Home Remedies For Acne And Acne Scars

Home remedies for acne and acne scars. Acne is really a very distressing condition. Most people get acne in their teens. In some, it continues into later life as Adult Acne. These zits not only scar the face ( sometimes hands, back and shoulders also ) , they pain as well. It is believed that acne is caused by a stubborn bacterial infection. Medications for acne have strong side effects. So, we are going to deal with it using home remedies from items that can be easily procured. First we tackle acne. When outbreaks lessen, we tackle scars brought on by previous acne outbursts. Acne can be quite stressful. There are many types of acne based on a classification system, but the technique to reduce pimples remains almost the same.


Acne shows up as pimples on the skin. These pimples are often filled with a pus like white material. The area around the acne is inflamed. These pimples are painful and they normally occur on the face, back and chest. Many acne can lead to abnormal redness on the skin. When acne diminishes, it can form a depressed scar on the face.

Home Remedies

Home remedies for acne overnight. If you have mild acne, then you can really attack them with these remedies. They are  fast acting remedies which one can use to quickly reduce the size of acne pimples in a single night or even faster.

1. Toothpaste which has menthol in it
This anti-acne remedy is really popular. Most toothpaste have a compound called menthol which lends it a refreshing and cooling property. Menthol helps in reducing acne size and visibility.

  • Ingredients
    Just a pea sized amount of menthol containing toothpaste.
  • Directions / How to Apply
    Just dab a bit of toothpaste on the palm and apply it on the acne pimples. It should feel cool to the applied points. That is what the menthol does.Wash it after 10 minutes.
  • Why It Works
    Menthol is derived from peppermint and has cooling tendency. Cold temperature reduces superficial inflammation in the skin which seems to diminish the acne.

2. Wash it with really cold water
Washing the face with really cold water helps in reducing the acne sizes. This seems odd, but it works. We all wash our face, right ! but the acne doesn’t diminish. Well, the home remedy involves washing the face with the coldest water you can get. Then it works.

  • Ingredients
    Pan of pure chilling cold water.
  • Directions
    Wash your face beforehand, in a manner you always do. Just make sure there is no makeup on the face. Now, splash the chilling water on the face. Do not wipe, let it stay.
  • Why It Works
    Freezing cold water has astringent nature, and that is why it helps in reducing the size of pimples. Bonus – you get a fresh face.
3. Rub lemon juice on the skin
Lemon juice prevents acne breakouts and also stops them in their tracks. But lemon juice is not good for regular application. Firstly because it is quite acidic ( pH of lemon juice is 2 ). Secondly, lemon juice makes the skin photosensitive. What this means is that when one steps into the sun after applying lemon juice, it tans much faster. So, there is risk of skin darkening. Therefore, apply lemon juice at night and wash it off in the morning.
  • Ingredients
    Cold Water
  • Directions/How to use
    Take few lemons ( depending on the severity of acne ) and juice them in the juicer with the peel on. Remember, with the peel on. So, you would need a centrifugal or a hydraulic press juicer, not your regular citrus peeler. Mix the juice with equal amount of water ( to reduce its acidity ).  Now, soak the lemon juice in  a cotton ball and rub gently on the pimples. It would sting a little, but bear it. Do this just once at night.
  • Why It Works
    Most of us have used lemons on our zits, but it hardly worked. That’s because the juice never contained the peel nutrition. When you juice the lemon peel as well, you get the essential oils of the lemon contained in the peel. Then it is complete lemon juice and has more potency against acne and more nutrition as well.

4.Rub pineapple slice on the acne
Take a slice of pineapple and rub it gently on the skin. It will create a tingling sensation. After that sensation reduces, wash it off.

