The must-try at-home spot treatments of 2015
You wake up on time and you don't have that dreadful early morning fog you usually have. You don't trip over the dog on your way to the bathroom, and you're not even sore from that workout you did yesterday that you swore you would be paying for today. You're feeling content and positive. You're sure that today is going to be a good day.
And then it happens.
As you pick up your toothbrush, something catches your eye in the mirror.
A big, red zit staring back at you.
If this has ever happened to you, you know that it can be a real damper on what could have been an otherwise delightful day. There's little else in this world worse in the world of skin care than waking up to a pimple (although I suppose developing one mid-day and walking around with it pulsating on your face without knowing is also pretty bad).
To add insult to injury, the flaming zit tends to pop up at the worst possible times: before a date, a job interview, picture day. You name it, there's probably a pimple waiting dormant for a big event in your life before it springs out of its pore. And lucky you, you don't have any spot treatments handy. Now what?
Lucky for you, I've got you covered! Here are some home spot treatments that you can try to tackle any pesky pimple that pops up and tries to ruin your shine.
You may already have ginger in your home if you do a lot of ethnic cooking or if you like ginger in your juices and smoothies! It's a fantastic food ingredient that we should all try to include more of in our lives. After all, it is antiinflammatory, antiviral and antifungal. Ginger can be a powerful tool in treating acne and reducing inflammation in a pimple. It would be ideal to use ginger as a face mask, however, in a pinch, you can also slice ginger thinly and place the slice over the affected area(s). Leave the slice on the skin at least 15-30 minutes and then gently rinse away any residue with tepid water.
Papaya fruit has a number of properties that help in the treatment of pimples. It is a good source of the antioxidant vitamin A, and it has an enzyme called papain, which reduces inflammation and helps prevent the pus from forming. In addition, the exfoliating capability present in papaya will remove dead skin cells and help clear clogged pores.
Mash up the flesh of the papaya well, until it is of a consistency that can be easily applied to your skin. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes, and then rinse off completely with warm water. If your skin has a tendency to get dry after you cleanse it, use a moisturizer appropriate for your skin type afterwards.
Pineapple also has a number of properties that could potentially help in treating a pimple. It contains bromelain, which has been shown to be antiinflammatory.
Cut a small slice of pineapple and apply it to the pimple for 15-20 minutes, and then rinse away any residue with warm water.
Bananas are full of all sorts of goodness-even the part we don’t eat. Their peels contain something called lutein, an extremely powerful antioxidant that reduces swelling and inflammation, and encourages healthy cell growth. So rubbing a banana peel on your face can reduce the redness, obviousness, and discomfort of acne.
Take the peel, and rub it in a circular motion all over your face. When you feel as though you’ve covered all of your face, let it sit for at least 30 minutes before rinsing it off.
Strawberries may seem random, but consider the fact that they’re high in salicylic acid. Salicylic acid-a primary ingredient in many commercial acne treatments- encourages the epidermis to shed its cells more readily, opening up clogged pores, and neutralizing bacteria. It also encourages new cell growth. Just place strawberry slices on your pimples for 20-30 minutes.
There have been some promising studies recently in which green tea was shown to have a noticeable impact on acne when used externally. There is an antioxidant in green tea called epigallocatechin-3-gallate or EGCG. ECGC was shown to reduce sebum production, inflammation, and bacterial growth in acne-prone skin - basically the main causes behind breakouts. Here’s how to use it topically - you can also try drinking a cup or two a day.
Place your leaves or tea bag in a clean bowl and pour boiling water over them. Steep for 4-5 minutes before straining the leaves and letting the liquid cool to a comfortable temperature. You can then pour into a spray bottle and spritz your face lightly, soak a cotton pad/soft cloth and apply, or simply use a teabag steeped for 2-3 minutes, patting it onto your face or problem areas. Some people find more success just leaving the refreshing liquid on, while
others rinse it off with cool water.
Peppermint is a powerful herb that can help eliminate pimples very fast. The calming, soothing effect of the menthol present in peppermint helps reduce the irritation and redness caused by pimples. Its antibacterial and antiviral properties also help kill bacteria that causes pimples.
Crush some peppermint leaves to extract the juice. Apply the juice gently on your pimples and leave it for 10 minutes. Rinse your skin with cold water.
If fresh peppermint leaves are not available, you can use peppermint oil, which contains a number of vitamins and essential fatty acids. Take two to three drops of peppermint oil and apply it on your pimples. Massage the oil for a few minutes and then rinse with water. Conversely, a small dab can be left on when applied directly on the pimple.
Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca)
Although this is fairly well-known in the beauty industry as a great spot treatment, you may only have tea tree oil in your home if you make any of your own cleaning products. Maybe you've never known that this powerful antimicrobial can help stop a pimple in its tracks! Tea tree oil contains a constituent called terpinen-4-ol that is thought to be responsible for most of tea tree oil’s antimicrobial activity. Because tea tree oil can kill bacteria, applying topical tea tree oil to acne lesions has been thought to destroy Propionibacterium acnes, the skin-dwelling bacteria that is involved in the development of acne. Take a cotton swab and run it under water, then put a drop of tea tree oil on & apply directly to the pimple 1-2x a day. Do not apply undiluted or too much or on the skin not affected as it may cause irritation, flakiness, itching, & burning, which can make an unsightly pimple an unsightly burn mark.
Alas, ice can be used to quickly get rid of pimples. It can help to reduce the inflammation associated with a pimple. Although it won't do anything to treat the pimple, reducing inflammation can make a mountain into a molehill. Perhaps it would be useful to treat the pimple with ice, and then zap it with one of the previously mentioned spot treatments.
Wrap the ice in a piece of cloth and hold it on the affected skin area for a few seconds.
Wait a few minutes and repeat the process.
When used repeatedly on the pimples throughout the day, ice helps reduce inflammation or swelling and will immediately soothe your skin.
Do you have any spot treatments that you use when you've got nothing else? Let me know!
Only apply these above treatments directly on pimples. Avoid unaffected skin.
Use each spot treatment with caution & do not mix spot treatments, as this can irritate the skin. Do not overuse the spot treatments. No more than 1-3x a day depending on the treatment, & depending on your skin. Please note that more sensitive skin may require more dilution.
As with all spot treatments, rinse if necessary, but try not to put anything else on the skin afterward for as long as possible (makeup, moisturizer) unless needed.
When using natural remedies like fruit spot treatments, please note that it may make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so exercise sun avoidance while using these treatments.
Please note that I am not a doctor and you should seek professional medical advice for any persistent or serious skin issues. Use all remedies at your own risk.