The Ones That Work
The Winner: Lavender and Tea Tree Oil Blend
All 4 dermatologists we spoke to for this articleput Lavender and Tea tree oils at the number 1 spot for pimple healing. Research showsthat these essential oils can be very effective in treating mild-to-moderateacne.
Best for : Deep, inflamed (reddish) pimples
How they works: Theoils are anti-inflammatory and have antibacterial properties, so they soothe theinflammation on the skin while fighting the bacteria that’s fueling it, says Dr.Lipy Gupta, dermatologist, Max Healthcare.
Use it like this: Mix equal parts ofLavender and Tea Tree oil in 2 tablespoons of water. Dip a cotton ball in thewatered-down oil and apply to the pimple once or twice a day until it’sgone.
Second Place: Diluted Disprin
Best for: Blackheadsand whiteheads
How it works : Disprin is really a natural form ofsalicylic acid, the pimple buster you find in many acne-controlling productslike creams and face-washes. In addition to helping soothe inflamed skin, itsexfoliating powers break down the blackhead or whitehead that’s plugging upyour pore.
Use it like this : Crush ½ a tablet ofDisprin, mix with 2 tablespoons of water and apply that mixture to the pimplefor a minute or two, then rinse it off. Make sure you’re using Disprin thathasn’t expired—it’ll be less potent if its use-by date is long gone.
Third Place: Apple Cider Vinegar
Best for : Blackheads,whiteheads and deep, inflamed pimples.
How it works : Applecider vinegar hasn’t been studied on acne, but our skin experts cite itsanti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties as reasons why it can help clearup a pimple. It’s astringent, so it minimizes oil, and has several acids thathelp exfoliate away dead skin cells.
Use it like this : Justlike with tea tree oil, you need to dilute ACV before you put it on your skin.Take equal parts water and vinegar, soak a cotton pad in the mixture and put iton the pimple for a minute or two. Do this once or twice a day until you seeimprovement.
Fourth Place: Green Tea
Best for : Deep,inflamed pimples
How it works : Fullof antioxidants, it helps calm angry breakouts and also fights acne-causingbacteria.
Use it like this : Brew some green tea,then apply it to your skin in one of two ways. First option: let the teabagcool to room temperature, then put the teabag directly on the pimple and holdit there for up to 20 minutes (green tea is soothing, not irritating like someof these other remedies, so you can leave it on longer). Or take the brewedtea, let it cool, soak a washcloth in it and apply the washcloth to your facefor the same amount of time. Continue daily until the pimple is gone.
The Ones That Don’t Work (and Might Lead to More Acne)
The Worst: Alcohol based products like perfume or aftershave
Why it’s bad : alcohol isso drying that it strips oils and proteins from your skin, leaving it moreinflamed than it already was and likely making your pimple worse, says Dr. Gupta.
2nd Worst: Toothpaste
Why it’s bad : Naturalor not, toothpaste is a concentrated cleanser meant to clean teeth, one of thetoughest surfaces in your body. Your skin is much too sensitive for that. Itcan possibly trigger dryness, irritation and a bigger acne situation for you.
3rd Worst: Lemon Juice
Why it’s bad : Itcan reduce oil, but pure citrus can also be bothersome to skin because of thefruit acids it contains. It could also react to sunlight, causing a rash orleaving your skin unintentionally lighter, she adds.
4th Worst: Honey
Why it’s bad : Thesweet stuff probably won’t hurt your skin (it’s said to have wound-healingproperties, after all), but studies find that it’s not effective in treatingacne. Plus, if you’re prone to acne, honey could lead to more breakouts becauseit’s so thick that it traps dirt and bacteria on your skin.
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