Natural Acne Treatments & Products
Acne develops when the pores become blocked with excess oil, dead skin cells and bacteria. The resulting acne manifests in the form of whiteheads, blackheads and papules. It is a change in the behavior of the sebaceous glands, which produce the oil, that triggers the acne, not poor hygiene or diet. The overproduction of oil is largely hormonal, according to MayoClinic.com.
Natural treatments can be used to lessen mild acne. "Reader's Digest: 1001 Home Remedies" suggests applying ice cubes to the pimples to reduce inflammation, using vinegar or lemon juice to kill the bacteria and cleanse the pores or dabbing milk on the acne. Milk contains alpha-hydroxy acids, which remove dead skin cells and oils, promoting healing and preventing new pimples.
The GrannyMed website notes that the aloe barbadensis species of aloe vera has many natural remedy uses. The thick gel in its leaves has medicinal and soothing properties. After removing a leaf from the plant, slit it open and squeeze out the gel. Drain the yellow latex juices from the gel and then rinse under cold water. Massage the gel into the acne.
A little more expensive but still just as natural are products containing manuka honey, available in most health stores. Manuka honey has antibacterial properties. Sterilized, laboratory-tested manuka honey is used in New Zealand for medical purposes.
Consult your doctor before starting a self-treatment regimen with natural remedies. Natural remedies can cause mild skin irritation, so it is best to test a remedy on a small areas, not the face. Although aloe vera is an extract found in many skin-care products and gets a lot of positive publicity, out that more research is needed to confirm its effectiveness.
Natural remedies are really only suitable for the milder forms of acne. MedlinePlus, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, recommends benzoyl peroxide, an organic compound from the peroxide family, and salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid, as reliable and proven treatments for acne. Benzoyl peroxide removes bacteria deep in the pores, while salicylic acid removes oils and dead cells from the surface. Together they can significantly dry out the skin, and so a moisturizer is recommended.
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