Acne Home Remedies

The Best (and Worst) Acne Home Remedies

Seems like everyone has a few acne home remedies that have been passed down from family members or read about on a website somewhere. Effective or not, acne home remedies remain popular.

Honestly, if you have more than just an occasional pimple, most acne home remedies aren’t going to have an appreciable effect on your skin. You’ll save yourself a lot of disappointment, frustration, and (in some cases) money, by seeing a doctor about your acne first.

That said, many people like using acne home remedies. Are any acne home remedies actually helpful? Here are the best (and worst) acne home remedies.

Teenage girl applying face mask
Elisabeth Schmitt/Getty Images

If the natural route is where you’re coming from when you think acne home remedies, you’re probably interested in alternative treatments.

If you decide to go this route, take the time to educate yourself. Most alternative treatments have not been extensively studied.

Also, be wary of any company trying to sell their "miracle" acne treatment.

That said, some alternative treatments (like tea tree essential oil, zinc, and green tea extract) have shown promise as acne home remedies.


“Kitchen” Remedies

Many people love mixing up their own handmade masks. It’s a fun hobby. Plenty of books and internet pages have recipes for handmade acne “treatments.”

Could the secret to clear skin really be right in your own kitchen? Probably not. If simple kitchen ingredients worked well, the acne medications of today would never have been developed.

That’s not to say there are no benefits to these handmade skin care preparations. They can make your skin feel softer, and are an inexpensive yet decadent way to pamper yourself.

Just use common sense when making kitchen facial masks. Many popular acne home remedies call for lemon, garlic, cinnamon or cloves. When applied to the skin, these can lead to contact dermatitis.

Over-the-counter treatments aren’t typically what come to mind when people think acne home remedies, but they are definitely the most effective. Found at drug stores, skin spas, and some department stores, OTC treatments are easy to find and generally inexpensive.

If you like the idea of high-tech acne home remedies, you might want to try the Zeno Acne Clearing Device. While it’s not cheap, many people find it works well to reduce inflamed pimples. Zeno Acne Clearing Device works by heating the dermis, killing the bacteria that causes inflamed blemishes.

As far as acne home remedies go, OTC treatments will give you the most bang for your buck.

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While some people swear it works for individual pimples, toothpaste isn't going to clear a case of acne.

Many toothpastes contain triclosan, which is meant to kill bad breath germs. Triclosan is also an ingredient in some acne treatment products.

But toothpaste also contains other ingredients that can irritate the skin when left on for long periods of time. Who wants to irritate an already inflamed zit?

Skip the toothpaste and use an acne spot treatment instead.


This has to be the most intriguing, if not slightly disturbing, of all acne home remedies. Everyone has heard some version of it: Take a baby’s wet diaper and apply it to the face, or use your own urine first thing in the morning.

People swear this works. But have you ever talked to anyone who actually tried it? Didn’t think so.

There is no evidence that urine of any sort clears acne, so there is no need for you to try this remedy for yourself (thank goodness).


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