Amazing Acne Cures with Holistic Remedies

Last Modified on Sep 12, 2014

Very few individuals make it through life without at least a minor breakout of acne. Depending on its severity, acne can contribute to and even cause emotional distress as well as significant damage to the skin. However, effective acne treatments are available and range from conventional treatments to safe, natural cures like apple cider vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.

What is Acne?

A skin condition that occurs as a hair follicle becomes clogged with oil and skin cells, acne is very common, particularly in adolescents. The condition may appear on the face, neck, chest, back and shoulders and varies in degree of severity. Acne may present as both noninflammatory and inflammatory lesions. Noninflammatory acne manifests as whiteheads and blackheads while inflammatory lesions include raised, tender and swollen bumps such as pimples and cysts.

While acne is caused by bacteria and dead cells in the skin, several factors contribute to the formation of acne. Overproduction of oil, irregular shedding of dead skin cells and buildup of bacteria in the skin contribute to acne. Hormones, certain medications and diet can also adversely affect the health of the skin.

Natural Remedies for Skin Breakouts

Acne treatments function to reduce oil production, increase new cell formation, fight infection and reduce inflammation. Several over-the-counter and even prescription medications assist in treating the skin in all of these ways; however, many natural remedies are just as effective, if not more so. While apple cider vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and coconut oil are among the most effective natural treatments, dietary changes as well as other natural supplements are also effective for treating acne.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is one of the top-rated acne remedies available. Apple cider vinegar is an acidic compound that functions to alkalize the body and stabilize the pH, reducing the prevalence of breakouts due to hormonal imbalances. The vinegar is also antibacterial, so it flushes and purifies the system of infection associated with acne.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is considered a natural germicidal agent. Composed of water and oxygen, hydrogen peroxide eradicates infection in the skin by oxidation. Hydrogen peroxide is also effective for detoxing the system and removing dead tissue and debris from the skin.

Coconut Oil

Virgin coconut oil is a natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent. Coconut oil functions to draw the toxins out of the skin, so it may cause a breakout upon initial application. Following the initial “healing crisis,” the oil replenishes the skin and even improves the appearance of scaring.

A common condition, acne can manifest in a variety of locations on the body and often causes individuals significant emotional distress. Effective treatments are available, however, and are often more effective the earlier the treatment is started. Consistent treatment significantly lowers an individual’s potential for lasting physical and emotional damage.

Additional Pages of Interest:
Acne on the Body
Acne Scars

Cystic Acne

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Most Popular Acne Remedies:

Apple Cider Vinegar64 YEAS
Hydrogen Peroxide36 YEAS
Dietary Changes22 YEAS
Coconut Oil17 YEAS
Tea Tree Oil17 YEAS
Supplements13 YEAS
Multiple Remedies10 YEAS
Lemons9 YEAS
Baking Soda7 YEAS
Garlic6 YEAS
Urine6 YEAS
Aspirin Mask5 YEAS
Acne Tips5 YEAS
Toothpaste5 YEAS
Aloe Vera5 YEAS

User Reviews

Acne Tips   5  0   

Posted by Raquel (Los Angeles, Ca) on 07/31/2014

Don't ever take Accutane. The side effects are too dire and not worth it!! Any decent, informed doctor will tell you this. There are natural remedies out there that are incredibly effective for keeping acne at bay. Apple Cider Vinegar 2 teaspoons in 8 ounces of purified water 3 X a day. B vitamins are also incredible for helping to clear acne, particularly in Coenzymated forms (if you get an initial breakout don't worry - that's a good sign it's clearing things out). Ground Flaxseeds and Hemp seeds are also great for skin. Tea Tree Oil works amazingly well as a spot treatment, it's more powerful than Benzamycin and without the toxic effects. Just know there are natural remedies out there that clear skin! You don't have to rely on medication that will damage your body.

Replied by Raquel
Los Angeles, Ca
I forgot to mention in my post about acne natural remedies that it is crucial to stay away from all dairy from a cow (goat is ok). It is the most acne producing food and best to stay clear of if you want clear skin!

