The natural treatment of acne

Most of us suffer from the problem of pimples in our adolescence. But is it true? Are acne limited to only adolescence? What can you do take care of them without using any harmful remedies or harsh chemicals? Read to learn more.

What is acne?
Research has it that almost 79% to 95% of the adolescent population is suffering from acne vulgaris and even in men and women over the age of 25 years some degree of facial acne is prevalent in as much as 40% to 54% of the population. Clinical condition of facial acne is said to even persist in almost 12% of middle aged women and 3% of middle aged men.

Acne is a common condition when the oil producing sebaceous follicles on the face, chest and back do not work properly. The production of sebum is increased in people suffering with acne and is also directly related with the severity of the acne.

The natural cure for acne
There are serious side effects associated with the treatment of acne with antibiotics or other medicines. Patients have shown significant improvements in acne conditions within weeks of using various herbal preparations and natural methods of management of acne.The alternative or complementary therapies are quickly gaining widespread popularity as more and more clinical data related to their efficacy and safety is being generated. The natural therapies along with the treatment of the problem also bring about a vibrant glow and freshness to the skin. The 5 most important natural therapies for the treatment of acne are inclusive of use of herbs, Ayurveda, Acupuncture, vitamins and aromatherapy.

There is an increasing interest in herbs as part of change in lifestyles and beliefs. They have been used in many forms inclusive of food, medicine, cosmetics or fragrance (aroma therapy). It would be apt to warn you that even though most of the herbs have no or little side effects but they may be accompanied by some undesirable effects and should be used with caution.

There are many herbal remedies which have been used succefully and efficiently in the treatment and management of acne. Some oils which have been applied for an effective management of the acne condition are ocimum oil and tea tree oil. Some other herbs which have been efficiently used in the treatment of acne are Arjuna, Cinnamon, Coriander, Fenugreek and Sandalwood.

Tannins also possess natural stringent properties. Various fruit acids like those from citric fruits, gluconolactone, glycolic, malic and tartaric acid have natural healing properties making them useful in the treatment of acne.

Ayurveda for acne
As per Ayurveda, acne appears on the face in adolescents and is reflective of an increased ‘Kapha and vata dosha’ and ‘rakta and meda dhatu.’ Referred to as “Yavanapidika” acne may also be caused due to improper dietary habits. You should see an Ayurvedic physician if the symptoms of acne are serious. The prima facie mode of therapy is correction of diet and improved digestion. Ayurveda also refers to acne as indicative of gastric upsets. Liver disturbance have also been correlated with acne. The three basic steps followed by Ayurveda in treatment of acne are;

  1. Cleansing of the internal system
  2. Maintaining and nurturing the skin in healthy condition
  3. Regulation of the diet to maintain a healthy system

Cleansing of the internal system refers to purification of blood. Care of skin through various natural means is also a quick and persistent way for obtaining good results.
The Ayurvedic herbs are applied in paste form over the face and then washed off after 20 minutes. These herbal combinations are

  1.  Lodhra + dhanyaka + vacha,
  2.  Maricha + gorochana,
  3. Ashwagandha + chandana + manjishtha + yashtimadhu
  4. Lentil + curd +neem
  5.  Haridra + chandana

All the above herbal mixes are not only effective in treating acne, but are also good for skin rejuvenation and complexion. None of these remedies should be taken without under strict medical supervision.

Acupuncture for acne
Another effective treatment for acne is acupuncture. After your practitioner has made a diagnosis and detected the underlying cause causing acne, then only the treatment will ensue. Generally 6 primary patterns are associated with the acne and the most relevant and frequent to be taken care of are toxic heat and the dampness in the channels. The treatment of acne is focused on the balancing lung function which will hydrate the skin, the stomach which will optimize heat and dampness and the spleen which is a corrective measure for digestive imbalance.
Along with acupuncture, proper diet and nutrition is also advised along with the therapy. Acupuncture also works in bringing about relaxation by stress alleviation to reduce the hormonal imbalances which may cause acne.

The role of Vitamins
Vitamins A and D are the natural substances which are claimed to be the skin hormones showing natural physiological functions in specialized cells of the tissue and enhance the blood circulation. As natural constituents of skin, vitamins are antioxidant in nature and relieve the skin from stress. Vitamins A, C, E and B3 have antioxidant as well as anti-inflammatory properties and when applied to skin in correct dosage, they are an effective treatment for acne, pigmentation disorders and non-inflammatory lesions or eruptions on the skin. It has also been found that low levels of Vitamins in the body may result in acne condition or aggravate an already existing condition. Research has shown that vitamins can improve the acne condition.

Aromatherapy for acne
Aromatherapy has been effectively used in the treatment of acne utilizing essential oils for the purpose. The essential oils used in aromatherapy for the treatment of acne are endowed with a range of medicinal properties inclusive of anti-bacterial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, astringent and creating balance in the body. They are used individually or in a complex blend of oils. The oils used in aromatherapy are diluted in carrier oil and then are directly applied on the spots and pimples. It is also used in a steam treatment or as a constituent of skin tonics and skin toners. The best essential oils used in the treatment of acne are tea tree oil along with other oils such as eucalyptus, grapefruit, jasmine, lemon, lavender, patchouli, sandalwood, rosewood and ylang ylang.

The carrier oils used in essential oils for the treatment of acne are jojoba oil because of its features of being non-greasy and moisturizing in nature.


  1. Bakhru, H. (1992). Herbs that heal: Natural remedies for good health. Orient Paperbacks.
  2. Cordain, L., Lindeberg, S., Hurtado, M., Hill, K., Eaton, B., & Brand-Miller, J. (2002). Acne vulgris A disease of western civilization. JAMA Dermatology, 138(12), 1584-1590.
  3. El-Akawi, Z., Abdel-Latif, N., & Abdul-Razzak, K. (2006). Does the plasma level of vitamins A and E affect acne condition. Clinical experimental dermatology, 31(3), 430-434.
  4. Gopal, M., Farahana, B., & Kulkarni, K. S. (2001). Effectiveness of herbal medications in the treatmetn of acne vulgaris-a pilot study. The Indian practitioner, 54(10), 723.
  5. O’Brien, P. J. (2007). Treating acne with acupuncture. Retrieved from The Meridian Acupuncture Clinic.

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