How to Reduce Acne on Face Naturally
If you thought blackheads and whiteheads were infuriating, the deep sore pimples that frequently pop up in adult acne are much more annoying—and hard to treat. Even more frustrating is the fact that we have to deal with acne way after adolescence years. Acne stubbornly seems to pop up at the worst times. And it can affect you well past 50 years of age.
When it comes to finding the right acne remedies, there are thousands of products out there—and they don’t play on the same level field. There are all kinds of acne cleansers, creams, pills, and spot treatments on the market.
The sheer number of choices can prove to be overwhelming, making it virtually impossible to decide on which method is genuine and the best treatment for removing acne on face. Keep in mind that some acne treatments contain harsh chemicals, which can lead to discoloration, bleaching, inflammation, and dryness. For this reason, most people prefer to treat and prevent breakouts using natural solutions.
Keep reading to discover the causes of acne, acne prevention, best natural acne remedies, and best natural practices and skincare routine to keep your face dewy and healthy without harsh chemicals or invasive technology.
The Difference Between Acne and Pimples
To put it plainly, acne is a disease, and the development of pimples is one of the symptoms of it. Other symptoms of acne include zits, black and whiteheads, cystic acne, and hormonal breakouts.
Acne is a condition affecting the whole skin structure, such as the oil glands, pores, hair follicles, and the surface of your skin.
It is triggered by excess oil production, the build-up of dead skin cells, and acne-causing bacteria.
Healthy oil production is mainly to nourish, hydrate, and protect the skin. When it is produced excessively, or when you don’t clean your skin well, it ends up being a menace.
Excess oil production is mainly caused by hormonal changes, diet, stress, and environmental pollutants.
A build-up of dead skin and oils can block the pores causing clogged follicles. These further create a friendly environment for acne-causing bacteria to reproduce. All this takes place within the skin’s surface, causing an infection and inflammation.
This general infection and inflammation of the skin are classified as acne. The infected pores further develop cysts, pimples, and spots. They’re usually filled with pus, white and black heads, or redness.
Most people with acne display little and big pimples as well as blackheads and whiteheads. With acne inflammation, you get a mixture of various kinds of lesions.
The main symptoms of acne are:
Papules – Raised tender, reddened bumps/pimples on the skin.
Pustules – swollen papules/pimples that are filled with pus on top.
Nodules – Sore, painful lumps deep within the skin’s surface.
Cysts – Sore, painful lumps filled with pus deep within the skin’s surface.
Blackheads & Whiteheads – Blackheads are clogged hair follicles or pores.
A combination of oil, dirt, debris, and dead skin cells clogs the pores. Whiteheads are usually enclosed within the skin, and blackheads are open.
What Causes Acne On Face
Several factors lead to the development of acne on face skin. The most common include:
1. Hormonal changes
When the body begins to flood itself with hormones to support growth and developments associated with puberty, pregnancy, menopause, or any other significant body changes, your skin usually becomes collateral.
For instance, at the onset of adolescence years, your skin begins to thicken in preparation for exponential body growth. Effectively, the sebaceous glands produced more oil to nourish the skin. However, it can mix with dead skin cells and environmental elements such as dust and clog your pores. An infection occurs, and hence your journey with acne commences. Pimples and all sorts of flare-ups begin to plague your skin.
Menstruation, ovulation, menopause, and the use of birth control pills all involve fluctuations of hormonal production processes in the body. The rise and fall of these hormones can trigger acne development in different parts of the face and body. Do you notice the pimples you get on your chin when your periods are about to start?
That being said, if your acne is chronic and won’t go away no matter how you address it, you may want to check in with your dermatologist.
Certain medications, especially those containing steroids, lithium in antidepressants, anticonvulsants, anti-aging hormones, bromides, and iodides in cough syrups and sedatives, are all medications that have been proven to trigger acne flare-up.
However most medications apart from hormonal drugs cause uniform red pimples that have similar sizes and shapes.
Hormonal supplements and medication that affect hormonal levels, on the other hand, can cause true acne.
Similarly, some skincare products may contain parabens and sulfates, which trigger too much oil retention or strip off the skin’s essential oils, leading to flare-ups.
