Acne’s something you’re supposed to leave behind in your teenage years, right? It’s pretty disappointing when those zits hang around past the time you’re 18 years old, but it can happen. Natural face masks for acne can help you get rid of those spots and be on your way to smooth, glowing skin.

Potential Causes of Stubborn Adult Acne

In your teenage years, raging, crazy hormones are often blamed for acne, but by the time you’re an adult, you kind of expect your skin woes to disappear. Unfortunately, there’s a chance that your acne won’t go away as soon as you reach adulthood, and there’s a chance for adult-onset acne even if you never had acne before. Though it’s possible that something you’re using on your face could be the culprit, acne usually occurs because of something going on inside the body. There are a few possible causes.

A clogging diet:

  • Dairy
  • Animal products
  • Refined sugars
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Gluten
  • Soy
  • Poor food combining practices

What we mean when we say “clogging diet” is anything that’s difficult to digest and/or slows down the digestive process. When your gut is clogged and full of “sludge” from foods that weren’t able to be properly broken down and eliminated the ideal way (the colon), everything gets backed up. Toxins build up in the body and your body tries to get rid of them in other ways, like through your skin.

Other potential causes:

  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Stress
  • Build-up of sebum and dead skin cells in pores

Natural Face Masks for Acne Help

Spiced Honey

This mask smells good enough to eat (and you technically could…) because it’s just made up of three ingredients: raw honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Splash of lemon (oily skin that isn’t sensitive), water, OR a couple drops of sweet almond oil (dry, somewhat sensitive skin) – optional, but may help if the mask seems too thick

Mix the ingredients together until they form a paste, then apply the mixture to your face. Don’t rub too much at first in an effort to spread it out. Give the heat from your skin a few seconds to warm it up and make it easier to move around, then spread it out. Leave it on for about 15 minutes and remove it by rinsing with warm water, then moisturize.

This one’s good because the honey, nutmeg, and cinnamon are anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and contain antioxidants. The honey is moisturizing at the same time. If you use the lemon juice, it may lighten scars. (Honey’s healing properties are so strong, it can be used on wounds, ulcers, and burns, too.)

Because cinnamon can be an irritant for some skin types (if you’re especially sensitive, you’ll want to use a different mask), you should do a test patch along your jaw line before applying it to your whole face.

Tea Tree Oil and Green Clay

This one’s a winner for really oily, acne-prone skin. The clay helps remove buildup from your pores, and the tea tree and lavender oils have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. They also help balance the skin’s oil production.

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  • 2 Tbsp French green clay
  • 2-3 drops tea tree oil
  • 1-2 drops lavender oil
  • 2 Tbsp water (this is a good starting point, but add more if necessary until your mask becomes a paste that feels easy for you to work with)

Apply this mixture to your skin and leave it on for about 15-20 minutes. As it dries, it will pull excess oil and dirt from your pores. Rinse it off with warm water and moisturize.

Aloe Vera, Honey, and Turmeric

You knew aloe vera was good for sunburns, but did you know it can help clear up your acne, too? This mask is good for those who are dealing with dry skin and acne at the same time because the aloe vera is healing and moisturizing while also being anti-microbial and antioxidant-rich.

Mix equal parts aloe vera and honey (start with about 1 tsp each and go from there) with a dash of turmeric and a couple of drops of water. Apply the mixture to your face and wait 15-20 minutes before rinsing it off. In addition to the benefits of aloe vera, you get the aforementioned perks of honey on your skin, plus anti-inflammatory and brightening action from the turmeric.

Check out No More Dirty Looks for more on what aloe vera can do for your health and beauty. See more of turmeric’s benefits at MindBodyGreen.

Honey and Lemon

This one is so simple to mix up and put on. All you need is:

  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • Juice from ½ lemon

Mix these two together and apply it to your face and neck for skin brightening, scar lightening, and antibacterial action. Leave it on for 15-2o minutes, rinse with warm water, and moisturize. Don’t use this one more than 1-2 times per week since there’s so much lemon, which could overly dry your skin if used too often.

Why lemon, anyway? The citric acid in lemons can help lighten your acne scars and even out your skin tone. Like honey, lemons offer antibacterial properties and can help reduce the oiliness of the skin.

What to Eat to Prevent and Clear Acne

You’ve heard that eating greasy foods and chocolate can affect the way your skin looks and contribute to acne, but did you know there’s more to the link between diet and acne than that? Just as you should stay away from the clogging foods mentioned earlier, there are foods you can eat that will help with clearing up your skin from the inside.

Greens: A diet full of leafy greens will help carry the toxins out of your body so they can’t wreak havoc on the inside of your body anymore. Use them in green smoothies, salads, or cook them.

Probiotic and Enzyme Salad: This keeps your intestinal flora balanced, so the bad isn’t overtaking the good and causing digestive problems that eventually show up on your face. If you don’t want to make it yourself, look for raw sauerkraut at your health food store.

Apple cider vinegar (raw and unfiltered): You can actually use this as part of a toner externally, but consuming it’s good for acne, too! This can assist with constipation issues, which will keep thing from getting so backed up that your skin breaks out from the toxins that can’t get out any other way. It also helps good bacteria flourish in your intestines, and has antibacterial properties.

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Garlic and onions: Use these to flavor your foods as much as possible for their antiseptic effects. Onion helps with liver detoxification, and garlic is useful in fighting candidiasis, which often goes hand in hand with acne.

Fighting Acne from the Inside and Outside

Natural face masks for acne can do a lot to give you blemish-free, glowing skin, but it’s best to attack from the outside and the inside to make sure you’re not only addressing the symptoms of an underlying issue, but getting to the root of the problem.