  • Ingredients
    – a fully ripe pineapple
  • Directions/ How to Apply
    Wash the pineapple skin. Cut it into a slice that comes conveniently in your palm. Now. rub it onto the face very slowly. You don’t want pineapple eyes to hurt the zits, so go slow. Rub for 5 minutes. Discard this slice, take out a new one and reapply. Do it about 3 times.
  • Why it works ?
    Actually, pineapple is a special fruits because it contains an enzyme known as bromelain. Nutrition buffs might be aware of it. This enzyme is in high concentration in a ripe pineapple. It is this enzyme which mainly works against your acne.
5. Garlic Cloves
This is a simple home remedy for acne with great results. In fact, it is one of the highly rated remedies for acne. [1]
  • Ingredients
    -garlic cloves ( peel them up )
  • Directions / How to use
    Take a garlic clove, chop it from its center. Then, take half piece of it and place it on the acne. Do it one by one for each acne pimple. Very gently rub it over the zit. As it starts the hurt, throw away the garlic. Relax, do not wash off. The pain will subside. Wash off after half an hour.
  • Why it works
    Garlic is one of the best antibacterial substances in nature which is commonly available. Since all kinds of acne is actually a bacterial infection, garlic starves them off to death.

6. Rose water wash
Rose water is made from the petals of rose flower. It is cool,  refreshing and has astringent qualities, just like chilling cold water. So, it works as a home remedy for acne.

  • Ingredients
    rose water refrigerated. ( You can get it online or in a health food store, costs about 1.5 $ for 10 oz bottle. Or else you can make it home using freshly plucked rose petals ).
  • Directions / How to use
    Take a cotton ball and soak it in rose water. Then rub it on the face in smooth circular motions. No need to wash the face afterwards. Rose water smells great and exhibits a wonderful fragrance.
  • Why it works
    Because rose water is also astringent.
” It is a remarkable cleanser. Even if you have perfectly clean face, there might be some dirt ending on the cotton ball “

( Photo Courtesy: myscrn2yours )

7. Bentonite clay or Fuller’s Earth
These clays are a special kind of soil which can be applied on the skin. It cleans the skin pores and absorbs excess oil and moisture, leaving skin dry but clean. These are medicinal clays which also have antibacterial properties. [2]
  • Ingredients
    Fuller’s Earth or Bentonite Clay (costs around $ 2 per lb ).
  • Directions
    Put handful of clay in a bowl. Add small amount of water, mix it till it forms a slurry. Make a fine paste and make sure that it is not exuding any water. Then apply it on the face with fingers. Keep it for more than an hour, or better still overnight. Wash it off with warm water.
  • Why it works
    These are actually revered as medicinal clays. Both Bentonite Clay and Fuller’s earth are clays. They have minerals which heal the skin. Plus, it is ultra fine, almost the size of skin pores. It works out the oil from the skin, leaving acne bacteria with nothing to sustain on.

Acne can be reduced considerably by using bentonite clay regularly. But, you need time for it.

Fullers earth mask

( Photo Courtesy: shannonkringen )

8. Tomatoes
How about a tomato festival in your garden ? Tomato is considered a superfood. It has got exceptional skin protecting qualities.
  • Ingredients
    buy red tomatoes ( go for organic tomatoes. If you can’t get organic, then inorganic ones would do, but wash them up real nicely )
  • Directions / How to use
    Prepare a tomato face mask for acne. All you have to do is to mash them in a bowl and apply on the face. Place a towel under the face to catch the dripping tomato juice. Keep it for 15 minutes and then wash it off. This is also a good remedy for back acne, cause you can easily apply on a large area. It can relieve some acne overnight.
  • Why it works
    Tomatoes have high levels of lycopene, which is a form of Vitamin A. Its an acne fighter. Also consume tomatoes in your diet.
9. Cinnamon and honey
This is another one of the “most common” and “popular” acne home remedies. Most of the teenagers have tried this. This mixture is like a golden elixir, because it helps in so many conditions. It is a home remedy for acne ( topically ) , hair growth, weight loss and diabetes.
  • Ingredients
    cinnamon, ground. ( If you have sticks, grind them to a powder )
    organic honey. ( Manuka honey would do too )
  • Directions
    Honey-Cinnamon Anti Acne Face Mask
    Add 1 tablespoon cinnamon to 4 tablespoon honey. Mix cinnamon well in the honey in a very small bowl. Then apply on your face using the fingers in a fine, thin layer. Let it sit overnight, wash off in the morning. This can quickly reduce the size of acne pimples.
  • Why it works
    Honey acts as anti-bacterial agent and as a medium. Cinnamon is a super powerful antioxidant ( ORAC value – 130,000 micro mole TE/ 100 gm ), really neutralizes free radicals. Ground cinnamon performs microdermabrasion on the skin, which exfoliates very deeply. One can also use cinnamon essential oil, as it has demonstrated efficacy against acne bacteria. [3]

