Even though fancy store-bought or prescription medication helps heal acne, sometimes it's everyday household items that pack a punch! There are countless home remedies out there that claim to reduce pimple size and quantity, desperate in my search for clearer skin, I tried just about all of them! This is my review of some of things that worked for my skin (I am 19 year old female with very oily skin). Everyone's skin in different! What worked for me may not work for someone else and vice versa. Remember, you'll never know unless you try!
What Has Worked Best for Me:
Yes, fresh ripe tomatoes are a natural astringent. What I like to do when faced with a terrible breakout is get a tomato, slice it open, spread the juice and pulp all over clean skin, and then let it sit for about an hour before washing it off and applying my favorite topical medication. You may notice a slight stinging sensation at first that you may experience with other store bought astringents. Messy, but definitely effective.
These babies are also a natural astringent, like tomatoes, and I think work equally well. I get a fresh lemon, slice it open and squeeze the juice into a bowl. I dip a cotton ball into the juice and apply it all over a clean face, carefully avoiding my eyes. Again, you may feel a slight sting at first. I let it sit for an hour before washing it off and applying medication. I have used lemon juice from a bottle before, but it isn't as effective seeing as it isn't always 100% pure lemon juice.
3. Aloe Vera
I am lucky enough that my mom keeps several aloe plants around the house, but you can buy 100% pure aloe vera gel at almost any vitamin or health food store. Aloe is not only great for soothing redness from sunburn, but also for taking the redness from zits, scars, and healing scabs. What I like to do is clean my face, apply my usual medication, let it dry, and then liberally apply aloe to any especially red areas on my face. The gel is odorless, clear, and is absorbed nicely into the skin.
4. Green Tea
Some suggest drinking green tea because it is an anti-oxidant, but I don't. It also contains caffeine that aggravates acne (although you can get de-caffeinated) and stains teeth. All I do is let the tea bag sit in hot water for about two minutes, take it out, and rub the wet tea bag all over a clean face. You'll find that the tea temporarily darkens your face, don't worry, just wash it off in an hour or two! Green tea gently dries out existing pimples and helps reduce redness, it's great for dry or sensitive skin.
Remedies that Didn't Work Too Well For Me:
(Please, still feel free to try them because they may be great for your skin!)
1. Honey Mask
One word---sticky. Didn't see especially smoother skin, but then again I only tried it once.
2. Jojoba Oil
I know this site endorses this stuff, but it just sucked for me! I bought 100% pure jojoba oil, used it as a moisturizer for about two weeks, and saw that it actually broke me out horribly! I didn't have the heart to stick with it and my skin cleared up right after stopping use.
Honestly, I've never tried them! I just want to hear from somebody who has and read what they have to say!
4. Witch Hazel/ Rubbing Alcohol
They both just dried out my skin, maybe even aggravated it a little. Both are present in a lot of acne products, but I don't think they work best alone.
5. Asprin Mask/ Baking Soda as Face Wash
Some claim that these are great for drying out pimples, I just wanted too impressed with either.
6. White Tooth Paste
Did not help my skin at all, just left it minty fresh.
Now this one is iffy, I regularly tanned for about two years because I thought it was helping my acne, but here are the conclusions that I've drawn. The UV lights do zap existing zits, but they also potentially aggravate skin which will in turn cause new pimples within days. The overall redness and appearance of pimples and scars are less noticeable on a tan face. Tanning can cause drying and peeling of the skin and over time can lead to wrinkles. My suggestion would be to not over-tan like I did. It has its pros and cons but is by no means a miracle remedy for acne.