Stop. Smearing. Cream. On. Your. Face. The Top Natural Acne Home Remedies

Picture of female washing her face

Just as you can relieve dry skin with chemical-free products and mixtures, you can use natural acne home remedies to cut down on another common skin woe: blemishes.

You’ve seen—and probably even used—all those harsh creams and washes on the market that promise to give you clear skin. But what they can sometimes do is dry your skin out so badly, you wind up with dry, flaky skin instead.

Neither one is ideal. Natural acne home remedies can help without exposing your precious skin to damage.

Natural Acne Treatments

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has antiseptic and anti-fungal properties, and it’s used in treating all sorts of conditions, from dandruff to acne. It has a drying effect on the skin, so you shouldn’t apply it straight, nor should you apply it to areas that aren’t breaking out.

A study in the Medical Journal of Australia showed that a 5% tea tree oil mixture was just as effective as 5% benzoyl peroxide lotion at healing acne, but it took a bit longer to see the results.

However, even though the test subjects had to wait longer for clearer skin, they experienced fewer side effects.

Tea tree oil is best used as a spot treatment or as part of a mask. You can dilute five parts tea tree oil with 95 parts water to achieve a similar mixture to what was used in the study above, then apply it to blemishes.

To make a mask instead, add a couple of drops of tea tree oil to a tablespoon of bentonite clay (also good for detoxing the skin), then mix in water until it’s a paste.

Apply it to your skin and leave it on for 10-20 minutes. Rinse it off with warm water, dry your skin, and apply your moisturizer.

Check out Keeper of the Home for other ways to use tea tree oil.


Increasing your zinc intake has been shown to help treat acne. Some of our favorite sources include:

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Almonds
  • Flaxseeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • Pears
  • Dulse
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Bee pollen
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Sesame seeds
  • Buckwheat
  • Oat groats
  • Quinoa
  • Millet

Oatmeal Mask

Picture of oatmeal and oils

An oatmeal and raw honey mask (cook the oatmeal, then use about 4 parts oatmeal to one part honey), recommends will clean your pores and exfoliate your face.

Honey contains antiseptic and antimicrobial properties, and it also contains gluconic acid, which works to brighten your skin and possibly reduce scarring.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Mixing raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar 50/50 with water in a sterilized glass container and using it as a toner will help balance your skin’s pH, prevent breakouts, brighten your complexion, and act as an exfoliant (thanks to the natural alpha hydroxy acids).

If you’re nervous about the way your skin will react to apple cider vinegar, try a lower concentration at first and do a test patch.

Don’t Forget to Moisturize

Some people seem think that a powerful face wash or even follow-up product that acts like a toner is the way to go, but a natural routine that addresses acne covers everything, including moisturizer.

Yep, even oily, acne-prone skin will benefit from a moisturizer, albeit a light one. Try jojoba or argan oil before coconut, olive, avocado, or sweet almond oil, as jojoba and argan feel lighter on the skin and work better on acne-prone complexions.

Though you may use tea tree oil as a treatment, it shouldn’t be used as a moisturizer (even though it’s an oil!) because it has a drying effect on the skin.

Always apply some sort of moisturizer at the end of your skin care routine, morning and night. When skin is washed and left exposed, it will sometimes overcompensate and create more oil.

Though dry skin can get acne, too, it’s most often associated with oily skin, so you want to avoid a cycle that encourages your body to increase the production of oil.

What About Prevention?

What you eat (and what you don’t!), can play a part in how your skin looks because your skin is a reflection of what’s going on inside your body.

In other words, acne is just a symptom of something deeper going on, and the goal is to get at the root cause even while applying natural acne home remedies externally.

This goes beyond the belief that greasy foods and chocolate will make you break out and encompasses your overall diet. When you’ve cleansed your body with a healthy diet, you’re likely to notice your acne diminishing, too.

Aside from increasing your zinc intake, which we already mentioned, here are a few other acne-fighting nutrition tips:

  • Take a probiotic and/or start eating the Probiotic & Enzyme Salad at least a few times per week to balance your gut flora.
  • Eat light to heavy.
  • Skip clogging foods, like dairy, soy, gluten, and fried or processed foods.
  • Drink hot water with lemon first thing in the morning to assist with detoxifying your liver.

Picture of hot water and lemon

One final tip: Make sure you’re working to cleanse your colon. This means drinking plenty of water, eating vegetables and fruits to ensure that you’re getting enough fiber, taking magnesium-oxygen supplements (MagO7), and considering gravity-centered colonics or enemas.

You’ll be drinking the lemon water to detox your liver, but your liver needs to push toxins into your colon. If your colon’s not up to the task, everything will get backed up and more toxins will need to be pushed through your skin (the skin is your largest detoxifying organ, after all).

Beautiful skin comes from the inside. There are ways to address acne from the outside, but getting to the root cause while using natural remedies will give you the best, quickest, and most long-lasting results.

In Love and Health,




Last updated: Monday, February 8, 2016
  • April

    Are these safe remedies for pregnant women?

  • Niya

    This is nice, but in a lot of the cases acne is hormonal. How do we need to adress hormonal acne from within, ie how can we balance our hormones through diet?

