Teen acne can worsen difficulties that most teens already have to deal with. Fortunately, there are a variety of natural remedies that can help treat it.
Acne often occurs at puberty, when the body increases the production of androgens (male sex hormones). These hormones stimulate the production of keratin (a type of protein) and sebum (a fatty lubricant for the skin). If sebum is secreted faster than it can move through the pores, a blemish arises.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 85 percent of American teens will have acne. Unfortunately, some teens are genetically predisposed to more acne than others.
Some of the typical treatments in response to acne are to buy one of the many topical creams available in pharmacies or, in extreme cases of acne, consult a dermatologist.
While these measures can be considered effective, mild acne can be reduced through a whole food diet, natural health remedies, and a good skin care routine. Like anything else, it will take time.
Natural remedies for acne in teens
There is no quick fix to reduce or even prevent acne, but you can start with these seven effective natural remedies:
1. Reduce toxins
The skin is the largest organ in the body. One of its functions is to eliminate a part of the toxic products that the body discharges through sweat. If the body contains more toxins than the kidneys and liver can effectively discharge, the skin will take over.
As toxins escape through the skin, the integrity of the skin’s health is impaired, which can cause skin disorders, including acne. Avoiding processed foods that contain artificial colors, saturated fat, high levels of sodium, and sugar is one way to effectively reduce your intake of toxins that will seep through your skin.
In addition to following a whole foods diet, encourage your teen to increase his water intake so that toxins are flushed from the body. Fiber-rich foods, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, will also support a healthy digestive system so toxins can be eliminated through the colon.
2. Avoid topical chemical oils
If your teenage daughter uses cosmetics, encourage her to use only natural water-based products. Strong chemicals, dyes, and oils will clog pores and cause acne.
3. Keep the skin clean to avoid acne in adolescents
The skin needs to breathe. Dust, grime, oils, and pollutants can clog skin pores and worsen acne that is already present. Teens should wash their face thoroughly, but carefully, twice a day.
Excessive washing or excessive scrubbing can make acne worse by overstimulating the sebaceous glands and causing them to produce excessive amounts of sebum. Use an all-natural sulfur soap designed for acne (available in health food stores) to keep your skin clean.
4. Avoid touching or squeezing the pimples
Your teenager will most likely be tempted to squeeze, pop, and touch his pimples – anything to make them go away. Try to remind your kids to keep their hands away from their faces, as dirt or oil on their hands will make acne worse.
Popping a pimple will also allow harmful bacteria to enter the wound, which can lead to a risk of infection and possible scarring.
5. Nutritional supplements against acne in adolescents
Certain vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, C, E, and zinc, along with Omega 3 essential fatty acid, can help improve the appearance of the skin and minimize acne breakouts.
Consult with a natural health professional when using supplements to determine the correct dosage for your child, as exceeding the recommended daily units of some vitamins can be harmful to the body.
Vitamin A, C, E, zinc, and Omega 3 can also be found naturally in the foods we eat: vitamin A is found in animal livers, fish liver oils, and green and yellow fruits and vegetables; vitamin C is found in berries, citrus fruits, and vegetables.
Vitamin E is found in avocados, cold-pressed vegetable oils, dark green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains; zinc is found in egg yolks, fish, seaweed, legumes, liver, mushrooms, soybeans, and whole grains.
And omega 3 fatty acids with their antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects can be found from fresh cold-water fish like salmon and mackerel, fish oil, and walnuts.
6. Some natural remedies
Your teenager will probably be willing to try anything to minimize the appearance of acne. There are some natural remedies using inexpensive household items that can help.
- A mixture of organic apple cider vinegar and quality water applied to the affected area can help balance the pH level of the skin and prevent the growth of acne-causing bacteria. Mix 1 part apple cider with 10 parts quality water and apply gently to the skin with a cotton ball.
- Applying freshly squeezed lemon juice directly to clean skin can also help balance the skin’s pH level. Let the lemon juice dry for a few minutes and then rinse it off with cold water. Reapply a couple of times a day, always remember to remove the lemon juice with cold water and do not leave it more than a couple of minutes on the skin, to avoid irritation.
- The honey contains enzymes that rejuvenate the skin and act as an antimicrobial agent. Applying a thin layer of raw honey to your face and leaving it to work can serve as a natural mask to remove dirt and grime from your pores.
- The oil tea tree , available at health food stores, is a natural antibiotic and antiseptic. Applying some undiluted tea tree oil to blemishes three times a day can help reduce the size and appearance of blemishes. Tea tree oil soap works great too.
7. Be patient
Living with a teenager is not always easy. It is a time of change, confusion, and emotional ups and downs as you discover your place in the world. What may seem like a natural rite of passage to us, they may view as a total tragedy.
What a teenager needs the most is an understanding parent who can remember what it’s like to be that age. If you live with a teenager who struggles with acne, suggest some of these remedies and hopefully your child will be on their way to healthy-looking skin.