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Spot treat acne with a benzoyl peroxide gel. This gel can be bought from grocery stores, pharmacies, and beauty stores. Apply a dot of the gel on a pimple and pat it in with a clean finger. Look for products with 3% or less of benzoyl peroxide to avoid irritating your skin.[3]

Witch hazel may be applied directly to your skin using a cotton swab or cotton ball. You can also combine it with a carrier oil and other acne herbal remedies. You should not drink or inject witch hazel.

Coconut Oil is rich in lauric and caprylic acid. Both of them possess antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties which naturally fight the bacteria causing cystic acne. Vitamin E present in coconut oil deals with free radicals and which help to remove acne scars.

The best way to fix them: Since they’re more closely related to bacteria than your hormones or a lack of exfoliation, papular pustules require a different plan of attack entirely. “Inflammatory acne types really respond to antibiotics, either topical or systemic,” says Dr. Hale. These, of course, require a trip to your dermatologist. To tide you over, you could also try applying hydrocortisone cream, which temporarily takes down redness and swelling. But in the long run, it won’t do much to make these disappear completely or keep them from popping up again.

Minimize Stress – As indicated earlier, stress can be a major factor in acne breakouts. If left unchecked, excess stress hormones (Cortisol, Adrenaline and Epinephrine) can make fighting acne a losing battle. Effective stress management via exercise, meditation and yoga combined with some of the dietary guidelines listed here will do wonders for your skin, as well as your overall health.

Though it’s best to prevent acne scars in the first place, there are some treatments you can try to reduce the appearance of acne scars. However, it’s important to treat active acne first and address scars after the acne is under control.

While you’re sleeping, dead skin cells and body oils rub off on to your sheets. “Built-up oils and bacteria on your sheets may be contributing to your [bacne] breakouts,” says Dr. Lamb. She recommends washing sheets weekly to reduce the amount of pore-clogging oils your skin is exposed to. The same goes for towels, bras, and pajamas: If it touches your skin, keep it clean.

Wash your face every morning and night, but when you do it at night, wait for your face to dry, then use a cotton pad and wipe your face with alcohol. After you wash your face in the morning, use a face lotion, and absolutely do not poke at your face unless it is to blackheads.

The only thing that’s sort of worked is Spironolactone, an anti-androgen that helps regulate hormones, in conjunction with birth control pills. But popping two pills a day was making me feel like a geriatric, so I stopped taking them and started a new, way simpler regimen: I wash my face with a salicylic acid cleanser — and that’s it. And the acne is back in full force.

Probiotic-rich foods: The healthier your gut is, the better your balance of good versus bad bacteria. When you consume probiotic-rich foods like kefir and cultured vegetables, the probiotics line your gut and create a healthy, sealed barrier that prevents inflammation that can trigger acne. One Korean study of 56 acne patients found that drinking a Lactobacillus-fermented dairy beverage effectively reduced their total acne lesion count and decreased oil production over 12 weeks. (3)

Vinegar and baking soda are household chemicals and they are not safer just because they are not in a bottle in the skincare aisle. Baking soda can be used to scrub stains out of a toilet while vinegar can be used to break down lime build-up on your tub or sink. These are chemicals. They are not safer than your Cetaphil cleanser just because they are only one or two ingredients.

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