Posted by P.b. (Cape Breton, Ns) on 02/11/2012

I've struggled with adult acne for years but finally got it under control by not using commercial soaps/moisturizers, only handmade soap and a moisturizing mix of grapeseed oil, castor oil, jojoba oil, lavender & tea tree & lemongrass essential oils. However, sometimes even though I haven't changed any of my skin treatments, I've experienced breakouts.

Recently I connected the breakouts to starting a new vitamin supplement. I stopped the supplement and the breakouts stopped. A similar thing had happened about a year ago and I compared the ingredients of the two supplements (one was Vitamin C and the other was a multi). The only thing they seemed to have in common was silicon dioxide. I checked the supplements I take that don't seem to bother me (flax oil, magnesium, Vit D, and another brand of Vit C) and none of them have silicon dioxide in them. It's hard to be sure what exactly it is, but I just wanted people to consider that perhaps their supplements are causing breakouts!

Replied by Skinnythia
Canton, Georgia
Sometimes, just changing your soap, lotion, cream, medicine, make-up, what ever, will cause a period of break out. You have to give yourself an adjustment period. If it does continue, you know it is the new product, habit, whatever, and to discontinue.

Posted by Regulator555 (Grand Rapids, Mi, Usa) on 06/02/2010

I suffered from acne for years. As I got older, it got worse. After trying numerous OTC remedies, at great expense, I started doing research on what the problem could be. Chemicals! SLS/ALS's trigger acne. Propylene glycol triggers acne. Parabens trigger acne. Mineral oil triggers acne. The list goes on and on. All these chemicals were linked to my bad skin. So, I stopped using everything - shampoo, face/body wash, toothpaste, deodorant, lotions, creams, etc. I started over. K.I.S.S. - keep it super simple. Natural is the key with the fewest ingredients possible. There are cosmetics out there that are natural and pigmented with fruit. There are soaps out there that are just made with castille soap. Baking soda for deodorant. Read the labels - you'd be surprised. The stuff is even in our food. Moisturize with an organic oil (yes, you can put natural oil on your face if you have acne). Look into essential oils and adding a few drops. Eliminate everything and then start adding in a few natural things. After I eliminated all the chemicals, my skin cleared. I get a zit here and there (PMS related), but rarely. Read your labels! Note: the cosmetic industry is self-regulated. Even if it says "natural" it may not be. Don't be fooled - read the ingredients.

Replied by Karenmarie
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
[YEA]   Thoes harsh chemicals are horrible for skin and hair, not only that but our health as well. I've been using African black soap to cleanse my face and body, it's free of all harsh SLS's, parabens, is high in natural glycerin and has been used traditionaly by African women to wash lol babies! The smell is very earthy and it lathers like a body wash. I wet my face and hands with Luke warm water rub the bar untill it lathers slightly and lightly massage my face in little circles for about 1 min, rinse well with a cloth. I also like to use a toner I made out of boiled( and cooled) water, organic apple cider vinegar with mother, peppermint tea and lavender oil. To make:

Boil 3 cups of water
Throw in 1 peppermint tea bag
3 drops of lavender EO

Let stand untill cool

Add 1/4 cup ACV

The smell of the ACV dissipates once it's dried, if you have very sensitive skin you can use less ACV. I also moisturize with extra virgin organic coconut oil, use VERY VERY sparingly, focusing on your dry areas and under the eyes!! That's my daily skin care and I finally don't have to wear any of that foundation anymore without being embarassed of red patches and zit everywhere!

Replied by Sara
Sacramento, Ca, Usa
Happy Day!

Where do you buy your African Black Soap? I did search on e-bay; there are different brand name for it. I am just wondering if you give a little info that would be great.

Thanks, Sara

Posted by Janine (Hacienda Heights, CA) on 06/10/2009

I am an aesthetician and treat acne clients on a regular basis. The first thing I teach my clients is how to wash their face. When washing your face use a good quality product and apply it using a light hand, don't press or push to hard. You do not want to stimulate more oils by pressing to hard. Use a very light touch in circular motions for 1 to 2 minutes. Yes, 1 or 2 minutes, you want to cleanse the skin and the pores. Always use a clean wash cloth with warm (not hot) water to rinse your face. It is important to use a wash cloth to pick up the oils from the face as well as exfoliating . (this is one thing I find that most of my acne clients don't do), but when you think of it we use some kind of cloth to wash our dishes, our cars, or the counter top. Washing in the morning and evening should be enough. So make sure you have plenty of clean wash cloths on hand.

