It doesn’t matter if you are 15 or 50, acne can be a troublesome condition at any age! More adults between the ages of 25 to 49 are plagued by the skin disease than teenagers. Acne can lead to self esteem issues, social ostracism, and loss of social status. Acne is a skin disease caused by the clogging of skin pores and inflammation of the sebaceous glands and hair follicles. These glands are mostly located on the face, neck, shoulders, back, and chest. The glands produce too much oil – sebum – and become plugged. The oil mixes with dirt and dead skin cells, clogging the pores and causing blackheads and whiteheads. If a whitehead ruptures, bacteria around the hair follicles can enter the skin causing a pimple. People spend hundreds of dollars on drug treatments and over the counter products for acne, only to have them fail again and again. There are many natural treatments which can help with acne, the most prevalent being herbs. Here are some herbs traditionally used for acne relief.
Wild pansy, known commonly as Johnny-jump-up, is a powerful astringent and anti-inflammatory especially suited for treating acne. The salicylic acid found in wild pansy is a common ingredient in commercial acne preparations. The tea can be used to make a soothing wash. Its astringent action can clean and tighten the pores. Further, toxins can accumulate in the body, causing impurities in the skin resulting in acne. The tea can rid the body of these toxins. Make a strong tea of 2 tsp. of dried wild pansy and ¾ cup of water. Cool, dip a cloth in the tea, and apply it to the affected areas. Note that wild pansy is not available as a commercial product and must be grown and harvested in the garden. Cultivating wild pansy is well worth the effort for the acne relief it provides.
Yarrow is a wonderful herb for the relief of acne. The oil of the yarrow plant has astringent properties attributed to its tannin content, anti-inflammatory effects contributed by salicylic acid, and antiseptic qualities from its volatile oils. The camphor it contains makes yarrow oil a great skin toner when added to water. To create a toner solution, mix 5 drops yarrow oil, 5 drops lavender oil, and 4 oz. of spring water. For an acne treatment, add 3 drops each of yarrow and bergamot oils (available in health stores) to a pot of boiling water. Simmer for 2 minutes; lean over it with a towel draped over the head. Let the vapors clean the pores as long as possible.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is one of the best known topical herbal acne treatments. Tea tree oil is an anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal substance. It is one of the best spot treatments for acne – better and more desirable than commercially available benzyl peroxide. 100% tea tree oil is very potent and can dry the skin out when used frequently. It is suggested to use 14% tea tree oil, available in health and/or drug stores. Or dilute the concentrated oil with water or cider vinegar. There are many commercially available soaps, washes, shampoos, and toners which incorporate tea tree oil as an herbal relief for acne.
There are many herbs which can be used to provide natural relief from acne. Wild pansy, yarrow oil, and tea tree oil are three herbs useful in healing the body and clearing up the skin disease of acne. While the use of herbs will not provide overnight relief of acne, consistent and long term use will lead to healthier skin, preventing the formation of acne.