Natural Herbal Acne Cures
Not only do herbs flavor our food and give a wonderful aroma, but they have also long been touted for their medicinal qualities and healing properties. Herbs have been grown by our ancestors for many millennia and were used to treat illnesses long before the advent of modern science as we know it. Herbal treatments are still widely used in many Asian and indigenous communities, such as traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine.
Herbs also have great potential to be a natural treatment for acne, as it can calm down inflammation. One of it’s greatest appeals is that it is a natural medicine, free of parabens and synthetics that can potentially clog pores even more. There is also less potential for side effects and allergic reactions that can result from over-the-counter treatments and prescription drugs. Herbs often have antibacterial, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties that can heal blemishes and fight acne prevention. Before we dive into these herbs and how they can nourish your skin, let’s understand how acne forms to better understand how herbs can tackle it.
Herbs and Acne
Acne is basically the result of buildup in your pores. This clog can be made up of oil, dead skin cells, and even bacteria. If the clog is made of oil and dead skin cells, that is a milder sort of acne that comes in the form of blackheads and whiteheads. However, if bacteria get into the clog it creates a lesion, a more severe type of acne. Lesions can range in severity, with papules being the least severe and cystic acne being the most severe and difficult to get rid of.
Herbs can tackle the different stages of acne formation depending on what the cause of acne is. Herbs with antibacterial properties will be most effective in preventing lesions, and anti-inflammatory herbs can help calm down the redness and inflammation of cystic acne. Knowing what type of acne you are suffering from is crucial to make the right choice of herbs to treat it.
What Herbs Can Combat Acne?
Properties: Anti-inflammatory, cleansing
Basil is a well-known herb that is popular in cooking for its aroma and taste. However, did you know that basil also has anti-inflammatory and cleansing properties? It can help soothe and reduce the swelling of pimples. This will also reduce the pain and discomfort that more severe cystic acne can bring. There are also natural oils in basil that can help to unclog pores, hence preventing the formation of acne as it clears out the buildup of sebum, skin cells, and other impurities from deep inside the pores.
Properties: Blood purification, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant
Manjistha is a herb popular in Ayurvedic medicine. It is also known as Indian Madder, and is commonly used to break down blockages in the blood flow and remove stagnant blood. It is also known for being anti-inflammatory and has antioxidant properties that inhibit the growth of bacteria that causes infections in acne.
Properties: Astringency, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic
Cajeput has similar properties to the famed tea tree oil. It comes in the form of oil and is distilled from the bark of the white wood tree. The antiseptic properties of cajeput make it an ideal herb for tackling acne as it can rid the bacteria that is causing more severe forms of acne.
4. Tea Tree Oil
Properties: Anti-inflammatory, antiseptic
Tea tree oil has long been used in skincare to treat spot treat acne. It is available as an essential oil and various kinds of a topical cream. It has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that make it an ideal herb to fight against acne. Tea tree has comparable effectiveness to benzoyl peroxide, a common chemical used to dry out acne lesions. Tea tree takes longer to work, but it also results in fewer side effects than the notoriously strong benzoyl peroxide. It doesn’t cause dryness, itching, redness, and irritation the way benzoyl peroxide does.
5. Witch hazel
Properties: Astringent, anti-inflammatory, antioxidants
Witch hazel is another popular herb used in skincare, especially as a toner. It has long been used in Native American traditional medicine to heal skin, given that it is a plant indigenous to America. Witch hazel is popular for its astringent properties, which means it can dry out acne blemishes. Its astringency is caused by tannins, compounds that can help to remove excess oil on the skin.
Properties: Calming, anti-inflammatory
Lavender is well-known for its calming effect on the skin. It is commonly used to soothe redness and can also calm down inflammation. A lavender essential oil can be applied to your skin gently and that will help to soothe any redness. It has the additional benefit of unclogging pores, which is how it helps with acne. Applying a drop of lavender essential oil directly on a pimple will reduce its inflammation.
Properties: Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, astringent, antiseptic, pH balancing
Rose is another highly touted plant that is great for the skin. Rose can be used in a variety of ways such as rose water and rose oil. Rosewater has been used in Middle Eastern beauty for centuries. It is steeped in water or distilled from rose water with steam. Rosewater is a popular toner for its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, reducing the swelling and redness caused by acne. The astringent property of rose water also comes from tannins and can help to tighten pores and dry out oil without being as intense as other drying agents. Meanwhile, rose oil is great for balancing the pH of your skin, and its antioxidant properties also help to restore the skin.
Now that you know the herbs that help with acne, here are some other acne-preventing tips from the wisdom of Ayurvedic medicine. Detoxify your body in the morning by drinking hot water with lemon. This helps to trigger the body’s natural detoxification processes and get rid of impurities. Drink plenty of water and get lots of sleep as dehydration can also cause acne, as can a lack of sleep and stress. You can also try to do yoga to get the blood circulating. These may sound like overall wellness maintenance but maintaining acne is also a process of taking care of your whole body!
If you’re sick of buying costly skincare products that might not work, or don’t want to experience the potential side effects that modern medicine and chemicals bring, give herbs and traditional medicines a try. You might find that a simple routine is the most effective in combating acne!