“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” - Hippocrates

Homemade Herbal Remedies for Acne Treatment that Work

These homemade herbal remedies for acne treatment are guaranteed to work for your skin problems. Whether you are a teenager or an adult that is experiencing an outbreak of pimples and bad skin, home remedies can come to the rescue. Of course, herbs and fruit can work for your skin, so I have included recipes for both.

Most of us, as we have gone through life have had pimples, whiteheads and blackheads to deal with. However, when these skin problems escalate to a point where one gets them all at the same time, and in great numbers then we have what is commonly known as acne. Skin blemishes are particularly problematic for teenagers caused by hormonal imbalances, laziness in cleaning the face, and squeezing the pimples which makes things worse.

There are also more serious types of acne which result in pustules and cysts, which if you leave untreated can end up scarring your face and other affected areas such as the neck, chest, shoulders and back.

However, it is not all doom and gloom as first one needs to understand what causes acne, how to solve this skin problem through diet, and how to treat the problem topically.

What Causes Acne?

A young boy with acne on his forehead

We have always been led to believe that certain foods cause acne; fatty foods, chocolates, candies etc. This is not the case at all, although candy and chocolate can cause outbreaks if you eat them all in one sitting. However, the real cause of acne is an imbalance of the hormones and one's testosterone levels. The higher the testosterone, the more chance one has of getting acne.

Now there are some people who never get acne, or even a pimple, and this is because we are not all wired the same, and some people have a slightly different chemistry make-up to others. However, because of the link between acne and testosterone levels, you will find that more males suffer from this common skin problem than females.

However, acne occurs when there is an over activity of the oil glands and when dead skin cells are not removed the follicles become blocked leading to pimples, blackheads and acne. It is the cysts that cause the most problem with acne sufferers as these can cause deep scars to form, which can be difficult to remove.

There is no need to despair. Try some of these home remedies for acne treatment, blackheads, pimples or blemished skin. All the ingredients can be found in your pantry.

Herbal Remedies for Acne through Diet

Although certain foods are not directly responsible for acne, there are foods that can certainly help reduce the outbreak of pimples. By including the following in your diet, you will end up with a clearer skin. This is because all of the below contain oxalic acid which will help clear up the skin.

  • almond nuts
  • cashew nuts
  • beetroot

Secondly one should increase one's intake in zinc rich foods such as:

  • Shellfish
  • pumpkin seeds
  • sunflower seeds

Drink lots of water to rehydrate the skin. And also include the following; celery, parsely, watercress, and sprouts.

Finally, if you have to eat chocolate and candy, have one or two once in a while, not every day and definitely not all in one sitting. The reason being is that when your body gets a sugar attack the normal reaction is for your body to make more insulin. The increased insulin in turn causes a burst of growth in the cells lining the pores which causes the pores to close up.

Natural Ingredients & Herbal Remedies for Acne and Home Skin Care

Lemons, aloe vera, and slices of cucumber for natural skin care.


You will be surprised just how many skin aids are found at home in your kitchen pantries. Lemons may not be a herb but it is a very useful fruit to keep in the kitchen and lemon juice is very good for the skin. However, you do need to use it with some common sense. If you pat it on your face and find that your skin is reacting badly to it, stop immediately.

Also, make sure that you rinse the juice off your face thoroughly. Never leave lemon juice on your face and sit in the sun. You will end up badly blistered.

Getting that out of the way, the lemon juice will balance the pH of your skin and the niacin (Vitamin B3) works as an anti-inflammatory. 


Cucumbers are cooling very soothing on the skin. While not a herb, they will not only work on those pimples and blackheads but they will also fade acne scars. Pulp up a cucumber in a blender, place it on your face for 15 minutes, and then wash off. 


Not only is aloe very good for burns and insect bites, it is also good for soothing red and angry skin. Aloe vera is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory and is really excellent in getting rid of pimples, acne and even acne scars. Just peeling the tough outer skin of a leave and pulping it in a blender you will be able to see a difference in your skin in a week after daily applications. Aloe vera is a fantastic herbal remedy for acne.

Herbal Remedies for Acne to be Taken Externally

There are many herbal remedies for acne, but because this website encourages the use of common herbs, fruits and vegetables, I am only going to discuss these that are easily obtainable. The herbal essential oils or extracts mentioned below are to be used on the skin only. Never take essential oils orally, unless advised by a herbal practitioner.