10. Apple Cider Vinegar
It is said that ” an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Apple is a wonderful fruit. It goes equally well with vegetable and fruit juices. It vinegar, that is the Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) also has the goods of the apple. It is slightly acidic and it helps in eliminating acne.

  • Ingredients
    Organic apple cider vinegar
  • Directions
    Mix water and apple cider vinegar in a ratio of 50:50. Stir it and apply it on the face with a cotton ball. Make sure you let it stay for about half an hour. Then rinse it off with lukewarm water.
  • Why It Works
    Apple has a whole blend of nutrients. It is one of the most nutrient rich fruits and that is why its vinegar too is powerful in treating lots of conditions. ACV is really a champion when it comes to home remedies because it can be used in numerous conditions. It works great for acne and is such an asset at home.
11. Almond Coconut Milk
It is a nut milk. It is a special kind of milk which is prepared in the blender. It is well known that drinking milk can worsen acne. So does sugar. But, nut milks are so healthy and rejuvenating, they actually help in acne. This is a special nut milk recipe which you can drink in place of regular milk, give it to the kids and also apply on acne.
  • Ingredients
    Handful of almonds ( soaked overnight, then dried )
    Meat of 1 coconut ( make sure coconut is fresh )
    Coconut water
    Little spring water
    Blender/ Smoothie maker
  • Directions
    Put the almonds, then the coconut meat, coconut water and finally add little spring water ( or mineral water ). Turn on the blender and make a smoothie. Strain this with a cheesecloth to obtain nut milk. Apply this to the face using cotton balls. Keep it for half an hour at-least.
  • Why it works
    Almond has omega 3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation [4]. Coconut penetrates deep into the skin and provides nourishment. It can clear up the skin from within and promote it to heal. Thus, it forms a great home remedy for acne.
 12. Green Tea Steam
Its pretty simple. This home remedy for acne requires you to take steam from prepared green tea. Plus, one should also drink green tea regularly. It increases attention, helps one lose weight, reduce inflammation, is a world renowned antioxidant and improves skin tone.
  • Ingredients
    Green Tea bags
  • Directions/ How to use
    Prepare a concentrated infusion of green tea in water. Just pour the green tea into kettle rather than dipping it into boiled water in the cup. This allows the leaves to release more of their nutrition into the water and tea becomes more concentrated. Now, open the lid of the kettle and let the green tea steam blow on your face. Keep a towel over your head to confine the steam. Make sure that the temperature of steam is comfortable enough. Take it till you get the steam. Then drink that tea too.
  • Why it works
    Steam coming out of the tea helps to open up clogged skin pores. Excess sebum and bacteria may be released out, making the skin less vulnerable to further breakouts.
 13. As simple as Aloe Vera for skin
Aloe Vera is marvelous for our skin. It might not work so fast in dulling those acne pimples, but it does work. In some people, it might diminish the acne after just 3 or 4 applications.
  • Ingredients
    Pure Aloe Vera gel taken out from the sliced leaf of Aloe Vera plant. If you do not have the plant, then you can use a good quality Aloe Vera gel from the market.
  • Directions
    Apply copious amount of aloe vera gel to the face and all other places where there is acne. It should feel cool and soothing. Keep it on. You can wash it the next morning, if need be.
  • Why it works
    Aloe Vera is rich in amino acids. They are the building blocks of protein. It helps to keep the skin supple and provides it with nutrients. Then the skin starts to heal itself. Similarly , you can use aloe vera juice extracted from leaves. It also acts as a sunscreen and reduces wrinkles.

14. Pure Papaya Anti-Acne Face Mask
Papaya is a sweet tropical fruit. It is known for its skin healing properties. You can easily get fresh papaya when it is in season.

