Treating And Preventing Acne At Home

Home remedies for acne are usually the first line of defense for preventing and treating breakouts. For many people, basic preventive steps (such as cleansing the skin regularly) and using over-the-counter acne products with ingredients like benzoyl peroxide are enough to avoid blemishes and achieve acne-free skin.

Prevention Tips to Remain Acne Free

The first step in at-home acne treatment is prevention. Here are some tips to help prevent acne:

  • Avoid using oily or greasy hair products, especially if your hair touches your face.
  • Clean and moisturize your face in the morning and again at night, using products labeled non-comedogenic. Wash gently and avoid scrubbing, which only irritates skin and makes acne worse.
  • Don’t use greasy or oily cosmetics.
  • Shower after workouts or other vigorous activities that cause you to sweat.
  • Use skin care products appropriate for your specific skin type. Avoid products that contain oil.

Home Remedies for Acne

When shopping, look for one of the following ingredients in over-the-counter acne home remedies:

  • Alpha hydroxy acids treat acne by helping shed dead skin cells, reducing inflammation and promoting new skin growth. Two types of alpha hydroxy acids used in over-the-counter acne home remedies are glycolic acid and lactic acid.
  • Benzoyl peroxide kills acne-causing bacteria, removes dead skin cells and reduces the presence of oil that can clog the pores. Though it’s generally considered a very effective over-the-counter acne treatment, it can be harsh, causing redness, burning and stinging of the skin.
  • Salicylic acid has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, and slows down the lifecycle of the cells of the hair follicles, reducing the degree to which pores become clogged.
  • Sulfur as an ingredient in acne products, removes dead skin cells and excess oil. These products can cause dry skin.

An alternative treatment for acne is tea tree oil, according to the Mayo Clinic (2009). Look for a gel containing a 5 percent concentration.

Tips on Using Acne Treatments

When using acne home remedies, follow these guidelines:

  • Always follow the directions on the label of the acne product.
  • Don’t pop or pick at zits or other blemishes. This can cause infections that will worsen your acne.
  • Start with milder products and slowly progress to stronger ones until you find an effective product.

See a dermatologist if home remedies for acne fail to improve the condition of your skin. These skin experts can prescribe stronger medications to help you become acne free.


Beguon, P. and Barron, B. (2010). The best acne-fighting products. Retrieved November 29, 2010, from

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2009). Acne. Retrieved November 29, 2010, from

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2010). Over-the-counter acne products: What works and why. Retrieved November 29, 2010, from