  • Ann

    I wish these all natural things helped me out. Unfortunately, some of them make my acne exceptionally worse!!! Using anything with oils (including those oils listed in the article) on my acne prone skin wreaks havoc in a big, big, BIG way. All face washes, acne treatments, moisturizers and shampoos that contain any oils will break me out. Even when I stop using them, it takes months for the aftermath to settle down. Just a warning to those with acne- be careful of oils!

  • Kay

    Except benzoyl peroxide is toxic !!!!

  • Laura

    I’ve always wondered- why does the water have to be hot??

  • Sherry Miller

    The recipes are unprintable. Is there be a printable copy available?

  • Sherry Miller

    Is there a printable copy available of the recipes? They sound great.

  • Ann

    Having suffered from some form of acne most of my adult life, I believe that it is very much a hormonal issue. What one ingests and the body does not approve of manifests itself via hormonal fluctuations throughout your cycle and ends up sitting on your face (or body) in the form of acne.

    If I could offer any advice to other sufferers from my many years of experimenting with my own nutritional healing, it is this: If you do not eliminate the source of what’s pissing off your body, regardless of how much GOOD stuff you take in (in the form of GGS, supplements, veggies, hot water with lemon, etc), your acne will persist.

    Only when you determine and eliminate completely the root cause from inflammation-causing diet, stress, etc, as stated in this article, will the acne subsist.

    The good news is that all of the healthy changes that you adapt from Kimberly’s advice and others is terrific for your overall health!

    I wish I could escape it, but this is what I’ve been dealt in life. My body refuses to allow me to treat it badly without visible consequences. I consider it a warning system to stem off disease later on in life.

    • Rachael

      So insightful! Thank you!

  • Alexis

    Hi! I find that when I have lemon it flares up my dermatitis on my face. Have you heard of anyone else have a sensitivity to lemons?

  • Rachael


    This is a good article.

    using sweet almond oil as a makeup remover is fantastic! Ever since using it, my inflamed acne has greatly decreased and it helps loosen my clogged pores (blackheads).

    Tea tree oil didn’t work very well for me and I still use benzoyl peroxide to treat my skin occasionally.

    Quitting dairy eliminated my acne on my chin. Now, when I eat it, I have multiple blemishes on my chin. I know the hormones in the dairy cause a hormonal imbalance in my body (usually seem in the lower parts of the face for women) and cause mucus-both acne aggravating.

    Oh! Drinking warm water with lemon causes me to break out, so I know the lemon must be working to eliminate toxins!

    Overall, this article is helpful and everyone’s comments are very helpful and interesting.

  • Xenia

    Can this treatments be used for brown/sun/liver spots.

  • Shiv Sharma

    I am couple reader of your blog. Tea tree oil works out well for me. I used to follow the best home remedies for my skin. Thanks for sharing such a nice informative post for the people.

  • Valerie Vaneesa

    Acne home remedies are arguably the best ways to get rid of pimples and blackheads and cure our acne condition. This should not be a surprise to us since most over-the-counter acne creams or medications are not curative like acne home remedies, but palliative in nature meaning they focus on treating the symptoms more than the skin condition.


    What did you eliminate from your diet? I have eliminated dairy for a month now because I came up sensitive in a food sensitivity test and still getting acne. I eat pretty healthy otherwise.


    Finally someone who shares the same sentiments as me. My acne problems began when I first found out and learned about the magical wonders of makeup and cosmetic products. I never knew my skin type so I kept trying all the other products my friends were using and that paved way for my skin problems. I learned to just keep my skin regimen as simple as possible. Although I use face mask only twice a week to remove clogged pores and help brighten my complexion, I still get blemishes and occasional itch after every use. I decided to stop using chemically infused face masks and start on a natural alternative.

  • The antifungal body soap

    Amazing.. I have used tea tree oil out of the four suggested natural remedies and it works magically on skin issues. Tea tree oil rubbed on the area helps to reduce redness and swelling while destroying the bacteria under the skin.

    Keep sharing :)

  • Marcy

    I use a lotion by mama nature (teenagers dream) that has tea tree and it works amazing. The smell of tea tree is so strong I only use this at night and it is not cheap compared to the other creams I’ve tried but it has cleared all my acne and my skin is the softest it has ever been. Its not even greasy now and I dont use anything on my skin except this.

  • Christina

    I strongly disagree that acne is a sign that you are not taking care of your body. I eat well, exercise daily and still experience breakouts (and I’m 30 years old!). Mine seems to center around my hormone and stress levels. In fact, my skin is much more acne prone now at 30 than it ever was at 16. I know so many people who eat horribly and never workout and they have beautiful skin, so the two do not go hand-in-hand. Some people just have a much more difficult time finding the right skin care regimen that works for their skin type.

    • m.avila

      Indeed, food and exercise alone are not enough. Stress reduction goes hand in hand with properly nourishing our bodies. When we allow stress to play a dominant role in our lives our hormones go haywire. And imbalanced hormones lead to acne.
      There are a myriad of ways to support our nervous system and bring a more centered element to our lives. Tea, essential oils, acupuncture, yoga, art & creative outlets, family bonding, prayer and spiritual connection: we need to find ways to decompress and connect. Some of us just need more to maintain our systems’ balance and healthy natural rhythm.

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