Sophia Simmons

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Green Tea For Acne – The Tips and Tricks You NEED to Know

Using green tea for acne is becoming increasingly popular. So, is the hype real? Or is green tea just another fraud in an endless line of “natural acne cures”?

Perhaps this ancient Chinese proverb says it best:

A Chinese saying. "Better to be deprived of food for three days than tea for one."

The recent research into green tea and acne would seem to agree…

6 Ways Green Tea Helps Get Rid of Acne

Here are 6 of the most compelling, science-based reasons to try green tea for your acne:

  1. Reduced Sebum Production – Studies have shown that green tea can reduce sebum (skin oil) production by up to 70%. That’s a massive reduction in skin oil, which can really help decrease pimple formation.
  2. Less Androgen Sensitivity – Topical green tea has been shown to decrease the skin’s natural sensitivity to the male sex hormone androgen.
  3. Decreased Inflammation – Studies have shown that green tea cream can reduce inflammation from sunlight and other sources of irritation. More importantly, green tea cream has been shown to decrease the body’s natural inflammatory reaction to P. acnes bacteria. This is especially useful for acne sufferers because their bodies tend to overreact when exposed to acne bacteria, resulting in excessive inflammation and redness.
  4. Powerful Antioxidants – Green tea is full of powerful antioxidants called catechins. These catechins are more powerful than vitamin C and E when it comes to fighting free radicals that can damage our cells. The most important catechin in green tea is called Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). It’s 25-100 times more potent than vitamins E and C. These catechins are also antifungal and very good at fighting bacteria and viruses.
  5. Fast Acting – Not only did topical green tea cream prove to be as effective as benzoyl peroxide cream and topical antibiotics like erythromycin, it worked faster than erythromycin. Green tea lotion was able to get results in only 8 weeks. Topical erythromycin required 12 weeks to see similar results!
  6. Much Less Acne – One study found that after 8 weeks of treatment, green tea was able to reduce acne occurrence by 50% (That’s as good as benzoyl peroxide or antibiotic creams!)

Scientific Studies on Green Tea and Acne

Several studies have shown the effectiveness of green tea as a treatment for acne. This first study found that topical use of a simple cream containing 3% green tea extract was able to reduce skin oil production by almost 60%.

A chart showing how green tea reduces sebum production in acne patients.

Three other studies (study 1, study 2, study 3) found that 2% green tea lotion significantly improved acne. The studies lasted between 6 and 8 weeks and resulted in an impressive 50% or greater reduction in acne occurrence.

A chart showing reduction of pimples after using green tea lotion.

One of the studies measured acne severity, observing that green tea cream decreased lesion severity by almost 40%.

One of the researchers noted that using green tea for acne is as effective as topical antibiotics or benzoyl peroxide cream. That’s incredible! Green tea is as effective as two of the most commonly recommended treatments by dermatologists.

A before and after image of a 17-year-old male who has received green tea lotion to treat acne.

Using Fresh Green Tea for Acne – 5 Rules to Follow

Do you like making your own green tea face masks, toners, or other DIY concoction?

Then here are three things you should keep in mind anytime you use fresh green tea.

  1. You Must Brew the Tea – Brewing the tea in hot water is what draws the catechins out of the tea leaves. For example, don’t just mix tea leaves with honey and slather it on your face. Brew the tea leaves first. Then, mix it with the honey and apply it to your face.
  2. Brew Your Tea LongerThis study shows that you should brew your tea for at least 5 minutes to get the highest possible levels of EGCG.A chart showing how green tea has more EGCG if brewed longer.
  3. Brew Your Tea HotterAnother study shows the importance of brewing your tea at a very high temperature. Brewing at a higher temperature will extract more catechins. Try to brew your tea at 100 ºC (212 ºF) for maximum effect (the boiling point of water is 100 ºC).A chart showing how well green tea catechins are extracted from tea leaves when brewed at different temperatures.
  4. Use STRONG Tea – The concentration of EGCG and other beneficial ingredients in fresh green tea is much lower than in a typical green tea cream. When brewing your tea, use as little water as possible to get a higher concentration of EGCG.
  5. Green Tea Doesn’t Keep – The beneficial ingredients in green tea don’t last very long. As soon as you brew the tea, they begin to break down, and after about 1 day most of the catechins and other goodness is gone. You can extend the tea’s useful life span to two days by adding some vitamin C to the mixture. This study shows how quickly green tea catechins break down in solutions of varying pH.A chart showing how green tea catechins don't remain stable very long.

The Best Green Tea Topical Treatments

There are tons of ways to use green tea topically to treat your acne, and most of them have a lot of potential!

You can buy any number of green tea creams, moisturizers, face washes, etc. If you like the natural DIY approach, you can try making a green tea mask or toner using your favorite ingredients.

Here are some of my favorite topical green tea remedies for acne.

How to Make the Perfect Green Tea Face Mask

Making a powerful, acne-eliminating green tea mask is easy. You just need to do a couple of things:

  1. Follow all 5 of the rules we talked about earlier.
  2. Use a high-quality green tea product that has high levels of EGCG and other catechins.

Follow these two simple rules, and your green tea face mask will be a huge success!

A green tea face mask on a woman to treat acne.

1. Matcha Green Tea Face Mask

This is my personal favorite green tea mask because it is super simple. Matcha green tea is a powdered form of green tea, so you don’t have to worry about straining out the tea leaves. Also it has a nice creamy feel.

A meme of an alligator treating his acne with a matcha green tea mask.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon Matcha Green Tea Powder
  • ½ tablespoon Water

Directions:

  1. Boil a cup of water in the microwave.
  2. Mix ½ tablespoon of hot water with 1 tablespoon of matcha.
  3. Let it steep for 5 minutes.
  4. Apply it to a freshly cleansed face.
  5. Leave it for 20 minutes or so, and then wash it off.

2. Honey Green Tea Face Mask

This is another great acne-fighting face mask. As I discussed in this article, honey is great at killing acne bacteria because of it’s osmotic properties. Add it to your green tea mask to give it a little extra acne-blasting goodness.

Woman Honey Face Mask Spa

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons Green Tea Leaves (Loose leaves or in a tea bag)
  • 2 teaspoons Honey

Directions:

  1. Boil about ½ cup of water in the microwave.
  2. Dump out some water so you have just enough water to submerge the tea leaves, plus a little extra (Too much water will make your mask runny).
  3. Mix the tea leaves into the hot water.
  4. Let it steep for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the honey to the mix.
  6. Apply the mixture to a freshly cleansed face.
  7. Leave it for 20 minutes or so, and then wash it off.

3. Lemon Juice Green Tea Face Mask

The main reason I like using lemon juice in a green tea mask is because the vitamin C helps prevent the EGCG and other catechins from breaking down.

That way, you can make enough for a few applications and not have to worry about it losing all of its effectiveness. Although do be careful, using too much lemon juice can irritate your skin.

Half of a lemon freshly cut and dripping juice. Use lemon juice for acne.

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons Green Tea Leaves (Loose leaves or in a tea bag)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice (Less if it irritates your skin)

Directions:

  1. Boil about ½ cup of water in the microwave.
  2. Dump out some water so you have just enough water to submerge the tea leaves, plus a little extra (Too much water will make your mask runny).
  3. Mix the tea leaves into the hot water.
  4. Let it steep for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the lemon juice.
  6. Apply the mixture to a freshly cleansed face.
  7. Leave it for 20 minutes or so, and then wash it off.

Other Face Mask Ingredients

Is your “acne-destroying” face mask not quite what you hoped for? Maybe it’s a little too runny? Too thick? Does it smell funny?

