Acne, pimples, blemishes, zits—whatever you choose to call them, we've all had these irritating spots bestowed upon our complexion at one point or another. If you're like me, when they happen, they're LOUD, proud, and around for ages. Welled-up frustration causes an immediate urge to use any and all combative measures against the spots. Unfortunately, doing this might be causing more harm than good, especially if you're using potent products containing harsh chemicals. In this post, we'll be taking a look at the real implications of using such topical treatments, as well as defining some natural (and effective!) alternatives to get rid of acne.
So...What Causes Acne?
It couldn't be my emotional imbalance and propensity to use anything chocolate-covered or salted as a means of comfort, right? All jokes aside, there are many factors that cause acne to surface. Be it hormones or genetics, diet or another reason, there's a lot that can influence skin clarity. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne surfaces when the pore clogs with dead skin cells kept from shedding by excess sebum.
Mainstream Solutions to Get Rid of Acne - The Reality
Two of the most common ingredients for over-the-counter (OTC) treatments to help get rid of acne are salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. While some have seen results using these ingredients, they've also been known to bring about negative consequences in others.
Irritation, excessive dryness, and redness or peeling are just some of the side effects reported. I've personally experienced these when using these particular treatments, however, at the time I had just pinned it on the sensitive nature of my skin. Only recently did I discover it's a commonly-shared result. In rare cases, the FDA warns of potential, severe allergic reactions to these chemicals. Yikes, right?
Natural Ingredients to get rid of acne and banish blemishes
Thankfully, you don't have to settle for angry, uncomfortable skin to see your pimples recede. A myriad of other options exist that bring gentility and great results while being derived from nature.
1. Tea Tree Oil
Like other essential oils, tea tree oil is steam-distilled from the plant of the same name. It's been found to have antioxidant and anti-microbial benefits, making it a strong contender against acne's brawn.
Tea tree oil is a shining feature of Beauty by Earth's Peppermint Tea Tree Foaming Face Wash and has a hundred positive reviews including from those whom it's helped to get rid of acne. By incorporating tea tree in your cleansing routine, you'll begin to see more balance.
2. Bentonite Clay
The minerals that make up clay are able to detoxify and deep-clean your pores, clearing out the built up skin cells, oils, and dirt that cause the formation of impurities. Because of its consistency and benefits to help get rid of acne, it's a popular ingredient in face masks such as our Clear-Complexion Hydrating Face Mask.
3. Activated Charcoal
The absorbent nature of activated charcoal has the ability to draw out any unwanted gunk lurking in pores. In addition, its anti-fungal properties can help target fungal acne specifically, which is caused as a result of an overgrowth of yeast in your hair follicles.
Charcoal bars, such as this one, harness its perks in a way that's easy to use on the face and works great to help fight off acne.
4. Super fruits
There's a reason they're super. Not only can incorporating them into your diet be beneficial to your health, using them topically via their extracts can also prevent acne. This is due to the delivery of nutrition and lessening of oil. Pretty fruit-ing cool, huh? Go for a cleanser that uses these to see a difference in your skin.
Other Ways to Prevent and Get Rid of Acne
Besides vamping up your skincare regimen with wholesome products, there's also a number of lifestyle changes that can help get rid of acne and prevent it from coming back, including:
- A healthier diet, with a more careful consumption of sugar and salt, which is known to disrupt skin quality.
- Increased water intake.
- Prevention of stress through mindfulness exercises, schedule adjustment, exercise, etc.
- Wear less makeup, or, make sure you properly remove it.
- Get some sleep!
- Wear sunscreen and try to limit UV exposure.
While acne is a major source of insecurity and quite difficult to deal with, it's important to remember you are not alone. Despite the alienation you may feel walking around with a collection of red spots, you should remember that most people have gone through the same plight. Rather than feeling ashamed because of a breakout, focus on recognizing your beauty—both inside and out. You aren't defined by some measly bumps!
Want to share your acne journey? Have any natural tips to help get rid of acne? Please share below!