Acne and breakouts are a total bummer, and it feels like we’ve tried every drugstore product to keep them at bay. One area we haven’t explored so thoroughly is treating pimples naturally. Keep in mind that not all acne can be cured this way (notably, the hormonal variety), so the following solutions aren’t one-size-fits-all cures. Still, if your breakouts are caused by things like stress, these four solutions might be worth a shot.
How to Clear Up Acne Naturally: 5 Solutions to Try
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1. Green Tea
With antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, green tea extract can inhibit the activity of your skin's oil-producing cells. To give it a try, brew a bag of green tea (or even matcha, which is a similar version of green tea) and let it cool. Then, dip a washcloth in the tea and press it gently on the affected areas for a few minutes.
Buy it: Pukka matcha ($16); Tazo green tea ($20)
2. Witch Hazel
This astringent compound—produced from the leaves and bark of the North American witch-hazel shrub—naturally dries and shrinks blemishes. After cleansing your face, pour a small amount onto a cotton ball and apply to blemishes morning and night.
Buy it: T.N. Dickinson ($7); Bioré ($8); Thayers ($11)
The extracts of this flower can help decrease the inflammation related to breakouts. There are two ways to try it after cleansing: First, combine the contents of a chamomile tea bag with enough water to form a paste, then apply that to your face. Or follow the green-tea method above.
Buy it: Harney & Sons ($8); Celestial Seasonings ($14)
4. Aloe Vera
In addition to soothing sunburns, aloe can fight inflammation, promote healing and reduce scarring. To reap the benefits, scrape the gel out of an aloe plant and apply directly to affected areas, or treat your skin with pure aloe gel, which is available at most health-food stores.
Buy it: Skinfood ($8); Babo Botanicals ($15)
5. Tea Tree Oil
This anti-microbial essential oil unblocks sebaceous glands and unclog pores to help fight acne-causing bacteria. Because it's all-natural and not made up of chemicals like many other acne remedies, it can be used as often as you like. Just be aware that it can dry out skin, so consider diluting it in a moisturizer or hydrating serum.
Buy it: Plant therapy tea tree oil ($8); Briogeo tea tree oil ($32); The Body Shop tea tree oil blemish kit ($39)