Whatever the problem is, if your green tea acne mask needs a little something extra, you can always try changing things up a bit.

Here are some popular face mask ingredients that you can choose from. Experiment to your hearts content!

  • Aloe Vera
  • Apple
  • Apricots
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrot
  • Cream cheese
  • Cucumber
  • Egg white
  • Egg yolk
  • Figs
  • Grapes
  • Heavy Cream
  • Lemon (juice)
  • Mango
  • Melon
  • Milk
  • Oatmeal
  • Orange (juice)
  • Parsley
  • Papaya
  • Pear
  • Peach
  • Pineapple
  • Strawberries
  • Yogurt

Green Tea Bags as an Acne Spot Treatment

This is one of the absolute easiest ways to take advantage of that green-tea-goodness for clearing up your acne.

Whenever you make a cup of tea, simply save the tea bag (or bags) and place it on a part of your face that has an acne flare-up.

Let it sit there, warming and opening your pores and soaking into your skin while you enjoy your cup of tea.

Rinse your face off when you’re done. Easy!

Two used bags of green tea to treat acne with.

Fresh-Made Green Tea Toner for Acne

Using green tea toner is another easy thing that can help get rid of acne. Simply brew some green tea and store it in a bottle or glass jar. I also like to use a squirt bottle because it’s easier.

Add some vitamin C powder or lemon juice to make the toner stay fresh longer (Even doing this will only make it last for a few days).

After using your daily cleanser, use a cotton pad or spray bottle to apply the toner to your face.

A glass of homemade green tea toner for acne treatment.

What is The Best Brand/Type of Green Tea for Acne?

Here are a few rules to help you find the best varieties and brands of green tea for treating acne.

  • Don’t Use Decaf – Decaffeinated green tea only has about 1/3rd as many catechins as regular tea.
  • Use Japanese Green Tea – Japanese varieties of green tea tend to have more EGCG than other varieties. Sencha and Gyokura green teas are two of the most popular. I like using Matcha green tea because its easier.A chart comparing EGCG content of various Japanese and Chinese green teas.

Using Green Tea Supplements/Extracts for Acne

The main way green tea supplements help treat acne is by reducing inflammation throughout the whole body.

Studies have shown that taking green tea orally does, in fact, help to reduce inflammation in the skin.

A bottle of Zhou green tea extract supplements.

Drinking Green Tea for Acne

Drinking green tea helps cane in the same way that supplements help. It reduces systemic inflammation throughout the body.

To get the most benefit out of your cup of green tea, be sure to follow the rules mentioned earlier.

Unfortunately, brewing your tea at 100 ºC (to get the most catechins out of the tea leaves) may result in a tea that tastes more bitter than you would like. It’s up to you to decide whether or not the extra catechins are worth it.

Kermit the frog drinking green tea.

Make Your Cup of Green Tea 9x More Effective!

One major problem with drinking green tea is that up to 80% of the all-important catechins are destroyed during digestion.

A chart showing how many green tea catechins are destroyed during digestion.

Luckily, there are two simple tricks to drastically improve the amount of catechins your body absorbs!

  1. Drink Your Tea With a Little Vitamin C and SugarAccording to this study, you can triple the absorption of EGCG by adding sugar and vitamin C to your green tea. You can try to replicate these results by adding 1 or 2 teaspoons of sugar to your cup of green tea plus a healthy squeeze of lemon juice.
  2. Drink Your Green Tea on an Empty StomachAnother study found that drinking green tea on an empty stomach also resulted in 3x better absorption of EGCG.A chart showing how well EGCG from green tea is absorbed on an empty stomach compared to a fed stomach.

If each of these methods triples the amount of EGCG you absorb, you could hypothetically boost your total intake by 9x!

How Many Cups of Green Tea Should you Drink?

Obviously, this depends on whether or not you use high quality tea and follow all the tips and tricks we have talked about.

Epidemiological studies on various health benefits of green tea seam to achieve good results from drinking 3-6 cups per day.

If you were to follow all of the guidelines mentioned in this article, I would think that you could easily start to see some benefit from drinking even less…

Drink 3-6 cups of green tea for acne treatment

Can Green Tea Help With Hormonal Acne?

The short answer is yes! Let me explain.

Hormonal acne is caused by male sex hormones called androgens. The two most problematic androgens are testosterone and DHT.

Hormonal changes during puberty are the most common reason for elevated androgen levels.

Our bodies oil glands are sensitive to testosterone, and will secrete more sebum (skin oil) if testosterone levels rise. The extra oil leads to clogged pores and acne.

Green tea helps with hormonal acne for a couple of reasons. Green tea reduces androgen sensitivity and it also prevents the conversion of testosterone into DHT.

Side Effects

In dermatology and medicine, the most effective treatments often come with unwanted side-effects. That just doesn’t seem to be the case with using green tea to treat acne.

In all of the studies mentioned throughout this article, there were no major side-effects associated with using green tea creams for acne.

The worst side-effects reported were minor skin itching, which subsided over time.

Conclusion

Green tea is one of the most effective natural acne treatments out there. Studies on green tea creams have shown skin oil reduction of up to 70%, and over 50% less pimples after 6-8 weeks of use.

It treats acne as effectively as benzoyl peroxide and antibiotics such as erythromycin, but with less side-effects. It’s also inexpensive, and easy to use.

If you haven’t tried using green tea to get rid of your acne, I highly recommend giving it a try.

Tea Tree Oil For Acne: The Best Natural Remedy?

I absolutely love using tea tree oil for acne! It’s one of the most effective natural acne treatments out there.

Rows of tea trees on a plantation. The best tea tree oil for acne comes from Australia.

Not familiar with this little miracle oil? Here’s a little background info:

Tea tree oil is extracted from the Australian narrow-leaved tea tree (melaleuca alternifolia).

The Australian Aborigines were the first people to realize the benefits of the tea tree…

They chewed the leaves to relieve headaches and used the plant for other medicinal purposes.

Why Use Tea Tree Oil for Acne?

Using tea tree oil for acne helps address two of the major causes of pimples:

  1. Bacteria – The number one reason to use tea tree oil for acne is because it kills acne bacteria. Studies have shown that tea tree oil has very strong antimicrobial properties. Tea tree oil also has antiviral and antifungal properties.
  1. Inflammation – Another great reason to use tea tree oil for acne is because it helps reduce inflammation caused by acne. It does this by inhibiting the production of inflammation-causing cytokines in the skin. This can help to reduce the redness and irritation caused by acne.

Research on Tea Tree Oil and Acne:

A recent article published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents took a look at several studies done on tea tree oil and acne completed between 2005 – 2014.

The authors concluded that, when using products containing tea tree oil for acne, you can expect a reduction of acne lesions by between 23.7% and 62.1%.

A narrow leaved tea tree. Tea tree oil kills acne bacteria and reduces inflammation.

Tea Tree Oil kills acne bacteria as well as Benzoyl Peroxide, but with less irritation!

In another study, comparing 5% tea tree oil gel with 5% benzoyl peroxide cream, it was shown that both products significantly reduced the occurrence of open and closed acne lesions over a three month period.

Although using tea tree oil for acne took longer to show results, there were much fewer side effects…

The benzoyl peroxide group reported side effects in 79 percent of participants, including itching, burning, stinging, and dryness.

How to Prepare a Tea Tree Oil Acne Treatment

There are several ways to use tea tree oil for acne. Depending on your skin type, and how you react to tea tree oil you will need to experiment a bit to find what works best for you.

