There’s a question that millions of acne sufferers ask themselves as some point in their lives: Do home remedies for acne really work? While those bottles of Clearasil sell for big money on the store shelves, other things, like eggs, herbs and spices, are relatively cheap. So can you really concoct an acne-fighting medication by using simple, everyday products at your home?
The actual facts about home remedies of all sorts literally shatter some people’s hopes and dreams. Individuals tie a lot up in devising the perfect plan to fight their conditions and diseases at home, for little money, and with maximum effectiveness. Acne is certainly included in this list, and, unfortunately, most home remedies are snake oil.
Vital Information about Home Remedies in General
Although we’d all love to believe that mixing a little household item with a food ingredient creates this perfect concoction that can cure disease, the fact of the matter is that 99% of all home remedies are simply garbage. “But I know one that works,” you may be thinking. And, it might be true; perhaps you have a simple headache remedy or something you can use for your dry skin. It’s not impossible; there’s just a simple reason that billion-dollar drug industries exist: Holistic remedies are typically placebos.
Faith and hope are the biggest drivers in the home remedy market. Back in the Bronze Age, a period where even people today consider the inhabitants to be special and wise (since they constructed today’s popular religions), sickness was believed to be caused by spirits, and animal sacrifices and other blood rituals were used to cure these illnesses. As you may imagine, most died.
There were exceptions to the rule, of course. Those in the Orient began harnessing the power of herbs for relatively benign issues, but even the most potent herbs cannot cure true disease. Steve Jobs can attest to that.
Home remedies for acne typically fall into the faith-and-hope realm. Not all of them are bogus, as we’ll discuss below, but most that you’re going to read about are pie-in-the-sky methods that will not cure your acne.
Popular Home Remedies and the Truth About Them
Cucumber masks, cucumber pulp, cucumber juice, cucumber slices – there are hundreds of different home remedies revolving around this garden vegetable as a cure. Cucumbers make for fantastic pickles, but they’re also said to be great acne-fighting remedies when combined with other ingredients like sugar, vinegar, and water.
The truth: Cucumbers contain skin-soothing compounds that can help moisturize the face. This is why they’re so often used at expensive spas. A few cucumber slices over the eyes to help lessen the appearance of bags to retain that youthful glow – it works well. For acne, however, cucumbers fall short of actually getting to the root cause. They might help with surface issues, like texture, but not with fighting the condition.
Lemons are very acidic, and acid is a very popular ingredient used to fight acne. You can find salicylic acid in many OTC medications. Lemon methods include using lemon juice on the face as is, creating masks with other ingredients, rubbing lemon wedges over acne, etc.
The truth: The acid contained within lemons is citric acid, which is greatly different than salicylic acid. If citric acid were effective in fighting acne, that would be the ingredient found within acne-fighting products. At best, citric acid can have a pore-tightening effect for a limited time, and it can help to aid in regular facial care as a bacteria remover.
Using plain oatmeal as a mask is said to be another in the long list of home remedies for acne. No doubt it is used by many people. Mixing the oatmeal with a little water and a little baking soda creates a clay-like mask that can be easily applied. It then dries up and is relatively easy to wash off.
The truth: Oatmeal contains no anti-bacterial properties or any other “super” ingredients that will get rid of acne. You’re dealing with another product that, at best, will help to moisturize the skin. If you’re trying to fight dry skin and want to keep your pores cleaner, an oatmeal mask if fine. If you’re looking to fight acne, oatmeal actually helps you more if you eat it.
Honey is an all-natural product produced by bees, and any supplement-freak knows all about bee products like propolis and pollen. Does honey also have these properties? For millions of people who use honey to fight acne, they believe it does.
The truth: Honey is very sticky and, when used as part of a mask, can help to clean pores and moisturize the face. But when dealing with actual acne breakouts, such as huge pustules and papules, the extreme sugar content of honey may actually worsen the problem.
There are home remedies for acne that can help, but only when used in conjunction with other medications, a healthy diet, and proper skincare. If you’re looking for a miracle acne remedy that can get rid of pimples, the closest you’re going to find is something like coconut oil or other products that have proven anti-bacterial properties. For everything else, there is no scientific evidence to back it up.