Acne is one of the most annoying and contagious skin problems. Everyone must have experienced it. Plus, pimples often seem to pop up at the most inopportune moments (before a first date, for example). Fortunately, there are many ways to treat acne, including the use of medications, both prescription and non-prescription. There are also many treatments/home remedies you can try, with varying degrees of effectiveness. If you have a serious acne condition, it's a good idea to visit a doctor for a consultation.
Method 1 of 4: Using Acne Fighting Products
Step 1. Buy a cleansing product that suits your skin type
Your skin type may be oily, dry, or a combination of the two, and each skin type requires a different product/cleansing method. You may also have sensitive skin that shows a negative reaction to heavy chemicals. Most facial cleansing products are designed for specific skin types. Sometimes, a pimple can go away in a week!
- For example, if you have dry skin, avoid cleaning products that contain alcohol. If you have sensitive skin, use cleansing products with natural ingredients or products formulated for sensitive skin.
- If you don't have sensitive skin, you can try using a cleansing product that contains active ingredients, such as salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.
Step 2. Try a product that contains benzoyl peroxide
This substance can kill acne-causing bacteria, shrink the size of pimples, and open pores. You can buy spot-treatment products that can be used directly on acne spots. These products are sold in the form of a gel or cream. When using the product, the changes are usually visible the next day.
- Most store-bought benzoyl peroxide products contain a concentration of 2.5%. However, you may find products with a benzoyl peroxide concentration of (maximum) 10%.
- Dermatologists can provide benzoyl peroxide treatments with stronger concentrations. In addition, he or she may also recommend treatments that are combined with other forms of acne treatment.
Step 3. Use products that contain salicylic acid
Salicylic acid is another of the most common acne-fighting ingredients and is found in many anti-acne products. This substance reduces redness, inflammation, and oil content of the skin, and gives the skin a soft texture. You can buy products that contain salicylic acid in gel form or acne treatment kits. When you use a product like this, you can usually see the changes the next day.
Look for products that contain salicylic acid in concentrations of 1% to 3%
Step 4. Apply a retinoid cream on the pimple
Retinoid creams are rich in vitamin A. These creams can reduce inflammation, open pores, and treat acne scars. Most retinoid products can only be obtained with a doctor's prescription although there are some products (eg Differin) that you can buy at pharmacies.
- If you want to use a retinoid cream, make sure your skin is dry. Try applying the product about 30 minutes after washing your face.
- When first using a retinoid cream, use the product every other day (alternating). After a few weeks, you can use it every day.
- Retinoid creams can make your skin sensitive to the sun. Therefore, always apply sunscreen if you use this product.
Method 2 of 4: Using Natural Medicines and Treatments
Step 1. Use tea tree oil
This oil has been used by dermatologists for years to reduce skin irritation and acne. This oil contains antimicrobial and antibacterial substances that can kill acne-causing bacteria. Apply a small amount of oil directly on the pimple. For best results, use the oil after you wash your face.
- You can also mix tea tree oil with a little coconut oil. Coconut oil also helps fight acne quickly.
- You may need to use a carrier oil (eg olive oil or castor oil) to prevent irritation.
- Tea tree oil can sting or irritate the skin. If your skin feels sore or uncomfortable, stop using it and consult your doctor for your skin problem.
Step 2. Use essential oils
In addition to tea tree oil, several types of essential oils have been widely used as natural acne remedies. Many types of essential oils contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to get rid of acne quickly. Mix a few drops of essential oil with a carrier oil (eg olive oil or jojoba oil) before applying to the skin. Try dabbing the following essential oils on acne:
- Rosmarin essential oil
- Lavender Oil
- Frankincense oil (Arabic incense)
- Apricot seed oil
- Hemp seed oil
Step 3. Use a witch hazel product
Witch hazel is a natural astringent that contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Put a few drops of witch hazel on a cotton swab and apply it on the affected area, twice a day.
Step 4. Use apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that are beneficial for the skin. You can use it to shrink pimples. Apply apple cider vinegar all over your face as a toner or apply more vinegar to the pimple directly. If your skin is sensitive or feels stinging/burning when using apple cider vinegar, first dilute the vinegar with water.