Replied by Ellen
Toronto, ON
To add to the previous post regarding washcloths: baby wipes work great for removing makeup/washing face/exfoliating and are disposable!
Replied by Nancy7711
County Cork, Ireland
I'm a Registered Nurse and had an Anti-Aging Center. I agree with the esthetician who states that proper method of cleansing the skin. The reason you should use a 100% cotton wash cloth is because the cotton fibers pick up the dead skin cells (which baby wipes do not do). It's these dead skin cells that help contribute to clogging the pores. You will definitely start seeing a difference with this method. It also stimulates a small bit of collagen (desperately wanted as we age)
Replied by Aubrey
Portland, Oregon
[YEA]   I haven't ever had severe acne, but I tend to get a lot of blackheads and breakouts every once in a while. I have started this simple regimine and it has worked terrifically when I follow through with it.

I wash my face with non-foaming wash in the shower, and once with only water before bed. Once a week I apply AVC to my entire face besides the eye area. It dried out pimples but not the rest of your face.

For bacne I use naturally made soap and a pumice stone. It works great.

Also applying an organic lotion in the morning helps with acne and bacne. I use Nubian Organic Honey and Blackseed healing lotion. It smells good too. :)

Replied by Sherrya
San Antonio, Texas Usa
however for some (myself included) all the washing in the world, does absolutely nothing, after spndig hundreds on everything form over the counter face washes to holy expensive prescriptions, using 100% cotton wash cloths, baby wipes, even a $250 sonic facial brush, absolutely no results. In my case my nodulocystic acne is purely hormonal based, the only thing that has ever given me results is an expensive pill, (yes I have been to estheticians GALORE, spent more money then a care to admit, not result other then painful peeling.. ) so unfortunatley washing is only a guarentee if you suffer from MILD acne or simply the occassional black head. sorry I hate to be the little black raincloud but some of us are truly screwed....
Replied by Sunny April
Santa Fe, Nm
To Sherrya from San Antonio, Tx. My son had terrible acne all his adult life and finally he was convinced that he had rosacea (sp?). I also had it and was using a prescription called "metrogel". It was the only thing that cleared my acne and the redness of my face. My son's face is wonderfully clear now that he is using the metrogel and he shaved his beard off and he looks so good. It does have a mild antibiotic in it, but it was the only thing that helped us. Now I wash my face with tea tree oil soap and if I have a pimple, I put iodine on it and it clears up pretty fast.
Replied by Lindsay
Dallas, Texas
I can't stress how much thoroughly washing my face has made a difference in the feel of my skin. Normally I would lather the soap on my face and immediately rinse. The surface of my face would get clean, but keep in mind most of the skin on our faces is about seven layers deep. It takes more than a quick rinse to thoroughly cleanse.

Now I lather and massage in a circular motion for a couple of minutes. Sometimes if I had been wearing a lot of makeup or something that day I will wash my face twice.

After the first time you do this you will literally feel an immediate difference. Your skin will feel deep-cleaned.

Posted by Stella on 07/01/2008

Here are a few tips to help control acne. Whenever I sway from these I pay the price.

Acne Tips:

  • Wash face Twice in a row
  • Rinse face Thirteen splashes
  • Exfoliate once a week
  • Have good oral hygiene
  • Plucking eyebrows invites bacteria-clean the area well after
  • Don't bite inside your cheeks or lips
  • Use a water filter on the shower
  • Change pillowcases every other day (I use aloe soaked pillowcases)
  • Do not use fabric softener or dryer sheets and use only chemical free laundry soap
  • Use chemical free shamp/Cond and hair products (what you put on your hair ends up on your face)
  • Clean your phone often (a must)
  • Use a natural deodorant
  • Use chemical free hand-soap and moisturizer (what you put on your hands ends up on your face)
  • Wash your hands after you touch your pets
  • Wash your hands and chin after you brush your teeth because bacteria from your mouth drips on your face
  • Never use Old make-up

Do Not leave your face wash and shamp/cond in the shower, store it in a dry place

Replied by Mzt
Orlando, Fl
What's your process for soaking your pillowcases in aloe?

