12 Evidence-Based Remedies to Get Rid of Pimples

Up to 90 percent of teens and young adults suffer from acne.

More commonly known as pimples, acne is a type of skin problem that occurs as a result of plugging of the hair follicles with oil, dirt and dead skin cells [1].

When this happens, the skin becomes a breeding ground for bacteria such as Propionibacterium acnes, which can cause irritation and infection [2].

Although pimples are not usually a cause for concern, this skin problem can in fact bring emotional distress and affect self-esteem.

This is why, it’s imperative to get rid of pimples with safe and efficient home remedies such as the ones listed below.

1. Honey

One of the oldest and most popular remedies for pimples is honey.

A natural substance produced by bees, honey is a popular ingredient in cosmetic products such as facial cleansers, hair conditioners, skin moisturizers and acne treatment [3].

It works great as an anti-acne treatment as it is a proven antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, hydrating and cleansing agent [3].

A 2013 study found that honey can colonize and trap bacteria that cause pimples and infection on the skin [4].

Results from the experiment not only prove its efficacy but also its safety, as it doesn’t have any serious side effects [4].

You can use honey for a long time without having to worry about skin irritation or other harmful effects on your health.

Not only do you get to eliminate annoying acne on your skin with honey, it also helps keep it soft and supple by drawing in moisture from the atmosphere and keeping it locked in your skin.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 teaspoon of honey

Recommended Directions:

  1. Use a cotton swab to spot-apply honey on pimples.
  2. Wait for 30 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
  3. Repeat everyday until acne is cleared.

2. Tea Tree Oil

The amazing health benefits of tea tree oil have recently become well-known worldwide [5].

In Australia, it has been used as a traditional medicine for various ailments for the last 100 years [5].

Apart from treating a wide range of serious ailments, tea tree oil can also help get rid of those annoying zits on your face with its antiseptic, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties [5, 6].

It works by disinfecting the skin, suppressing growth of pathogens that cause pimples, and controlling the swelling of the skin caused by acne.

In a clinical trial involving 124 patients with acne, it was found that tea tree oil’s anti-acne actions were just as effective as 5 percent benzoyl peroxide lotion [6].

Both reduced the amount of both inflamed and non-inflamed lesions on the skin [6].

Although tea tree oil’s anti-acne actions were a little slower compared to the medication, it had fewer side effects, which is why many patients still preferred to use it [6].

After all, safety is more important than immediacy.

Scientists from Iran, meanwhile, confirm that tee tree oil is an effective way to get rid of pimples in mild to moderate cases [7].

Of the 60 patients suffering from acne, half of them were given with a tea tree oil gel while the other half were given a placebo [7].

After application of treatment every 15 days for 45 days, severity and number of acne lesions among tea tree oil users were significantly lower among tea tree oil users [7].

Tea tree oil was 3.55 to 5.75 times more effective than the placebo [7].

What You’ll Need:

  • 4 drops of tea tree oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of almond oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Add tea tree oil to almond oil.
  2. Dip a cotton ball on the oil mixture.
  3. Apply on the affected areas.
  4. Wash face with cool water after 20 minutes.
  5. Do this regimen daily for up to one month.

3. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera’s skin healing properties have long been recognized [8].

For many years, traditional healers have relied on aloe vera to soothe skin irritations, itching, swelling, and injuries [8].

It is also an excellent skin rejuvenator, slowing down signs of aging such as wrinkles and fine lines [8].

On top of all these, aloe vera can also help clear out pimples.

In a clinical trial conducted in 1990, 18 patients with acne were treated with polyethylene oxide gel on one side of their faces and aloe vera dressing on the other side [9].

Findings reveal that after five days of treatment, those who were given aloe vera healed and recovered more quickly [9].

Researchers note that wound healing was 72 hours quicker with the aloe vera application, and this is probably due to aloe vera’s strong bactericidal and anti-inflammatory properties [9].

