Acne is one of the most common skin conditions in the US, affecting millions of people of a variety of ages (not just teens!). Recently, people have begun to show more interest in natural alternatives to treatment for acne (or to supplement their current treatments) either because traditional options irritate their skin or just because they are looking to be more natural in general.
There are a few dermatologist-approved natural treatments that may help acne patients. As always, it is recommended that you consult your physician or dermatologist before making any healthcare changes and do not use any product, even natural ingredients, that you are allergic to.
Antioxidants. Vitamin C and Nicotinamide are two antioxidants that have shown to be effective in acne therapy when applied topically to the skin. Free radicals (caused by UV or other environmental damage) may contribute to or exacerbate acne (which is why that is just one of the reasons we say to avoid tanning if you have acne), so antioxidants can help neutralize these free radicals and prevent the acne from forming.
Tea Tree Oil. Tea tree oil appears in a variety of acne products these days because it has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties that can destroy the bacteria causing acne. It is known to be irritating to many people’s skin, so it is probably best to spot test this ingredient on your skin first or avoid it altogether if your skin is sensitive.
Probiotics. If you’re following our blog, you know about this! Probiotics may reduce acne inflammation by blocking the immune response to “bad” bacteria on the skin or by killing some of the bad bacteria. For details, see our previous blog post.
Diet. For this one, easier said than done for a lot of people. Studies seem to indicate that foods do not cause acne but that certain types of food may make it worse. Dairy, carbohydrates and a high glycemic diet may contribute to your existing acne (or tendency towards acne) to becoming worse or more inflamed.
Because this push towards natural products & therapies is a more recent trend, most natural options still require more research to be proven or recommended officially, but they show promise. We certainly look forward to more advanced & effective yet safe & less irritating treatments that may be becoming available in upcoming years!
For more information: http://dermatologytimes.modernmedicine.com/dermatology-times/news/alterative-treatment-options-acne