Want to know how to get rid of acne quickly? Follow these tips to smoother, clearer skin!
Acne isn’t fair. It seems to strike some people relentlessly while leaving others untouched. If you’re in the first group, you probably want to know how you can get rid of acne the fastest way possible.
So today, we’re going to share our top tips for treating acne naturally and effectively. First, you need to understand what it is and what causes it.
Besides annoying, acne is the term used to encompass everything from blackheads and whiteheads to pimples or zits. There are a few different types, but for the purpose of this article, we’re discussing the most common variety - acne vulgaris.
It is a skin condition that happens when our oil-secreting glands get clogged and infected with bacteria. The resulting gunk forms what we know as blackheads (occurs when pore is stretched open) or whiteheads (occurs when pore is closed).
If the infection travels deep enough, the result is painful cystic acne (read our guide on how to get rid of cystic acne).
As for its target, about 90% of teenagers get acne, but it’s certainly not limited to this age group. In fact, acne can even affect babies thanks to maternal hormones. Fortunately, the majority of people outgrow it in their 20s with most cases lasting less than 10 years. Still, about 5% of women report stubborn acne well into their 40s.
Acne most commonly forms on the face, neck, back, and shoulders, and its severity varies from person to person.
Before we move on, let’s bust the myth that has left many teens embarrassed and ashamed when there was no need for it. Acne is not caused by poor hygiene or touching your face too much.
So what does cause it? Let’s take a look.
Studies on acne causes are still ongoing, but researchers have identified a few common culprits to what causes acne that can help us understand why it occurs:
- Hormones: This is the number 1 cause of acne and the reason why teens are so often affected. An increase in male sex hormones (though women have them as well just in much smaller amounts) increases oil production. This excess oil mixes with dead skin cells to create blockages that form acne. Progesterone, a female sex hormone, plays a role as well, which is why acne breakouts are common during a woman’s monthly cycle.
- Genetics:If your mom or dad had acne, you probably will too. One 2002 study published in theJournal of Investigative Dermatology followed both identical and fraternal twins and found that genes accounted for 81% of acne cases.
- Overgrowth of bacteria: Two bacteria types occur naturally in hair follicles - Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis. If too many bacteria build up, they can release enzymes that promote inflammation within the follicle.
- Pore-clogging cosmetics: Any time you introduce more oil, you increase your risk of clogged pores. Plus, most skin and hair care products today include problematic ingredients that create conditions for acne-related bacteria to wreak havoc. These include hair styling products, cosmetics, makeup removers, moisturizers, and more.
- Diet: The role of diet in acne is still debated, but dairy is popping up in many studies as a potential cause of acne. One 2005 study followed over 47,000 women, which revealed a significant link between dairy intake and acne. This could be due to high hormone levels in most milk products today.
For most people, acne will clear up on its own as hormones begin to settle. But what can you do until then? As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
So your first step to get rid of acne fast is to prevent acne triggers by eliminating products and factors that aggravate it.
Here are some products and habits that you should stop today to avoid acne:
- All greasy cosmetics
- Antiseptic soaps and scrubs
- Skin care products full of chemicals
- Anything that unbalances your skin's pH
- Popping pimples (can spread infection)
- Scratching or picking at blemishes (increases risk of cystic acne)
- Benzaldehyde (an artificial fragrance that’s known to clog pores)
- Avoid dairy, and other foods that unbalance your hormones
Most acne cases can be managed at home using a combination of the prevention tips listed above and these natural, yet effect home remedies:
- Wash your face twice a day: Use lukewarm water and avoid washing too often as that can irritate and dry out your skin. Morning and night is more than enough.
- Keep skin clean with tea tree oil: This natural oil is naturally antimicrobial, helping keep your skin clean of bacteria. It also reduces inflammation making current pimples fade quicker.
- Try apple cider vinegar: It is a potent antibacterial and several of its organic acids have proven effective againstP. acnes. It may also help dry up excess oil caused by hormone fluctuations. To apply, simply mix 1 part ACV to 3 parts water. Apply with a cotton ball and let sit for 30 seconds, then rinse.
- Apply green tea: Green tea contains tannins and flavonoids that help reduce both inflammation and bacteria. Its primary antioxidant known as EGCG has even been proven to reduce oil production and stunt the growth ofP. acnes. Just steep a cup of tea like you normally would and allow to cool. Apply with a cotton ball. Once completely dry, rinse off.
- Use aloe vera as your moisturizer: Aloe vera contains sulfur and salicylic acid, which has been shown to significantly reduce acne breakouts. You can apply gel from its leaves directly to your skin just as you would a typical moisturizer.
There’s no shortage of over-the-counter acne creams and lotions. Most of them work via alpha-hydroxy acids, benzoyl peroxide, or salicylic acid. If you decide to go this route, stick to hypoallergenic and water-based options that won’t clog your pores.
Vitamin A-derived treatments are also popular, but they have known side effects, including burning, redness, and peeling.
Then there are prescription acne treatments which usually include oral or topical antibiotic ointments. The problem with these lies in the growing threat of antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics also destroy healthy gut bacteria, which can lead to gut problems later on.
We prefer a safer, more natural approach that combines the purity and convenience of home remedies with the power and potency of professional acne treatments.
Our line of acne cleansers and creams are specially formulated to gently eliminate breakouts, while soothing and nourishing your skin.
Our products accomplish this through ingredients sourced from nature - each with their own unique set of constituents and benefits that fight acne and nourish skin:
- Tea tree oil
- Aloe vera
- Salicylic acid
- Dandelion root
- Burdock root
- And more
We left out the harsh chemicals and toxins that could unbalance your skin. We kept them natural to make sure they are as safe as possible for all skin types. They are full of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes your skin will love!
Check out our plant-based, acne products here.
Acne is a natural part of life for many of us, but that doesn’t mean we have to sit by and just let it wreak havoc. Understanding the true causes of acne, such as hormone fluctuations and genetics, can free you from the social stigma of “bad hygiene.”
Fortunately, there are plenty of acne treatment options, including home remedies and professional treatments. Do your research and consider the pros and cons of the more abrasive treatments and antibiotic options before you jump in.If you decide nature knows best, and you want to avoid the laundry list of side effects associated with other acne treatments, check out our Tea Tree Cleanser, Tea Tree Cream, Exfoliating Facial Scrub, and more.