Apart from helping you achieve smooth and blemish-free skin, aloe vera can also thwart off premature aging and make you look younger than your actual age.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 aloe vera leaf

Recommended Directions:

  1. Break off the leaf.
  2. Squeeze out the gel.
  3. Dab a small amount of gel on the pimples.
  4. Wait for 30 minutes before rinsing with cool water.

4. Cinnamon

bronchitis-cinnamonAs it turns out, cinnamon doesn’t only sweeten up your pastries and hot chocolate, it can also help get rid of unsightly pimples.

In 2003, researchers reported that oil extracted from the bark of cinnamon is one of those that had the strongest inhibitory effects against acne-causing bacteria such as Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis [10].

A more recent study conducted by Indian scientists yielded the same positive results, indicating that cinnamon has the highest activity against major bacteria on the skin that cause acne formation [11].

It was very effective in controlling the growth and spread of bacteria before it affects more areas of the skin.

Apart from its antibacterial properties that kill the source of infection, it is also a potent anti-inflammatory agent that can tone down swelling caused by pimples [11].

It doesn’t only alleviate the symptoms but it also gets to the source of the problem to stop it for good.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • 1 cup of water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Dissolve cinnamon powder in water.
  2. Use this solution to wash your face.
  3. Repeat everyday until pimples disappear.

5. Clove Oil

A 2007 study published in the Mahidol University Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences includes clove oil as one of the 19 essential oils that can successfully inhibit the growth and spread of Propionibacterium acnes [12].

It was among the few oils with the strongest inhibitory effects on this particular bacterial strain [12].

These results were obtained using the disc diffusion and agar dilution methods [12].

Clove’s bactericidal actions are largely due to the presence of eugenol [12].

These were also the findings in a study featured in the Archives of Dermatology [13].

Researchers explain that clove oil works by inhibiting the synthesis of protein, which eventually leads to the death of the pimple-causing bacteria [13].

What You’ll Need:

  • 5 drops of clove oil
  • 1 teaspoon of almond oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Combine ingredients.
  2. After washing face with a mild cleanser, apply mixture.
  3. Wipe it off after 30 minutes.
  4. Repeat twice daily for two to three weeks.

6. Neem

neem-for-eczemaWith more than 60 bioactive chemicals, neem has been called a number of times “nature’s drug store” [14].

It is one of the Indian herbs found to be effective in killing bacteria that trigger formation of pimples [15].

Neem also has bactericidal effects on numerous pathogens that cause pimples such as Staphylococcus epidermidis, reports a 2013 study [11].

It also helps acne sufferers by suppressing inflammation of the skin [15].

The leaves have soothing effects on the skin which is why it can do so much in toning down redness, inflammation and swelling.

For you to enjoy its multitude benefits, you have to boil neem leaves in water first.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of neem leaves
  • 1 pot of water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Boil neem leaves in a pot of water.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Strain the leaves.
  4. Let solution cool.
  5. Use this to rinse your face everyday for one to two weeks.

7. Lemon


Also an effective and safe way to eliminate the problem of facial pimples is with the use of lemon.

Studies have shown that lemon has strong inhibitory activities against bacteria that cause zits [16, 17, 18].

Findings from a 2013 study showed that it can control Propionibacterium acnes growth and spread by up to 58 percent [18].

It was noted in the study that the anti-acne mechanism of lemon juice is even stronger and more effective than conventional cleansers designed to treat this skin problem [18].

It also helps the lemon is packed with vitamin C.

As you know, vitamin C is a strong antioxidant that can neutralize free radical damage in the skin, and at the same time, make it more resistant to infections.

Because this nutrient can boost the production of collagen, it can speed up healing of the skin lesions.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 2 cups of water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Pour lemon juice in water.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Use this to rinse your face every after bath.
  4. Repeat remedy daily for one week.

8. Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus has become very popular in the recent years for its pharmacological properties [19].

In cosmetics, eucalyptus is one of the most sought-after natural ingredients that’s now included in many skincare products [20].

Its strong antibacterial effects against pathogens that cause acne are just some of the good reasons it’s incorporated in anti-acne formulations [20].

Oil derived from this plant has also been found to inhibit factors that aggravate or worsen acne condition such as excessive production of sebum [21].

