Acne is a common skin condition that affects about 85% of the population at some point, and symptoms include annoying facial pimples that can be frustrating and difficult to get rid of.
Although it is possible to get rid of pimples with common treatments, they are often associated with harmful effects, such as irritation and dry skin.
As such, many people have turned to natural alternatives to get rid of pimples faster.
However, although there are many natural acne remedies, only a few have been scientifically proven to help.
So, in the rest of the article, find out the best natural ways to get rid of acne, pimples and pimples on the face quickly.
The best natural ways to get rid of pimples fast
1. Treatment with tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is extracted from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia tree. It is known for its ability to fight bacteria and reduce inflammation and redness of the skin.
Specifically, tea tree oil helps fight P. acnes and S. epidermidis, two types of bacteria that can cause pimples.
One study found that 5% tea tree oil gel was almost four times more effective in reducing acne lesions.
Another study found that a gel containing 5% tea tree oil was just as effective in reducing pimples as a lotion containing 5% benzoyl peroxide, a common acne treatment.
Treatment with tea tree oil also resulted in fewer adverse effects, including dryness, irritation, and burning.
It is important to note that tea tree oil is very strong and can cause redness and irritation when applied directly to the skin. For this reason, it should be diluted with the base.
According to the European Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, only a small amount of research has been conducted on the topical use of tea tree oil for health conditions, and a limited amount of research indicates that tea tree oil may be beneficial for acne.
If you decide to try it, use it safely and always do a patch test on your skin, as tea tree oil can be very irritating and should never be applied to the skin undiluted.
How to use tea tree oil for acne:
2. Treatment with other essential oils
Along with tea tree oil, many other essential oils with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties can help clear up pimples quickly.
Cinnamon, rose, lavender, and clove essential oils have been proven to fight the acne-causing bacteria S. epidermidis and P. acnes. Rosemary and lemongrass have also been shown to inhibit P. acnes.
One study compared the acne-fighting abilities of basil and clove oil, 10% benzoyl peroxide, and a placebo. Both 2% and 5% basil and clove oils have been found to be more effective and faster in reducing pimples than benzoyl peroxide.
Another study found that a gel containing acetic acid, orange, and basil and clove essential oils resulted in a 75% increase in the healing rate of pimples.
Like tea tree oil, these essential oils are highly concentrated and can cause irritation if applied directly to the skin.
Be sure to dilute all essential oils with a base, make a patch test before regular use, and discontinue use if irritation develops.
How to use essential oils against acne:
3. Apply green tea to the skin
Many people drink green tea for its health benefits, but it can also be beneficial when applied directly to the skin.
Green tea contains flavonoids and tannins that are known to help fight inflammation and bacteria that can cause pimples.
It’s also rich in the antioxidant epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which has been shown to fight inflammation, reduce sebum production, and inhibit the growth of P. acnes in people with acne-prone skin.
Multiple studies have shown that people with acne have significantly less sebum production and pimples when they apply 2-3% green tea extract to their skin.
There are a handful of skin care products on the market that contain green tea, but it’s very simple and cost-effective to make your own mixture at home.
How to use green tea against acne:
- Steep green tea in boiling water for 3-4 minutes.
- Allow the tea to cool.
- Apply it to your face with a cotton ball or spray it with a spray bottle.
- Leave it on for 10 minutes or overnight, then rinse your face with water.
- Apply 1-2 times a day as needed. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
4. Moisturize pimples with Aloe vera
Aloe vera is a tropical plant with leaves that produce a clear gel. When applied to the skin, Aloe Vera gel has been shown to help fight bacteria, reduce inflammation and promote wound healing.
This is why it is a popular treatment for a variety of skin conditions, including psoriasis, rashes, cuts and burns.
There are limited studies on aloe vera’s ability to specifically fight acne, but the research that does exist is promising. Aloe vera contains lupeol, salicylic acid, urea nitrogen, cinnamic acid, phenols, and sulfur, all of which inhibit bacteria that can cause pimples.