Mixing tea tree oil with other essential oils. Always dilute tea tree oil when using it for your acne.

Tea tree oil is very strong, and most people will want to dilute it.

You can dilute it with other oils such as jojoba oil, olive oil, or others. Witch hazel also works very well.

I don’t recommend using water because oil and water don’t mix. The tea tree oil will just float on the surface like an oil slick.

Even if you shake it up, it will just break into smaller oil droplets which will quickly come back together.

You will want to dilute the tea tree oil to a 5-10% mixture with whatever other ingredients you decide to use.

What You Will Need:

  • Tea Tree Oil
  • A Washcloth
  • Hot Water

Choose One or More to Mix With Your Tea Tree Oil

  • Aloe Vera
  • Emu Oil
  • Evening Primrose Oil
  • Honey
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Lavender Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Other Essential Oils
  • Witch Hazel

Directions:

  1. To create a 5 – 10% tea tree oil application, combine 5 – 10 drops of tea tree oil per 1 teaspoon of whatever you are combining it with. For example, you could do 5 – 10 drops TTO with 1 teaspoon of jojoba oil, or you could combine 10 – 20 drops TTO with 2 teaspoons of aloe vera (or 1 tsp. of jojoba oil and 1 tsp. aloe vera). Experiment to see what combination and TTO percentage works best for your skin.
  1. Gently wash your face before you apply the tea tree oil mixture.
  1. Soak a washcloth in hot water and cover your face with it to give it a good steam and open up your pores. This will make it easier for the tea tree oil to penetrate deep into your pores where it can kill more bacteria and be most effective.
  1. Using your fingers, apply the mixture all over your face. Use slow, firm, circular motions to massage the oil into your skin.
  1. Let it dry, and don’t wash your face afterward.

You can do this at night before going to bed, or in the morning. After it dries you can easily apply makeup with no problems.

Combine Tea Tree Oil with Other Treatments for Best Results

Tea tree oil only targets two of the major causes of acne (bacteria and inflammation).

Try combining TTO with other treatments that target the other major causes of acne, such as excessive oil production, dead skin cells, and clogged pores.

A tube of benzoyl peroxide gel. Use tea tree oil with benzoyl peroxide for acne.

Tea tree oil and benzoyl peroxide make a great acne-fighting combo.

Good options include benzoyl peroxide, retinol, and salicylic acid. Take a look at our full list of 61 ways to get rid of acne to find many others.

Precautions and Side Effects

NEVER ingest tea tree oil!

Tea tree oil is toxic when swallowed and can cause severe symptoms such as hallucinations, coma, confusion, unsteadiness, drowsiness, and a range of others. Keep it away from children and pets!

Tea tree oil in a dropper bottle. When using tea tree oil for acne, never ingest it!

Never ingest tea tree oil. It’s toxic!

Tea tree oil can cause mild skin irritation such as:

  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Dryness

However, studies that compared TTO to antibiotics and benzoyl peroxide found that tea tree oil caused less common and less severe side effects than the other two.

Also, some people may experience an allergic reaction when using tea tree oil.

Never use less than 4% tea tree oil in any treatment because it may fail to kill the bacteria, and end up creating resistant bacteria that are less sensitive to tea tree oil and even some antibiotics!

Don’t Buy Impure, Adulterated Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil knockoffs are becoming increasingly common. These “fake” tea tree oils are made by either diluting actual tea tree oil or creating a completely synthetic product.

…knockoffs are becoming increasingly common.

Sometimes actual tea tree oil will be diluted with cheap fillers such as pine oil, eucalyptus oil or others. The Australian Tea Tree Industry Association (ATTIA) reports that up to 50% of commercially sold tea tree oil is adulterated to some degree.

This adulterated tea tree oil is much less likely to provide the desired benefits of tea tree oil, and it may even contain toxic or otherwise harmful ingredients.

A graph of commercially available tea tree oil assessed for authenticity. Pure tea tree oil is better for acne treatment.

Australian TTO (right side) is much more pure than TTO from other areas (left side). Courtesy of the Australian Tea Tree Industry Association ATTIA.

Many Products Contain Too Little Tea Tree Oil

Many over-the-counter beauty products contain tea tree oil as one of their active ingredients. Unfortunately, these products usually contain a very small amount of TTO, usually less than 0.5%.

This amount is much too little to have any therapeutic value. It’s just a marketing ploy that allows sellers to claim their products contain tea tree oil.

…a [Tea tree oil] concentration of 5% is necessary to ensure effectiveness.

Most studies on tea tree oil agree that a concentration of 5% is necessary to ensure effectiveness.

I recommend purchasing pure, undiluted tea tree oil. Then you can combine it with any other products you like -making sure that you always have an effective 5%  TTO concentration.

How to Find the Best Tea Tree Oil for Your Acne

Here are several things you can do to ensure that you purchase only the highest quality tea tree oil, made with pure ingredients and free of any harmful fillers.

  1. Look for Tea Tree Oil Made in Australia – The best tea tree oil comes straight from the source, Australia. Australian TTO products are held to very high quality standards at every step of their production – from the oil growers/producers to the final product manufacturers.
  1. Get the Right Bottle and Dropper – Look for tea tree oil sold in a very dark bottle. A clear bottle will easily let in sunlight, which can degrade the quality of the oil. Studies have shown that sunlight can cause terpinen-4-ol to rapidly oxidize. Exposure to sunlight also increases levels of para-cymene which is a known skin irritant. Also, look for a glass dropper, because plastic droppers tend to dissolve over time.
  1. High Levels of Terpinen-4-ol – Terpinen-4-ol is the main ingredient responsible for tea tree oil’s antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and other beneficial qualities. Look for TTO with high levels of terpinen-4-ol, preferably between 30-40%. Levels above 40% are very rare and often mean the oil has been “tampered” with to artificially boost the terpinen-4-ol levels.
  1. Low Levels of Cineole – Some variants of the Australian tea tree (melaleuca alternifolia) produce tea tree oil with lower terpinen-4-ol levels. These plants also have higher levels of 1,8 cineole. To prevent tproduction of this lower quality TTO, international and Australian standards have set a limit of 15% 1,8 cineole in Australian TTO.

Best Brand of Tea Tree Oil for Acne

When looking for a good brand of tea tree oil, it’s always best to get something made in Australia. You can also look for products that are ATTIA certified.

Of course, you also want to follow all the guidelines mentioned in the previous section of this article.

A bottle of Thursday Plantation tea tree oil for acne.My favorite brand of tea tree oil fits all of these requirements and then some. It’s Thursday Plantation’s 100% Pure Tea Tree Oil.

Thursday Plantation is the Australian company that pioneered the modern tea tree oil industry over 40 years ago.

They produce some of the absolute highest quality tea tree oil on the market. Their tea tree oil has a very high minimum terpinen-4-ol level of 36%.

It has a much smoother, sweeter smell than many other tea tree oils, another sign of purity and high quality.

It also conforms to all the quality standards set by the Australian Tea Tree Industry Association (ATTIA was actually founded by the owners of Thursday Plantation).

Conclusion

Tea tree oil can be an amazing addition to your acne treatment. Just watch out for fake, diluted, or otherwise “low quality” products.

Always use at least a 5% concentration of tea tree oil – to ensure it’s strong enough to kill the bacteria. And of course, keep it away from children and out of anyone’s mouth (it’s toxic when ingested).

If you’ve been successful with tea tree oil, please tell us about it down in the comments. Good luck!

1

Apple Cider Vinegar for Acne – Does it Really Work?

Bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar

Does apple cider vinegar (ACV) really help acne? Since thousands of years ago, countless people throughout the world have used apple cider vinegar for acne - and for numerous other illnesses.

It was used in ancient Egypt, and as far back as 3000 BC. Even Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, spoke of the value of this simple product.

So, can we use apple cider vinegar for acne treatment? Or is it better to leave it next to the ketchup and mustard at the grocery store? Here are the facts.

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Vinegar comes from a French word meaning “sour wine”. Like wine, vinegar is created through fermentation. You can ferment fruits, vegetables, or grains to make vinegar.

For apple cider vinegar the process begins with pulverized apples. Bacteria and yeast are used to break down the sugar in the apples creating alcoholic apple cider.

Next, you allow oxygen to interact with it creating acetic acid, which is the main ingredient in vinegar.

What Are The Ingredients In Apple Cider Vinegar?

Scientists have found ninety different key substances in apple cider vinegar.

It is packed with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, over thirteen types of carbolic acids, twenty ketones, four aldehydes, trace elements, amino acids, several other acids, dietary fiber, antioxidants, and more.

The most prevalent ingredient is acetic acid, making up about five percent of the vinegar.

So Why Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good For Acne?

People have started using apple cider vinegar to help clear up acne for a number of reasons. Here are some of the most important ways it can help.

1. ACV Is A Natural Disinfectant

ACV is a good natural disinfectant, and when applied topically to your face or other skin it will kill the bacteria that causes acne. So we know that it can kill those bad bacteria, but how effectively, and will it kill the bacteria deep down inside your pores that are the real source of the problem.

This is where lots of other factors come into play. Apple cider vinegar may not help if your acne is being caused by bad diet, hormonal imbalance, stress, or something else. All you can do is try it and see how it works for you.

2. ACV Helps Reduce Inflammation

Another reason apple cider vinegar is good for fighting acne is because it helps reduce the inflammation associated with acne. It can help to quickly reduce the size of those big swollen pimples and bad zits.

It's said that vinegar can be used to treat swelling and inflammation even better than ice in some cases, and it may even help relieve pain.

3. ACV Is Full Of Essential Ingredients Like Vitamins And Minerals

It is also absolutely filled with good ingredients that our bodies need, which may also be part of the reason that it helps clear up acne.

By giving our skin a new source of important nutrients it may help to speed the healing process and reduce scarring.

4. ACV Helps To Maintain The Protective “Acid Barrier” Around Our Skin

ACV is also very good for fighting acne because of its ability to restore the proper pH balance to your skin.

Healthy skin is slightly acidic. This slight acidity helps to fight off harmful bacteria (like the bacteria that causes acne) and protect our skin from outside contaminants.

This acid barrier is created by the oil secreted from our skin's glands. Washing your face too often with acne cleansers or other soaps washes away the oil and destroys this protective barrier.

The pH of apple cider vinegar is very similar to this protective barrier, and if you use ACV on your skin it will help to restore this protective acid barrier.

How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar For Your Acne

There are a number of apple cider vinegar remedies you can try.

All of these work very well, and you can expect to see your acne start to clear up in a week or two if you make these treatments part of your daily routine.

1. Apply The ACV Directly To Your Face

Apple cider vinegar toner in a jar. Use apple cider vinegar toner for topical acne treatment.

Here is a super simple way to make an ACV toner that you can use on your face or other skin to get rid of your pesky acne.

You may have to experiment with the ratio of apple cider vinegar to water. Some people prefer a 1:1 vinegar to water ratio, others prefer a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio. I've even seen some people recommending a 1:8 ratio.

Just keep in mind that you should dilute it at least 1 to 1 because by itself ACV is a little too acidic and the water helps to bring it to the perfect pH level.

Like I said, you'll just have to play with the ratio to see what works for your skin. If it's too strong, use more water. If it seams too weak and you aren't seeing any improvements in your acne after a bit of time, try using less water.

Apple Cider Vinegar Toner Directions:

  1. Add 1 part Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar to a plastic bottle, glass jar or other container.
  2. Add 2 parts water (I prefer distilled or filtered water).
  3. Shake the container to mix it up. (Always shake it well each time before using it.)
  4. Apply a small amount of the toner on a “test spot” on your face to make sure your skin doesn't react badly.
  5. Cleanse your skin before using the ACV toner.
  6. Use a cotton ball or pad to apply the toner to your skin. (Take your time, being careful to avoid your eyes.)
  7. Let the ACV toner dry, and then apply your usual daily moisturizer.
  8. Store your toner in a cool dark place. (You don't have to refrigerate it.)

You could also apply the toner in the evening and leave it on overnight as you sleep. Then, wash it off in the morning.

If you have acne problems on your back or other hard to reach places, you can use a spray bottle to apply the ACV toner and just let it absorb into the skin.

You can experiment with your toner, adding other acne fighting ingredients like lemon juice, green tea, witch hazel or others.

You can usually make a new jarful about once a month. The vinegar is acidic, so it doesn't really go bad.

2. Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar For Acne And Better Health

Another great way to make apple cider vinegar part of your daily routine is by drinking it. You will be giving your body a huge dose of powerful vitamins and nutrients.

This will help you fight off the acne and heal any damage or scarring done to your skin.

Using Apple Cider Vinegar for Acne

I recommend adding one or two tablespoons of vinegar to your favorite drink. One of the best drinks to use is green tea because it's another effective natural acne treatment.

I also like to add a spoonful of honey to improve the flavor (honey is another great way to treat acne). Do this once or twice a day and you will start to see a lot of improvement in a week or two.

3. Taking Apple Cider Vinegar Pills For Acne

A bottle of NOW apple cider vinegar pills. Taking apple cider vinegar supplements for acne is another option.

Apple cider vinegar pills are a great alternative to drinking ACV. If you can't stand the taste or the smell of the real thing, then definitely give these a try.

I recommend the Apple Cider Vinegar Pills From Now Foods. All of the products from Now Foods are Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certified, so you know they are high quality.

I recommend taking these pills just before the first meal of the day, because they help improve nutrient absorption in the digestive system.

How To Choose The Best Apple Cider Vinegar For Your Acne Treatment

I recommend that you always use unfiltered, raw, organic vinegar with the “mother” in it. Don't use that pretty looking clear vinegar that you can find in every grocery store around the country.

The “mother” is full of proteins, enzymes, and other living nutrients as well as good bacteria. Processed and filtered vinegar will not give you half the benefits of raw ACV with the “mother” left in it.

Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar – The Best ACV For Acne

A bottle of Bragg apple cider vinegar. Organic Bragg apple cider vinegar is my favorite brand for acne treatment.

My favorite brand of vinegar is Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar. It's raw, organic, unfiltered and with the “mother” left in.

I only buy “organic” products that display their USDA Certified Organic symbol and these guys do. They are also Certified Non-GMO.

These guys have been making vinegar for over 100 years, and I've personally been using their product for years without any complaints. It's worked miracles on my own acne.

According to WebMD, some recent small studies have shown that ACV may be effective in helping with the following health problems:

  • Weightloss
  • Diabetes

It is also claimed (but not yet verified by clinical studies) to help with the following:

  • Acid reflux
  • Cancer
  • Warts
  • Arthritis
  • Athlete's foot
  • Halitosis
  • High cholesterol
  • Gout
  • Urinary tract infections
  • (and even) Head lice

So, the next time you come across a bottle of apple cider vinegar, try using it for your pimple problems. You just might be surprised with the results. And as always, please tell us about your experience using ACV down in the comments section. Good luck!

1

Honey For Acne: A Sweet Skincare Secret!

