Home Remedies for Acne: What Works and What Doesn't?

Acne can be one of the most stubborn afflictions to try to get rid of. What works miraculously for one person won't work at all for another. This is at least partially due to the different causes of acne and different hormonal and genetic makeup. There are many different medications available, such as Accutane and benzoyl peroxide, but sometimes home remedies can work the best. Acne has been known to vanish in some users through some techniques, after years of failure with medications and "official" treatments.

Soapless Cleansing

One theory and possible remedy is that your face produces more oil when it senses a decrease in oil, and so if you do a lot of cleansing with soap and other chemicals, you will actually be producing more facial oil. Accordingly, one home remedy that has worked for many is to stop using soap and cleansers, and just wash your face with warm water and a good facial cloth. Results may not be instantaneous, so keep it up over the course of many weeks to see if you notice a difference. In addition to this, do not touch your face at all during the day. For many people, facial touching is what triggers outbreaks.

The Towel Method

Another home remedy that has worked well for some is to either change your pillow case every night, or better yet place a clean towel over your pillow every night. You can buy enough cheap towels to last you through a week or two, and then just wash them all at once. The theory is that oil and grime build up in your pillow and will then lead to infected facial pores. Some acne sufferers have reported fantastic results with this method.

Eliminating Sweets

Some cases of acne are caused by allergic reactions to certain foods, most commonly wheat and sugary food. Eliminating chocolate and other sweets from the diet has a history of being effective for some people. Also try cutting out wheat and dairy foods.


Some sufferers have had luck by getting more UV light, such as from a tanning salon or preferably real sunlight.

There are so many different causes of acne that it is difficult to pin down one cure that works for everyone. Try some of the home remedies listed, but try them one at a time at first so you can see which ones might be helping. What one person swears by, another is dissapointed by. If nothing works, often Accutane ends up being the only viable treatment for those with bad acne.