7 Alternative Ways to Treat Acne

Acne appears in many forms, and there are plenty of prescription remedies that doctors will prescribe to help you battle the condition. But are manufactured medications always the best solution?

Some doctors prescribe antibiotics, which, over time, can serve to make the bacteria strains on your skin that are associated with acne more resistant to treatment. Other prescription drug remedies can harbor unwanted side effects.

Thankfully, there are alternative ways to treat acne, such as through holistic acne treatment. Here are some to consider.

1. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has both anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which can be helpful when treating acne. Although benzoyl peroxide can cause itching, burning and dryness when applied topically, tea tree oil does not have the same effect. To apply, mix one-part tea tree oil to nine- parts water and dab on skin with a cotton ball up to two times daily.

2. Fish Oil Supplement

Fish oil supplements contain EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids, which are healthy fats that offer a whole host of health benefits. Although you can get omega-3s from different foods, such as salmon, walnuts, chia seeds and sardines, the standard Western diet of many Americans does not adequately provide omega-3 fatty acids, so a daily fish oil supplement of 250 to 500g can help.

EPA can benefit the skin in various ways, such as helping manage oil production, providing hydration and preventing acne outbreaks. When EPA and DHA are combined in higher concentrations, they can effectively decrease inflammation in the skin, which may be helpful in preventing acne.

3. Green Tea

Although drinking green tea is high in anti-oxidants and has many health benefits, no studies support that, as a drink, it is effective as a remedy for treating acne.  Instead, applying a 2 to 3 percent green tea extract can be helpful in reducing oil production, fighting bacteria and reducing inflammation in the skin.

Although you can purchase lotions and creams that contain green tea, you can also make your own extract by steeping green tea leaves in boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes. Once the mixture has cooled, apply it gently to the affected areas of your skin with a clean cotton ball. Or pour some in a clean spray bottle and spritz it lightly on your face.

4. Silver Skin Treatments

Silver has been known for its antibacterial properties for many years, and it has been used in bandages for severe burn patients or those with skin infections or ulcers.

Silver skin treatments are believed to eradicate unhealthy bacteria that cause skin inflammation and infections without causing a drying effect to the skin, which sounds like the perfect remedy for acne. But you don’t have to try to get your hands on the bandages. Instead, you can find a silver serum that will work just fine.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has a whole host of health and wellness uses and treating acne is one of them. You can buy it in regular form or organic form. The organic form will contain something called The Mother, which is basically a beneficial bacteria colony.

For either version, you’ll likely want to dilute the apple cider vinegar before applying it to your skin. In its natural form, it is highly acidic, so you might want to start with one-part apple cider vinegar to four-parts water or dilute it even more if desired.

To use, cleanse your skin gently and then wipe the solution on the affected areas of your skin with a cotton ball or pad. Wait a few minutes and then gently rinse and pat your skin dry with a clean towel.

6. Zinc

Although, zinc can be found in foods such as beef, oysters, poultry, sesame seeds and dark chocolate a daily zinc supplement of 50 mg can help reduce acne. Look for zinc picolinate instead of zinc gluconate due to its better absorption, and always take the supplement with food to avoid an upset stomach.

7. Evening Primrose Oil

If you’re a guy looking for skin care remedies to treat acne, thinking about applying evening primrose to your skin might make you cringe. But once you realize its potential for the treatment of acne, you might change your mind.

This oil contains gamma-linolenic acid — aka GLA — which is thought to reduce inflammation. The oil is also thought to be effective in reducing excess oil production, which is usually a factor for people who suffer from acne.

To use evening primrose oil, you’ll need to cleanse your skin gently and pat dry. Then, apply some of the oil to a cotton ball, wipe the affected areas and allow to dry.

Derek Markham

Things I dig include: simple living, natural fatherhood, attachment parenting, natural building, unassisted childbirth (homebirth), bicycles, permaculture, organic and biodynamic gardening, vegan peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips, bouldering, and the blues. Find me elsewhere at @NaturalPapa, @DerekMarkham, Google+, or RebelMouse.

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