4 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Pimples as Fast as Possible

Acne is a common skin disease that affects an estimated 85% of people at some point in their lives. Symptoms include pesky pimples, which can be frustrating and difficult to get rid of. While conventional treatments can be effective at getting rid of pimples, they are often associated with adverse effects, such as skin irritation and dryness. Because of this, a lot of people have turned to natural alternatives. There are a lot of natural acne remedies out there, but only a handful are scientifically proven to help.

This article shares four natural treatments that have been proven to get rid of pimples fast. The article also discusses a few longer-term remedies.

1. Spot Treat With Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is extracted from the leaves of the tree Melaleuca alternifolia, which is native to Australia. It’s well-known for its ability to fight bacteria and reduce skin inflammation. Specifically, tea tree oil helps fight P. acnes and S. epidermidis, two types of bacteria that can cause pimples (123).

One study found that 5% tea tree oil gel was almost four times more effective at reducing acne lesions and almost six times more effective at reducing acne severity than a placebo (4). In another study, a gel containing 5% tea tree oil was proven equally effective at reducing pimples as a lotion containing 5% benzoyl peroxide, a common acne medication (5).

The tea tree oil treatment also resulted in fewer adverse effects than benzoyl peroxide. These include dryness, irritation and burning. It’s important to note that tea tree oil is very potent and can cause redness and irritation when applied directly to the skin. For this reason, it should be diluted with water or a carrier oil.

How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Acne

  1. Combine one part tea tree oil with nine parts water.
  2. Dip a cotton swab into the mixture and apply it directly to pimples.
  3. Apply moisturizer, if desired.
  4. Repeat this process one to two times per day, as needed.

2. Spot Treat With Other Essential Oils

In addition to tea tree oil, there are many other essential oils with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help clear up pimples quickly. A large scientific review found that essential oils of cinnamon, rose, lavender and clove fight acne-causing bacteria, S. epidermidis and P. acnes (6). Rosemary and lemongrass were also shown to effectively inhibit P. acnes (7).

One study compared the acne-fighting abilities of clove-basil oil, 10% benzoyl peroxide and a placebo. Both the 2% and 5% clove-basil oils were found to be more effective and faster at reducing pimples than benzoyl peroxide (8).

Another study found that a gel containing acetic acid, orange and sweet basil essential oils resulted in a 75% increase in the healing rate of pimples (9).

Like tea tree oil, these essential oils are very concentrated and can cause irritation if applied directly to the skin.

How to Use Essential Oils for Acne

  1. Combine one part essential oil with nine parts water.
  2. Dip a cotton swab into the mixture and apply it directly to pimples.
  3. Apply moisturizer, if desired.
  4. Repeat this process one to two times per day, as needed.

3. Apply Green Tea to the Skin

A lot of people drink green tea for its health benefits, but it can also be helpful when applied directly to the skin. Green tea contains flavonoids and tannins, which are known to help fight inflammation and bacteria that may cause pimples (1011).

It is also high in the antioxidant epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which has been shown to fight inflammation, reduce sebum production and inhibit the growth of P. acnes in people with acne-prone skin (12).

Multiple studies have shown that people with acne experience significantly less sebum production and pimples when they apply a 2–3% green tea extract to their skin (131415).

There are a handful of skincare products on the market that contain green tea, but it is very simple and cost-effective to make your own mixture at home.

How to Use Green Tea for Acne

  1. Steep green tea in boiling water for 3–4 minutes.
  2. Allow the tea to cool.
  3. Apply it to your face with a cotton ball or spritz it on using a spray bottle.
  4. Leave it on for 10 minutes or overnight, and then rinse your face with water.
  5. Apply 1–2 times per day, as needed. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

4. Moisturize With Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a tropical plant with leaves that produce a clear gel. When applied to the skin, aloe vera gel has been shown to help fight bacteria, reduce inflammation and promote wound healing (161718).

Because of this, it’s a popular treatment for a variety of skin conditions including psoriasis, rashes, cuts and burns. There are limited studies on the ability of aloe vera to fight pimples specifically, but existing research is promising.

Aloe vera contains lupeol, salicylic acid, urea nitrogen, cinnamonic acid, phenols and sulfur, all of which inhibit bacteria that might cause pimples (1819). In one study, varying concentrations of aloe vera gel were added to clove-basil oil lotion and evaluated for anti-acne properties. The higher the concentration of aloe vera in the lotion, the more effective it was at reducing pimples (20).

Another study found that using 50% aloe vera gel with tretinoin cream was significantly more effective at clearing up pimples than tretinoin cream alone. Tretinoin cream is an acne medication derived from vitamin A (21). Although aloe vera gel on its own was not effective at treating pimples, it enhanced the anti-acne effects of clove-basil oil and tretinoin cream.

While there’s a possibility that aloe vera gel could help clear up pimples on its own, it may be more effective when combined with other remedies or medications.