A girl putting honey on her face. Honey is great for acne and pimples.Have you ever tried using honey for acne? Does this Winnie-the-Pooh-style acne treatment really work? The short answer is, yes!

Since ancient times people have used honey for acne and a host of other ailments. This little miracle food is one of mother nature’s best kept secrets.

Queen Cleopatra of ancient Egypt took a daily beauty bath in a tub of milk and honey. She new about honey’s cosmetic benefits!

Honey is pretty amazing. It can treat wounds, burns, ulcers, boost your immune system, and a lot more. It’s full of essential ingredients, vitamins, and minerals.

Honey is an incredibly strong antibiotic, killing bacteria in some cases that modern medicine can’t even handle, such as the bacteria found in chronic wounds. It’s grate for allergies, filled with antioxidants, and it’s even anti-inflammatory. Wow, right?

Why Use Honey For Acne And Scars?

So, this stuff’s great, but why use honey for acne? Honey acne treatments work well for several reasons.

First, honey helps kill the bacteria that causes acne. Honey has an osmotic effect meaning it likes to absorb water.

If you put honey on acne, it will absorb the water in the wound. This kills the bacteria – because they need water too.

Honey is pretty amazing. It can treat wounds, burns, ulcers, boost your immune system, and a lot more.

The water absorbed by the honey triggers a chemical reaction causing the honey to release hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is a great antiseptic which helps kill even more bacteria.

Also, honey is relatively acidic, which helps to prevent the growth of bacteria.

Honey helps reduce the redness associated with acne because it’s an anti-inflammatory.

The antioxidants in honey help prevent damage from free radicals. I could go on, but I think you get the point. So, let’s continue!Some honey dripping from a honey dipper. Honey kills acne bacteria.

Which Honey Is Best For Acne?

The best honey for acne (and best for health purposes in general) is manuka honey. Manuka honey comes from New Zealand and Australia.

New Zealand is where the manuka tree grows naturally, and the honey is collected by beekeepers who build hives in the wild near areas where these bushes grow naturally.

The reason I recommend manuka honey for acne is because it has been shown to have additional antibacterial qualities that all other honeys lack.

This incredible property of manuka honey is not fully understood yet, and is referred to as the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF).

A blooming manuka tree. Manuka honey is the best honey for acne and pimples.

If you don’t want to spend the extra money for manuka honey, then your second best option is to get local grown raw honey that hasn’t been filtered or pasteurized.

Local grown honey is made from the pollen found in your area. Using local grown honey has the added benefit of helping you build up a tolerance to these locally occurring pollens – which can really help people that suffer from seasonal allergies.

How to Pick the Best Honey for Acne?

Selecting the right honey for your acne can be very confusing. Honey can be described in many ways: raw, organic, all-natural, pasteurized, unpasteurized, unfiltered, etc.

For manuka honey in particular, you may see labels that say “Active”, MGO, or UMF manuka honey. It’s enough to make Winnie the Pooh’s head spin! So, let’s try to make some sense out of all this.

The Different Types Of Raw Honey

  • Completely Raw Honey: 100% raw honey will typically be crystallized when you first buy it. It’s completely unfiltered, and will still contain small pieces of wax, pollen, and other remnants from where it was extracted from the honeycomb. These leftover bits will not harm you and are actually quite good for you.
  • Unfiltered Raw Honey (Strained Honey): This type of honey is usually not crystallized when you first buy it, but it will crystallize more quickly than other (more processed) types. It hasn’t been heated, but it has been pressure strained to remove the larger bits and pieces from the honeycomb. This is the type of raw honey that you will most often encounter when shopping for raw honey, and it’s the type that I usually recommend.
  • Filtered Raw Honey: This type of honey has been heated a little bit and then passed through a very fine filter in order to remove all of the bits and pieces from the honeycomb. This process produces a much cleaner honey. However, you will be missing out on a lot of the health benefits provided by the pollen and other good “stuff” inside the honey. Yet this is still a much better option than pasteurized honey.

Pasteurized Honey

Pasteurization involves heating the honey to a very high temperature in order to kill all of the bacteria and any other living things inside the honey. This process prevents the honey from crystallizing nearly as easily and results in a very clean “pure” honey.

This is the kind of honey that you will typically find in most grocery stores. The problem with this heating process is that it destroys most of the things that make the honey so healthy.

I don’t recommend using any kind of pasteurized honey for acne treatment purposes. Basically, stay away from any honey that is not labeled as raw.

What Is Organic Honey?

So, how exactly can honey be considered organic? Well, honey manufacturers have to meet a rigorous set of guidelines proving that their honey was produced pesticide-free and their products must undergo regular testing to ensure that they are free of pesticide residue.

They have to prove that the bees are raised in a pesticide-free environment and that the flowers they visit are also pesticide-free.

The USDA Organic logo. Organic honey is better for acne than regular honey.

The only way to do this is to situate the beehives in a remote location far from any sources of pollution or pesticides (like golf courses, agriculture, landfills, factories, or anything else that may be using pesticides or creating pollution).

To do this, regulators will contact all landowners in a 5 mile radius to verify that they are pollutant free. Also, bee keepers may not use non-organic honey, sugar, antibiotics or other chemicals in their beehives.

What’s The Difference Between Active, MGO, And UMF Manuka Honey?

Manuka honey from New Zealand has some powerful antibacterial properties not found in other honeys. The terms Active, MGO, and UMF are used to show how powerful the honey’s antibacterial properties are.

1. Active Manuka Honey

the term “active” simply means that the honey has some peroxide activity going on in it. This peroxide activity is common to all types of honey in the world, and one of the main reasons that honey is used as an antibacterial.

However, keep in mind that just because some honey is “active” doesn’t mean that it will always be antibacterial. Furthermore, there are no laws, regulations or enforcement of any kind to control the labeling of manuka honey as “active”.

This means that anyone can label their honey as “active10+”, “active12+” or “active3000+”, and it will not necessarily mean anything because there is no regulation behind it.

2. MGO Manuka Honey

MGO stands for Methylglyoxal which is an organic substance that contributes to manuka honey’s antibacterial nature. However, it’s not the only reason that manuka honey is such a powerful antibacterial.

In fact, studies have been done where the Methylglyoxal was neutralized and yet the honey retained its antibacterial properties for unknown reasons.

So what does it mean when you see MGO on the honey’s label? It means that the level of MGO has been measured and displayed as a number on the label.

The problem is that the MGO level does not represent the overall antibacterial power of a particular jar of honey. How then are we to know the full antibacterial power of a particular jar of honey? This leads us to the final and best way to rate manuka honey, UMF.

3. UMF Manuka Honey

UMF or “Unique Manuka Facter” is a ratings standard designed to tell what the full non-peroxide antibacterial power is for a particular batch of manuka honey.

The whole ratings system is audited by the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association (UMFHA) in New Zealand. Every jar of honey is tracked from the apiaries (the “bee yard” where the bees are kept) to the packaging factory. Each jar can be traced back to the apiary that it came from and the lab where it was tested.

The Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association seal. Authentic manuka honey is the best for treating acne.

The UMF is a global standard which is independently audited and verified. No one can use use the UMF label on their products unless they adhere to the strict guidelines and audits of the UMFHA.

Common UMF ratings include UMF5+, UMF10+, UMF15+, and UMF20+. The “+” indicates that the UMF rating could be more than the number but not less. So, UMF5+ has a reading of at least 5, and it could be higher.

The higher the number is, the more powerful it’s non-peroxide antibacterial power is.

To Summarize, the UMF rating is the best way to know how effective a particular jar of manuka honey will be at treating acne. The higher the UMF rating, the better.

