There are quite a few things we never outgrow, and unfortunately, acne can be one of those things. Today, we’re going to look at 8 effective treatments for acne.

What is Acne?

Acne is technically a skin condition or disorder where the oil glands of the skin and the hair follicles make too much of an oily substance called sebum. The poor are connected to the glands through a channel (the follicle). The follicles are where oil brings up dead skin cells to the surface of the skin. This is where the issue happens. All the things there bunch up together and form a blockage in the skin which causes swelling and redness that we commonly associate with a pimple.

Acne can occur anywhere there is a blockage! Usually, people get one on their face and neck areas, but acne on the back, chest, or shoulders are not uncommon. Although this is something that happens very commonly, if there is a large outbreak of acne, people find it embarrassing or unsightly to have on their face. It is commonly associated with teens and young adults because of the hormonal changes that happen during puberty. It’s not very clear what causes acne specifically, but there are various things that can positively affect and help to prevent acne from appearing again.


Regarding Acne Treatments

The methods mentioned in this list are a mixture of home remedies and professional solutions. Everyone’s acne battle is different as our acne can be the result of various reasons including diet, hydration, vitamins, hormones, external factors (exposure of the skin to different things in our environment), and genetics.

Consider this list as ideas to consider with your dermatologist and with any new method you are applying to your skin, be careful and be wise. Take it slowly, test the solution on a patch of skin that is not as sensitive (like your arm), and if there is medication involved, please consult your doctor before beginning. Not everyone’s success story will lead to your own success story, but more than being frustrated, know that with time and patience, you will see progress.


With those warnings out of the way, let’s explore the effective methods recommended by our readers for acne treatment!

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Always remember that putting apple cider vinegar onto your skin may burn and irritate the area, however it is an excellent home treatment for acne. Always use it very conservatively and dilute it with water. The organic acid of this popular vinegar could remove any acne-triggering germs and minimize any scarring. Because rubbing it into your skin could burn or irritate the area, we recommend that it be applied gently.

  1. Combine one portion of apple cider vinegar and three equal portions of water. Sensitive skin types might require more water.
  2. Thoroughly cleanse face before applying this liquid onto your skin with a cloth or tissue.
  3. Wait 5 – 20 seconds, rinse, and pat dry.
  4. Perform this procedure 1 or 2 times daily, or as desired.

2. Take a Zinc Supplement

Studies that have investigated zinc alone or zinc in combination with another medication have found that zinc can help reduce acne.

Sejah Shah, quoted in Macaela Mackenzie’s article for Allure

People living with acneic skin have shown to have reduced levels of zinc than those who aren’t. Research has shown that ingesting zinc will lessen acne considerably.

3. Make a Masque of Honey and Cinnamon

Both cinnamon and honey possess anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, these additives are likely conducive to acneic skin types.

  1. Mix 2 tablespoons honey and 1 teaspoon cinnamon together to form a paste.
  2. After cleansing, apply the mask to your face and leave it on for 10–15 minutes.
  3. Rinse the mask off completely and pat your face dry.

4. Use Tea Tree Oil as a Spot Treatment

Tea tree oil has strong anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Applying it to the skin has been shown to be an effective home treatment for acne.

  1. Combine 1 portion of tea tree oil with 9 equal portions of water.
  2. Lightly dampen a cloth, tissue, or cotton ball with this mixture and gently massage it into irritated parts.
  3. Put on face cream if needed.
  4. Perform this routine 1 – 2 times daily, or as desired.

5. Lasers for Acne Treatment

acne treatment surgical laser

When the skin is heated, lasers have the ability to kill any bacteria which may lead to acne. Such heat that directly penetrates the skin will incite it to rebuild collagen. However, laser treatments are not instantly effective for everyone. You might need a supplemental acne medication simultaneously. When being treated by lasers, you will probably need several sessions throughout several weeks before seeing significant changes.

Where to Go

Laser treatments are offered in many med spas, but we recommend that you speak with a dermatologist about the laser therapy that best suits your needs.

6. Try Isotretinoin

acne treatment tablets

While isotretinoin is an oral form of vitamin A, it is the only treatment for acne that targets all of the main causes of acneic breakouts: inflammation, obstructed pores, and superficial bacteria. Isotretinoin is an effective option for those with severe acne as a last resort. This should be taken over the course of several months and, sometimes, people believe their skin to be more sensitive or drier.

Where to Go

Isotretinoin must be prescribed by a doctor because there are serious risks involved. These risks include headaches, depression, chapped lips, dry skin, light sensitivity, flu-like symptoms, and rash. Isotretinoin is also a concern to pregnant women for causing birth defects.

7. Spironolactone Powder or Supplements

acne treatment powder

This medication is considered to be a diuretic and has historically been used for treating high blood pressure, minimizes oil production for acneic skin types, and also impedes testosterone.

Where to Go

Spironolactone must be prescribed by a dermatologist.

8. Hormonal Birth Control Pills

birth control acne treatment

These pills offer a blend of both progestin and estrogen. These birth control pills are oral contraceptives that treat inflamed/cystic acne, along with the more commonly seen ‘whiteheads’ and ‘blackheads.’ Birth control inhibits the hormone androgen from being produced, which has been associated with acne, so birth control pills may be a suitable option for those with acne primarily due to hormones. Birth control pills may also cause weight gain in some women, yet some believe that it will not.

Where to Go

Hormonal birth control pills must be prescribed by a dermatologist or a gynecologist.
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