Over-indulgence in dairy or egg products has been proven to trigger acne development in some people. Likewise, too much junk food leads to flare-ups.
Most of us love cheesy pizzas and burgers, meaty samosas and sandwiches, sodas, and fruit juices. All these have the potential to cause skin breakouts. The trick is to indulge once in a while, but not all the time.
4. Chronic Stress and Lack of Sleep
Chronic stress causes overexposure to the hormone cortisol for long periods. Cortisol is useful for short term stress regulation as it is your fight it flight hormone. However, too much of it weakens your immunity, leading to cell oxidation. In turn, your skin becomes dull, develops fine lines and wrinkles, and becomes prone to infections.
Lack of sleep stresses your immune functions as well. Your skin repair hormones, which get activated during sleep, will not do their job. This leads to all kinds of breakouts and skin conditions such as psoriasis, among others.
5. External Pollutants
Dust, grease, germs, dirt, abrasives, touching your face, and the likes can inflame your skin.
Commonly known as acne mechanica, your skin can develop breakouts due to rubbing against external surfaces. These include your phone, pillowcase, hair extensions (pomade acne), sporting equipment, and many others.
When these items rub against your skin, they can cause friction, in turn, irritating your skin. Similarly, most of these things, especially your phone and hair products, usually carry dust, sweat, and oils, which add to clogging your pores.
How to Unclog Your Pores
As we’ve seen above, clogged pores are a result of your dead skin, dirt buildup, and excess oils getting trapped within your pores, as opposed to being shed off of your skin.
Pores remove excess oil and sweat and also help the skin breathe.
If you observe your skin lacking lustre or any development of black or whiteheads and pimples, it is a sure sign that your pores are clogged up.
Some helpful methods that you can try to relieve your pores include:
1. Pore Strips
Most pore strips use adhesives or glue to stick to your skin and strip out blackheads, hair, oil, dead skin, and impurities on your skin surface.
They come in different sizes and shapes to correspond to the region of face you want to use them on.
There have been various concerns about pore strips’ safety, mainly their potential to strip off natural oils off your face skin.
Therefore, it is essential to note that there are convenient and healthier pore strips that are designed to bind specifically to the blackheads without sticking to your skin at all. These help improve your overall experience and altogether remove all kinds of impurities within your pores.
To be safe, use pore strips only once a week and remember to wet your skin before application. Cleanse your skin to soothe and remove any debris after application.
Ensure to weigh all options available and pick the safest products to cleanse your pores.
This is many people’s favorite and most swear by it. Although more research is needed, it is believed that activated charcoal for face helps remove dirt and unclog pores, heal and neutralize pollutants and toxins within your skin.
Most user directions for activated charcoal are rinsing your face before application, leaving the mask on for 10 minutes, then removing it. Some masks harden and can be peeled off, while others need to be rinsed off with water.
There are DIY activated charcoal formulas that involve glue and charcoal powder. However, numerous dermatologists have warned against these as they can dry your skin and clog your pores. It is therefore important to purchase a legitimate, activated charcoal mask online or in a beauty store near you.
A pore vacuum does precisely what it says it does. Vacuum your pores. If you’re into popping your blackheads and whiteheads off your pores with your fingers, which only aggravates the situation, you may want to try a blackhead vacuum.
Squeezing your pores may infect and spread the acne. Additionally, you may cause the blackheads to sink even further within your pores. To deal with the frustration of it all, why not use a blackhead suction tool that is safer and far more effective?
For best results, use your blackhead remover vacuum immediately after stepping out of the shower. Also, avoid using it on the sensitive skin around your eyes.
Also known as an electric facial cleansing brush, it helps cleanse your face with the perfect lather. It is neither too soft like your hands nor too harsh like your loofer.
Adding an electric facial cleanser to your skincare routine can make a whole lot of difference to the overall health of your skin.
The right electric face washer will soothe your skin, exfoliate dead skin, and massage it to keep it soft and fresh.
Some brushes are designed with smart timers to remind you to change areas every 20 seconds. This ensures you don’t over-cleanse and irritate your skin.
Remember to rinse and wash the electric facial brush with mild soap after each use, and let it air dry for good hygiene.