Where to Buy the Best Manuka Honey?

There are less than 50 companies that hold a UMF license. If your honey is not sold by one of the companies on that list, you are not getting real UMF manuka honey.

A bottle of Comvita UMF 15+ Manuka Honey. Comvita manuka honey is the best brand of honey for acne.

My favorite brand of UMF manuka honey is Comvita 15+ Manuka Honey. If you look at the list of UMF licensed companies, you will see that Comvita is license number 1019, so you know you’re getting the real thing with them.

The Most Effective Honey Remedies for Acne and Skin Care

The two most common ways to use honey for acne is to apply it directly to the face in a mask or some sort of spot treatment, or to take the honey as a dietary supplement with the goal of improving your overall health and helping your skin from the inside out. Here are a few different acne treatments that use honey.

Wash Your Face With Honey – The Honey Cleansing Method

Winnie the Pooh may have been onto something, putting his head into those pots of honey every day. It turns out that honey can be a great alternative to traditional foaming cleansers and soaps which can be harsh on sensitive facial skin.

The Benefits Of A Honey Face Wash

  • Gently removes dirt and other impurities.
  • Does not strip the skin of its natural oils. (Frequently robbing the skin of its protective oils causes it to overproduce oil which can lead to acne.)
  • It works well with all types of skin. (It moisturizes dry skin and balances oily skin.)
  • It’s free of harsh chemicals.
  • Less expensive than leading facial cleansers.

How To Wash Your Face With Honey

This will not remove makeup, so do it in the morning before you put any on. I recommend using raw unpasteurized honey at the very least, and manuka honey if you can afford it. If you’re looking for something that can remove makeup as well, then I recommend the oil cleansing method.

  1. Get about ½ teaspoon of honey on your fingers.
  2. Rub it between your fingers to warm it up.
  3. Add a couple drops of water if necessary to make the honey easier to spread.
  4. Rub it gently onto your face.
  5. Let the honey sit for 10 minutes. (If you don’t have time you can skip this part, but your acne will really benefit from letting the honey’s antibacterial powers have time to do their thing.)
  6. Wash it off with warm water.

Honey Masks For Acne

A woman getting a honey face mask at a spa. Honey face masks are wonderful for fighting acne.

There are a ton of different ways to use honey for acne facial masks. You can easily combine it with almost any other acne mask out there, or use it by itself. Here are several great honey masks for acne that you can try:

Plain Honey Mask

Ingredients:

  • honey

Directions:

  1. Heat the honey to make it more liquid and easier to work with. The best way to do this is to put some honey in a cup, then put the cup in a pan of water and heat the water over a stove. You can also use a microwave, just go slow so you don’t make a gooey mess in your microwave.
  2. Rub the honey on your acne, or entire face.
  3. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Wash it off.

Apple and Honey Mask

Ingredients:

  • ½ Medium apple (remove the seeds)
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Directions:

  1. Put the apple in a blender and blend it into a pulp.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of honey.
  3. Blend it together into an even mixture.
  4. Apply the paste to your entire face.
  5. Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Wash it off.

Cinnamon and Honey Mask

Ingredients:

  • Cinnamon powder
  • Honey

Directions:

  1. Heat the honey a little bit to make it more liquid and easier to work with.
  2. Mix the cinnamon and honey into a uniform paste.
  3. Apply the paste to your acne, or your whole face.
  4. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Wash it off.

Other Honey Masks

You can combine honey with all kinds of ingredients. Just make it the same way as any of the masks we already talked about. Heat the honey. Add other ingredients, etc. Here is a list of some popular ingredients to combine with honey:

Eat Raw Honey For Acne

Eating honey each day is a great way to improve your overall health and help your acne. You give your body a great source of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and much more. It can even help with allergies.

Use raw, unprocessed honey whenever possible. It’s full of beneficial pollen and other goodies that get removed during processing. If you can find locally grown honey, that’s even better, because it will be full of all the local pollens (the ones actually causing your allergies). By eating these pollens you can reduce any seasonal allergic reaction to them by slowly building up a resistance.

Honey in a cup of tea. Try eating some honey for even more acne and health benefits.

Try to eat 1 tablespoon of honey each day. You can put it on toast, muffins, pancakes, in hot chocolate, a million other things, or my personal favorite, in a cup of green tea. Green tea is also great for acne, so drink a cup a day with 1 tablespoon of honey and you will see a big improvement in your acne.

That’s all I have about honey. I hope you learned some useful things. If you have ever used honey for acne or just in general, please tell us about it. Let’s keep helping each other learn new ways to treat acne. Good luck!

Aloe Vera For Acne [Nature’s Best Kept Secret]

Some aloe Vera gel drips into a bottle. Aloe Vera is great for acne treatment.Using aloe vera for acne is a trick my grandmother taught me. She always kept a few potted aloe Vera plants around her house, and for good reason…

Aloe vera is not only great for treating acne, it can treat burns, help wounds heal faster, protect skin from the sun, and much more. It’s actually been used as an herbal medicine since the first century A.D!

Its leaves contain a thick clear pulp which can be applied topically or taken as a dietary supplement.

How To Use Aloe Vera Gel And Juice For Acne

There are numerous ways to use aloe vera gel or juice for acne skin care. You can apply aloe vera topically as a moisturizer or spot treatment, shave with it, make a face mask, take it as a dietary supplement, and more.

I will show you the best way to do each of these. I will also show you what to look for when buying an aloe vera product and get into some other cool things like growing your own aloe plant for those that may be interested. But first, let’s take a look at how and why aloe vera is so beneficial to us.

Why is Aloe Vera so Good for Acne and Scars?

Aloe Vera is a really amazing plant with many useful scientific properties. Scientists have established that aloe Vera has the following properties:

Some aloe Vera face cream. Aloe Vera kills acne bacteria.

  • Astringent
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-viral
  • Anti-microbial
  • Anti-septic
  • Stimulates cell growth
  • Coagulating agent
  • Pain inhibitor
  • Disinfectant
  • Reduces scarring
  • Germicidal

It’s also bursting with over 70 essential ingredients. These include proteins, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and amino acids. Here are some of the ingredients that prove most useful to acne sufferers:

  • Vitamin A – One of the most important vitamins for healthy skin.
  • Vitamin C – An antioxidant that reduces redness and helps maintain healthy collagen levels.
  • Sulphur – A common ingredient in many acne fighting products.
  • Zinc – Another very important acne fighting vitamin.
  • Salicylic Acid – A very common ingredient in acne treatments.
  • Lupeol – Anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory.
  • Urea – Used in dermatological products to rehydrate the skin.
  • Gibberellins – A plant hormone with numerous health benefits.
  • Germanium – Good for the immune system and much more.
  • Many others – Vitamins, minerals, proteins, enzymes, polysaccharides, and many more.

Being a natural astringent, aloe Vera helps remove excess oil and dirt from the skin. The excess oil is what clogs your pores and makes them susceptible to bacterial infection.

This excess oil also causes blackheads, which are just pores clogged by oil and dirt but not infected. Aloe Vera also helps acne by stimulating cell growth which helps your damaged skin heal faster, and scar less.

Aloe Vera gel in a glass. Aloe Vera is full of acne-fighting ingredients.

Other Benefits of Aloe Vera

  • Skin moisturizer.
  • Protects the skin from harmful toxins.
  • Helps with insect bites, frostbite, blisters, and allergic reactions.
  • Keeps skin smooth.
  • Helps treat eczema, psoriasis, inflammation, and wounds.
  • Soothes itchiness.
  • Lightens dark spots caused by dark pigmentation of the skin.

