Here are a few of the most effective natural acne treatments. While not every treatment will work well for everyone, many people who give these approaches an honest try see real results.
Nutritional supplements – Simply supplementing your diet with vitamins can be surprisingly effective in helping to clear stubborn cases of acne. Vitamins that may be helpful include vitamin A, pantothenic acid, niacin and vitamin E. A 1977 study (1) by the National Institutes of Health also showed that zinc is very effective in clearing cases of stubborn acne. Participants in the study who received 135 mg of zinc daily saw an 85 percent improvement in their condition after 12 weeks of treatment.
Omega-3 fatty acids – Found in foods such as flax seed, walnuts and salmon (2), omega-3 fatty acids can help acne breakouts by suppressing the formation of prostaglandins and leukotrienes in the body. These two substances are inflammatory chemicals, and suppressing them can help with the inflammation associated with acne.
Manuka Honey – Manuka honey is produced by bees in Australia as they gather pollen from the native manuka bush. The honey has demonstrated antimicrobial properties and has shown promise in the treatment of acne. A 2012 study (3) by the National Institutes of Health showed that manuka honey had a strong antibacterial effect against the common wound pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. Bacteria treated with the honey showed a significant decrease in cellular growth. Manuka honey may also reduce inflammation, which may help reduce acne symptoms.
Biofeedback and meditation – While stress doesn’t cause acne directly, it can, according to an article (4) by the Mayo Clinic, make existing acne worse. Because stress is a proven trigger, anything that helps mitigate stress — relaxation techniques, biofeedback, conscious breathing, meditation — can help reduce acne outbreaks.
Prescription medications can have adverse interactions with many different substances, including some whole, natural foods and supplements. If you are taking any prescriptions, talk with your doctor or pharmacist before you make any changes to your dietary routine.