Here's the Truth About Your Quick Acne Treatments

We apply science to your favorite home remedies.
by Ryanne Co   |  Jun 10, 2017
Art: Clare Magno
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We've all gotten annoying pimples and we've all Googled about the quickest way to get rid of them. Search about it online and you'll get tons of hits about various home remedies that may or may not work. Here are a few of the most popular ones and whether or not you should go ahead and try it out.

Toothpaste

It works! But there's a catch...

Toothpaste is a popular home remedy for acne—especially if you need to obliterate a particularly pesky pimple overnight. It definitely works as ingredients in toothpaste such as baking soda, alcohol, and triclosan work towards drying the pimple out. But remember, Candy Girls, toothpaste is for your teeth, not your skin. Treating facial acne this way could lead to redness or irritation, especially for those with sensitive skin.

Tea tree oil

Yes, but it's best to dilute it first if you have sensitive skin.

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Tea tree oil is definitely more reliable than toothpaste when it comes to zapping zits, but be careful not to overdo it! While it's gentler than benzoyl peroxide as an acne buster, it could still dry your skin out when too much is applied, making your acne go from bad to worst! To use tea tree oil responsibly, apply only one or two drops to the affected area. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to dilute it with other oils such as coconut oil.

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Baking soda

Yes, but moisturize after.

Treating pimples always involves drying the zit up and baking soda is a great way to do that. Sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda) is great for exfoliating, but some people may find that they're allergic to it. Try testing it on a patch of skin on your neck or hands first before fully committing to putting this on your entire face. Also, don't apply it every day! Twice or thrice a week will be fine, then moisturize after.

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Cinnamon and Honey

Yes, but you have to have a specific kind of honey and cinnamon for it to be fully effective.

Honey is great because it's not harsh, but it still works as a great anti-bacterial. The only drawback is that it's sticky. Cinnamon, on the other hand, works to exfoliate and adds extra strength to the anti-bacterial properties of honey. The only drawback here is that you can't use just any type of cinnamon or honey off the market. The honey you use has to be raw (not the processed stuff you use for your pancakes!) and the best kind of cinnamon for this is Cinnamomum zeylanicum, also called "true cinnamon."

Lemons

Yes, but don't use it directly on your skin.

Lemons work by drying out the pimple and it can cause a stinging feeling because of how acidic it naturally is. If you want to try this but have sensitive skin, consider mixing it with other ingredients such as honey so it won't completely dry out the sensitive skin on your face.

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What other prescription-free ways do you treat your acne?

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Ryanne Co
Fashion and Beauty Intern
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