Spot on: Four home remedies for treating facial acne
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
It might not taste great, but studies have found that this particular type of vinegar – which contains acetic, citric, lactic and succinic acid – can kill the spot-causing bacteria known as propionibacterium acnes. Mix together one part apple cider vinegar with two parts water, apply to a clean cotton pad and swipe over the face for a natural, blemish-fighting toner.
TEA TREE OIL
Tea tree oil is an age-old skin remedy that's always good to have in your bathroom cabinet. It can be bought for just a few pounds in most health food shops and is extracted from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia – a tree native to Australia. When it comes to application, it's best to apply to a cleansed face, concentrating on any red or irritated problem areas. The smell can be off-putting at first, but it's often worth persevering; a 2007 study found that applying a tea tree oil to the skin can significantly improve acne after three months.
HONEY AND TURMERIC MASK
Honey has natural anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, making it an excellent at-home treatment for killing spot-causing microorganisms. Turmeric has been used for centuries in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, to treat an array of health problems, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. The best way to tap into their healing magic is by slathering a DIY face mask over your skin. Mix half a teaspoon of turmeric with a tablespoon of honey and layer it evenly over a clean, dry face, avoiding the eye area. Leave it for 10-20 minutes, then rinse it off. Repeat once a week.
The mineral zinc can't be naturally produced by our bodies, which is why it's important to make sure you're getting enough of it in your diet. As well as aiding proper immune system function, it plays a big role in cell division, cell growth and wound healing. It's also one of the most studied natural treatments for acne, and researchers have found that those with spots tend to have lower levels of zinc in their blood than people with clear skin. Meat, shellfish, legumes and seeds are high in the essential mineral, but if you really want to make sure you're getting enough, try taking a daily supplement.