Steaming your face opens up your pores and lets loose any collection of dirt within them. It unblocks clogged pores and makes cleansing using a pore vacuum easier. It also allows the release of sweat, excess oil build-up, and acne-causing bacteria.
Steaming further improves circulation to the surface of your facial skin. Blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to your skin, nourishing, and giving it a healthy vibrancy. It’s not only blood supply that increases on your skin; steaming activates collagen and elastin production, which in turn gives you a younger, firmer skin.
Using a facial steamer as part of your skincare routine increases skin permeability, meaning your skincare products get absorbed efficiently.
Add soothing herbs or essential oils for aromatherapy to your steaming sesh, and enjoy the deeply relaxing and calm feelings. This can also act as a potential treatment for stress, insomnia, and migraines.
You can use a bowl with hot water or hot towels to steam, but a good facial steamer makes the work way easier, safe, and efficient.
Now that you’ve learnt how to unclog your pores, take the time to establish an easy but effective skincare routine that prevents acne development and advancement.
Natural Skincare Routine to Prevent Acne
Whether your acne breakout was triggered by hormonal rise and falls, medication, excess build-up of oils, dirt, or dead skin, you need a daily routine consisting of skin-friendly products that can reduce acne naturally.
The first step to remove acne on face is finding a simplified, preferably natural skincare routine that incorporates basic but effective natural products. You don’t need extra complex and expensive routines to reduce acne on face. Setting aside a few minutes to your morning and nighttime ritual to pamper your skin can be the most rewarding thing you’ll ever do for the health of your skin.
That being said, below is a four-step natural skincare routine that you can tweak as needed to suit your needs. This routine helps you focus on the basics. It is amazingly effective when done correctly, frequently, and using the best natural skincare products. It also saves time and effort while maintaining the much-needed skincare benefits.
Without further ado, let’s get into it:
Step 1: Cleanse
Our facial skin tends to accumulate so many internal and external impurities. These include sweat, excess sebum, makeup, dust, hair oils, and dead skin.
A good natural cleanser helps you hit the restart button for clean, healthy facial skin. It’s a crucial aspect of any skincare routine during the mornings and evenings. Cleansing your face in the morning ensures excess sebum, sweat, or (drool) is washed off.
Likewise, cleansing in the evenings removes makeup and impurities such as dust, bacteria, and hair oils before becoming a cause for more stubborn acne breakouts.
After cleansing, you now have clean and receptive skin that can soak up more natural skincare products.
Remember to look for a mild natural cleanser that contains natural plant-derived ingredients that is suitable for your skin type. Harsh chemicals will dry your skin, whereas natural formulas will maintain your skin’s pH levels and moisture.
Step 2: Tone
A good toner is essential because it deep cleanses your skin, evens out your complexion, gives your skin natural radiance and helps it absorb more natural skincare products. It also neutralizes bacteria and disinfects acne spots.
Choose a natural toner that targets your specific skin concerns. Some toners contain antioxidants that help minimize dullness, brighten and fade wrinkles and fine lines. Others have herbs like aloe to fight acne cysts and pimple infections. Others contain essential oils such as lavender or rose to soothe irritated and sensitive skin gently.
Whatever toner you settle for, ensure it leaves your skin hydrated and cool.
Step 3: Serum
A serum is basically a concentrate of active ingredients that target precise skin issues. These could be dry skin, acne-prone skin, aging skin, among others. To stick to the theme of this article, we concentrate on natural acne skincare serums.
Serums that target acne concerns should ideally be concentrated with vitamin C to heal, disinfect, and prevent acne spots, pimples, and cysts. Vitamin C also supports collagen production.
You can also look out for products containing tea tree oil and glycol acid. All these offer exfoliating benefits that unblock clogged infected pores and are rich in antibacterial properties.
Step 4: Moisturize
Moisturizing seals your skincare products and hydrates your skin for a dewy glow. Most natural moisturizers are infused with nourishing ingredients that are easy to absorb and won’t clog your pores. Most of these formulas help reduce acne naturally.
For acne removal, you want a natural moisturizer that’s light and easily absorbed. It would help if it contained anti-inflammatory plant-based ingredients such as Aloe Vera.