Method 3 of 4: Using a Face Mask
Step 1. Make a honey mask
As a natural antibacterial and antimicrobial agent, honey can clean clogged pores and remove excess oil and dead skin. Apply honey all over your face and leave it on for as long as you want before rinsing it off. In addition, you can dab honey directly on the pimple and cover it with a bandage/plaster while you sleep at night.
Use warm water to rinse the honey. If it feels sticky, use a facial cleanser to remove the remaining honey from the skin
Step 2. Use an egg white mask
Egg white helps reduce skin redness and tightens the skin so that acne will shrink. Separate the egg whites from the yolks, then beat the egg whites until they are fluffy and frothy. After that, apply the egg white mixture on the pimple. Let stand for 15 minutes, then rinse the mask with warm water.
- You can also add a little fresh lime juice to the egg white mask mixture.
- Be careful because egg whites are raw food ingredients so the egg whites used may contain viruses or inherited diseases. Make sure the egg white mask does not get eaten or enter the mouth.
Step 3. Use an aloe vera product
Aloe vera reduces inflammation, removes oil, and refreshes the skin. Prepare an aloe vera leaf and cut off the tip a little. Remove the insides of the leaves and mash them into a smooth paste. After that, apply the paste on the pimple.
If you want to buy aloe vera gel, only use products with natural aloe. Products like this can be purchased at natural products stores. It's a good idea not to buy and use products sold in big stores
Step 4. Make a baking soda paste
Baking soda helps reduce inflammation and removes acne-causing oil and dirt. To make a baking soda paste, prepare two tablespoons of baking soda (30 grams) and add warm water. Use enough water to make the baking soda a thick paste. Apply the paste on your face (in damp conditions) and leave it on for 15-30 minutes. After that, rinse with warm water.
The paste should be thick enough to stick to your face and not drip
Step 5. Make an aspirin mask
Aspirin is an anti-inflammatory substance. The use of the mask on the face helps relieve and heal acne. Mix aspirin with water in a 1:3 ratio. Aspirin is water soluble so you don't have to crush it first. Once thickened, apply the paste on the pimple. Let sit for (at least) 30 minutes, or until the pasta hardens.
- Clean the mask with a damp cloth.
- If you are allergic to aspirin, have Reye's syndrome, frequently drink large amounts of alcohol, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or are taking medication that should not be combined with aspirin use, do not use this mask.
Method 4 of 4: Trying Other Options
Step 1. Remove makeup before exercising or sleeping
Makeup that has been on your skin for a long time encourages the growth of bacteria and can clog your skin. Before sweating a lot or sleeping, clean your face from the makeup that sticks. To make sure your face is completely clean of makeup, use a makeup remover, cleansing oil, or micellar water before washing your face.
Step 2. Don't pop the pimple
Even if you really want to pop a pimple on your face, you have to be able to resist it. Popping a pimple can actually make the skin around the pimple redden and swell. In addition, bacteria and pus will be pushed deeper into the pores so that the acne will "last" longer.
Solving acne can also leave acne scars/wounds on the skin
Step 3. Visit a dermatologist if your acne doesn't improve
If your acne doesn't go away after you use anti-acne medications and products and clean your face regularly, you may have a more serious acne condition. This condition can be treated and cured, but you need to visit a doctor first.
- Some treatments that can be done by a dermatologist are laser/light treatments, chemical peels (chemical decay), and microdermabrasion. If you have a large pimple or cyst, your dermatologist can inject steroids into the pimple/cyst.
- If your acne is severe, your dermatologist can prescribe antibiotics or isotretinoin (eg Accutane).
Step 4. Make lifestyle changes to prevent acne breakouts
While this won't get rid of existing pimples right away, you can make changes to your lifestyle to prevent and cure existing pimples. For starters, washing your face twice a day is the best way to cure and prevent acne.
You can also drink lots of water, eat more healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, and exercise to prevent acne. While things like these take a long time to show change and may not get rid of acne immediately, they can provide long-term benefits
- While the previously described treatments can treat acne, you may notice a change in about a week.
- Sometimes, the condition of acne actually gets worse before it gets better. However, don't give up. Keep treating existing acne.