Even though the first thing that comes to mind when you think of acne is those horrid teen years you wish you could forget, acne can even get the best of us far into adulthood. (Sad but true, many battle acne and wrinkles at the same time!) Cystic acne can often take a toll on our confidence and while having the luxury to make weekly trips to the dermatologist sounds like a dream, it’s not always ideal for your busy schedule or your budget. Fortunately, that’s not the only option to treat cystic acne -- there are some great at-home alternatives that can help heal your skin without breaking the bank.
The following tips and tricks are some helpful and easy remedies that won’t leave you looking like a failed Pinterest DIY:
- Tumeric powder
Tumeric powder is an inexpensive and effective anti-inflammatory that has multiple skin benefits including brightening and tightening pores as well as clearing and preventing acne. When the powder is mixed with water, a thick paste is formed that can be applied as a spot treatment for cystic acne. Leave on for 45 minutes up to twice a day for a deep treatment that will drain the acne.
You already know to ice an injury, but ice also acts as a quick-fix for easing redness and inflammation in the blemishes when held over the acne. The ice will also close and shrink the appearance of pores, which is the same reason beauty experts tell us to end a shower with cold water to close hair follicles for smooth, shiny hair.
As random as it seems, this next remedy is something you probably have in your kitchen but wouldn’t expect to fit into your skincare regimen. Potatoes have an antioxidant factor that has the ability to reduce inflammation and redness, and to strip the pores of the acne-causing bacteria and oil on your skin when applied directly to the breakouts. Peel and chop a potato then blend it into a paste. Apply it directly onto the cystic acne and leave on for about 15 minutes, then rinse off any residue with cool water. You can do this up to 2 to 3 times a day.
Toothpaste typically contains ingredients including alcohol and fluoride, which have properties that will dry out the pimples when used as a spot treatment. Apply a small amount over the acne for 15 minutes up to twice a day. Just be sure you are using a plain, non-gel toothpaste for this to work (no teeth whitening ones, etc.). The great part of this one is it will be easy to remember and implement this trick since you will already be using toothpaste to brush your teeth – just add a skin-saving step. Talk about multitasking!
Though it’s easy to focus on the way your skin looks on the outside, great skin starts with what you’re feeding it with on the inside. Be mindful of what you eat each day and the effect it could have on your skin’s behavior. Yes, re-thinking our diets and cutting back on our favorite foods can be a challenge, but I’ve seen the benefits on my clients and the effort pays off.
Check out the list below, and if you’re searching for a long-term remedy for fighting cystic acne, you may want to look into changing your diet to include these skin-loving, inflammation-fighting foods:
- Probiotic rich foods -- acne can be caused by yeast or a bacteria-filled gut, so having probiotic rich foods that help your gut cleanse itself will also have a positive effect on your skin.
- Yogurt, kefir, and veggies -- these foods in particular are good probiotics that help seal the gut with a healthy barrier that prevents acne-causing inflammation. That’s also why yogurt has been used for years as an at-home natural face mask.
Just as importantly, make sure to cut back on the foods that have a reputation for causing skin to misbehave with cystic acne:
- An excess amount of dairy -- dairy has a lot of oil-inducing properties that can often cause oily pores, which leads to acne. I always advise my clients to remove as much of the dairy in their diet as possible, and I’ve seen positive results in my clients that have tried this.
- Sugar and gluten -- gluten and sugar affect inflammatory regulation in your intestine, which can through your system off-track and result in cystic acne.
When you’re fighting acne and you’re stuck with a pesky pimple you are tempted to pop, please, resist the urge. Popping blemishes is the fastest way to create more, since the pus released when each one is popped spreads to surrounding areas, which will only create a bigger problem than you had to begin with. On top of that, popping pimples can cause acne scarring once the pimple is gone – the long-term damage is simply not worth it!
When your acne does fade, make sure to go back to your regular moisturizing, since the process of healing acne can often dry out your skin. It may seem counterintuitive to add hydration to skin that leans toward oiliness, but the goal is to restore the balance in your complexion and keep it that way.
Now that you have all the beauty secrets you need to conquer cystic acne, I can only hope this was the last frantic Google search you will have to make about the annoyance of acne.
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