Benefits When Taking Aloe Vera Orally

  • Can help lower cholesterol levels.
  • Lowers blood glucose levels in people suffering from type two diabetes.
  • Helps improve digestion.
  • Helps with detoxification.
  • Alkalizes the body.
  • Boosts the immune system.
  • Reduces inflammation.

How to Properly Use Aloe Vera to Treat Your Acne

There are numerous ways to use aloe vera gel or juice for acne skin care. You can apply aloe vera topically as a moisturizer or spot treatment, shave with it, make a face mask, take it as a dietary supplement, and more.

Using Aloe Vera Gel As A Moisturizer

Many acne treatments tend to leave your skin very dry and often flakey. Using aloe vera gel can be a great way to get some moisture back into your skin.

I recommend using a product that is certified 100% aloe vera. Some products have green dye which can cause an alergic reaction. You’ll also see a lot of fillers and other random chemicals in some aloe vera products.

A woman applies aloe vera gel to her acne. Use aloe vera to moisturize acne-prone skin.

It’s easy to use aloe vera gel as a moisturizer. You can use the gel by itself or mix it with another moisturizer. You can add it to your favorite skin cream, or combine it with other natural moisturizers like jojoba oil, olive oil, honey or others.

Shaving With Aloe Vera Gel

Shaving can irritate your skin, especially if you have acne. One of the best ways to get a clean shave and help treat your acne at the same time is to use aloe vera as a shaving gel.

This is especially useful for people with sensitive skin that don’t do well with shaving products that are filled with chemicals. You can use the same 100% aloe vera gel that you use for moisturizing and everything else.

Aloe vera and a shaving razor. Use aloe vera to shave acne-prone skin.

For The Best Shave:

  1. Shave right after taking a shower. The heat and water will make your beard as soft as possible, and shaving will be less irritating because of it.
  2. Rub the aloe vera gel between your hands to get it nice and warm so that you won’t be putting cold gel on your warm face.
  3. When in doubt always use more gel. You want plenty of gel keeping your skin lubricated.
  4. Shave with the grain. Shaving against the grain can cause ingrown hairs.
  5. Use short strokes, and wet your blade often.
  6. Don’t hold the razor hard against your face. Use light pressure.

Make An Aloe Vera Face Mask For Acne

You can use fresh or store bought aloe vera gel for this mask. If you use store bought aloe, then I recommend Lily Of The Desert Aloe Vera Gel, as mentioned in the section on where to buy the best aloe vera gels and juices.

If you want to use fresh aloe then just follow the instructions outlined in the section on how to make fresh aloe vera gel.

A woman getting an aloe vera facial. Try an aloe vera face mask for acne and pimples.

How To Properly Apply Your Aloe Vera Face Mask

  1. Wash your face with warm water. You want to remove any dirt or debris on your face and let the hear open up your pores so that the face mask can penetrate deep into your skin and work it’s magic.
  2. If you are using ingredients that may have been refrigerated, let them come to room temperature before you apply them to your face. You don’t want the cold to close up your pores.
  3. Mix the ingredients using a blender so that you get a really homogeneous mixture.
  4. Apply it to your face. (You may want to avoid the sensitive area under your eyes, especially if you are using lemon juice or other strong ingredients.)
  5. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes. (This amount may vary depending on your skin type. You may want to go for a shorter time if it’s your first time trying a specific mask to see how your skin reacts to it.)
  6. Another option is to apply your mask before sleeping and leave it on overnight. (Only do this if your mask doesn’t contain any strong ingredients, like lemon juice, that could irritate your skin if left on too long.)

The Best Aloe Vera Facemask Recipes:

Plain Aloe Vera Mask

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp aloe vera gel
  • Optional: a few drops of lemon juice, or your favorite essential oil

Strawberry Aloe Vera Face Mask

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 tbsp aloe vera gel
  • 1/4 cup strawberries
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or non-flavored yogurt
  • Optional: a few drops of lemon juice, or your favorite essential oil

Banana Aloe Face Mask

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 tbsp aloe vera gel
  • ½ ripe banana (You can keep ripe bananas in the freezer to prevent them from spoiling.)
  • Optional: a few drops of lemon juice, or your favorite essential oil

Aloe Vera Cucumber Mask

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 tbsp aloe vera gel
  • ½ cucumber
  • Optional: a few drops of lemon juice, or your favorite essential oil.

More Optional Ingredients

You can personalize your aloe vera facial by combining aloe vera gel with tons of other ingredients. Here are some common ingredients you may want to try.

A woman getting a face mask for acne.

  • Aloe Vera
  • Apple
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Carrot
  • Cream cheese
  • Cucumber
  • Egg white
  • Egg yolk
  • Figs
  • Heavy Cream
  • Lemon juice
  • Mango
  • Melon
  • Milk
  • Oatmeal
  • Papaya
  • Pear
  • Peach
  • Strawberries
  • Wheat germ
  • Yogurt

These face masks require a bit of work, but you will love the results. It can take several weeks or longer to see the results, but in the end you will be rewarded with skin that is much healthier, smoother, and acne scars that begin to fade away never to be seen again!

Where To Buy The Best Pure Organic Aloe Vera Gel And Juice

There are a ton of aloe vera products out there, but most of them are non-organic, have a ton of chemicals added to them, or are filled with “added water”.

They use terms like “All Natural” or “Organic” to get people to buy them, but provide no independent certification to back up their claims.

Therefore, I set out to find a company that provides a clearly labeled, science backed aloe vera product with as few added ingredients as possible.

The USDA Organic seal. Organic aloe Vera is best for acne treatment.
The IASC Certified Aloe Vera seal. Look for aloe vera that's certified pure to treat your acne.

The company that I finally settled on as the absolute best aloe vera gel and juice producer is Lily of the Desert. Their products have numerous certifications including USDA Certified Organic, a certification from the International Aloe Science Council (IASC) saying that their products contain 100% pure aloe vera, and their state-of-the-art processing plant and labs are certified organic by OneCert in accordance with the USDA Certified National Organic Program.

They also put a lot of research and good science into their products. They’ve done several clinical studies showing the effectiveness of their products.

One study looked at how aloe vera can help the body better absorb nutrients. When compared to a generic aloe vera product, their product was 10 times more affective at improving nutrient absorption.

An independent university study compared several leading aloe vera products, and found that Lily of the Desert had the broadest range of Polysaccharides and a 46% higher concentration than the next leading brand.

I could go on to tell you about how these guys take measures to reduce the levels of toxic nitrates in their products, or how their products have enhanced antioxidant support, or numerous other things, but I think you get the idea!

I also recommend that you always buy aloe vera products made from the “inner fillet” part of the plant. This is the soft, inner part of the plant that remains after the outer leaf coverings have been removed.

A bottle of Lily Of The Desert Inner Fillet Aloe Vera Juice. This is the best brand of aloe Vera for acne.The reason I say this is because the outer leaf contains aloin, which is a laxative. You don’t want to make a habit of ingesting the aloin because it can cause electrolyte imbalance, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and even uterine contractions in pregnant women.

If you’re looking for the best aloe vera gel then I would recommend their Lily Of The Desert Aloe Vera Gel. It’s not considered USDA Organic because it does have some basic preservatives in it. However, it is certified by the International Aloe Science Council (IASC) for purity. They ensure that the product contains 100% pure aloe vera.

If you’re more interested in the best aloe vera juice then I recommend their Lily Of The Desert Preservative Free Inner Fillet Aloe Vera Juice. This product is Certified USDA Organic as well as certified for purity by the IASC.

