The American Academy of Dermatology estimates that about 40 to 50 million Americans, most of whom are teenagers and young adults, suffer from acne. Although acne is the most common skin condition in this country, there is no cure. However, the condition can be controlled. For mild cases of acne, topical treatment is the standard of care. Natural treatments for acne are much less expensive than prescription medications and offer the added benefit of having fewer side effects.
Keep your skin clean and free of bacteria. Wash your face gently twice each day using an antibacterial soap or a cleanser that contains salicylic acid in the ingredients. Most regular soaps are alkaline, and therefore promote bacterial growth. Soaps containing aloe vera are another option. Aloe vera is known for accelerating the healing of wounds and damaged skin. Topical application reduces the swelling and redness associated with acne.
Cut open a raw garlic clove and rub the oil on acne blemishes. Do this several times each day. If you prefer, you can peel off the outer skin before crushing one clove of garlic and mixing it in a cup of warm water. Wet a cotton ball with the solution and apply to affected areas. Garlic juice also makes a healing facial cleanser.
Dip a cotton ball or swab into the juice of a fresh lemon. Apply only to breakout areas before going to bed for the night. Leave on until morning, and then cleanse and wash your face. Lemon juice reduces the redness of acne pimples. The citric acid in lemons acts as an astringent to dry pimples. Fresh lemon juice has an exfoliating effect that speeds up healing.
Wash your hands frequently to remove oils and bacteria that can aggravate acne. The Mayo Clinic recommends avoid letting anything touch your face, even your hands.
Brew 2 tsp. of dried basil leaves in 1 cup of boiling water. Continue boiling for 20 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool before applying to blemishes with a clean cotton ball. This treatment may help to speed the healing of stubborn acne that fails to respond to other home remedies.