While incredibly common, acne can be challenging to treat and manage. It is caused by bacteria and clogged pores. You can use over-the-counter and various prescription medicines, but they may cause unwanted side effects.
If you have tried these treatments unsuccessfully or prefer to use a natural remedy, you could always try using herbal solutions. Here we look at some of the best herbal options to help treat your acne and skin issues.
Why Should You Use Herbs for Your Acne?
For many centuries, herbal remedies have been used to treat acne and various other skin conditions. And while there is not much scientific research to back up herbal remedies’ efficacy, you can find plenty of anecdotal evidence. Plus, using herbal treatments has fewer side effects than prescription medications.
Many herbs have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties that can reduce inflammation and acne-causing bacteria, and it can help heal blemishes.
If you have ever suffered from chronic acne, you will know that treating the condition takes time and takes more than just medicine to solve the problem. To allow your body to absorb the herbal treatment properly, it is advised that you follow a natural skincare routine, take a hormone-balancing herbal supplement (consult your doctor first – we will cover these supplements below), get plenty of fluids, and follow a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
Best Herbs to Treat Acne
Below are some of the best options for herbal acne treatment. These include herbs and spices that help kick your natural acne treatment to the next level. Remember that no one herb will cure acne, and for most of us, getting rid of acne takes a bit of trial and error, so feel free to experiment with the herbs below to find what works best for your body.
These herbs have many benefits, including fighting inflammation, reducing environmental damage, promoting healthier, glowing skin, and reversing premature aging. So let’s find out more about these herbs.
This herb is known to accelerate the skin’s healing process thanks to the alpha-bisabolol that it contains. It also compliments your skincare routine as it is an anti-irritant, so if you have to use a harsher, more aggressive acne cleanser with ingredients like retinol, chamomile can soothe your skin.
All you need to do is apply cool, used chamomile tea bags to your skin, or you can wash your face using cooled chamomile tea. You can also use chamomile essential oil mixed in a carrier oil (we recommend argan oil) to make a face oil.
Tea tree oil is used in many natural anti-acne products and helps stave off Propionibacterium acnes, or P. acnes bacteria, thanks to the terpenes found in tea tree oil. It penetrates the pores to remove blocked oil that causes breakouts.
You can incorporate it in many different ways. It can be diluted in a carrier oil and used as a spot treatment or face oil. Tea tree treatments are quite potent, so do a patch test to ensure you don’t have adverse reactions.
- NOTE: Tea tree oil should never be ingested.
Rubia cordifolia is a perennial herb more commonly called manjistha. It is popularly used in Ayurvedic medicines and is believed to support the lymphatic system, which is vital to healthy skin. Studies have shown that manjistha has antibacterial, antiandrogenic, and anti-inflammatory ability to treat and prevent acne.
Manjistha powder can be mixed with rose water or honey into a thick paste. Apply this to problem areas for 15 – 20 minutes, three times per week. It manages acne by preventing the growth of bacteria that causes acne.
This herb is popular for its antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps soothe damaged skin and heal wounds as it is a vulnerary agent.
All you need to do is brew the leaves like tea and make a toner. Store the calendula toner in your refrigerator and apply it every morning or evening once you have cleaned your skin. Follow this treatment with a soothing facial oil or face lotion. We highly recommend pairing this herb with the chamomile blend.
This herb is rich in astringent tannins that remove excess oil from your skin to reduce breakouts. It can also reduce bruising and redness and has anti-inflammatory effects to soothe your skin. You can use witch hazel as a standalone treatment or as a base for your other natural herbal acne remedies.
Not only is this natural ingredient delicious in food, but it is also filled with antioxidants that can protect your skin from harmful environmental aggressors. It can also reduce inflammation and help manage your blood sugar levels. Cinnamon has long been used to balance your hormones, which is the foundation for healthy, clear skin.
It is not recommended to apply cinnamon directly to the skin as it can cause irritation and inflammation. Instead, add some cinnamon to your diet each day – our favorite is sprinkling some into your coffee or on your oatmeal.
This bright yellow spice is found in turmeric and is filled with healthy antioxidants. While research on curcumin is still in the beginning stages, there have been suggestions that regular ingestion can treat skin infections and prevent different cancers.
You can use this natural treatment by cooking with it in vegetable dishes or stews. You can also add it to a glass of warm milk or make a skin-lightening face mask with garbanzo bean flour and turmeric.
This herb is used to “calm the heat” in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Skin inflammation or “heat” is often experienced with acne, rashes, psoriasis, sun sensitivity, and rosacea. Neem can also be used to disinfect wounds, treat burns, and bolster your skin’s immunity.
This herb is simple to use by diluting neem essential oil into a carrier oil to make an anti-acne oil. This treatment is ideal for those who struggle with acne and dry, flaky skin.
These are just a few of the best herbs that you can use to treat your acne naturally. As we have said, we recommend trying out a few of them to see what works best for you. And, of course, always consult with your doctor or dermatologist before starting any herbal treatments.