People with dry skin—or during colder seasons when most skin types lack hydration and flakes— you may go for heavier natural acne creams to deeply nourish, soothe and hydrate the skin.
As a rule of thumb, you must include a natural sunscreen to your morning skincare routine. This helps protect the skin from the harmful UV rays which age and inflame your skin.
Finally, avoid ingredients such as synthetic silicone, which ends up blocking your pores. If you’re genuinely dedicated to improving the condition of your skin, opt for natural skincare products. In the long haul, sticking to this natural skincare routine will restore your skin and deter future flare-ups without the unpleasant side effects that synthetic products tend to present.
Now that you know what to feed your skin on the outside, do you know what you eat can determine whether your skin will glow or be a no show?
Eat Foods That Help Prevent Acne
Eating healthy foods that help reduce acne is one of the surest ways to win the fight against breakouts. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that what you consume affects the largest organ in your body, which is the skin. Let us look at a diet to prevent acne that you can plan your meals around:
Foods to Eat To Avoid Acne
Generally, eating foods rich in friendly fats such as omega-3 and olive oil, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and complex carbohydrates is the way to go.
To break it down for you, some common foods that help get rid of acne include:
- Whole grains such as brown rice, whole wheat, oats, maize, and quinoa
- Legumes such as beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, and chickpea
- Mineral-rich foods such as bananas, nuts, dark chocolate, pumpkin and sesame seeds, and meat. Tuberous foods such as sweet potatoes, yams, cassava, and arrowroots are excellent sources of rare and valuable minerals.
- Antioxidant vitamins fruits and vegetables such as Kakadu plum, tomatoes, oranges, lemons; Vegetables such as kale, and other leafy greens
- Collagen-rich fats such as olive oil, fish oil, and bone broth
All these foods that help reduce acne are readily available. Ditching fast foods for these will keep you healthy inside and out. Let us now look at the kinds of foods you should avoid to reduce acne:
Foods That Cause Acne
Have you ever added sugar to a liquid? Do you notice that it thickens in texture?
Now have you ever added fried oil into water or any surface? Doesn’t it become sticky and grimey?
When you overload your body with oily and sugary foods, your blood’s consistency thickens and prevents it from delivering nutrients within your capillaries. Capillaries are tiny blood vessels found on your skin’s surface and other tissues such as the eyes and fingertips.
When your tissues and skin are deprived of oxygen-rich blood, they begin dying. Dull skin, brittle hair, and nails can all be caused by unhealthy foods.
Common foods that cause acne include:
- Simple carbs such as pasta, white rice and bread, sugar, and processed wheat products
- Trans fats and saturated oils from fast foods such as pizza, fries, and burgers
- Excess dairy product intake such as milkshakes, ice cream, margarine, and cheese
The items mentioned above are the ultimate acne avoid food list. Steer clear of them and see what difference it makes.
Acne & Lack of Sleep
Lack of sleep causes acne. Catching those extra hours to party or binge on your favorite TV series is not worth it.
Besides ugly eye bags, you will have to deal with dull skin and acne from lack of sleep.
How does lack of sleep affect acne development, you may ask? Well, for one, sleeplessness unsettles your hormonal balance that restores the lustre of your skin, and fixes acne.
Additionally, your skin activates its collagen skin repair mechanism when you’re asleep. Collagen firms, smooths, and heals your skin. It is no surprise that acne and lack of sleep go hand in hand.
Avoiding caffeine and gadgets towards retiring to bed helps improve the quality and speed within which you fall asleep.
Other non-medicated and natural ways to help improve your sleep include purchasing effective products to help you sleep.
Products to Help sleep
If you struggle to fall asleep, you may consider purchasing the following products:
Otherwise known as a sleep sound machine, this noise machine for sleep helps you settle in bed much quicker. It is highly recommended by sleep specialists and has been proved to help ICU patients to have better sleep.
A good night’s sleep is easier said than done that why the sleep aid machine was invented. It works by soothing you to sleep and shutting out other sounds that often unnecessarily jolt you awake at night.