Posted by Bradley (Corpus Christi, Texas) on 04/12/2008


Why? I have no idea but I have tried every remedy in the book for acne and it would not cure it. From benzaclyn, proactiv, retina micro, hydrogen peroxide, acv, etc. You name it, I prolly tried it. So one day I decided to get away from regular deodorant and go to a natural deodorant because of the Aluminum in deodorant. Little did I know days later my face was clear and has been clear for 2 months now. It has been the clearest it has ever been since I was a kid. I went to my local supermarket and found this deodorant called Toms Natural Deodorant and it is Aluminum free. Maybe the ingredients in my deodorant I had always used was the cause for my acne. I wish I knew this in high school! Try it, It's amazing!

Posted by Kris (Omaha, Nebraska) on 09/19/2007

[YEA]  My decade-long bout with facial acne ended when I (1) Quit using liquid make-up, and (2) Started using a facial wash with alpha hydroxy acid. My absolute favorite is the brand Alpha Hydrox Foaming Facial Wash. Awesome AND inexpensive. I think that quitting using concealers and liquid make-up to cover up the skin is crucial to stopping the acne cycle. Even if a liquid make-up claims to be non-codemogenic it may aggravate the acne. For a while I used powder make-up, which didn't cause break-outs, but now I rarely even use that.

Replied by Ginny
Charlotte, NC
How long did it take for the Alpha Hydrox to really heal for you?

Posted by Chet (Los Angeles, CA) on 01/21/2006

[YEA]  STOP USING SLS (SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE, SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE) AND ANY SULFATES IN YOUR BATH PRODUCTS!!! This ingredient is found EVERY body and face soap...and EVERY shampoo. IT IS ALSO WHY YOUNG MEN ARE GOING BALD!!! For acne, I'm trying the lemon juice exfoliation and the cucumber juice face mask. Seems to be working.

Replied by Sarah
Carrollton, Tx
I agree with stopping the use anything containing sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). I got canker sores in my mouth repeatedly for a month until I switched to a sensitve toothpaste (pronamel or sensodyne are good and inexpensive) and my canker sores vanished w/in 1 day - the only different ingredient was the absence of SLS. Read up on it and SLS is a strong detergent used in toliet cleaner/bath&kitchen cleaner to make the "foaming" soapy action... Everything has this - shampoo, bottled soaps, toothpaste, and all household cleaners. I started developing cysts and dandruff problems on my head after a while and was shedding a lot of hair, I found some good shampoos - David Babaii's Wildaid (from ULTA) and Renpure Organics (from Walgreens) - they don't have SLS and have safer, less harmful ingredients for the environment - my scalp problems vanished w/in 1 week and I haven't had problems for the last 2 years since I've cut SLS out of my life.

I was on Retin-A for years w/o much help, still broke out and it turned my face red. Using face wash w/o SLS has reduced my acne outbreaks to only 3-4 days out of the month when I'm cycling, all other times my face is pretty clear and I don't have to apply harsh chemicals anymore.

Alkalize   2  0   

Posted by David (Surprise, AZ) on 09/21/2012

[YEA]  Lots of great acne tips here. If you drink 1 tbs baking soda in a glass of water and 1 or 2 tbs apple cider vinegar in a glass of water, it will make your body alkaline (rather than acidic - the US diet is almost 100% acidic which promotes... Cancer and disease). An alkaline body actually makes your body a very poor host for disease and bad bacteria. Having an acidic body is like posting your houseparty on Facebook... They ALL show up. Incluing acne.

I would also suggest a wakeup and before going to bed rinse of your face with a cottonball or cottonpad dampened with witch hazel. It gently removes a lot of the oil from your skin without drying you out. Keep a small bottle of it with you during the day and it is great for a midday removal of any oil that may accumulate on your face.

