Got zits? Experts say over 50 percent of adult American women suffer from adult acne or breakouts. Hormones, stress, hygiene, diet and genetics are potential culprits, but you couldn't care less about why you're getting pimples, you just want a way to get rid of them. And since you're not willing to turn to prescription medications, you're looking for some natural remedies to clear your skin. Good news: Diet and supplements can give you relief.
Natural remedies for acne
There is no question that chronic acne or inconveniently-timed breakouts can wreak havoc on your self-esteem — but you aren't sold on the notion of treating your condition with prescription medications. What is the alternative? Chrystle Fielder, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Natural Remedies, has the answer.Fielder, who writes the Good Nature column for Remedy magazine, says "Though we're not sure what causes acne, diet and food allergies may play a role — but so may stress and hormonal imbalances. Fortunately there's lots you can do about it."
Change your diet
Fielder stresses that diet is important and recommends the following:
- Cut out simple carbs and increase your protein intake — simple carbohydrates are metabolized as sugar and can affect hormone balance, while whole grains and lean proteins can prevent breakouts.
- Eat regular meals and add five servings of fruits and veggies daily — green veggies, especially, help to clear the skin because they are high in vitamins and minerals.
- Green food supplements — like cholorphyll, spirulina and barley greens — can help filter out toxins. Follow the recommended dosage on the label.
- Stay hydrated with adequate water — it's a natural internal cleanser and helps with metabolism of the foods you eat.
- Rule out food allergies — you will have to work with your doctor on this one — and eliminate offending foods and see if your skin clears.
- Take acidophilus (probiotics) — recommended dosage 10 billion parts — to boost your digestive health, which can improve your skin health.
- Try herbal teas — Fielder says the liver is the primary organ of detoxification in the body and, if overwhelmed with the wrong food or drink, can cause an acne flare up. She recommends drinking teas made from burdock root, dandelion greens, milk thistle and red clover to help detoxify your liver.
Do an herbal steam
In The Complete Idiot's Guide to Natural Remedies, Barbara Close, an herbalist and founder of Naturopathic Holistic Health Spa in East Hampton, New York, recommends an herbal steam: Pour boiling water into a plugged bathroom sink and add a few drops of essential antiseptic oils like tea tree oil or juniper oil. Pull up a chair and put a towel over your head to capture the steam around your face — the oils will soften your pores. Afterward, dab your pimples with a bit of tea tree oil.
Topical herbal treatments
According to Fielder, one of the best treatments for your zits has to be tea tree oil. Clinical studies have proven its antiseptic effectiveness in drying up and healing pimples.Fielder also recommends calendula (from marigold petals) with vitamin E as well as lavender essential oil.Antioxidant vitamins A (retinol), C and E in topical form (and supplemental form) — together or separately — can be effective in getting rid of acne.Visit your local health food store for essential oils, supplements, teas and other herbal treatments.
More ways to get rid of acne
In addition to changing your diet and incorporating natural remedies, be sure you also practice proper hygiene to ward off breakouts. Here are some links with top skincare tips.Adult acne: Causes and treatments
What do to about acne
How to stop acne breakouts
SheKnows Beauty and Style Channel - hundreds of skincare tips
Learn more about natural remedies
The opinions expressed in this article are of the author and the author alone. They do not reflect the opinions of SheKnows, LLC or any of its affiliates and they have not been reviewed by an expert in a related field or any member of the SheKnows editorial staff for accuracy, balance or objectivity. Content and other information presented on the Site are not a substitute for professional advice, counseling, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical or mental health advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on SheKnows. SheKnows does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.