We poke. We squeeze. We pick at them. Anything to get rid of those unsightly pimples that seem to pop up out of nowhere. But experts warn against this all too common practice.
While popping a whitehead or squeezing a blackhead can work sometimes, it may actually make matters worse, increasing the risk of infection and damaging healthy skin around the pimple.
One of the most common skin problems, pimples are an inflammation of the skin caused by bacteria attacking the sebaceous glands, which are oil glands located at the base of hair follicles.
They also occur when the glands become overactive and the skin’s pores get clogged. Contributing factors include an increase in the sex hormones and androgen in the body, eating greasy food, hereditary factors, use of cosmetic products, and a poor skin care regimen.
Pimples vary in size and often form on the face, back, shoulders, neck and chest. People with oily skin can be more prone to pimples, but those with dry or normal skin get them too.
Teenagers usually suffer from pimples when they go through puberty because of the hormonal changes in their bodies.
In fact, more than 80 percent of teenagers struggle with pimples at some point. Adults can suffer from pimples as well.
You can opt for over-the-counter or prescribed medicines to treat them. You can also get rid of pimples easily using effective, natural home remedies. Using these remedies is better than picking or squeezing, which can ultimately contribute to scarring.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for pimples.
1. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice can effectively treat pimples within a few days. It contains high vitamin C content, which is good for all types of skin, and its acidic property helps exfoliate the skin. Plus, it is an astringent that will help dry out pimples quickly.
- Dip a cotton ball in two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and apply it on your pimples. Leave it on for 20 minutes and then wash it off with lukewarm water. Repeat the process two or three times a day for a few days.
- Thoroughly mix equal amounts of lemon juice and rose water. Apply the mixture on the pimples and leave it on for about 30 minutes. Then, wash your face with lukewarm water. Do this twice daily for a week.
- Mix one tablespoon of lemon juice with one teaspoon of ground nut oil and apply it on the affected skin area. Allow it to dry on its own before rinsing it off with lukewarm water. Do this once daily for a week.
Note: For faster results, use fresh lemon juice instead of the packaged version, which contains preservatives.
The toothpaste that you use to clean your teeth can also be used to treat pimples. Toothpaste can help dry out pimples quickly due to ingredients like baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol and menthol. However, you must only use white toothpaste. Do not use whitening, gel, or colored toothpastes.
- Apply a little toothpaste on your pimples.
- Leave it on for two hours or overnight.
- Wash it off with a damp washcloth and then apply a soothing moisturizer.
- Repeat once daily for a week or two.
Note: If toothpaste causes irritation, try other remedies.
Garlic can also be used as an effective home treatment for pimples due to its antibacterial properties and sulfur content. It is also full of antibiotic, antifungal, antiseptic and other healing properties.
- Cut garlic cloves into two and rub the pieces on your pimples. Leave it on for five to 10 minutes and then wash your face. Repeat the process several times a day for a few days.
- You can also eat one or two raw garlic cloves daily on an empty stomach to purify your blood, which will help reduce pimples.
Steam can help alleviate a number of minor skin problems, including pimples.
Steam helps open up clogged pores, allowing the skin to breathe. Bacteria, dirt and oil trapped deep within the skin also will be flushed out.
- Boil a pot of water and pour it into a large bowl. Allow the water temperature to cool slightly so the steam doesn’t burn your skin.
- Place your face above the bowl and drape a thick towel over your head to trap the steam.
- After 10 to 15 minutes, remove the towel and pat your face dry. Then apply an oil-free moisturizer.
- Repeat this process two times a day for four or five days to reduce pimples and make your skin glow.
5. Ice Pack
Ice helps treat pimples by improving the blood circulation in the affected skin area. It also helps freeze clogged skin pores, which in turn removes oil and dirt particles accumulated in the skin. Ice will also reduce the inflammation and pain caused by pimples.
- Wrap ice cubes or crushed ice in a clean, cotton cloth and gently press it on the affected area for a few seconds.
- Wait a few minutes and repeat the process three or four times.
- Do this twice daily to get rid of pimples within a day or two.
Note: Never apply ice directly on your skin as it can cause an ice burn.
Turmeric has antiseptic properties that help kill the bacteria that cause pimples and prevent pimples from forming. It is also a good antioxidant, which helps treat pimples and the inflammation caused by them.
- Mix one tablespoon of turmeric powder with a few drops of water to make a thick paste. Apply the paste on the affected skin and leave it on for a few minutes. Rinse it off with cold water. Do this twice daily for a week.
- Mix one tablespoon each of turmeric and juice from coriander leaves to make a thick paste. Dab the paste on your pimples and allow it to dry on its own before washing it off. Repeat the process once or twice daily.
- You can also add one teaspoon of turmeric to a glass of warm milk and drink it regularly before going to bed to prevent pimples.
Cinnamon can also help treat pimples due to its antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. A combination of cinnamon powder and honey is a very popular home remedy for pimples.
- Mix two tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of cinnamon powder to make a thick paste.
- Apply the paste on the affected skin area and leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Rinse it off with lukewarm water, pat your face dry and then apply a light moisturizer.
- Do this once daily for a couple of weeks.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has natural antibiotic and astringent properties that make it an effective ingredient for treating pimples. The antiseptic qualities of apple cider vinegar also help kill the bacteria that cause pimples. In addition, it will help restore the proper pH balance to the skin, which makes it harder for bacteria to thrive.
- Add one part of pure unfiltered apple cider vinegar to three parts water.
- Dip a cotton ball in the solution and apply it directly on the affected skin area.
- Leave it on for 10 minutes and then wash your face thoroughly with water.
- Apply a light moisturizer to prevent dryness.
- Repeat the process once or twice daily for quick results.
- Do this for a few days or until you see improvement.
9. Orange Peel
Orange peel has astringent properties that help remove oil and dead skin cells that clog the pores. It also dries out pimples quickly. Plus, the vitamin C in orange peel promotes growth of new, healthy cells.
- Grind dried orange peels into a powder.
- Add some water to the powdered peels to make a paste.
- Apply the paste on your pimples and leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Wash it off with warm water.
- Do this once daily for a week to see positive results.
Neem, also known as margosa leaves, has antifungal, antibacterial and blood purifying properties and it is regarded as the best natural astringent. Neem kills bacteria that cause pimples and prevents them from coming back.
- Take a few neem leaves and grind them thoroughly to form a paste. Add one-half teaspoon of turmeric powder to the paste. Apply it on the affected skin area. Leave it on for 20 minutes and then rinse with warm water. Do this once daily.
- Alternatively, you can apply neem oil on the pimples twice daily to help them heal really quickly.
- You can also chew one or two fresh neem leaves daily on an empty stomach or take supplements to prevent breakouts.
Next time you notice a pimple on your face, just try these home remedies and soon your skin will become clear and have a healthy glow.