  • Ingredients
    1 Papaya
  • Directions / How to use
    Take the papaya out of the refrigerator ( if you kept it there ). Let it stay at room temperature for some time, like half an hour. Within this time, it regains its enzymatic activity. Papaya contains an enzyme known as papain, which is anti-inflammatory in nature. Slice it open, take out the seeds. Take out ample amount for your face and keep the rest for easting, as its delicious ! Then smash the part you kept for your acne home remedy or whip it up nicely using a blender. Strain out some of the juice, or it will drip off your face. Then apply the pulp to the face and relax. Keep something under yourself to prevent clothes from staining. Let papaya anti acne face mask sit for 1 hour and then wash it off.
  • Why it works
    Papain in the papaya is an anti-inflammatory nutrient. It helps to reduce the itching and redness around a zit. Drinking freshly prepared papaya juice also contributes to your anti-acne effort. Do not store your juice as its enzyme activity gets reduced that way.

15. Tea Tree Oil In Olive Oil
Tea Tree Oil is an essential oil that is taken from a special tree which grows in Australia. This oil is a brilliant anti-bacterial and known to work against the strain of bacteria which cause acne, that is the P. acnes [5]. Since it is an essential oil, it can irritate the skin. So, dilute it in olive oil.

  • Ingredients
    Tea Tree Oil
    Olive Oil
  • Directions/How to use
    Put just a few drops of tea tree oil in around 100 ml of olive oil. Stir well, this forms your anti-acne face oil. Pour a few drops of this combo oil on a cotton ball and smear it on the face. Keep it only for 5 minutes and then wash it off. “Why so early ?” Well, that is because olive oil is slightly comedogenic ( that means it can clog skin pores ).So, you wouldn’t want olive oil to stay long on the face. But, a carrier oil is needed for tea tree oil to work. You can go with jojoba oil , because it is slightly less comedogenic than olive oil.
  • Why it works
    Tea tree oil start to kill the bacteria. Unfortunately, it is not a good idea to use it many times a day.
 16. Avocado Face Mask
This butter like fruit is great for the skin. It contains a wonderful blend of nutrients, and is one of the few fruits to contain healthy fats, proteins, carbs, vitamins, minerals and micro-nutrients. It is often said that you can live on nothing but avocados. By the way, it makes a nice face mask for acne.
  • Ingredients
    Just a ripe avocado
  • Directions
    Take out the flesh of an avocado. Then work it up in a blender. When you get a fine paste, take it out and apply evenly on the face. It feels quite moisturizing, because of the natural fats in it. Keep it for half an hour to an hour or so and then wash off.
  • Why it works
    Because of avocado’s unbeatable nutrition. It helps the skin nourish and regenerate from the inside out.You can also add honey to this home made face mask for more potency.
 17. Banana Peel
The peel of a banana comes in handy for many purposes. It helps to clean the indoor air. Moreover, it is a home remedy for whitening teeth, and it also works good for acne.
  • Ingredients
    clean banana peel
  • Directions / How to use
    Take the banana. Peel it. Then grab the peel and apply the inside of the peel on the zits. For large areas, like the back, hands etc, you can cut out peel squares and hold them in place over the skin using a cloth or bandage. For the face, you can keep it for 1 hour or so.
  • Why it works
    It just works.
 18. Potato Face Mask
The all so common potato is somehow overlooked. But, potato is a home remedy for pimples. It is nutritious and helps the skin. Making the face mask is outright easy.
  • Ingredients
    1 potato
  • Directions
    Wash the potato nicely. If the potato is inorganic, make sure you get rid of the pesticides by washing it in vinegar ( which is acidic ), then in baking soda solution ( basic solution ) and finally in water. Pesticides would harm your skin and worsen acne. Now, chop the potato into convenient size along with the peel. Put in the blender with some water and make a slurry. Pour the slurry over a strainer and keep a bowl below. Press the slurry with a spoon so that some liquid pours down into the beaker. Now, the slurry becomes your potato face mask for acne. Apply it on the skin and keep it on for 1 hour. Wash off with warm water.
  • Why it works
    Potato is quite nutritious. Its peel is more nutritious than the flesh, that’s why it our potato face mask for acne has the peel in it. This remedy may not be that effective, but you can try it out.

