(NaturalNews) Acne can have a short-term but potentially long lasting psychological effect. Decreased self-confidence can lead to social withdrawal and even depression. Left untreated, severe acne can lead to disfiguring scarring, which can be difficult to treat. Typical acne appears in the oil-producing areas of the body, such as the face, chest, and back. It is not uncommon for acne to also occur on the neck and upper arms. Natural treatments can help sufferers find relief.
What are the Causes of Acne?
Hormones called androgens are commonly believed to be a factor in causing acne and are found in both males and females. Androgens enlarge the sebaceous glands in the skin causing it to produce more sebum (oil). The increased sebum clogs the pores and provides food for bacteria. Androgens surge at puberty and it is the reason why teenagers are more prone to acne than adults are.
Greasy skin and some types of cosmetics are thought to exacerbate acne. Both natural skin grease and cosmetics can block pores thus provoking the growth of bacteria. Many studies have proven that greasy food and chocolate does not cause acne. However, unhealthy eating does not provide the body with the balanced diet needed for healthy skin.
Natural Acne Remedies
Many acne suffers are looking for natural acne remedies as an alternative to the chemical "sandblasting" proposed by the big money making drug companies.
Often, all the body needs is the right nutritional balance and proper skin care. Unfortunately, many soaps and shampoos that are advertised as organic and natural contain harmful chemicals that can exacerbate or even cause skin problems.
Before buying any soap, skin cream, moisturizer or shampoo, check the ingredient label and research the chemicals and products used in its manufacture. Some of the harsh ingredients to avoid include alcohol, isopropyl myristate, lanolin, sodium lauryl sulphate, sodium laureth sulphate, propylene glycol, mineral oil and parabens. Don't be fooled by the name of a product or the advertising that surrounds it; rather, do your own research. For example, sodium lauryl sulphate, found in most soaps, shampoos and toothpastes as well as many anti-acne products, is commonly used as a garage floor cleaner and engine de-greaser.
Lemon Juice and Rose Water for Acne
Lemon juice and rose water should be applied directly to the skin and rinsed off after 10 minutes with cold water. Lemon juice is a natural astringent and mild antibacterial agent. The rose petals, from which rose water is made, acts as a skin toner while mitigating the acidity of straight lemon juice.
Crushed Mint Acne Treatment
A good natural remedy for acne is crushed mint. Crush fresh peppermint leaves thoroughly with a mortar and pestle, apply directly on the skin, and leave for 10 minutes before washing it off with cold water. Peppermint brings relief from acne because it contains menthol which is a natural analgesic and anti-inflammatory.
Oatmeal Face Pack
Mix 1/4 cup of honey into a single serving of cooked oatmeal and allow to cool. Apply this mixture to the face and leave for 20 minutes before washing it off. The oatmeal ex-foliates the skin and absorbs excess oil. Honey is added to ease the application and serves as a skin toner.
There are many natural remedies that are well reported on by acne sufferers. Think twice before buying commercially available acne products that can't tell the difference between a garage floor and your sensitive skin. Why not try old fashioned home remedies for acne? You may be surprised at the results.
Fleur Hupston is a professional freelance writer. She is passionate about natural, healthy living and is currently studying to be a naturopath. She divides her time between writing for Natural News and various other sites, home schooling her children and studying part time.