Acne occurs when pores become blocked with oil (sebum) and dead skin cells. Hormones can cause pores to produce excess amounts of oil. The oil fills the pores and causes dead skin cells to build up rather than being shed. The oil attracts dirt and makeup which then clog the pore forming a blackhead. Once the pore is blocked it becomes a perfect place for bacteria to breed which the body then reacts to, causing inflammation. It is this inflammation that causes acne redness and the swelling of acne bumps. The pus that forms in whiteheads is a sign of the body's reaction to the bacteria infection. Understand now, the bacteria does not cause the acne and in nearly all cases the bacteria is one normally found on healthy skin. It is the excess oil leading to blocked pores that causes acne in nearly 100% of the cases. Hormones play a major role in acne breakouts, which is why it is more common during puberty when the hormones go into overdrive. Stress adds to the hormone levels and can often lead to new bouts of acne, just ask any soon to be bride or teenager nearing the day of a date.
Any accepted home remedies for acne need to treat one or more of the following: excess oil, inflammation, or infection. Acne home remedies usually fall into the following catagories: acne washes, facial masks, astringents for drying the skin, and acne moisturizers. Before using any product on the skin, either home made or over the counter, it should be tested to rule out any adverse reactions to it. Some 24 hours before using any remedies for acne, place a small amount of the item or mixture on the forearm and watch for any reactions such as blisters, itching, swelling, or tenderness. Be aware that if the skin is already tender or raw from excessive washings or scrubbings then some acne treatments, like citrus juices or cucumbers will sting. Also be careful to not get any of the treatments in the eyes.
One of the most important way to prevent acne and to treat existing acne is cleaning the skin properly to remove excess oil, dirt, and makeup. As for makeup, it is best to not even wear it if prone to acne, as it will only worsen clogging of the pores. If makeup is a necessity, be sure it is water based and use it sparingly. Wash the skin using warm water and the fingers rather than a cloth. One mistake that acne sufferers often make is washing their skin too harshly or too often. Using harsh facial scrubs or scrubbing the skin with a cloth, can make the skin, especially the skin of the face, raw and open it up to infections. What you want to remove is any dirt, makeup, dead skin cells, and excess oils. You also don't need to cook the skin to get the pores to open up. Water that is slightly warm will open the pores and a good mild soap will breakup oils. Only wash the face once or twice daily. Keep the hair clean and perferably wear it up away from the face, especially if it tends to be oily as well.
Once the skin has been cleaned and the excess oil, dead skin cells, and dirt, have been removed, it is important to replace that oil with some sort of moisturizer. If the skin is left unprotected after cleaning, it will react to the loss of moisture by producing more pore clogging, natural oils. By using a light weight, non-clogging, moisturizing oil, it is possible to stop excessive oil production by the skin. Astringents can be used between washings to remove oils and promote skin cell renewal. Again the over use of astringents can lead to skin irritation and drying. There are also spot treatments to help clear up individual acne blemishes. These acne treatments should act to lessen acne reddness and inflammation, loosen and draw out oils, plugs, and pus, and fight infections.
Once a treatment program has been found that works for your acne, set up a schedule and follow it daily. To find out about home acne remedies and natural remedies for acne check out some of some of the following articles that are filled with recipes for DIY acne remedies and how best to use them: Home remedies for acne, facial washes, moisturizers, and facial masks.