Which Acne Home Remedy is Best for You?

acne home remedy

Anyone can find an acne home remedy that works, but no single acne home remedy works for everyone. Here are 10 home remedies for acne that work, with clear guidelines for getting the best results.


  • Everybody who has acne can find a home remedy, but most home remedies don’t work for everyone.
  • Listerine kills acne bacteria, but don’t try it if you have chemical-sensitive skin.
  • Some people who have rosacea get better after they use corn starch as face powder.
  • Stopping all carbonated beverages, including diet sodas (mineral water is OK), sometimes stops break outs.
  • Eating 2 tablespoons (about 30 grams) of salsa every day can relieve acne on dry skin, although eating too many tomatoes can make oily skin oilier.
  • Nicotinamide supplements can be very helpful for common acne, but aren’t a good idea for rosacea.
  • Vinegar sometimes helps other acne products work better.
  • Zinc oxide protects against sun and also reduces inflammation, although not everyone looks better after using it.
  • Milk of magnesia both conceals pimples and reduces inflammation.
  • If you break out after you have been in the sun, the problem may be cocoa butter or shea butter sunscreen.
  • A splash of water in your face temporarily works just as well as moisturizer.

1. Listerine.

Listerine is the world’s best known antibacterial mouthwash. Invented by American doctors Joseph Lawrence and Jordan Wheat in 1879, Listerine was first sold as a floor and wall cleaner for surgical theaters and operating rooms. In the early 1900′s, it was sold for stripping wax off floors. And since 1914, it has been sold as an antiseptic.

The makers of Listerine will always find new uses for their product, but the makers of Listerine do not officially recommend it as a face wash for acne.

Listerine Gold is about 27% alcohol, and flavored Listerine (orange, peppermint, or vanilla) is about 21% alcohol. It takes about 40% alcohol to kill bacteria on contact, but Listerine also contains essential oils of eucalyptus and thyme. The combination of essential oils with alcohol is enough to kill germs on your face the same it kills germs in your mouth. If you have managed to clear up your skin with other treatments, dabbing Listerine on your skin with a clean cotton ball—don’t put a used cotton ball on the mouth of the bottle of Listerine on the mouth of the bottle the rest of your family will use for mouthwash, that’s gross—will keep excessive bacterial growth from reappearing.

Listerine is OK for preventing acne breakouts on sensitive skin, but the eucalyptus and thyme extracts can cause breakouts on allergy-prone skin. You should not use Listerine on your skin if you chemicals in general make your skin break out. You should not even use Listerine as a mouthwash if you have very sensitive skin, since it can cause breakouts at the corners of your mouth.

2. Argo corn starch.

Some people report that dusting the face with Argo corn starch at night, without using any other products, helps control rosacea. The way Argo corn starch probably works is by chasing away the tiny mites that live in the skin of some, although not all, people who have rosacea. The corn starch is abrasive to outer shells of the mites, and they literally hop off the face. Corn starch won’t work for other forms of acne, and it won’t work for everyone who has rosacea, but for some people, it stops rosacea outbreaks in about a week.

3. Stopping diet sodas.

Since everyone knows sugar is bad for your health, some people who have acne switch to diet soft drinks. However, sometimes it helps to stop diet soft drinks, too. Probably the phosphoric acid in diet soft drinks interferes with the action of friendly, probiotic bacteria in the colon. Stopping the consumption of diet drinks allows these bacteria to “train” the immune system to respond to infections with less inflammation, and the immune system causes less inflammation in the face. Results are not guaranteed, but it costs nothing to try, and you may see changes in your complexion in about a week.

4. Salsa, preferably with extra chile peppers.

Salsa is a mixture of fresh tomatoes with varying degrees of onions and chopped chile peppers. Some people who have rosacea break out when they eat chile peppers, so if you have rosacea, you should avoid it. Some people who have acne on dry skin, however, see blemishes clear up when they start eating about 2 tablespoons (25-30 grams) of salsa every day.

The way salsa works is by activating the trigeminal nerve that lies underneath the cheeks. Too many peppers can make you cry, but just right amount of peppers can help keep your skin moist. The additional moisture opens pores so sebum and bacteria flow out. Eating much more than about 2 tablespoons of tomatoes a day, however, can increase sebum production on oily skin, so don’t overdo it.

5. The B-vitamin nicotinamide.

People with common acne, the kind that takes at least a day or two to break out and that is caused by oil in pores, sometimes respond very well to taking nicotinamide supplements or to a product called Nicomide T-Gel, which is applied directly to the skin. People who have rosacea, which comes on within minutes of changes of temperature and is mostly limited to the cheeks of the face and the nose, should avoid it.

6. Apple cider vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar can soothe the skin, but its real use is in acidifying the skin so other acne products can work. If you have been trying a skin peel that just doesn’t peel, try blotting a tiny area your face with a clean cotton ball dipped in apple cider vinegar first. Let the vinegar dry, and then try just a dot of your face peel on the skin you have pre-treated with apple cider vinegar. If your skin does turn red and irritated after 30 minutes, then you can pre-treat the rest of your face and use the product on a wider area of skin. Be sure to rinse your skin well. Acne is not attractive, but neither is running around smelling like a pickle factory.

7. Milk of magnesia.

Milk of magnesia is good for relieving redness and irritation in pimples. It also makes them less noticeable on white skin, although if you have dark brown or black skin, it just changes their color. Place a dot of milk of magnesia directly on the pimple after your cleanse your face in the morning and it will be less irritated all day.

8. Avoid cocoa butter and shea butter skin repair lotions.

Some people who have never had acne in their lives break out after using sun screens or skin repair lotions containing cocoa butter or shea butter. Just as some people are allergic to chocolate or to nuts, other people are allergic to cocoa butter or shea nuts, used to make shea butter. If you stop using the product, however, the breakouts will go away in a week or so.

9. But use zinc oxide sun blocks.

Zinc oxide is great for protecting the skin of the face from sunburn. It also provides zinc, an important nutrient for the skin, directly to the skin. Zinc helps reduce the intensity of inflammation around pimples, and also reduces the production of whiteheads and blackheads. The only drawback to using zinc oxide (and combinations of zinc oxide and titanium oxide) in sunscreens is that they can leave dark brown or black skin looking unusually white. The effect wears off in about two days.

10. Keep your skin hydrated.

Let’s suppose your personal budget has absolutely no money left over for buying moisturizers, and you want to help keep your pores open by keeping your skin moist. What can you use? Try water!

A splash of water on your face, blotted just enough to keep the water from running off your face, temporarily increases the moisture in your skin by about 500%. This is more than any moisturizer can do for you, although the effect only lasts an hour or so. Repeatedly splashing your face 4 or 5 times a day, however, can make a big difference in keeping it soft and smooth, if you don’t wear makeup.

These 10 acne home remedies work on just about any budget. But why not take the next step and try an acne treatment system with a money-back guarantee like Sausage Tree Cream?

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