Recently I’ve been getting plenty of compliments about my skin. This definitely makes me feel great! For a long time (and I mean a LONG time!), I’ve struggled with acne. Since I first started getting breakouts as a teen, I’ve had to deal with acne on and off.
There’s plenty of acne medications out on the market, but they never seemed to work for me. It was only when I gave my face a more natural treatment, the cinnamon mask recipe below, that my skin started calming down. But before we get to the good stuff, let’s discuss the not-so-good stuff.
What is Acne?
Acne is a widespread skin condition that is common in teenagers. About 75% of 11 to 30 year olds will experience acne at some point. Not just limited to teenagers, some adults continue to experience acne well past their 40s. Acne occurs when your pores and hair follicles become clogged with oil (sebum), dead skin cells, and dirt. While the cause of acne is still under debate, there are five factors which contribute to the formation of acne:
- Male sex hormones – Androgens such as testosterone are one of the known causes of acne. When children enter puberty, their androgen levels typically rise.
- Oil production – As a result of this increase in androgen, oil glands grow resulting in greater sebum levels.
- Dead skin cells – Dead skin cells, when left in the skin are major in the formation of clogged pores.
- Clogged Pores – Clogged pores form a hospitable environment for bacteria.
- Bacteria – When clogged, the pores tend to get infected with bacteria resulting in a red swollen bump: a pimple.
Pimples can appear on the face, neck, back, shoulders, and chest. These pimples can contain pus and feel painful to the touch.
There are a few types of pimples. Some of the common pimples include:
- Whiteheads – Pimples that form in clogged pores and remain under the skin
- Blackheads – Pimples that form in clogged pores and appear on the surface as black spots
- Cysts – Painful pus-filled lumps that appear on the surface of the skin.
- Nodules – Painful lumps that occur deep in the skin and appear as large pimples on the surface of the skin.
What’s wrong with acne medication?
For many, acne medication has little to no effect. Acne medication is often harsh on the skin. It can strip the skin of its necessary oils drying out the skin and leading to irritation.
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Doctors may often tell you that when taking medication, your acne will often get worse before it starts to get better. But why settle for that, when there are natural remedies that treat your acne without the negative side effects?
Natural Remedies for Acne
Widely-known for its culinary uses, the spice is harvested from the inner bark of a tree native to South East Asia. Cinnamon is one of the most effective natural treatments for your skin. It has been used to treat eczema, cleanse the scalp, and treat acne.
Cinnamon is particularly useful for its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. One study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed cinnamon’s efficacy in killing a wide variety of bacteria such as E. Coli and Staphylococcus aureus (Causes staph infections). Cinnamon cleanses the pores of acne-causing bacteria and inhibits inflammation-causing enzymes. When using cinnamon on your skin, make sure to be gentle as you would with any other facial scrub.
Not only is lemon great in water for cleansing your body, lemon is great for cleansing your skin too! The acidity of lemon makes it a great natural astringent. As an astringent, lemon juice flushes excess oil and dirt from your pores and tightens them at the same time. Additionally, lemon lightens your blemishes, scars and dark spots. This leaves your skin feeling and appearing smooth. Lemon can even be used as an acne spot treatment!
This aromatic spice is the seed of the evergreen nutmeg tree native to Indonesia. Like lemon, nutmeg has astringent effects on the skin. Traditionally used to treat eczema, nutmeg can minimize the swelling and appearance of spots and scars.
Honey works wonders on skin especially when treating dry skin, oily skin, and acne. A review of studies published in the Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing found that honey has antibacterial properties. One of the chief causes of acne is bacteria.
Honey works to absorb water and release hydrogen peroxide, an antiseptic that can kill bacteria and acne. The power of honey doesn’t stop there! It has been found to aid in the healing processes of your skin, making it perfect for minimizing the appearance of acne scars. Honey helps to bind this acne mask recipe together. When shopping for honey, we recommend purchasing raw honey. Read this article to find out why.
Now how do we get the benefits of all of these ingredients? How about we put them all together in an easy to make mask! This cinnamon mask is a great natural alternative to acne medication.
All-natural Cinnamon Mask for Acne
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon raw honey
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- Mix all of the ingredients into a paste.
- Apply topically to the face, taking care to avoid the eyes and mouth.
- Let the mask sit for 30 minutes and then rinse with warm water.
- Pat your face dry with a towel and apply your preferred gentle facial lotion.
If you have a vascular disease such as rosacea or telangiectasia, avoid using honey in this mask as honey can shrink blood vessels.
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