Most sleeping noise machines for sleep double up as alarm clocks, night light, and FM radio. So look out for extra features as well.
A sleeping mask is an eye cover for sleep. It enables you to sleep no matter the lighting situation. If you’re in lit places such as flying on a plane, a sleeping mask gives you full control over the balance between light to dark. It can also allow you to nap in darkness even during the day.
A sure and sweet way to hasten and enhance your beauty sleep is dispersing an essential oil for sleep, such as lavender and sandalwood, all over your bedroom.
Aromatherapy for sleep is a popular way that people deal with insomnia, so it must be effective. The soothing scents of essential oils help you relax and calm your nerves for better sleep.
Beauty sleep is necessary if your skin will heal from inflammation and get restored to a better state. Taking tea for sleep will get you there and fast.
Tea that helps you sleep should not contain any caffeine. Caffeine keeps you up at night. Pick a tea that infuses dried lavender flowers, hibiscus flowers, lemon balm leaf, and passionflower.
These herbs help with better sleep and also relieve anti-oxidative stress for a fresh, acne-free vibrant face.
Besides finding a silky soft pillow that does not dry up your skin, triggering acne, you may opt for one with vibrational music that helps calm your nervous system for better sleep.
Unlike listening to music through speakers, headphones, and noise machines, a pillow to help sleep is specially designed to make you sleep, not keep you up.
If your partner keeps you awake from continuous snores, it’s about time they got an anti-snoring magnetic nose clip.
Not only does snoring annoy those near you, but it’s actually harmful to your general wellbeing. It is mostly associated with sleep apnea, where your breathing stops and starts again.
This can alter the normal functioning of your brain, mood, and productivity. Insufficient sleep caused by sleep apnea further causes your skin to appear dull.
Getting an anti-snoring magnetic nasal clip helps relax your tongue and throat muscles, hence opening the nasal passage for better breathing.
A magnetic nose clip for snoring can make all the difference in clearing acne due to lack of sleep, improved mood, and a happy partner.
If you experience difficulty sleeping at night due to your partner’s snoring, or maybe you live next to a construction site, or worse, if you experience ear pain during flights, you need earplugs for sleeping.
Sleep earplugs help with noise-canceling, ensuring you don’t get distracted by high noise levels.
Insufficient sleep can cause stress to shoot up and vice versa.
Reduce Stress Level
The higher your stress levels, the more pronounced your acne breakout will be.
Isn’t it ironic that you get a conspicuous zit every time you’re just about to make a public presentation? Indeed, experts have confirmed the direct link between stress and acne flare-ups.
Although stress isn’t the only factor at play, it can trigger acne development or aggravate existing acne.
Stress causes itchy sensations to your skin. Scratching creates redness and more swelling.
However, the main reason why pimples develop points to a stress hormone called CRH. This hormone binds with skin oil glands, in effect increasing oil production, which can clog up your pores.
Additionally, stress reduces quality sleep, deters you from proper skincare routine, consume unhealthy diets, resort to excess drug and alcohol intake, all of which affect your skin.
And that’s how pimples develop just in time for your wedding day.
How about we explore some proven ways that help reduce stress, which in turn prevents the severity of acne?
Meditation helps relax every fiber of your body. This includes nerves, body tissues, and muscles. What better way is there to meditate your way into clear and vibrant skin?
Although there isn’t a right or wrong way to meditate, it’s crucial to find a method that compliments your personality. There are many forms of meditation, but to stick to this topic’s theme, we shall explore progressive relaxation.
Progressive relaxation is a form of meditation that focuses on enhancing calmness and reducing tension.
It is practiced right before bedtime. It relieves stress and enhances body healing. This makes it the perfect meditation for glowing skin.
Follow these basic steps to meditate for acne free skin effectively:
- Find a quiet spot, and sit on a comfortable meditation mat.
- Focus on your breath. Take mindful, slow deep breaths.
- Breathe in and tense different muscles at a time for 5 to 10 seconds.
- Breath out and release/relax the muscles
- When you finish, count backward from 10 to 0 to bring back your focus.
- Take note of how you feel and be consistent every day.
Meditation and yoga go hand in hand. Let’s now look at some effective yoga practices to improve your skin and overall health.
