When blemishes and blackheads pop up, it's never fun. The reality is that zapping your zits can take days -- sometimes even weeks. Because of this, you need to jump on the blemish-banishing bandwagon as soon as one rears its ugly head. The fastest way to bust out buried blackheads, wipe out whiteheads and pop those pustules naturally is by cleansing your face twice a day, eating a healthful diet and avoiding the sun. If you act quickly and consistently -- without the help of harsh ingredients and drying medication -- your clear complexion will soon take center stage while your acne fades into the wings.
Mix 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1/4 cup water, 1/2 tablespoon honey and 1/4 cup lemon together in a small bowl using a spoon. Scoop a dollop onto your fingertips and massage into your face for one minute. Rinse with warm water, and pat your face dry with a clean towel. The oats gently exfoliate the dead skin cells around your acne and help absorb excess sebum and oil. The lemon kills bacteria associated with pimples, while the honey works as as a hydrating moisturizer. Store any leftover mixture in the fridge and use again before bed.
Heat a small saucepan that contains 1 cup water and 3 tablespoons finely chopped basil leaves. When the solution reaches a boil, turn the stove off and wait about 20 minutes for the mixture to cool. Place a strainer over a bowl and pour the water through the stainer. Pour the mixture into a small bottle with a wide mouth. Place a cotton pad over the bottle, turn it over and allow the tonic to seep into the pad. Swipe the pad around your entire face. The basil leaves act as an antiseptic to dirt and bacteria. This tonic also helps improve the skin's circulation and keeps redness and swelling at bay.
Make an acne spot treatment with brewer's yeast, lemon juice and water. Put equal parts brewer's yeast and water -- with one strong squeeze of lemon -- in a small bowl. Mix together with a spoon until the ingredients make a paste. Scoop up a small amount onto a cotton swap, and dab it onto the pimple. Cover with an adhesive bandage so the paste stays put, and allow the treatment to dry for 10 minutes. Rinse the spot with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel. Do this twice a day until the pimple clears.
Ingest foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish and walnuts. Flax seed oil, evening primrose oil, turmeric and beans also provide additional acne-fighting help. Also, add zinc-filled foods, such as pork, lamb and lean beef, into your diet. Zinc helps reduce the inflammation of dead skin cells and the over-production of sebum (which leads to pimples). It's also important to keep your body and skin well hydrated with water. Chamomile and green teas are also excellent beverages, as they feature anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties great for treating acne breakouts and red marks.
Cut out foods that are difficult to digest, such as wheat gluten and processed grains. According to Melbourne-based dermatologist Dr. George Varigos, refined, processed foods raise blood sugar and insulin levels; this, in turn, causes the skin to change and can lead to blocked pores. He also advises staying away from hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors and dyes, and chemical sweeteners.
Stay out of the sun. Lather on a broad-spectrum, oil-free sunscreen every day and wear a wide-brimmed hat when outdoors. The sun's UV rays can darken the spots left behind from acne lesions and can cause hyper-pigmentation. The heat from the sun can also make you sweat, which makes it easier for dirt and oil to get trapped into your pores. Choose a sunscreen that is free of chemicals and fragrances, as these can aggravate your skin and cause more irritation.
- American Academy of Dermatology: Acne
- MindBodyGreen: 5 Natural Ways to Clear Up Your Acne in Time for the Holidays
- Natural News: How to Treat Acne Without Prescription Drugs
- Free People: Homemade Natural Facial Cleansers for Dry, Oily, & Normal Skin Source: Homemade Facial Cleansers for Dry, Oily & Normal Skin
- Reader's Digest: 8 Natural Recipes for Amazing Skin ... From a Plastic Surgeon
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: The Clinical Effects of Zinc As a Topical or Oral Agent on the Clinical Response and Pathophysiologic Mechanisms of Acne: A Systematic Review of the Literature
- Mother Nature Network: Clear Skin Diet: Foods That Bring Acne Relief
- ABC Health and Wellbeing: Can Eating Junk Food Give You Pimples?
- Realself: How Bad Is the Sun for Acne Scarring?