9 Ayurvedic Remedies for Acne That Really Work
Ayurveda, the ancient system of medicine from India, offers invaluable natural remedies for acne. These nine amazing, nature-based solutions can be prepared easily within the home, and come without the pesky side-effects and skin sensitivity (or worse!) caused by chemical-laden acne treatment lotions.
Ayurveda believes that acne is the result of an imbalance between vata, pitta and kapha doshas, and a manifestation of impurities inside the body. Relief from stress, an effective detox routine and a proper diet will assist your body to respond better and faster to these acne solutions so make those a priority, while indulging your skin in these acne remedies!
1. Turmeric and mint leaves
Wonder-spice Turmeric offers multiple therapeutic effects that are unmatched by any other herb on this planet (read about 9 Incredible Beauty Benefits of Turmeric here). Antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties make turmeric an integral part of skincare. Mint leaves provide vitamin A, tone the skin and remove blackheads. Application of mint leaves lightens acne scars and blemishes on the face.
Crush mint leaves to extract the juice. Mix this juice with organic turmeric powder. The resulting paste is to be applied over the acne and blemishes and left to dry for twenty minutes. Wash off with warm water. Apply once every three days for best results.
2. Honey and lemon juice
Within Ayurveda, amongst the most popular and one of the most effective methods to fight pimples involves the use of honey and lemon. (Please check your sensitivity to lemon prior to application. While extremely effective, lemon juice can also increase skin sensitivity. Lemon can also make the skin photosensitive. Avoid sun exposure and make sure you apply SPF liberally while practicing this treatment.) Mix equal quantities of honey and freshly squeezed lemon juice and apply it to the affected area. Leave for ten minutes and wash off with warm water. Take care not to apply on open wounds and popped acne. Apply every day and you will start to see results with 7-10 days.
Lemon is an excellent all-natural antimicrobial and acts against common microbes found on the skin like Pseudomonas and Micrococcus, which grow in the presence of sebum. The low pH of lemon helps remove bacteria and microbes when applied over skin. Honey has been used over centuries as an antimicrobial and antibacterial. Honey is particularly effective against Escherichia coli (E. coli), Enterobacter aerogenes, Salmonella typhimurium, S. aureus.
Find more uses of these incredible ingredients in our post on highly effective honey and lemon face masks.
3. Sesame seeds
While the oil extracted from these seeds have been used for treating cracks on the skin and keeping the skin soft and supple, the seeds can be made into a paste for application on the face. Soak the seeds overnight and freshly grind into a paste. Apply early in the morning and wipe off with a warm wash cloth after 10 minutes.
Sesame is loaded with vitamins, minerals and phyto-nutrients, substances that are essential to the body. As an antioxidant, it can combat signs of aging and protect the skin from the sun’s harsh rays. Sesame also exerts an anti-inflammatory action that helps minimize acne inflammation.
4. Neem leaves
Neem (Azadirachta Indica) is a tree that has sustained the Indian civilization for thousands of years. For generations, Indian girls have relied on the medicinal properties of Neem leaves for acne treatment. Neem offers anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral activity. Neem acts against both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. It inhibits the growth of acne-causing bacteria like propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) and staphylococcus epidermidis.
If you have access to fresh leaves, they should be ground into a soft paste and applied for getting rid of acne scars.. Wipe off after 10-15 minutes with tissue paper dipped in warm water. Don’t have a Neem tree in your backyard? Neem leaf powder will get you great results too, and is usually available at health food stores (or trusty Amazon.com!). Just mix with water and apply!
5. Aloe vera
Aloe vera comes highly recommended for skincare within Ayurveda. Two amazing properties of this plant are its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It also protects the skin by keeping it moist. Aloe vera provides the hormones auxin and gibberellins that promote healing and reduce inflammation.
Cut open a fresh leaf (often available readily at your nearest Whole Foods!) and apply the fresh gel on acne and blemishes. Application of this gel on acne soothes the skin and reduces pimples in size. Wash off with cold water after 5-10 minutes.
Two applications a day over a period of 10 – 12 days yields the best results. If fresh aloe vera is not available, organic aloe vera gel can also work.
Papayas are good both for health and the skin with their richness in vitamin A, an excellent antioxidant and papain that breaks down inactive proteins and eliminates dead skin cells. Mash a piece of papaya and mix it with honey to make a paste. Apply this paste over the face for 30 minutes. Dip a tissue in warm water and wipe off. Then rinse the face with cold water. Great for daily use!
7. Sandalwood and turmeric
Two ingredients that not only fight blemishes, but also significantly lighten acne scars from face, sandalwood and turmeric are among nature’s best blemish solutions. The natural oils in sandalwood lighten scars and give the skin a warm glow. Mix equal proportions of sandalwood and organic turmeric powder with rosewater to make a paste. Apply this paste on the face and leave on for 20 minutes. Wash off with warm water.
8. Honey and cinnamon
Honey and cinnamon make a great combination to fight acne. Cinnamon stimulates the blood vessels, increasing the blood circulation. Cinnamon should be slightly roasted until it becomes brown in color. Grind the roasted cinnamon into powder and store it. (Don't have the time? Just use store-bought cinnamon powder. We promise we won't tell.) Mix 1 tsp. of honey with 1 tsp. of this powder and apply to the acne. Leave the paste on for 15 minutes before washing it off with warm water. Apply every day until the acne improves.
9. Tulasi or holy basil
Basil (a local substitute for the smaller-leaf holy basil) is an excellent antibacterial, which gives the skin a radiant glow and the best product for acne scars. Make a paste out of the leaves and apply it to the affected area. Allow it to dry for 10 minutes before washing off with cold water. You may also add chickpea flour to the basil paste, as chickpea has great exfoliating properties.
Basil leaves may be crushed in a pestle and boiled with a cup of water to yield basil tea. Allow it to cool before applying it to the affected areas. If time permits, indulge in facial steaming using the Basil leaves. Crush the leaves and boil with water, steaming the face for 10 minutes. This not only opens up the pores to provide for deeper cleansing, but also removes dead cells and expels toxins from the body. For oily skin, squeeze a piece of lemon into the steam bath. Splash cold water onto the face after steaming.