Not only does yoga improve your body balance, strength, and flexibility, it also deals with stress management and helps you sleep better. These aspects directly influence the health of your skin.
You can apply yoga to reduce acne as it improves your blood circulation, which delivers nutrient and oxygen-rich blood to your skin.
With all that in mind, ensure to create time within your schedule to practice yoga for acne free glowing skin. Find a quiet place, free from distractions, as well as a comfortable yoga mat to get you started.
For beginners and those who want to practice new yoga poses with ease, the use of a Yoga Strap Belt helps increase the range of motion for maximum blood circulation. You can also opt for a Yoga Mat with Stretch Strap for added convenience.
Yoga involves deep breathing, although again, you should also set aside a routine to practice taking deep breaths while doing nothing else. Let’s see how you can achieve that below.
Mindful breathing exercises to reduce stress are a sure way to help you relax and increase your chances of acne-free skin.
Taking a deep breath signals the brain to calm down and relax. A fast heart rate, blood pressure, and quickened breathing all slow down as you breathe deeply.
Breathing exercises to reduce stress are easy to do whenever you like, and they don’t need any special props to perform them.
There are different breathing exercises that you can try, but here is one that’s easy to do and remember:
- Sit or lie in a comfortable position
- Place one hand on your abdomen and the other on your chest.
- Slowly but deeply, draw in air through your nose and feel your abdomen pushing against your hand. Ensure your chest is still.
- Expel the air through pursed lips. Feel your hand collapse within the belly, and gently apply pressure to remove all the air.
- Repeat the process five to ten times. Be deliberate with your breathing.
- Take note of how your body feels at the end of the exercise.
Breathing exercises aside, it’s true that sweat accumulation can trigger acne by blocking your pores. However, cleaning well after a workout can help prevent acne.
Let’s see some exercises that are easy to do, anywhere, and anytime.
Exercise helps you sweat out toxins that can block your pores and infect them. It also improves blood circulation to every single part of the body, skin notwithstanding. Many people swear by exercises to reduce stress.
Some practical stress-relieving exercises include resistance or endurance training and high-intensity interval training. The face is the first place that glows after a good work out.
Some exercises that help reduce stress are:
Resistance tube workouts are popular and effective anti-stress exercises. When you work out, your body builds tension and burns the energy associated with it.
As a result, you feel relaxed, calm, and sober after a good work out. Your sleep quality also improves with exercise.
The resistance tube is the perfect equipment for getting your body exercised at home or on the go. You can also pick a resistance tube with handle for enhanced ergonomics.
Resistance band exercises are ideal workouts that are easy to do, even on the go or at home.
Exercising with a resistance band helps strengthen and tone your body muscles as well as improving blood flow for better sleep and acne-free skin.
There are very few exercises, if any, that are as practical and versatile as agility ladder training.
Agility ladder exercises focus on speed, agility, and resistance, to improve blood flow and burn excess energy. This helps you relax and sleep well for acne free skin.
Stress Relief Toys
Stress relief toys such as the anti stress spinner help improve focus, promote concentration, and effectively reduce stress.
Even in formal settings, there are office stress relief toys such as the stress relief puzzle that help with unclogging your mind and reducing stress for better skin
Engaging in hobbies or activities which help reduce stress is one of the most effective ways to unwind and restore your health.
Engaging in fun activities such as weekend getaways, eating out, driving into the countryside, or playing simple games can help reset your stress levels to zero.
The glow and radiance of a stress-free life are worth every effort.
By now, you have figured out that looking your best naturally takes commitment and hard work. Most shortcuts such as laser treatments, makeup, and medication have side effects you’d rather not deal with.
The road to healthier, naturally glowing, and acne-free skin is paved with good choices and routine maintenance.
Superficial solutions like makeup can provide you with a short-lived glow but cannot replace the loveliness of naturally glowing skin.
Eating healthy foods, avoiding junk, exercising, avoiding excess stress, and sleeping adequately can go a long way in giving your skin a radiance that lasts long after the removal of makeup.
Just as important is following a daily natural skincare routine that exfoliates dead skin, cleanses, nourishes, soothes, and heals your skin.