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Acne Advice GuideThe Most Popular Alternative & Natural Acne Treatments - Acne Advice Guide - Doctor Fox

The Most Popular Alternative & Natural Acne Treatments

The Most Popular Alternative & Natural Acne Treatments

Prescription treatments are a great way to clear up stubborn acne and for many they can be a lifesaver, but for those with less serious acne it may be worth trying a few alternative treatments first.

Along with over-the-counter washes and creams, there are a whole host of natural skin clearing remedies that can be easily created from the things you have in your kitchen. From potatoes to garlic, you’ll be amazed at the fantastic healing properties these humble food stuffs can have.

So without further ado, here are some of the most effective – occasionally surprising – alternative acne remedies.


Everyone has ice cubes in their freezer (poised for that temporary glimpse of UK sun), so next time you feel the slightest hint of a pimple, wrap a few ice cubes in some plastic wrap or a towel and hold it against the affected area, every hour if possible but for no longer than five minutes each time. The cold will help reduce the inflammation and redness.


Aspirin are well known for their effectiveness at reducing inflammation, and taking one or two tablets four times a day can help do this as well as calming a potential acne outbreak.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is well known as an antibacterial and anti-fungal remedy – and this makes it ideal for treating mild to moderate acne. In fact, studies have proven it’s just as effective as benzoyl peroxide at fighting acne and reducing lesions. Daubing the affected blemish will ward off infection and speed the healing process. It also has fewer side effects than benzoyl peroxide.


Acne sufferers generally tend to have lower than normal zinc levels, and zinc supplements yield positive, visible improvements in around a third of people who take them. The downside, however, is that you’ll need to take large quantities of it to make any  noticeable difference (between 200 and 600 milligrams every day), so if you take this route you’ll need to do it under your doctor’s strict supervision.


Having half a potato clamped to your face might not be the most alluring of looks, but applying potato to the acne affected area will act as an anti-inflammatory. One potato contains Vitamins C and B as well as niacin which are good for skin pigmentation and skin conditions. If you shred it, it will also help remove hyper-pigmentation and prevent wrinkles.   Just make sure you gently wash the potato residue off your skin after you do it.

Three potatoes

Cup of tea

There’s nothing more quintessentially British than a hot, fresh brew. Well, this is a variation on that theme and another winner when it comes to cracking the acne dilemma. Drinking one or two cups of chasteberry tea helps combat acne, though it works at a slower rate, taking two or three months to take effect. Also, efficacious for regulating female hormones, drink it in moderation as too much can make your skin look worse.

Honey and Cinnamon

Honey is an unprocessed bacterial agent which eliminates acne and kills bacteria, whilst cinnamon contains cinnamon bark essential oils which acts as an anti-inflammatory and anti-clotting agent.  Put them together and voila! You’ve got the perfect healing face mask to cure your skin and repair acne damage.

Lemon Juice

Lemons, as we all know, are high in acidity – perfect for drying out spots and killing bacteria.  It also offers a calming effect on the skin, whilst it’s Vitamin C produces glowing and healthy skin. To apply it directly to the skin, daub a cotton ball in lemon juice and apply it to the affected areas.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Balsamic’s less-popular brother, apple cider vinegar is perfect for regulating the pH of your skin as well as helping with detox. It also contains the lactic and malic acids found in regular vinegar and this can aid with the exfoliating and softening of the skin, ostensibly providing a toner (if you weaken it with water) to treat acne.

Tomatoes/Tomato Pulp

We’re not encouraging you to go through your entire vegetable drawer, but the acidity in tomatoes helps to dry up and heal acne.  Tomatoes also contain Vitamins A, C, K and lycopene – an ingredient used in many acne medications. Sliced or mashed and applied regularly to the affected area of your face like a facial mask, and your acne will soon start to disappear.



Garlic contains sulphur, allicin, calcium and zinc, all of which act as antifungals and antibiotics and therefore clean the skin. To use it effectively as a natural treatment against acne, crush the cloves, mix them with water and apply it to the skin.


Because a cucumber contains 95% they represent the ultimate in hydration and are excellent at cleaning pores and skin cells, perfect as a face wash to remove superfluous oil and moisturise.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is a particularly efficacious way to treat acne and scarring, as the expansion properties, damage and dry texture in your skin diminished by acne are rejuvenated by applying a salt and olive oil mixture to your skin, rinsed off with warm water.

Over-the-counter treatments

When it comes to combating acne, non-prescription, over-the-counter treatments are usually the first port of call.  The majority of acne creams and gels contain the active ingredient benzoyl peroxide, which is ostensibly a very mild bleach.

Benzoyl peroxide removes the top layer of dead skin cells, unblocks pores, and acts as an antiseptic to kill off the bacteria which causes spots. Its strength ranges from 1-10%, with 2.5% being the recommended level. Opting for 10% first time will have the counter-productive effect of irritating and peeling your skin.

Effective over-the-counter treatments include the Oxy range, Benoxyl, Paroxyl, and Clearasil.

Acne is generally a skin condition that heals itself and disappears on its own, but these alternative acne remedies yield particularly effective results when it comes to ridding your skin of embarrassing and uncomfortable acne. However, if you’re after a prescription medicine instead, check out Dr Fox’s great range of acne treatments.