Use Herbs to Treat Acne

Acne is a skin issue that can affect anyone at any age. Although not considered dangerous, acne is unwanted. There are many products available at the store, but these can be harsh and affect your skin in other ways. Some people find that using herbal remedies is a gentler method for treating their acne.


Using Herbal Acne Treatments

  1. Try a green tea wash or extract. Drinking or applying green tea to your skin may help to reduce acne. Green tea may also help reduce the amount of oil that your skin produces, fight bacteria, heal affected areas, and reduce stress related hormones in your body. Try using green tea in some of the following ways to help fight acne:[1][2]
    • Drinking up to six cups of green tea every day can help reduce acne. Drink decaf green tea if you are sensitive to caffeine.
    • You can brew green tea, allow it to cool, and then apply it to your face using a cotton ball.
    • Lotions with 2% green tea extract have been studied and shown to be useful in treating acne.
  2. Apply tea tree oil. Tea tree oil may also help to fight acne, especially during a major outbreak. If you are currently having an outbreak of acne, try applying a gel with around 5% tea tree oil to your face. This may help with inflammation and reduce the duration of the outbreak. These tea tree oil gels should only ever be used topically and only during an outbreak.[2][3]
    • Tea tree oil may also reduce redness and prevent bacterial growth.
    • Tea tree oil treatments may work more slowly than treatments containing 5% benzoyl peroxide.
    • Tea tree oil may have some side effects. These include contact dermatitis and a possible worsening of rosacea.
  3. Use jojoba and carrot seed oil. Jojoba and carrot seed oils may be helpful in healing the skin and preventing excess oil production. The jojoba oil is thought to be responsible for removing excess oil, while the carrot seed oil can help restore and heal affected areas. Try making a mixture of these two oils using the following recipe:[4]
    • Take one ounce of jojoba oil.
    • Add a few drops of carrot seed oil to the jojoba oil.
    • Apply a few drops to your face. Use only a small amount when applying the oil to your skin.
  4. Mix honey, cinnamon and nutmeg. Using a topical mixture of honey, cinnamon and nutmeg has been found effective in treating acne. This mixture is applied to the face, either as a mask or only to affected areas. These three ingredients all work to reduce inflammation, prevent infection, and heal the skin. Use the following recipe to make your own mixture at home:[5][4]
    • You need one teaspoon of ground cinnamon, one teaspoon of ground nutmeg, and one teaspoon of honey.
    • Mix them together in a paste.
    • Apply this mixture to either the entire face or affected areas.
    • Wear this for no more than one half hour.
  5. Try using aloe vera. Aloe vera can be a useful plant when you are trying to prevent or heal acne outbreaks. In some studies, aloe vera significantly increased the effects of other treatments. Aloe vera may also help heal the skin after an outbreak occurs. Try applying aloe vera to help speed along recovery and prevent further acne outbreaks.[6][2]
    • Fresh aloe vera is the best option. Break a leaf of aloe vera open and use the gel that comes from it for best results.
    • Leave the aloe vera gel on your face for around three to five minutes.
    • Wash the area and apply an oil-free moisturizer.

Using Additional Natural Treatments

  1. Take bitter herbs before meals. Some studies have shown that patients who have acne also have lower levels of stomach acid. Because of this, it can be a good idea to consume bitter herbs with meals. Bitter herbs can stimulate digestion and change stomach acid levels, possibly lowering the chances of a future acne outbreak.[7]
    • Most extracts will have the appropriate dosage listed on the bottle.
    • Some examples of bitter herbs include dandelion leaf and root, yarrow, wormwood, and gentian.
    • Always consume bitter herbs with meals.
    • Try adding dark, bitter greens to your meals or salads. For example, adding arugula can be a simple way to consume more bitters.
    • Eating some dandelion leaves with your meal can be a simple way to add bitters to your meal.
  2. Try Moroccan Rhassoul clay. Many acne treatments may help reduce the effects of an outbreak, but can be harmful or rough on your skin. Using rhassoul clay may help to reduce the chances of future outbreaks without causing additional damage. Try applying some rhassoul clay to affected areas to help slow down oil production and possibly even prevent further outbreaks.[3]
    • Mix 1 teaspoon of rhassoul clay with warm water to create a paste. This can be worn as a face mask.
    • You can try mixing other herbs into the clay for a greater effect. Green tea leaves can be a good addition if your face is oily. Adding chamomile can help with redness.
    • Try to use rhassoul clay daily. Remove if your skin starts to feel dry or tight.
  3. Make changes to your diet. Your diet has a wide range of effects on your health and well being. Diet can also have an effect on how likely you are to have an acne outbreak. Making some simple changes to your diet can be a natural way for you to lower the severity and frequency of acne outbreaks. Keep some of the following ideas in mind when reviewing your diet:[8]
    • Try to steer clear of processed foods. Eat more whole foods instead, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
    • Lower your intake of dairy products.
    • Foods that are high in carbohydrates may trigger acne outbreaks. These include things like bread and pasta.
  4. Lower stress levels. Stress may also cause acne outbreaks, so it is important to keep your stress under control. Whenever possible, try to reduce the amount of stress in your daily life to help lessen the severity of any acne problem.[8][9]
    • You might try meditation or exercise to lower stress.
    • Going for a peaceful walk outdoors can be a good way to relax.
    • If possible, avoid any situations that you find stressful.

Creating A Daily Routine

  1. Wash your skin with grains. Part of stopping another outbreak of acne involves keeping your skin fresh and clean. While soap and water may work, they can dry the skin out or may add oil to your skin, resulting in more skin problems. Some people recommend using a grain mixture to gently wash away dirt and dead skin, keeping your skin clean and healthy. Apply this recipe from a leading herbalist to your face in the evenings, gently rubbing it in, before washing it off:[10]
    • 1 cup of ground oatmeal
    • 2 cups of white clay
    • 1/4 cup of ground almonds
    • 1/4 cup of ground lavender
    • 1/4 cup of ground roses
    • Optional oils such as peppermint or orange
    • Mix these together with water to create a paste you can apply.
  2. Make an astringent. Although your skin breathes and functions through its pores, open pores can also become clogged. Tightening your pores using an astringent may help to prevent them from becoming clogged and reduce the chances of an acne outbreak. To create an astringent, you will need to:[10]
    • Take 1 1/2 cups fresh lemon balm, 1 cup fresh chamomile flowers, 1 cup fresh rose petals, 3/4 cups calendula, 3/4 cup comfrey, 1/4 cup fresh rosemary, and a tablespoon of lemon peel. Place them in a large jar.
    • Cover the herbs with witch hazel extract. Allow the herbs to sit for two weeks, then strain the liquid and discard the herbs.
    • Add 1/2 cup rosewater.
    • Apply the astringent nightly using a cotton ball.
  3. Keep your skin moisturized. Your skin may become dried out after applying certain herbal treatments. On the other hand, your skin may be made more oily by them. By regularly applying a non-oily moisturizer daily, you can help maintain a balance and prevent acne outbreaks. Try this recipe to get you started:[10]
    • Boil rose hips and a few drops of rose water together.
    • Strain this mixture.
    • Add two tablespoons of aloe juice.
    • Keep this refrigerated and apply daily for the best effect.


  • Make sure that you test any new products on your skin before using them. Apply a small amount of the product to the inside of your wrist and wait 24 to 48 hours. Then, check the area to see how it looks. If there are any signs of redness or irritation, then do not use the product. If your skin looks normal, then it is probably safe to use.

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