Many people struggle with acne, or the occasional blemish. Eating well, exercising and taking care of your skin are some of the solutions to eliminating spots and blemishes. However, sometimes acne still occurs, despite these remedies. So, how can you effectively get rid of spots? Here, we take a look at how natural beauty products can help to fight acne.
How does acne occur?
Spots occur when the sebaceous glands in the skin become overactive. The sebaceous glands produce sebum, and when too much sebum is produced, it becomes trapped in skin follicles, along with dead skin cells.
When the blocked follicle resides close to the surface of the skin, it results in a whitehead. Spots that are red, inflamed and sore, occur when bacteria on the skin infects the blocked skin follicle. As the face, back and chest have more skin follicles, these are the areas that tend to have acne.
Why do some people never get spots?
Some people may be more prone to acne due to hormones or genetics. During puberty, hormone levels increase, which causes an increase in sebum levels, as well as the size of each sebaceous gland. Hormonal changes during pregnancy and taking or coming off the contraceptive pill can also result in spots occurring. Furthermore, acne may be a genetic skin condition. Therefore, if your mother or father has suffered from acne, you may be more prone to it.
What can make acne worse?
There are specific things that can make acne appear worse. These include:
- The time around a period
- Picking or scrubbing the skin too hard
- Spending too much time in the sun
- Using the wrong type of skincare product
Why should I use natural skincare products?
Using effective skincare products can really help to improve the condition of your skin. Unlike regular skincare products, natural skincare products are manufactured without toxic or harmful ingredients, including parabens, synthetic colorants and SLS, meaning they’re kinder to your skin and the environment.
Natural skincare products are massively beneficial to your skin. They can help to restore your complexion, as well as fighting blemishes, soothing inflammation, and calming redness. Knowing which natural ingredients are the most effective for blemished skin will help you to clear your complexion and prevent future breakouts. However, you also need to know which ingredients to avoid, as certain natural ingredients can actually make acne worse.
Effective ingredients for fighting acne
- Tea tree oil – tea tree oil is possibly the most well-known natural ingredient for fighting blemishes. It contains anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it’s also used to treat insect bites and small wounds. Tea tree oil has been found to fight the bacteria that causes the development of acne. It’s recommended that tea tree oil should be avoided by those undergoing cancer treatment or by pregnant women. When applied topically, itching, redness and irritation can occur, so using a 5% tea tree oil solution is suggested. This means mixing 5 parts tea tree oil with 95 parts of water (5ml of tea tree oil and 95ml water) instead of applying pure, undiluted oil to the skin.
- Grapeseed oil – A wonderful ingredient for treating both acne and visible signs of aging, grapeseed oil has been used for many years as a natural alternative to shop bought cleansers and moisturisers. While grapeseed oil is highly nourishing, it doesn’t leave any residue on the skin, which is why it’s ideal to use on oily, acne prone skin. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties and is a mild astringent, which helps to soothe redness and inflammation, as well as helping to clear the skin. Pure, organic grapeseed oil can be applied all over the skin, either as a cleanser (removed with a warm, damp cloth) or as a moisturiser (left on the skin to work its magic).
- Rose water – rose water has a vast number of benefits for the skin. It’s great for removing makeup, using as a toner, and to hydrate dry skin. However, it’s also highly effective for treating acne. If you suffer from rosacea, then its best to avoid, but for regular acne, try mixing one tablespoon of rose water with two tablespoons of lemon juice. Soak a clean cloth in the mixture and apply over your face. Leave for fifteen minutes, then splash your face with warm water and pat dry. This formulation will help to remove dead skin cells, as well as helping spots to heal.
- Sulfur – sulfur is an ingredient that has been used for many years as it’s extremely efficient in treating oily skin. While it doesn’t have an appealing scent, its effective in drawing out sebum from pores, as well as helping to soothe inflammation. Ensure you use sulfur sparingly as using too much can cause dryness and dehydration.
- Willow bark extract – this natural form of salicylic acid helps to remove dead skin cells to keep your pores clear. It’s also great for fighting blemishes and preventing new spots from forming.
- Green tea – the anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties of green tea make it ideal for killing the bacteria that causes spots to occur. Green tea is also bursting with antioxidants, which promote the overall health and vitality of the skin. To use green tea as a toner, boil a pot of tea and leave to cool. Once cool, pour a little green tea into a spray bottle. After cleansing, spritz all over your skin and leave to dry.
- Kaolin clay – A well-known ingredient for absorbing oil, kaolin clay also soothes and calms inflamed and angry blemishes. It’s packed with anti-inflammatory properties and helps to remove excess sebum and impurities from your pores. You can purchase natural kaolin clay and use a mix with water and a drop of tea tree oil to make a natural face mask. Apply all over the skin and leave for ten minutes. Rinse thoroughly with warm water and pat your face dry.
- Sage extract – bursting with antioxidants, sage extract helps to promote healthy skin, as well as preventing dryness and skin damage. For acne prone skin, this incredible natural ingredient helps to reduce redness, inflammation and impurities.
What ingredients to avoid
If you suffer from acne then avoid the following natural ingredients, as these can make your blemishes appear worse than normal and/or encourage new spots to occur.
- Coconut oil – can block pores, resulting in new spots forming.
- Lanolin oil – can also block pores.
- Eucalyptus oil – avoid if you have rosacea as it can cause irritation.
- Peppermint – can react with sensitive skin types.
Despite these ingredients, opting for natural, organic skincare can make a huge difference to your acne prone skin. With regular use, your skin will appear clearer, healthier and more radiant, making you feel more positive and confident about life.