The term acne actually covers a variety of symptoms like blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and other types of spots. Acne happens when skin pores clog and lesions (often inflamed) appear as a result. Although some factors such as stress, use of make-up, exposure to the sun and contraceptive pill use, for example, can exacerbate the problem, the main reason that people get acne is largely genetic. Severe cases of acne can cause permanent scarring, so may need to be treated with prescription drugs. There are, however, some effective home remedies for acne that you can use to get rid of less serious break outs. Taking preventative measures will also reduce incidents of acne.
Change the Make-up You Use:
Make-up use is a major factor in acne outbreaks in adult women, so changing the type you use, minimizing make-up use or forgoing make-up use altogether can help you to avoid bouts of acne.
Avoiding oil-based make-up and skin products and switching to non-oil-based ones instead can help to reduce acne problems. You should also try to avoid using make-up that contains lanolins, sodium lauryl sulphate, isopropyl myristate, laureth-4 and/or D & C red dyes. These things are all too rich for your skin and can make acne problems worse.
Remove Make-up Thoroughly and Wash Your Face Well:
Make sure you wash off your make-up thoroughly at the end of the day. You should wash your face with mild soap twice daily and rinse it well (6 or 7 times) using fresh water.
Natural Home Remedies for Acne:
Some people find that applying lemon juice mixed (in equal parts) with rosewater to the affected area for around 1/2 an hour using a cotton swab (firmly pressed against the area) helps to treat their acne.
Honey and garlic have anti-bacterial properties and some people find these to be effective as a topical treatment for acne.
Applying Hamomile or Green tea bags soaked in lukewarm water to affected areas for 30 seconds or so has also sometimes been found to help remedy acne problems. Green tea has anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties, while Hamomile tea is a natural anti-inflammatory.
Rubbing sliced strawberries onto areas affected by acne may also help. Strawberries contain salicyclic acid. This is a common ingredient in shop-bought acne treatments.
Change Your Contraceptive Pill:
If you are a woman who suffers from acne and are taking the contraceptive pill, ask your doctor about possible alternative pills that are less likely to aggravate your problem or other methods of birth control that might suit you.
Know When to Squeeze and When Not to Squeeze:
It is best not to squeeze most spots or pimples. However, there are a couple of exceptions. If you have a spot with a small yellow head on it a gentle squeeze will usually pop it easily. The pus will come out enabling the pimple to heal up more quickly.
You can squeeze blackheads too, although you are probably better off tackling them with pore cleansing skin washes. If you do squeeze blackheads you shouldn't dig your nails into your skin or squeeze too hard. To squeeze blackheads it is best to place your face over a bowl of steaming water for a couple of minutes first to open up your skin pores as wide as possible. Then cover your forefingers with soft tissue and gently squeeze either side of blackheads to remove them. Wash your face and splash it with cold water afterward to re-close the pores.
Lifestyle - Diet, Exercise and Stress:
Although there are a lot of myths about the causes of acne, a healthy diet and regular exercise can only help. Also, if you suffer from stress, take steps to relieve it. Good overall health will help in your fight against acne.
Over-the-counter acne products that contain benzoyl peroxide help to kill acne-causing bacteria and suppress fatty acid cells. Fatty acid cells irritate pores and make acne problems worse. These products come as gels (water-based ones are probably best to use), lotions, liquids and creams.
Although acne medications contain different concentrations of benzoyl peroxide, there is no evidence to suggest that those containing higher concentrations are more effective than those with less.
Make sure you throughly cleanse your skin before applying over-the-counter medications.
Avoid mixing acne treatments. Many of them contain similar ingredients and more than one shouldn't be used at the same time. If, for example, your doctor prescribes an acne treatment for you, then stop using your shop-bought acne medication.
Prevent your acne from spreading by applying acne medication in approximately a 1/2 inch radius around affected areas.
Minimize your exposure to the sun, sun-beds, sunscreens and infrared heat lamps when using acne medications. Sometimes a negative reaction can result.
You should also take extra care with acne medications if you have dry skin. It is sometimes sensitive to benzoyl peroxide. Use products containing lower concentrations, at least initially, to see how you react. A little skin reddening is normal, however, so don't be unduly concerned if you notice some when first applying the acne treatment.
So, there are many treatments and remedies you can try at home to relieve acne symptoms and prevent break outs. Implement good skin care techniques and try different ways of tackling the problem until you find one that works for you. Don't use more than one remedy at once, however. Combining commercially available and /or prescription medications might not be good for your skin and, if you try more than one remedy at a time, you will also not be able to easily tell which one is working for you.