The Acne Solution

Many people who suffer from acne are wary of the harsh chemicals that are generally used in acne skin care products, such as salicylic acid and tretinoin, which can leave skin dry and irritated. For these people, herbal acne cures may be the solution.

The basic goal in treating acne is to keep the skin clean and free of excess oil without drying, to kill the bacteria causing the infection, tighten oversized pores, and to speed healing of any open sores produced by the outbreak. Herbal acne cures use various natural ingredients to achieve this.

One option in the herbal acne cures department is a cleansing solution by boiling herbs. Boil two ounces of raspberry, strawberry or blackberry leaves in a quart of water and apply the solution to your skin with a cotton ball. Tea bags and the herb basil can also be used this way. The acids in the leaves kill bacteria and tighten the pores.

There are also herbal acne cures that you can apply directly to individual pimples, instead of all over. For this, try mixing one tablespoon of groundnut oil with one tablespoon of lime juice, and dabbing a small amount of the paste on each pimple after washing the skin gently and thoroughly.

You can also make a deep cleansing herbal mask from ordinary kitchen ingredients. Mix yogurt and oatmeal into a paste and apply as you would a mask. Let the mixture dry on your skin, then wash with lukewarm water and pat dry. You can also make a mask from honey and cinnamon powder, to use in the same way. These preparations can kill bacteria and soothe irritated skin, aiding healing.

Healing can also be assisted by aloe vera, which is also used for burns and other painful skin conditions. Aloe is a gel harvested from the leaves of a type of yucca plant. Pure aloe vera gel will be clear to light green; read the ingredient label carefully, as many preparations contain other ingredients in addition to aloe.

Some people recommend an internal herbal remedy as well. Drinking wheat grass juice is said to help clear up acne outbreaks, and zinc supplements may also be of help. Both can be found in most health food or organic food stores.

Before trying any product, whether herbal acne remedies, prescription drugs, or standard over the counter offerings, be aware that anyone can be allergic to anything. You may have a bad reaction to any product; talk to your pharmacist, naturopath or dermatologist, check the ingredients for anything you already know yourself to be allergic to. Also, apply the product on a small, inconspicuous area of skin and wait 24 hours to see if there is any reaction before using it over a large area.

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