Pimples, zits, acne spots or whatever you want to call them…
Acne is horrible, you hate it – I hate it – none of us like having it. But it happens to almost all of us as some point in our lives.
It’s easy to spend copious amounts of energy and money trying to find and buy products to try and eliminate those pesky zits and spots, but a large proportion of them are harsh on skin and have other nasty side effects.
Just because they are designed to kill acne bacteria doesn’t mean they’re going to be good for your skin or help with the scarring that is often associated with pimples and acne.
Many pimple washes are designed for oily or teenage skins and don’t really cater for mature, normal or combination skin types.
Some of the common ingredients you’ll find in commercial pimple products are:
- Salicylic acid this ingredient is designed to kill acne causing bacteria and reduce pores. Is usually used in small quantities because it can cause redness and skin sensitivity. This ingredient can also be found in natural forms like willow bark which can be added to homemade facial masks for acne.
- Triclosan this is an antibacterial ingredient that kills acne causing bacteria. Natural alternatives to triclosan include tea tree oil, neem oil and other essential oils.
- Isotretinoin this ingredient is designed to reduce oil or sebum production for oily skin. It helps to unblock pores and soothe inflammation from pimples and acne cysts. Natural alternatives to this chemical that you can use an homemade facial masks recipes are honey, neem oil, calendula and several others.
- Alcohol and acetone these ingredients are astringent’s meaning they dry out skin and help to remove dirt and oils. They can be very harsh on sensitive skin and can even cause a burning sensation. Unfortunately these products can also stimulate more oil production in your skin creating an environment for more acne to develop. Natural astringents include aloe vera, witch hazel, fruit juices and cider vinegar. Natural home-made facial masks for oily skin don’t leave your skin feeling like it’s been dried, whipped and beaten but instead are soothing and bring balance back to your skin.
- Benzoyl peroxide this is one of the most popular active ingredients in acne treatment as it is an antibacterial ingredient that helps destroy bacteria. It also dissolves comedones which are an early sign of acne. It is usually used in 2 to 10% concentration, side effects can include dryness and scaling for some people and redness and swelling for others. Many natural essential oils do the same job without side-effects can easily be added to homemade facial masks for oily skin and acne.
- Sodium laureth sulphate this as a very common and seemingly benign ingredient added to many household cleaning and beauty products from dishwashing liquid to shampoo. It is used as a foaming agent used to create bubbles – or a foaming action. Many skins are highly sensitive to this ingredient and it can cause itchy scalp and itchy skin conditions. It’s also drying and can cause overstimulation of the oil glands.
- Sulphur Sulphur is an age old ingredient used to retard acne bacteria and reduce excess oil. It can be drying on the skin but is helpful when used in its natural form. Sulphur can be found in eggs and dried apricots.
- Antibiotics These are in prescription acne treatments. They are usually given over a specific course of time to treat acne and scarring. Many essential oils like Teatree and lavender as well as neem oil contain natural antibiotic properties as does colloidal silver.
Most active ingredients in pimple treatments can be found in your kitchen, garden or local health store. They are not only very effective for treating acne bacteria, but also offer lots of benefits for soothing inflamed skin and for preventing scarring, the tell-tale after-effects of pimples. You can read more about acne mask and treatment ingredients in: Natural Homemade Skin Care Recipes
Homemade facial masks for oily skin:
- Honey but especially UMF and manuka honey are rich in antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Honey is one of natures antibiotics, it can be used in all face masks for acne and oily skin. It soothes inflamed areas, it is moisturising and helps prevent scarring.
- Colloidal silver this is another liquid that offers antibiotic like properties and can be used in acne masks.
- Tea Tree Oil tea tree oil otherwise known as Melaleuca oil is both antibacterial and anti fungal. It’s a powerful ingredient to use for masks, pimple cleansers and in moisturizers. Add a few drops to your cleanser, moisturiser, pimple mask or even to a cup of water that you can spray onto a washcloth or splash on to skin.
- Lavender oil is very soothing and calming for all skin types but especially inflamed skin. It is also antiseptic helping to eliminate acne bacteria. Use a few drops like tea tree oil or as well as tea tree oil and a mask, serum, cleanser or moisturizer.
- Yogurt yogurt has mild antibacterial properties but more importantly serves as a great base to soothe inflamed skin with pimples or other inflammation. Add other ingredients to yoghurt for a soothing, refreshing and moisturising mask.
- Turmeric turmeric has been used in India to treat pimples and rashes. Add 1/4 of a teaspoon of turmeric to your home-made facial mask recipe to help treat pimples.
- Extra-virgin coconut oil coconut oil has antibacterial properties and is extremely moisturizing for skin. It’s also good for the prevention of scarring after acne breakouts.
- Almond oil this is a good moisturising base and helps to lighten and remove acne scars. You can use this direct on your skin or add a few drops of Teatree and lavender oil as a light anti acne moisturiser.
- Aspirin crush up an aspirin and add it to a homemade pimple mask. I am not sure how aspirin but it has proven to be very effective for acne.
- Toothpaste you can use toothpaste direct on acne spots or mix it with a pinch of turmeric and watch your acne spots dry up fast as a very simple spot treatment.
- Apple cider vinegar this is a natural astringent helpful for drying out oily skin and contains many other benefits to nourish your skin with essential vitamins.
- Aloe Vera Aloe gel or juice calms and balances skin, it also helps deal with scarring and can be added to home-made facial masks.
- Avocado this fruit is full of essential fatty acids and other skin nourishing ingredients making an excellent base for an acne mask for oily skin.
- Rosehip and Argan oil these are both great for scarring and can be added to the Almond oil serum below this ingredient list.
- Kiwifruit, pineapple, papaya and cantaloupe these fruits are high in protein dissolving enzymes which help to exfoliate dead skin cells, removing dormant bacteria and lifting scarred layers of skin. Mash a tablespoon or two of any of these fruits, add them to a home-made face mask for a brightening exfoliating boost.
- Bergamot this essential oil is antibacterial and excellent for acneic skin.
- Banana a good base for any facial mask. It is moisturizing and neutral for skin.
- Oatmeal (ground) oatmeal is soothing for inflamed skin. It helps to calm itching and redness so its a good base ingredient for masks.
- Lemon or lime juice this is an astringent and aids the ability of the other ingredients to work.
How to make homemade facial mask recipes for acne and pimples:
Almond oil acne pimple serum – half a cup Almond oil infused with 3 drops each of tea tree and lavender or rosemary oil added to it as a light moisturizing treatment. Apply under moisturizer allowing to “soak in” before applying moisturizer or makeup on top.
This is a simple recipe that you can adapt and “play with” and make it your own. Don’t be scared to add other ingredients like Neroli for red veins or Rosehip and Argan oil for scarring.
You can also make a serum with these oils. A blend of argan, almond and rose hip in equal quantities with tea tree and lavender make a very powerful acne pimple serum.
If you want some really effective acne recipes, you can find over 20 of them in my book Natural Home Made Skin Care Recipes: Rejuvenating Renewing Masks And Treatments For Beautiful Skin (it’s $10.35 on Amazon) or you may be interested in reading my review on Fix Your Acne by James Jenick (it’s a very comprehensive guide to dealing with acne permanently).