Natural Remedies

Natural Acne Treatments

Jun 27, 2017

If you have acne, you want to know how to get rid of acne fast. You have probably spent too much money on products and treatments that either didn’t cure acne at all or that only helped for a little while. Also, a remedy that works very well for one person may not help someone else.

Most people suffer from acne at some point in their lives. Over the years, Earth Clinic readers have discovered many simple, easy and inexpensive natural cures for acne.  You probably have at least one of these home cures in your kitchen right now, without even realizing it. Curing acne at home with these treatments will be much kinder to your skin – and your wallet - than harsh chemicals or scrubs.

Earth Clinic’s Best Home Remedies for Acne

Earth Clinic readers have discovered many safe, natural cures for acne.  We have listed the five most popular home remedies below.  We welcome you to try these effective home cures for yourself.  Please reports from Earth Clinic readers who have successfully treated their acne with apple cider vinegar.  Let us know if this works for you.

1. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a magic combination of hydrogen and oxygen that can attack the infection associated with acne.  Bacteria cannot live in an oxygen-rich environment.  Hydrogen peroxide adds oxygen to the area, killing the bacteria and healing the acne.  It also helps to prevent future acne breakouts by making the skin drier and less oily.  Check here for more information and reports from Earth Clinic readers about how dietary changes will heal acne.

2. Water

Drinking more water will help to eliminate toxins and improve the natural balance of your body.  Your body and skin will function more effectively.

3. Dietary Changes

The most likely food triggers for acne are:

Dairy Products

The milkshake may be what is causing your acne outbreak, not the hamburger or fries.  Hormones in the feed given to the cows are passed into the milk and can interact with the bodily hormones, triggering an acne outbreak.   Many people’s bodies cannot handle milk, cheese or other dairy products.


Many have suspected, and a small study has indicated, that chocolate is linked to acne for some people.


Most of us eat too much sugar, which is related to many health problems, including candida and diabetes.  Sugar is also responsible for glucose-related acne for some people.  Eliminating unnecessary sugar can help to eliminate acne for those individuals.

Wheat and Gluten

Many people have learned that the source of a multitude of health problems is the gluten in wheat.  They are gluten-intolerant – meaning that their bodies cannot process gluten.  Bread is only one of the many foods that contain gluten.  It will be necessary to research and look at labels to identify ‘gluten-free’ foods.  Check here for more information and reports from Earth Clinic readers who used tea tree oil as a natural cure for acne.

4. Tea Tree Oil for Acne

Tea tree oil is used as a topical application; do not drink it.

  1. While many people use straight tea tree oil, you can also make a blend of tea tree oil and another oil or hydrogen peroxide.
  2. Use a q-tip or cotton ball and dab onto pimples or red areas.

5. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil attacks the bacteria as it is a natural antibacterial (in addition to being a natural antifungal and antioxidant). It reduces inflammation and infection, allowing the skin to begin the healing process. Coconut oil is also packed with important nutrients, including vitamins E and K, caprylic acid, lauric acid and capric acid.  Contact us and let us know how these home cures for acne have worked for you. 

Additional Pages of Interest:
Acne Scars
Cystic Acne

Acne Tips  

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Posted by Elise (Usa) on 06/21/2015
5 out of 5 stars

Drinking lots of water, washing your face with a gentle soap and warm water, and avoiding foods high in cream, fat grease, etc will have your acne infested skin clear in no time. I agree accutane is to be avoided. I was on it for several months and while it did clear things up sometimes I wonder what long term health problems it may cause me later in life.

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.

Also, 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 Sarah (Carrollton, Tx) on 01/21/2011
5 out of 5 stars

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.

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
5 out of 5 stars

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!

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
5 out of 5 stars

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 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

Posted by Bradley (Corpus Christi, Texas) on 04/12/2008
5 out of 5 stars


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
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Posted by Chet (Los Angeles, CA) on 01/21/2006
5 out of 5 stars

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.


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Posted by David (Surprise, AZ) on 09/21/2012
5 out of 5 stars

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 Randy (Myrtle Beach, Sc/usa) on 07/27/2011
4 out of 5 stars

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.


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Posted by Sean (Denver, Colorado) on 05/19/2008
5 out of 5 stars

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
5 out of 5 stars

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
5 out of 5 stars

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.