Research the skin vitality vitamins, minerals and supplements also. A base vitamin regime of a multi vit/min, vit C, vit E, vit D will help keep that healthy glow to your visage and prevent you from getting sick with all the colds and flu that come around. The US diet is very deficient in vitamins and minerals, one of the reasons that hypo/hyper thyroidism is so prevalent. 90% of Americans checked have low levels of vit D (get more Sun... But choose short exposures), magnesium and vit B12. In the past 30 years the soil has been depleted, so you cannot trust the produce to provide vits/mins anymore. Some vits/mins are as much as 90% less than 3 decades ago. Take your vitamins.

Also be aware of the 3 stooges that appear in virtually all processed food and drink. Aspartame, MSG and high fructose corn syrup. They are excitotoxins which play havoc on your digestive, neuro and endocrine systems... Which could manifest as acne breakouts. If you switch to an organic diet you will find you eat less (because your body is geting nutrition and doesn't need to signal you to gorge so that it gets the proper amount of nutrients).

Sleep much? 8 hours or more per night to ensure that your face gets the restorative and healing rest it needs. Research good sleepijng methods and be sure that you have a comfortable, dark (wear a face mask if necessary) and peaceful place to rest.

Good luck!

Posted by Victor (Nyc, Usa) on 08/30/2010

[YEA]  Hello Ted,

I used a form of topical accutane (tretinoin cream) for about six months. Discontinued use after noticing excessive hair thinning and cysts on wrists and ear. I've been off it for eight months. Hair is still shedding. I've been reading that accutane users have congested livers (stones) or cirrhosis conditions. Is this true? I read your entry to another accutane victim and have been on the alkalizing regime for two weeks. Hair is still shedding, but my eyes and skin look better. Thank you.

Replied by Randy
Myrtle Beach, Sc/usa
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]   I do agree about the alkalizing. Whenever I am more consistent drinking my sea salt, baking soda, and lemon juice drinks I can tell my face is clearer. One other thing that has helped me is making sure I take a couple tabespoons of granulated lecithin each day to help flush out those rancid oils in my body. I also use ACV on my face with a cotton swab and I do not dilute it. I've struggled with adult acne for years and have tried many things but what I've mentioned above seems to have helped me more than anything else.


Aloe Vera   5  0   

Posted by Sean (Denver, Colorado) on 05/19/2008

[YEA]  Aloe Vera for Acne: it works, I tried it last night got up and voala! smaller pimples.

Posted by Aseel Moughnieh (Tyre, Lebanon) on 04/07/2008

[YEA]  I was suffering from acne scars , and severe red cheeks , now I've been only drnking Aloe vera juice, and it did wonders , my face has a clear , compelxion , the scars are there but the redness minimized , I can't wait till it gets better!!

Replied by Norma
Sanford, Fl
If you can get your hands on a real aloe vera plant and put some the the gel on your face it will take care of your scars. Good Luck!

Posted by Gennie (Mercedd, CA) on 09/21/2006

[YEA]  When I had acne, I used aloe vera gel which u can find in walgreens. It cleared up my acne in no time I. also drink plenty of water to cure the acne.

Replied by Diana
Los Angeles, CA
in how much time?

Posted by Glen (Phoenix, AZ) on 04/08/2006

[YEA]  At 51, I continue to have the occasional pimple, often on my nose, sometimes on my lower lip or elsewhere. Recently, while doing some yard work, I accidentally sliced a piece of aloe vera from a plant. Having heard about its medicinal value, I tried applying the sap on a fast growing pimple on my lower lip. I reapplied the invisible sap four times in the course 24 hours, and twice the next day. The pimple just evaporated. I've since tried it repeatedly with the same results. I'm delighted. This was must faster than anything I've experienced before. My garden aloe is free. Like I said, the sap is invisible. There is an initial odor, but it fades quickly. I recommend trying it.

Posted by Anna (Corona, CA)

[YEA]  Pure Aloe Vera gel, applied topically two or three times a day does wonders for acne! Though you may need a good moisturizer, even with oily skin, because the aloe dries your skin right up.

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