19. Baking Soda
This powder is quite handy in numerous remedies. Baking soda is easy to apply as a face mask for acne.

  • Ingredients
    Baking soda
  • Directions/How to use
    Take equal parts of baking soda powder and water and mix well. It forms a slurry or a paste. Then apply it on the face in the form of a face mask. It sticks well. Then remove it after 15 minutes. You can also make scrub out of it and use it to exfoliate the skin.
  • Why it works
    Baking Soda is basic in nature, and it is also antiseptic. When applied on the face, it neutralizes excess acidity, which may have been caused over time because of cosmetics, tap water etc.

Applying baking soda everyday can make the skin pH change. You can use it 2-3 times per week.

20. Grains – Lentils – Yogurt Face Mask
This is a wonderful face mask which comprises of many ingredients. It has many effects in one and can be effective in reducing the extent of acne.

  • Ingredients
    Red Lentil
    Yogurt ( organic is better )
  • Directions / How to use
    We are going to use a face mask. So, you need finely crushed oats and powdered red lentils. Then put them together in a bowl and add yogurt. Mix well till you get a nice consistency paste. Apply this mask on the face and keep it overnight.
  • Why it works
    Yogurt contains health bacteria ( also known as probiotics ). They try to eliminate the unhealthy bacteria causing acne. Grains and lentils paste provides an exfoliating medium. It has got a nice combination of amino acids, providing your skin with protein externally for rebuilding faster.

These are some remedies for acne that work quick,1 night or two and you are going to see the results. One should not try remedies that claim to work too fast and may harm the skin. Piercing or pinching the acne pimple can scar the skin, which may stay even after the acne subsides.

What are some good remedies for acne which work effectively for a long time ?
  • Get rid of excess oil : Oily skin can lead to more acne. Some people have a much more oily skin than other people. When they wake up in the morning, some areas of the face like cheeks, forehead and temples may be oily to touch. This excess oil on the skin is a natural process of the body. But, at the time of adolescence, it can cause more acne. Use oil cleansing products on the face if you have oily skin. This can really curb acne outbursts in teenagers.
  • Tea Tree oil : Acne is caused by a bacteria which lives on the skin. Tea tree oil is anti-bacterial. It kills this acne. One should not use it directly. Mix it in olive oil and then apply on the acne using cotton ball. Do this acne treatment everyday. It will keep the acne causing bacteria within control and thus make the acne diminish.
  • Thyme : Recent research has identified thyme as potent anti-acne herb. How to use it ?  Make a tea of fresh thyme.If you haven’t got it fresh, dried thyme would do. Then, dip a cotton ball in this tea and apply on the acne.

Almost all of the home remedies mentioned above would work against common kinds of acne, like acne vulgaris, nodular acne and acne rosacea.But, people who suffer from cystic acne may not find so much relief from these remedies.  Cystic acne is the hardest to relieve and the most stubborn form of acne.

Home Remedies For Cystic Acne
One should start using one of the above mentioned remedies as a way to keep it under control. Cystic acne is possibly is an inflammatory reaction. You might want to look at these home treatments.

  • Salmon Oil
    If you eat salmon, it is great. Oil obtained from salmon’s liver is high in omega 3 fatty acids. They are powerful anti-inflammatory agents, of such power that they even help in arthritis. You can also use cod liver oil, but it is half as potent as salmon oil for acne.
  • Vitamin B5 ( Pantothenic Acid ) rich foods for Acne
    Eat wheat or rice bran and sunflower seeds as they are very high in Vitamin B5. This vitamin may help to keep cystic acne under control.

These remedies can keep acne at bay. These are effective for teenage and adult acne as well. Older acne leaves behind scars. These are darkened areas of skin, or slightly reddened spots. In some people, when acne goes away, it leaves behind a depression. The skin tries its best to vanish the scar. These are some things one can try to aid this healing process.

