Skin conditions are a nuisance to deal with, especially acne, which affects millions of teenagers and adults around the world. It usually starts at puberty, and while it should be gone by the time our bodies are done maturing, sometimes acne decides to overstay its welcome. Because every problem has a solution and because we typically don’t like to wait, you’ll find a surge of heavily-advertised and poorly-researched fast cures, skincare fads, and endless remedies on the internet that simply don’t work. To separate fact from fiction, here is a list of the six tried-and-tested ways you can use to treat your acne.
One of the best ways to treat a common condition such as acne is by using natural ingredients. Before you start thinking that this must be a hoax, some natural ingredients can be more effective than their chemically-engineered alternatives. Aside from the fact that the oil is known for its ability to reduce inflammation and kill bacteria, a 2007 study discovered that 5% tea tree oil can remarkably reduce acne without any significant side effects. To apply tea tree oil to your skin, make sure you mix it first with a carrier oil like olive oil or coconut oil because it’s very potent and will irritate your skin if applied alone. For best results, use 2 drops (tea tree) to 12 drops (carrier oil) ratio, but make sure you are not allergic to either oil. After mixing, use a cotton swab to spread the oil on the affected areas and leave it to dry. Carry out the routine two times per day and moisturize after.
If you’ve ever used an acne facial wash, you’d know that one of the active ingredients labeled on the product is salicylic acid. The chemical compound is widely known as an exfoliating agent which makes it a good treatment for acne because it opens up pores and removes any blockages. For salicylic acid-based products, look in any pharmacy for a liquid exfoliant or an acne wash, then check the label. If you prefer natural treatments, you can use aloe vera gel which also happens to contain the same substance. The gel is available in stores, but you can scrape it out of an aloe leaf yourself. Either way, you only need to apply it twice a day. Because salicylic acid works well with tea tree oil, if you stick to a routine that contains both remedies, you should start noticing improvements shortly after.
This is one of the most effective antibacterials commonly used to treat acne. It works by aggressively targeting the bacteria responsible for acne breakouts. However, this doesn’t mean that any antibacterial cream can reduce acne. Keep in mind that there are various types of bacteria, and for each type, there is a certain antibiotic designed to deal with it. This is particularly the reason why many medical professionals have spoken up against the effectiveness of Neosporin for acne despite its ability to kill certain types of bacteria. While Neosporin is indeed a powerful ointment, it is not designed to target acne bacteria like Benzoyl Peroxide. You can find this active ingredient in any form in most pharmacies, most commonly as a lotion, cream, or facial wash. When applying, follow the exact directions on the label, and because it might make you extra sensitive to the sun, try to stay out of the sun for an hour or two after applying the product.
Because vinegar is acidic by nature, it manages to kill bacteria by making the bacteria’s surrounding environment too acidic that the microorganisms eventually die out. In addition to that, research on apple cider vinegar has also proven that it can prevent scarring and promote the healing of tissues after the acne has subsided. To dilute the apple vinegar before applying, the ideal ratio is 1:3. If you’re using one tbsp of cider vinegar, add three tbsp of water. Apply the mixture using a piece of cotton and leave for 15 seconds before you wash it off. If you feel a stinging or irritation, add more water to your mixture. If you continue to feel pain, consult with your dermatologist, or stop using the vinegar.
When other treatments fail, medical professionals recommend the use of retinoid creams. While retinol is the weaker version of a retinoid cream, it still is highly effective as an anti-acne measure. First off, it decreases oil production which means less blockage in pores, as well as, drier skin. Dry skin means that it will exfoliate skin easily, leaving behind a healthier layer. The lack of blockage in facial pores means that there won’t be any inflammation, and therefore, no acne.
The mineral that strengthens the immune system, promotes faster wound healing and is heavily responsible for maintaining healthy skin. In the right amounts, zinc works on reducing the production of oil while also helping the body fight off acne bacteria. Whether it is by consuming more zinc-loaded foods or by taking it in the form of supplements, research has proven that zinc works in fighting off severe acne. If you want to add zinc to your diet, make sure you are monitoring your doses because consuming an excessive amount of zinc can have adverse effects.
Before you go ahead and experiment with these treatments, it is recommended that you consult your dermatologist. Chemicals are prone to interact with each other, so your dermatologist will be able to tell you if a treatment can possibly induce a bad reaction with any medication that you’re currently taking. After you’ve cleared everything with your doctor, it’s time to get rid of those pimples! one thing you have to understand, though, is that the treatment of acne depends on its cause. For one person, tea tree oil could be enough, but for another, retinol may be the most effective solution. So, if there is anything we could leave you with, it is not to lose hope. Be patient, stick to your skincare routine, and track your improvement with weekly pictures. In time, you’ll figure out what works for you.