How to prevent and naturally reduce the appearance of acne

How to prevent and naturally reduce the appearance of acne

Off the mark

Text: Fern Lee

Breakouts and spots can mar the complexion, but you don't always have to rely on strong products to solve your woes. Here's how to treat acne the natural way

Breakouts and spots are our worse nightmare. I still have a few remnants from childhood chicken pox and pimple scars from bad cleansing habits. Some scars fade on their own and while you cannot make them disappear overnight, with proper care you will be able to see a noticeable difference over time. Here are some tips to prevent pimples and naturally reduce the appearance of scars.

Acne breakouts (or just those few annoying pimples) are caused by clogged pores. So you’ll need to ensure you have a simple but effective cleansing routine. Always, always, remove all traces of makeup at the end of the day with an effective makeup remover. Follow up with a gentle facial cleanser that is suited for your skin type.

I've been using coconut oil as a makeup remover and it removes even my waterproof mascara! As much as you are tempted to: Do not squeeze or pick at pimples. Forcefully squeezing pimples damages your skin, forces the dirt further in, and causes scars. I amguilty of this but it's a big no no if you don't want scars to develop.

Baking soda is a great, multi-use household item. It can be used to remove stubborn stains, as a deodoriser and also as a pimple treatment. Mix some baking soda with avlittle bit of water to form a paste, then apply to your pimple for a minute or two. Rinse off with warm water and apply a good moisturiser after. Repeat on alternate days. Feed your skin well with vitamin E or aloe vera. The easiest way to use vitamin E is to take a clean needle and puncture a hole at the end of the gel capsule.

Aloe vera plant

Squeeze the contents onto your fingertips and apply directly to scars. If your moisturiser does not have vitamin E you can also add the oil to it. My other favourite is aloe vera. I apply it to blisters, sunburnt skin and also scars. Aloe is gentle so there's no worry about it damaging or irritating skin. The plant is really easy to grow and maintain. I remember my mum used to have a pot of it when I was young and she would cut off some and apply it to our faces.

You can also make your own sugar scrub with organic cane sugar and lemon juice. Both are natural ingredients that contain natural alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) that can be used to help fade scars and promote cell regeneration. Mix raw organic cane sugar with virgin olive oil at a 2 to 1 ratio), add organic lemon juice until the scrub is more liquid, but not too watery. Apply twice a week. Leave on for 15 minutes and remember to follow up with moisturiser. As lemon juice will make skin more sensitive to UV radiation (aka the sun), it's best to use this scrub at night. Do you have any favourite scar treatments? Share them with us in the comments below.