ACNE can be a frustrating skin condition to battle with.
And as many people will know, acne doesn’t just affect teenagers. It’s in fact common in adults, too.
According to the NHS, a whopping 95 per cent of people aged 11 to 30 are affected by acne “to some extent”.
Although it is more likely to strike in teen years, about three per cent of over-35s are affected.
The condition causes painful blemishes and spots that can be tricky to shift.
GPs can prescribe medications in the most severe of cases.
But if you struggle with the condition yourself, while you’ve likely tried every lotion and potion out there, have you tried home remedies?
Although it just sounds like an old wives tale, a dermatologist has revealed the ones that are most likely to work.
Mehmet Göker, Dermatology Specialist at Vera Clinic in Turkey, a leading hair transplant and cosmetic surgery hospital, explained why:
Mehmet said: “For acne flare ups, a cold compression can help to reduce inflammation and pain, helping with the soreness and appearance rather than removing the spot completely.
“It is important to not apply ice directly to the skin, instead wrapping it in a clean cloth or towel before placing it against the skin for less than a minute as and when needed.”
Acne has a number of causes, but is commonly linked to hormones that cause the skin to produce more oil.
Therefore, the idea of applying MORE oil to the skin seems bonkers.
But Mehmet said: “The basic concept of using olive oil on the skin is to disperse the body's natural oils that produce acne, breaking down the hardened impurities.
“Being naturally high in vitamins and antioxidants, you can avoid stripping your skin of all it’s natural properties, achieving a balance.
“Start by massaging the olive oil into the skin for a few minutes before applying a cloth with warm water to wipe the face clean.”
You may want to warn your partner about this one.
Mehmet said: “This unexpected remedy may sound far-fetched, but the anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties [of garlic] can help to manage the signs of acne.
“To extract the oils from the garlic, make gentle scores in the clove and rub the garlic directly onto the troubled area, leaving it overnight to absorb underneath the skin and reduce the swelling by morning.”
Green tea has a swathe of health benefits, from cutting the risk of heart disease and stroke to promoting weight loss.
So it’s not surprising that Mehmet recommends it for the skin, too.
However, forget putting the kettle on, as Mehmet said: “To use the green tea externally, remove the leaves from a tea bag and wet them before mixing with aloe vera or honey for best results, applying the mixture to the face and leaving for up to 20 minutes.
“Being rich in epigallocatechin gallate which has been shown to improve acne and oily skin, the production of bacterial growth is halted to improve the condition of your skin.”
You’re likely familiar with aloe vera as a cure for sunburn. But it has some other uses beyond sun-scorched skin.
Mehmet said: “Aloe vera has been used for thousands of years thanks to its natural anti-inflammatory properties.
“By soothing the skin, it is great for wounds, irritation and scarring, gently helping the skin recover while reducing the physical signs of damage.
“The powerful ingredient is shown to reduce hyperpigmentation in acne scars when applied a few times a day, providing effective results without irritating the skin with chemicals.”
The idea of applying lemon juice to a raw spot is enough to make you wince, so go easy on this one.
Mehmet said: “Freshly squeezed lemon juice can work great on spots, penetrating the skin to target blemishes at their source.
“By using a cotton swab to apply the juice before rinsing the skin with warm water a few moments later, the short term solution is great for tackling those unexpected blemishes for a quick fix.”
Every household has baking soda lurking somewhere in the cupboards.
Mehmet said: “By mixing baking soda with water to make a paste, the mixture can be applied directly onto the skin to treat acne bumps.
“For best results, it should be left for around twenty minutes, often hardening on the skin, before being rinsed off with clean water.”
But he warned the alkaline levels in baking soda can dry out the skin, so you should always follow it up with moisturising.
A quick Google search of apple cider vinegar and you’ll marvel at the huge list of health benefits it's claimed to have.
But Mehmet said “many are not aware of the potential to tackle acne externally”.
“The vinegar can help kill off any bacteria due to its acidic content,” he said.
“But make sure to dilute the mixture to avoid it being too harsh on the skin.”
Another one of nature’s finest, honey has natural antibacterial properties, meaning it can help kill off bacteria.
Mehmet said it’s main benefit for acne is to “relieve any soreness and redness from flare ups”.
“Before you rush to your kitchen cupboards, make sure you only apply natural honey, looking out for the word ‘raw’ on the label,” he warned.
“Use a cotton swab to apply the honey to the affected areas (or covering the face completely if necessary) before rinsing it off around ten minutes later.”
Mehmet said: “Being an all time favourite in the world of beauty hacks, it’s no wonder coconut oil can also be used to help with acne.”
Coconut oil contains lauric acid which is brimming with natural antibacterial properties.
It can help tackle the bacteria to provide anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory results.
Mehmet said: “By gently warming the oil in your hand to liquify it, it can be massaged into the skin and left overnight to absorb.”
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ACNE can be a frustrating skin condition to battle with.