Home remedies for acne scars

  • Olive oil : This is the best remedy to reduce acne scars. Olive oil tones the skin and makes it healthier. The skin performs its healing process at a faster rate and acne scars heal quickly. With regular use of olive oil on the face and other areas of skin affected, acne scars would diminish.
  • Emu oil : This oil is obtained from the emu, which is a flightless bird found in Australia. Emu oil is powerful in reducing blemishes and scars on the skin. But before applying it on the skin, check whether it is suitable for your skin by doing a spot test on the hand.
  • Tamanu Oil : This essential oil is one of the most powerful natural scar healers.

Acne Home Remedies From Around the World.

  • Native American remedy for acne
    Make tea with horsetail. Use it to wash the face. Horsetail is very high in sulfur content, which was used in ancient times to heal skin conditions.
  • Ayurvedic  remedy for acne and acne scars
    There is a powerful remedy for acne, which involves using turmeric and sandalwood both of which are found in India. Make a paste of turmeric powder and sandalwood powder and apply it on the face. It can also be applied on the back ( if required ).

These ones are not so popular, but you can try them out as well as your home remedy for acne

  • Witch Hazel – This is the substance exuded by the leaves of witch hazel plant. It is powerful astringent and many people apply it on their skin. It is somewhat like aloe vera. Witch Hazel works fine for most types of acne. [6]
  • Lemon Honey Oatmeal face mask. Just mix all the three and apply as a face mask and see it work as anti-acne.
  • Powdered cinnamon with milk may work for acne. But use it only if you are not allergic to milk.
  • Complete egg face mask. Whip the egg really nice and apply on the face. It smells awful, but bear it for a while. Wash after 10 minutes or so.
  • The Mash up remedy : Mix lemon juice, sugar, salt, honey, baking soda and make into a face mask. This mashup works for increasingly large number of people. A benefit of this remedy is that it goes well with nearly every skin type – dull, oily, brittle.
  • Try extra virgin coconut oil on the face. Coconut oil is a great healer. If acne gets suppressed, continue with this remedy. On the other side, if acne pop out, discard it.
  • Bark of Willow Tree : If you can get your hands on this, then it would be great. Willow tree bark contains salicylates, which is the predecessor of salicylic acid. This compound is used in numerous formulations for acne [7]. As such, you can crush it into powder and apply on your pimples.
  • Cut out dairy and wheat from your diet. You may be having gluten or lactose intolerance which might be triggering those acne.
  • A few drops of garlic oil in a base oil ( like olive ) also seems to work because of its high anti-bacterial power.
  • Eats lots of Vitamin A rich foods – like tomato, sweet potato, carrots and drink their juices if you can’t get enough of them. Vitamin A is essential for skin regeneration and as such may help acne. Medications for cystic acne too are man made forms of Vitamin A.
  • Orange peel contains aromatic oils of the orange. You can just rub this on acne and check it out.


Try to keep your stress under control. Acne is one of those health issues which actually worsens with stress, there are more frequent breakouts. So, try to sleep on time. You can use chamomile tea to reduce stress naturally. Also try best not to pick the pimples. This can really aggravate the inflammation and lead to worsening of the problems. It can result in more painful acne and deeper scars.




1. Acne Treatments. Cyril Castor
2. Evaluation of the medicinal use of clay minerals as antibacterial agents. Lynda B. Williams and Shelley E. Haydel
3. Efficiency of cinnamon bark oil, clove bud oil, and turmeric oil in inhibiting of acne-causing bacteria. Authors. Charoenkul, N.; Rimkeeree, H.; Chompreeda, P.; Dilokkunanant, U.; Changchenkit, C.
4. Diet and Acne Redux. Valori Treloar, MD, CNS
5. A comparative study of tea-tree oil versus benzoylperoxide in the treatment of acne.Bassett IB1, Pannowitz DL, Barnetson RS
6. Moisturizers for Acne. What are their Constituents? Leena Chularojanamontri, MD, Papapit Tuchinda, MD, […], and Kamolwan Pongparit, MD
7.Treatment of acne vulgaris with salicylic acid pads.Zander E1, Weisman S