How to Use Aloe Vera Gel for Acne

  1. Scrape the gel out of the aloe leaves with a spoon.
  2. Apply gel to the skin at the same time as other acne treatments. You may want to try mixing it with your other treatment, and then apply this to your skin. Or, you can apply the other acne treatment first, with the aloe gel over top.
  3. Repeat 1–2 times per day, or as desired.

You can also purchase bottled aloe vera gel, but make sure it is pure aloe and does not contain added ingredients.

Several other natural acne treatments have been shown to be effective with consistent, long-term use.

Although the remedies below might not get rid of pimples quickly, they can help prevent and heal acne over time.

Take a Zinc Supplement

The mineral zinc plays a role in wound healing and can help reduce inflammation. Because of this, it has been studied as a possible treatment for pimples. Research has indicated that people with acne tend to have lower levels of zinc in their blood than those with clear skin (22). Taking a zinc supplement has been shown to help. In fact, several studies have found that taking 30–45 mg of elemental zinc per day can significantly reduce pimples (232425). In one particular study, 48 people with acne took zinc supplements three times per day. After eight weeks, 38 of them experienced an 80–100% reduction in pimples (26).

Zinc is available in many forms, each containing a different amount of elemental zinc. Regardless of what form you choose, it’s probably best not to take more than the recommended upper limit of 40 mg of zinc per day. Taking too much zinc may cause adverse effects, including stomach pain and gut irritation (27).

Consume Brewer’s Yeast

A specific strain of brewer’s yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae Hansen CBS also seems to help decrease pimples when consumed by mouth. Brewer’s yeast tends to be a good source of B vitamins, chromium, copper, iron and zinc. However, its ability to treat pimples is most likely due to its antibacterial effects (2829). One study compared the effectiveness of brewer’s yeast with that of a placebo over five months. Pimples were healed or considerably improved in more than 80% of people taking the yeast preparation, while only 26% saw improvement in the placebo group (30).

Studies have shown brewer’s yeast to have no side effects, but a few people have reported mild gas, bloating or headaches after consuming it.

Try a Fish Oil Supplement

Fish oils contain the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA). Studies show that consuming EPA can help manage oil production, prevent pimples and help the skin maintain adequate hydration (3132). High levels of EPA and DHA have also been shown to decrease factors that contribute to inflammation, which may ultimately reduce the risk of pimples (33).

In one study, taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements containing both EPA and DHA daily for 10 weeks significantly reduced pimples in all 45 participants (34). You can also get omega-3 fatty acids by eating walnuts, chia seeds, ground flaxseeds, salmon, sardines and anchovies. However, the plant sources above contain the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and little to no EPA or DHA (35).

Taking a supplement with concentrated omega-3s can help you take in higher amounts of EPA and DHA to better treat pimples.

Although people have been using natural acne remedies for years, research on the topic is still emerging.

The remedies listed below may benefit acne-prone skin, but no studies exist on their ability to treat pimples:

  • Witch hazel: Applying witch hazel to the skin has been shown to fight bacteria and reduce inflammation, which could help prevent pimples (3637).
  • Apple cider vinegar: The organic acids in apple cider vinegar may help kill acne-causing bacteria and reduce the appearance of scars (38394041).
  • Limit dairy intake: Two large studies reported that people who drank more milk tended to have more pimples, but more research is needed (4243).
  • Try a honey and cinnamon mask: Honey and cinnamon have antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, so they may benefit acne-prone skin when applied to it (4445).
  • Reduce stress: Some studies have linked stress to an increase in acne severity. Ask your healthcare provider about relaxation techniques and lifestyle changes that might help you reduce your stress levels (4647).

 

The Bottom Line

Pimples are a common problem that can be frustrating to treat. Conventional treatments can cause redness, dryness or irritation, and many natural alternatives just don’t seem to work. The home remedies listed in this article are supported by science as the most effective, natural ways to reduce pimples.

Applying various essential oils, green tea and aloe vera to the skin seems to be the quickest way to get rid of pimples, while supplements may require longer-term use. The remedies in this article might not work for everyone, but could be worth a try. If you live with severe acne, you may still want to consult a dermatologist.

Written by Kayla McDonell, RD

Post originally appeared on Healthline

49 comments

heather g
heather g4 months ago

Thanks heavens I'm over that age

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sheena a
sheena arsenault4 months ago

Thank you for sharing

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Mike R
Mike R4 months ago

Thanks

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Ruth Rakotomanga
Ruth Rakotomanga4 months ago

If you can get green clay and make a face mask with it (just mix with water, leave on for 20 mins, rinse off), that's effective too. You can add more water and make a lotion that you can leave on overnight, but the pillow will probably need washing afterwards.

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Stephanie s
Stephanie Y4 months ago

Thank you

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Mia G
Mia G4 months ago

Thank you

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Ruth S
Ruth S4 months ago

Well, at least there are some advantages of being a senior citizen.

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Winn A
Winn A4 months ago

Thanks

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O4 months ago

th

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Danuta W
Danuta W4 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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