From slathering papaya on your skin to whipped egg white masks and a spot of toothpaste, recommendations for at-home acne remedies sound more like menu items at a raw vegan café than skincare treatments.
With so many options hyped as miracle cures, how do you know what really works?
While cousin Brandi may swear by her orange peel paste, your sister may like a mix of aloe and tea tree oil. Everyone’s battle with acne is different. Learning what ingredients are right for you can be a frustrating, messy process.
But natural plants and oils and unconventional twists on household products can be a rewarding part of your skincare routine. From tried-and-true skin-clearing masks to please-don’t-try-this-at-home, here’s a list of seven strange DIY remedies.
Garlic is a dedicated germ fighter that can do wonders to a clogged pore. Apply the raw root directly to inflamed pimples and if you can stomach the intensity, chomp on the pungent cloves for benefits. Notable side effect: you’ll reek of the stuff.
Tumeric contains curcumin, a member of the ginger family that naturally combats inflammation internally and out. You can pop an easy-to-swallow supplement or mix the powdered spice with lemon juice (or yogurt for more sensitive skin) and apply directly to your red spots.
Eat some apricots! This fantastic fruit boasts vitamin A, which may help new skin cells hustle to the surface. While you'll need to eat more than your tummy will appreciate to see a noticeable benefit, if you're looking for a healthy snack, why not try this delicious stone fruit?
Honey has been used for the ages to help heal wounds. The golden goop prevents the growth of disease-causing organisms like those irritating your pores. Some honeys contain hydrogen peroxide, sugars, and acidic properties which may inhibit blemishes, all while calming inflammation and hydrating. Apply raw honey to your face, gently massage, and rinse after a few minutes.
Save that peel and rub it on your face—really. Banana peels contain lutein, an antioxidant that reduces swelling, encourages cell growth, and plays a role in strengthening skin elasticity. Apply the peel topically, letting it soak into your pores for about 30 minutes before rinsing the residue.
Your quirky aunt probably told you to rub toothpaste on your pimple before the prom—the mix of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, menthol, and antibacterial triclosan may dry out your pimples, but not without potential harm to the skin surrounding it: irriration, peeling, burning, and redness. Baking soda is often hyped, but its alkalinity will disrupt your pH balance which may hurt your skin. In other words, leave these two to cleaning teeth and toilet bowls, not your face.
Raw potatoes are full of skin-loving minerals that stimulate elastin and collagen production: sulfur, potassium, and phosphorous. Taters also have vitamin C to boost cell recovery and repair the damage that’s already been done. The alkaline property functions as a breakout inhibitor, nixing excess sebum.
Sulfur-rich fermented foods improve digestion and may have a probiotic effect to leave your intestinal tract with lots of beneficial bacteria. Fermented foods help you rid toxins from the body, promote clear skin, help you absorb all the good nutrients you’re swallowing, and balance your hormones. Remember, you don’t need a greasy hot dog or a Rueben to enjoy sauerkraut!