Acne isn’t just something that affects teenagers, it can continue long into adulthood. Primarily caused by bacteria, acne can also be affected by hormones, medications, excess oil and some medical conditions. It can be painful, affects confidence and it puts people off. There are medical interventions available, but these can have nasty side effects. So why not try one of these natural treatments? All of them come highly recommended.
From the same family as tea tree oil, manuka oil is even more effective than its Australian cousin. Otago University carried out a study that showed that manuka oil kills the bacteria that cause acne. This anti-bacterial activity was also found in manuka honey with the ‘Unique Manuka Factor’ (UMF®). Smothering your skin in honey might not be practical, so apply manuka oil using a carrier such as coconut oil.
Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory qualities, as well as being anti-bacterial against the bacteria linked to acne. Curcumin, the primary chemical in turmeric, has keratolytic effects. This reduces skin cells clumping and blocking pores, which is the root cause of acne.
Not just fantastic on pizza and pasta, basil also kills Propionibacterium acnes, one of the bacteria that cause acne. Make a toner by boiling five to ten crushed leaves in a cup of water for 7-10 minutes. Strain, cool and apply to the skin with a cotton ball.
Apple cider vinegar
Vinegar is acidic, antibacterial and antifungal. Make up a toner using one teaspoon of vinegar to two cups of water. Apply with a cotton ball.
Lemon & sugar scrub
Lemon is acidic, with anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties. It can help to chemically exfoliate your skin, removing the oil that blocks pores. It also is an astringent, which constricts and shrinks skin pores. Mix a tablespoon of sugar and lemon juice, and use your fingers to gently massage this onto your skin. Rinse and pat dry. This fantastic exfoliator is better for the planet because it doesn’t use microbeads.