How To Make Fresh Aloe Vera Gel Or Juice For Your Acne

First, you will need to get an aloe vera leaf. You can buy them from a local farmers market, or whole foods store.

If you have your own aloe vera plant, select one of the older more mature outer leaves that is close to the ground. These leaves have more gel and nutrients because they are fully matured.

  • Wash the leaf thoroughly.
  • Cut off the portion you want to use.
  • Cut off the thorny edges of the leaf.
  • With your knife, fillet the top and bottom skin of the leaf just like you would a fish. All that should remain is the inner fillet of clear aloe vera gel.
  • Never eat the skin of the plant because it contains a yellow substance called aloin which is an irritant to humans. It is a natural laxative which can cause diarrhea and worse problems.
  • Place the gel in a blender along with however much juice or water you like.
  • Blend it until it’s smooth.
  • Enjoy your refreshing aloe vera drink!

How To Preserve Your Aloe Vera Gel So It Doesn’t Go Bad

These aloe vera gel and juice products can go bad, just like any other food products. Therefore, you need to keep them refrigerated. Especially the aloe vera juice.

Just like orange or grape juice, you need to refrigerate the aloe vera juice immediately after opening. It’s even more critical that you do this if you bought the product I recommended because it is “preservative free”.

Some people don’t like putting the cold aloe vera gel on their skin. If that’s the case for you, then just take out however much you plan on using and let it warm up for a little bit.

If you bought a big container, like the 1 gallon size, then you may find it easier to put some of it into a smaller squeeze bottle, but you still need to keep the smaller bottle refrigerated.

Also, I recommend rinsing your smaller bottle between refills. Just toss it in the dishwasher or swish some soapy water around in it for a few seconds.

The Best Aloe Vera Supplements For Acne

Aloe vera supplements (capsules or softgels) are a quick easy way to add the benefits of aloe vera to your diet. Maybe you don’t like the taste of aloe vera juices, or gels. Maybe you don’t have time to grow, prepare, and store fresh aloe vera.

No problem. You can still get a lot of the same benefits from taking a high quality aloe vera supplement.

When buying a supplement, always look for the same certifications of quality that we mentioned earlier. Look for an aloe vera supplement that is USDA Certified Organic or certified by the International Aloe Science Council (IASC) for purity.

A bottle of Now Foods Aloe Vera Softgels. Aloe Vera supplements are good for treating acne.Also, you want a product where the unwanted aloin has been removed. Aloin is a natural laxative found in the skin of the aloe plant, and it can cause electrolyte imbalance, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and worse if you ingest too much of it.

It’s also a good idea to look for products that adhere to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) Standards.

I recommend the NOW Foods Aloe Vera Gels, 5000mg Softgels, 100-Count, or if you don’t mind spending a bit more, then I’d say my favorite aloe vera supplement is Nature City’s True Aloe Organic Aloe Vera Capsules because they are USDA Certified Organic and meet the IASC purity standards.

How To Test Your Aloe Vera Supplement For Purity

Testing aloe Vera for purity. Always use pure aloe vera for your acne and skincare needs.

Courtesy of NatureCity.com

You can test your aloe vera supplement to see if it has fillers in it. Here’s how:

  1. Buy a bottle of iodine from the drugstore.
  2. Pour a spoon-full of iodine in a bottle cap.
  3. Open 2 or 3 Aloe vera capsules.
  4. Pour the powder into the iodine.
  5. Mix it and then wait a few minutes.

If the mixture turns blue or black, then you’re aloe vera supplement isn’t pure. It’s full of a filler called maltodextrin!

Below, is an image showing how this test has been done using the Nature City Aloe Vera capsules I mentioned earlier.

How To Grow an Aloe Vera Plant For Your Acne

A potted aloe Vera plant. Grow fresh aloe Vera to treat your acne.Aloe vera plants are very easy to grow. You can grow them outdoors if you live in growing zones 9 or 10 (basically anywhere that temperatures stay above 40° Fahrenheit year round).

You can also grow them indoors pretty much anywhere that gets 8 to 10 hours of sunlight per day (so maybe not in polar regions that have very short days during certain parts of the year).

While it is possible to grow aloe plants from a seed, this requires a lot of time and very strict greenhouse conditions.

The best option is to either buy a plant from your local gardening store, or propagate a new plant from the offshoot of an already mature aloe vera plant.

If you do buy your own plant, you can easily propagate it into numerous additional plants over time. They make great gifts if you don’t need all of them.

Find A Suitable Location

  • Find a location (indoors or outdoors) that gets a lot of sun (south or west facing is best). 8 to 10 hours of sunlight per day is optimal (definitely shoot for no less than 6 hours). If indoors, try to place your plant by a sunny window.
  • If planting outdoors, be sure to choose a place that has very good drainage. The aloe vera plant is built to withstand very dry conditions, but it will not do well in soil that tends to stay wet. So, avoid low elevations, areas where there is water drain-off, and other areas where water tends to collect.
  • Aloe vera plants prefer a crowded root system, so when planting them in a pot, don’t think that bigger is better. They do need room to grow, but don’t get carried away with the biggest pot you can find.

Prepare The Soil

  • Whether you decide to plant your aloe vera indoors or outdoors, you should make sure it is planted in loose, dry, sandy soil.
  • You want about a 50/50 mixture of sand to regular soil. I prefer using sharp sand (also called builders sand) because it is more gritty. So, take whatever soil you have (potting soil, soil from your yard, etc) and mix in an appropriate amount of sand plus a handful of pebbles. This mixture will drain very well and keep the aloe plant happy.
  • Alternatively, some stores sell a potting soil specifically designed for cactus plants. This will work great with aloe vera plants.

Planting And Growing

Mature aloe vera plants produce offshoots called “pups” around the base of the plant. They just look like a little baby aloe plant growing up next to the bigger “mommy” plant. The best way to grow a new aloe plant is by uprooting and transplanting these pups into a new location. Here are the steps:

  1. Locate the pup around the base of the mature plant. Wait until they are a couple inches tall and their leaves have begun to unfold. Then, they are ready to be transplanted.
  2. Brush away the soil surrounding the pup, and pull it out with your hand. You want to get as many of the roots with it as possible. Nothing fancy to it.
  3. If you have some root growth hormone, you can dip the roots in it to accelerate root growth, but this step isn’t necessary.
  4. Place the pup into your chosen soil, be sure it’s deep enough to completely cover the roots plus a little bit more.
  5. Firmly pack the soil around the offshoot so it will be nice and stable.
  6. Water your new aloe vera plant until the soil is moist, but not fully saturated.
  7. If you are using a pot, make sure to put it in a nice sunny location.

Aloe Vera Pups

Maintenance And Harvesting

  1. Never over-water your aloe vera plant. For the most part, outdoor plants will do fine with just rainwater and dew. Just be careful during drought conditions. Potted aloe vera plants should be allowed to dry completely before watering again. Then, just water them until they are moist, but not fully saturated. Over-watering will cause the leaves to rot at the base of the plant.
  2. During winter months, aloe vera plants often become dormant and then need even less water.
  3. You don’t need to worry too much about fertilizing or mulching. Fertilizing once a year (usually in the spring) is plenty. Over-fertilizing can do more harm than good, so just do a light application.
  4. Aloe vera plants like to have white rocks or stones placed around their base to reflect the sun’s warmth back to the plant.
  5. When it comes time to harvest the leaves of your aloe vera plant, you should always pick the larger thicker leaves. Cut them at their base with a sharp knife.