Alternative, natural remedies for acne

woman-washing-face-treating-acneAcne is an inflammatory skin condition, usually occurring in adolescence, which is caused when a sebaceous gland becomes trapped with natural oils and allows a bacterial build-up.

It occurs in areas that have a high concentration of the sebaceous glands, mainly on the back, chest and face. Typically, red, angry looking spots form on the skin, but acne also manifests in the formation of blackheads, whiteheads and pus-filled cysts. As the spots heal, they fade to a pink mark that disappears later, although spots which become cysts on the skin will leave a pock mark.

Conventional medical treatment

Doctors will probably suggest treatments containing benzoyl peroxide, which can be bought at chemists, or other skin cleansers. If you are of child-bearing age, note that one acne preparation, made from tretinoin, can cause birth defects.

Western herbalism

Tinctures of burdock, yellow dock and dandelion are recommended as they are useful for liver detoxification and blood purification. After washing, rinse the skin with an infusion of chamomile (purifying), yarrow (helps eliminate toxins), catnip (antiseptic), lavender(calming and antiseptic) or thyme (strong germ killer). You can also apply a calendula ointment to reduce inflammation and improve local healing.

Bach flower remedies

Apply rescue cream to cleansed skin. Add a few drops crab apple to sufficient clean water to rinse the affected area, and use twice a day. Take crab apple internally as a general cleansing remedy and for self-conscious feelings. Take larch for lack of confidence and Gentian for dismay. Try sweet chestnut for deep anguish and desperate unhappiness. Use gorse to revive hope and optimism. Take impatiens of you feel your spots take too long to heal.

Biochemic tissue salts

Calc.sulph is helpful as it has a cleansing action and is a blood purifier. Silica is a cleanser and conditioner.


For chronic acne, try Kali Bichromicum. For inflamed or infected pustules that are worsened by washing use Sulphur and for severe and itchy infections use Psorinum.[amazon-product align=”right” small=”1″]0757307477[/amazon-product]


Avoidance of the foods that may cause the condition should help, and often extreme cases have completely cleared within three months just by a change of diet. This could be supplemented with steamed vegetables and brown rice and vegetable juices. Supplements to try include vitamin A, beta-carotene, zinc, vitamin B (particularly if an attack comes on while menstruating), essential fatty acids. Brewer’s yeast and vitamin C.

Include in the diet pumpkin seeds and watercress along with foods rich in betacarotenes ( peppers, papaya, mangoes, apricots – think red, orange and yellow foods!).

For women with acne caused by hormone imbalance, include fennel, alfalfa, linseeds, celery and parsley in your diet – these foods are high in naturally occurring phyto-oestrogens.


Plenty of sun and air can also help but be careful not to sunburn. Use only non-oil based make up, and it has been suggested that a regimen of eight glasses of water every day can also help. Use of colloidal silver is also particularly effective, both internally and as a topical application. Eating garlic for its natural antibiotic properties may also help.Use sesame oil or jojoba oil to rebalance the sebum production. Yoga, meditation and exercise will help to rebalance hormones and consider taking aloe vera juice daily.

If you can get hold of a wild-crafted powdered sea-kelp from a herbalist, then you can use this to make a face mask to draw out excess oils and toxins; it also has the added bonus of nourishing the skin with its high mineral content (mix 1 tbsp with enough boiling water to make a paste, allow to cool to body temperature and apply to the face, leaving on for ten minutes before rinsing well with warm water.


  1. Alicia C. on May 13, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    THANK YOU! At 36, I though that maybe, just maybe, I’d be past all of this mess. It’s just gotten worse. One week a month, I look like a teenager – with wrinkles and strands of gray hair! I’m still nursing, so even if I got desperate enough to use OTC chemical-filled products, I just can’t take the risk. I’ll check out the solutions you mentioned for hormone imbalance and, hopefully it’ll help.

  2. Mrs Green on May 16, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    @Alicia C.: You’re welcome Alicia. I hope you find something to help you – hubby swears by Colloidal silver and that would be safe to take / apply while nursing. HTH