That’s not all. When applied on the skin, eucalyptus leaves a cooling sensation that seems to help in toning down swelling.

It can also induce relaxation, and lower stress caused by the appearance of zits on your skin.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 bowl of hot water
  • 5 drops of eucalyptus oil
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Move your face to a bowl of hot water to let steam open up the pores.
  2. After five minutes.
  3. Apply a mixture of olive oil and eucalyptus oil on your face.
  4. Rinse with cool water after five minutes.

9. Garlic

Many people consider garlic as a “wonder drug” [22].

For centuries, it has been used to treat countless ailments which include but are not limited to cold, cough, flu, high blood pressure, bronchitis, heart problems, infections, parasites, and gastrointestinal problems [22].

It has a potent chemical called allicin, which functions as a natural antibiotic [22].

This herb also works great in combating acne and relieving its symptoms [22].

In fact, it is one of the 36 herbal extracts found effective in controlling pathogens that cause pimples [23].

Take note however that garlic may cause a little bit of stinging sensation when applied on the skin so you must not apply it directly.

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Crush garlic.
  2. Add garlic to water.
  3. Boil water and garlic in a pot.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Let solution cool.
  6. Use this to wash your face once a day for five days.

10. Cucumber

Most people use cucumber to get rid of puffy eyes.

Did you know that this is also a potent remedy for acne?

Cucumber is one of the ingredients used to make a new anti-acne herbal cream [24].

The topical preparation was not only effective in reducing acne formations, it was also safe and well-tolerated by users [24].

It resolved the problem without drying or irritating the skin [24].

Apart from fighting acne, cucumbers can also help rejuvenate the skin and keep it moisturized [25].

With the help of this simple but cost-effective remedy, you don’t only get to clear the skin, you can also make it look and feel softer.

What You’ll Need:

  • 5 to 8 slices of cucumber

Recommended Directions:

  1. Put cucumber on the affected areas of your face.
  2. Let it sit for 30 minutes.
  3. Rinse with cool water after.

11. Mangosteen

Did you know that mangosteen has been hailed as the “queen of fruits” [26]?

This tropical plant, which can be found in Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Sri Lanka, is replete with biological activities and therapeutic applications [26].

Its various parts—peel, rind, fruit and hull—have been utilized as a folk medicine for ulcer, wounds, abdominal cramps, diarrhea and dysentery, among others [26].

Clinical data also show that it has potent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that make it an excellent remedy for acne [26].

Many studies have been done to prove the efficacy of its rind and peel in treating pimples and other blemishes [27, 28, 29, 30].

Its mode of action is particularly effective for pimple-causing pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus, S. epidermidis [30].

What You’ll Need:

  • Mangosteen peels
  • A pot of water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Boil several mangosteen peels in a pot of water.
  2. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Transfer liquid to a glass bottle with cap.
  4. Use this mixture to wash affected skin three times a day.
  5. Rinse with cool water.

12. Calendula

Also called pot marigold, calendula is a valuable medicinal herb used since the ancient times in Europe, United States, China and India [31].

Its flowers are said to possess numerous pharmacological activities such as antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory [31].

All these are known to benefit the skin health, and relieve skin issues like pimples.

According to a study published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biological Archive, calendula flowers are highly effective and safe in treating acne vulgaris [32].

A clinical trial was conducted in 2010 to assess the efficacy of an anti-acne herbal formulation that uses calendula as the main ingredient [33].

Results show that out of the 24 men and women with acne who participated in this experiment, most of them recovered quickly after using the herbal formulation [33].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of calendula flowers
  • 1 pot of water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Bring water to a boil.
  2. Add calendula flowers.
  3. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from the stove.
  5. Strain the solution.
  6. Use a cotton pad to apply mixture on the face.
  7. Leave it on for half an hour before rinsing with cool water.

You don’t have to suffer from those unsightly pimples for long.

Use these remedies to clear your skin, and to have a brighter and more beautiful complexion.

Resolve this issue right away using natural methods that are not only effective but also safe.


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