Elderflower Tea Skin Wash

Elderflowers on hessian.

Elderflower trees can be found in many English hedgerows as well as in other parts of the world, including the rest of Europe and North America. When you are wild crafting, just make sure that you have identified the plant before you use it.

Make a brew of elder leaves and flowers using 1 cup each. Brew them up in 1 quart (1 liter) water. Use this as a wash on blemished skin.

Rhubarb Root Paste for Acne & Pimples

If you have rhubarb growing in your garden then you can use this homemade acne recipe to help clear a problem skin. Dry some rhubarb roots and then put them into a coffee grinder of food processor until you end up with a fine powder. Now mix 1 tablespoon of powder with 2 cups of hot water. Mix well and then dab this on the affected area.

Tea Tree Oil for Acne

Tea tree oil, originates from Australia and is excellent for acne. It dries out the pimples as it is highly astringent. It is also an antiseptic so is highly beneficial. For treating acne get the tea tree oil as a lotion or a cream that contains 2.5% of the oil, and which can be applied as directly, otherwise it can be too strong. This product can be found in drug stores and pharmacies.

Lavender essential oils for natural skin care.

Lavender Essential Oil for Acne

Lavender is another healing herb for acne treatment. It has long been used on the skin and has many healing properties. It can be used as an oil, a cream, or a wash as an acne herbal remedy.


You will need to place 1 teaspoon of lavender oil into a clean bowl with 10 teaspoons cooled, boiled water. Place a corner of a clean face cloth into the lavender water and apply to the pimples. Leave on the affected area for 20 minutes. The lavender oil is very good for reducing inflammation.


This is a traditional treatment for acne. Dried arnica flowers can be dried at home or purchased over the Internet. 

25 g (1 oz) dried lavender flowers                                                                                                                                 

15 g (1/2 oz) dried arnica flowers

750 ml (1 pint or 7 fluid oz) cider vinegar. Either homemade or Braggs.

Mix the ingredients in a jug and pour into a sterilized bottle. Seal tightly and place in a dark cupboard to infuse for 2 weeks. Shake the bottle at regular intervals. Filter the solution using coffee filter liners and then add it to a small amount of water when washing your face. 

Witch Hazel for Acne

Witch hazel is a traditional treatment for acne used for many, many years. Again this is an astringent that helps dry out the pimples. It is also antibacterial.

Easily obtained in drug stores and pharmacies, the solution is usually 86% witch hazel extract mixed with 14% alcohol. Apply as directed.

Walnut Leaf for Acne

If you are lucky enough to have a walnut tree on your property, then this is also a good natural treatment for acne. Properties within the walnut leaf protect the skin against infection. you can use it as a skin wash, applying it to the skin 2-3 times daily.

To prepare the walnut leaf wash, you first need to take the leaves and make a tincture out of them. See the page on herbal remedies for details. Then use 1 drop of tincture of walnut leaf to 1/4 cup warm water. Take the facecloth, dip it into the tincture solution and wash the effected areas using a light circular motion. This will help stimulate the blood flow to the area, as well as getting rid of diseased skin cells.

If you have an essential oil of walnut leaf, you can use 5-10 drops essential oil to 1 quart (1 liter) of warm water. Use in the same way.

Calendula Cream for Acne

Calendula cream in a jar with calendula flowers.

Calendula cream won't get rid of your pimples like the above treatments, but it will help when you apply it after them. This is because calendula helps to promote healing and prevents viral infections where there is broken skin. To see how you can make your own calendula cream see our beauty recipes section.

You can also use the calendula flowers as a skin wash. Take 1 cup calendula flower petals and 1 quart (1 liter) of water. Boil together and then allow to cool before using it on the affected areas.

Finally, there are other natural herbs that can be applied to the skin to help with acne. The following can also help if applied as a skin wash:

  • dandelion leaves and flowers
  • strawberry leaves
  • lavender flowers and leaves

A Papaya Homemade Mask for Blackheads

Finally, I thought I would throw this in here. This is a homemade papaya mask which is excellent for blackheads and will leave the skin feeling soft. Take one ripe papaya and remove the seeds and skin. Cut the flesh into cubes and then mash it with the back of a fork. Add 2 tablespoons of single cream and then place it on the blackheads. Leave on for 30 minutes and then rinse off thoroughly. 

By Kathryn Bax

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