Picture this: you have a big date coming up, an important interview, a high school reunion (or perhaps Prom for the younger crowd) when suddenly just days before the event you get an acne breakout. While it sounds like a nightmare, this is the reality that most humans will have to deal with at some point in their life.
So what can you do? It can take weeks to book an appointment with a dermatologist, and you need acne relief fast. Lucky for you, we are going to real the top home acne remedies that work fast to help clear up skin and get you looking your best in no time at all.
We are going to discuss both natural remedies as well as the best fast-acting acne treatments that are available over the counter (OTC).
Natural Acne Remedies
There are 3 separate home remedies for acne that we recommend for quick results. The three should be used in order and cannot be combined. Here is the program (thanks to Home Remedies for Acne HQ for providing it!):
Cleanse with Baking Soda
The first step to getting rid of acne is to cleanse the skin. This can be done by making a baking soda mask. Baking soda can be mixed with a little bit of water until a paste is formed. Spread this paste over the skin and allow it to sit for 15-30 minutes.
Once the mask has been on for 15-30 minutes, wash it off. First, use water. Once all visible portions of the mask have been washed off, follow up with a gentle soap or cleanser.
Fight Acne Bacteria With Lemon Juice
Once the skin is completely clean, apply lemon juice to the target area. You can either slice a lemon and lay it directly on the clean acne lesion or you can squeeze the juice and mix it with a little bit of plain yogurt to act as a base. You can then mix this compound and spread it on the face.
Allow the lemon or lemon juice mixture to sit on the face for about 10 minutes before washing it off with water. Follow up with one more round of the gentle cleanser to finish removing the solution.
Do not try to skip the separation of these steps and combine the two remedies. Acids react with baking soda in a neutralization reaction. Once neutralized, both compounds will lose their acne-fighting power.
Ice it Down
The final step is to start icing down the acne with an ice pack or a clean plastic bag full of ice. Hold the ice directly on the worst part of the breakout, alternating on and off between icing and resting every 10-15 minutes. Start 12 hours before (obviously you do not have to be perfect on the timings and hit every window – just do the best you can) you want to look your best.
Icing can temporarily reduce inflammation, reducing the size of the acne lesion and reducing redness.
OTC Acne Treatments That Work
While the home ingredients mentioned above can work in a pinch, these home remedies are not nearly as effective as a solid OTC acne treatment regimen.
Reduce Dryness With a Water-Based Cleanser
The basis of any good OTC acne treatment is a cleanser. This replaces baking soda mask recommended in the natural remedies section. A good cleanser will be more effective at cleaning the skin and will not dry it out. Make sure it is water based instead of alcohol based, as alcohol based cleansers will dry out the skin.
Salicylic acid performs the function of lemon juice and does it better. It can exfoliate the skin and clear the skin and pores, finishing what the cleanser started.
As an added bonus, OTC products that contain salicylic acid are much more convenient to use then making a lemon juice and yogurt mixture. Finally, since salicylic acid is stronger than in lemon juice, salicylic acid products typically only need to be used for about a minute rather than the 10 minutes recommended for the lemon juice.
Benzoyl Peroxide to Destroy the Infection
Benzoyl peroxide offers something that natural acne remedies cannot replicate: the ability to destroy the vast majority of the P acnes bacteria that live on the skin. This is the bacteria that is at the heart of the acne infection.
Benzoyl peroxide solutions can be rubbed into trouble spots and can result in significant improvements in acne in just a treatment or two.
Our Recommended OTC Acne Kit
Fortunately, you do not need to run out and buy three different products to get fast acne relief. The acne treatment kits from Exposed Skin Care come with everything you need to combat acne. With a powerful but gentle cleanser, a salicylic acid-based face wash, and a P acnes-fighting benzoyl peroxide treatment cream, your acne does not stand a chance. Click here now to visit the Exposed Skin Care website to check out their treatment kits!