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What are Some Natural Acne Treatments?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are plenty of natural acne treatments to choose from, and some may be as effective as over the counter treatments you can try for acne. While some natural acne treatments focus on using specific types of naturally derived compounds, others are centered more on behavioral changes that may assist in helping to clear certain types of acne. Not all acne is treatable with low strength treatments or with natural or over the counter methods. Some persistent acne may need a more aggressive approach, such as prescription strength medications.

You can find a variety of natural acne treatments that contain things similar to chemically derived substances. If you look in health food stores or those stores that specialize in organic or natural beauty products, you’ll find lotions, toners and masks that have naturally derived salicylic acid, citric acid or alpha hydroxy acid. Salicylic acid is considered one of the best potential treatments for acne, especially if you’re trying to tame a single blemish. Most acids have the disadvantage of the potential to dry the skin, cause skin redness, or cause peeling. This may be problematic if you have significant acne and may worsen acne in some people.

Another popular acne treatment is made with tea tree oil. This oil tends to be roughly as effective as using agents like peroxide on the skin. There is some concern that tea tree oil may result in skin difficulties, especially skin irritation. Only a few people contract skin irritation and redness from tea tree oil. If you notice irritation of the skin with this or any other natural acne treatments, you should stop using them.

Other recommendations for natural ways to tame acne include using lotions with zinc or taking zinc supplements. Zinc can seriously upset some people’s stomachs. If you notice stomach pain when taking zinc, discontinue it. Other vitamins said to help acne include oral vitamins A and E. Some people claim B complex vitamins promote clearer skin. With the exception of zinc, claims about topical or oral treatments with these vitamins are not that strong.

Some people recommend behavior and/or dietary changes as natural acne treatments. Common advice includes making sure the diet has plenty of fruits and vegetables and making sure that you drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Others suggest that people should avoid foods that are very greasy, but that it’s important to get a small amount of oil each day.

Occasionally, natural acne treatments focus on what you should avoid doing. For instance, if you have acne all the time, you should try to keep your hands off your face. It’s important to wash your face with a mild soap twice a day, but no more than that. Usually you should not try to pop pimples since that can spread bacteria and scar the skin. It may help to use products on the skin that don’t block pores; these are usually marketed as noncomedogenic.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen , Writer
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

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Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen


With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia...
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