While you can spend a fortune addressing oily skin and blackheads, several home remedies exist which cost little or nothing. Most contain few or no preservatives and may already be in your pantry, garden or medicine cabinet. While these home remedies boast long traditions in helping acne and oily skin, they may not be as effective as prescription or commercial products. Ask your dermatologist before treating any skin conditions.
Cut a lemon in half or quarters and rub the cut surface on blackhead-troubled or oily skin. Alternatively, squeeze the juice in a bowl, apply some of the juice to acne with a cotton ball and store the remaining juice on the refrigerator for future treatments. If the lemon juice irritates your skin, mix it with equal parts rose water, a distilled product made from rose petals. Both rosewater and lemon juice have toning, antimicrobial properties suitable for treating blackheads, notes Grannymed.com. Natural skin care author Dina Falconi additionally recommends a simple splash of lemon juice and water to tone oily skin. After cleansing, rinse your face with squirt of fresh lemon juice diluted in 1 cup tap or distilled water.
Several herbal teas work well both internally and externally to balance oil production and discourage blackheads, notes Barbara Griggs, author of “The Green Witch Herbal.” Drink lavender, sage, chamomile or yarrow tea, and use the cooled remaining infusion to rinse your face after cleansing.
Griggs additionally recommends swabbing carrot or cucumber juice on acne or oily skin. Leave on for about 10 minutes before rinsing with rose water or tap water. Drinking the carrot juice may also lead to fewer blackheads, according to Griggs.
Honey is an age-old treatment for skin care, probably because it balances a number of skin conditions, from oily skin and blackheads to irritated and red complexions, notes Grannymed.com. Herbal beauty author Jeanne Rose also prizes it for its ability to both tighten and hydrate the skin. Apply a honey mask by putting it over your face, neck and/or chest. Once the honey dries, leave on at least 15 minutes before washing it off and gently patting your skin dry with a clean towel.
If you own a collection of essential oil for medicinal or crafting purposes, consider applying some of them for use as skin care. Dab undiluted tea tree or lavender oil directly on pimples. To balance oily skin, add one or two drops lemongrass, lavender or tea tree oil to homemade or commercial liquid soap, body wash, lotion or moisturizers geared to oily skin.
Milk of Magnesia
The mineral-based liquid laxative has home remedy fans for everything from deodorant to blackhead control. The web site and syndicated column “The People’s Pharmacy” speculates that it may work for some people with pimples because it controls yeast, the underlying cause of acne in seborrheic dermatitis. Apply it with a cotton ball or fingers directly on blackheads.
Crush peppermint or spearmint leaves until they release their juice. Apply the leaves and liquid to blackheads. Leave on for at least 15 minutes before rinsing and drying your skin. This home treatment may work especially well for painful and swollen acne because the menthol in the leaves relieves redness and pain, according to Grannymed.com.
- "The Green Witch Herbal"; Barbara Griggs; 1994
- "The Herbal Body Book": Jeanne Rose; 2000
- Grannymed.com: Honey for Skin Care
- The People's Pharmacy: Milk of Magesia as Home Remedy for Acne
- Grannymed.com: Mint for Acne
- Grannymed.com: Lemon Juice for Acne