
Potato Mask To Reduce Acne Scars
½ tsp lemon juice
Peel the potato and cucumber. Mix their juices in a bottle, keeping a 1:1 ratio. To make the face tonic, add the lemon juice and turmeric to the mixture. Apply the tonic to the affected areas where the scars are visible and leave on for 10 minutes. Avoid the eyes as the lemon will hurt the eyes.
Wash off with cool water and moisturize your face. Do this twice a week to remove acne scars.
Tip: You can skip the lemon juice if you wish to use the tonic for dark circles.
5. Aloe Vera
There are plenty of aloe vera products in the market, but using the juice from the plant is more effective as it is devoid of any harsh chemicals.
Apply aloe vera directly or use this face mask to get rid of scars. What's more, aloe vera is a natural astringent and contains polysaccharides and gibberellins which kill the bacteria responsible for acne.
Aloe Vera Face Mask:
1 Tbsp. aloe vera gel
½ tsp turmeric
½ Tbsp. honey
½ tsp raw milk
Mix the aloe vera gel, turmeric and honey. Add a few drops of rose water. Apply the paste to affected areas and leave for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse off.
Tip: You can also add ½ a tsp of fuller's earth to the mix.
For all these recipes, remember to check if you are allergic to any of the ingredients by doing a patch test on your elbow. Eat healthy to have glowing skin and stay stress-free!
Photo: Mislav Marhonic | Flickr