In one study, different concentrations of aloe vera gel were added with clove and basil oil and it was evaluated for its anti-acne properties. The higher the concentration of aloe vera in the lotion, the more effective it was in reducing pimples.
Another study found that using 50% aloe vera gel with tretinoin cream was significantly more effective at clearing pimples than tretinoin cream alone. Tretinoin cream is an anti-acne medication derived from vitamin A.
Although aloe vera gel can help clear up pimples on its own, it may be more effective when combined with other medications or creams.
How to use aloe vera gel against pimples:
Longer-term acne medications
Several other natural acne treatments have been shown to be effective with consistent, long-term use.
Although the natural remedies below may not clear up pimples quickly, they can help prevent and treat acne over time.
5. Take a zinc supplement
The mineral zinc plays a role in wound healing and can help reduce inflammation. As such, it has been studied as a possible way to treat acne.
Research has shown that people with acne tend to have lower levels of zinc in their blood than those with clear skin.
Taking a zinc supplement has been shown to help. In fact, several studies have found that taking 30-45 mg of elemental zinc daily can significantly reduce acne breakouts.
In one particular study, 48 people with acne took zinc supplements 3 times a day. After 8 weeks, 38 of them experienced an 80-100% reduction in pimples.
Zinc is available in many forms, each containing a different amount of elemental zinc. Regardless of which form you choose, it’s probably best not to take more than the recommended upper limit of 40 mg of zinc per day.
Taking too much zinc can cause adverse effects, including abdominal pain and intestinal irritation.
6. Consume brewer’s yeast
A specific strain of brewer’s yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae also appears to help reduce acne breakouts when consumed.
Brewer’s yeast is a good source of B vitamins, chromium, copper, iron and zinc. However, its ability to treat pimples is most likely due to its antibacterial effect.
Studies have shown that brewer’s yeast has no side effects, but a few people have reported mild gas, bloating, or headaches after consuming it.
7. Try a fish oil supplement
Fish oils contain the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Studies show that consuming EPA can help manage oil production, prevent breakouts, and help the skin maintain proper hydration.
High levels of EPA and DHA have also been shown to reduce factors that contribute to inflammation, which can ultimately reduce the risk of acne.
You can also get omega-3 fatty acids by eating walnuts, chia seeds, ground flax seeds, salmon, sardines and anchovies. However, the above plant sources contain the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and little or no EPA or DHA.
Taking a concentrated omega-3 supplement can help you get more EPA and DHA for better acne treatment.
Other ways to help reduce pimples
Although people have been using natural acne remedies for years, research on the subject is still emerging.
The medications listed below may benefit acne-prone skin, but there are no studies on their ability to treat acne:
- Witch hazel. Applying witch hazel to the skin has been shown to fight bacteria and reduce inflammation, which could help prevent pimples.
- Apple cider vinegar. The organic acids in apple cider vinegar can help kill acne-causing bacteria and reduce the appearance of scars.
- Limit your intake of dairy products. Two large studies have reported that people who drink more milk have more acne, but more research is needed.
- Try a honey and cinnamon mask. Honey and cinnamon have antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, so it can benefit acne-prone skin when applied to it.
- Reduce stress. Some studies have linked stress to acne breakouts. Ask your doctor about relaxation techniques and lifestyle changes that might help reduce your stress levels.
Get rid of annoying pimples naturally
Pimples or pimples are a common problem that most often appear on the back, arms, neck, forehead and face in general, and can be particularly frustrating to treat.
Common treatments can cause redness, dryness or irritation, and many natural alternatives just don’t seem to work.
The home remedies listed in this article are supported by some limited studies as the most effective, natural way to reduce pimples on the body.
However, applying various essential oils, green tea, and aloe vera to the skin seems to be the fastest way to get rid of pimples, while supplements may require long-term use according to some limited research.
The remedies in this article may not work for everyone, but they are worth a try. If you have a severe problem with acne and pimples, you may still want to consult your dermatologist.