The Best Topical Natural Remedies for Acne

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In this article, external natural remedies for acne will be offered. When I suffered with acne, I tried tons of over-the-counter products, urine therapy, soaps, cleansers, prescription medications and more. It was a painful journey. I am happy to be on the other side and educated on effective, gentle, natural solutions that work.

Along with the suggestions for internally supporting the body in healing acne, it is important to address topical remedies and healing existing pimples and sores, clearing scars and maintaining overall good skin health. If you missed the first part of this series, read Natural Remedies for Acne Part 1 for internal suggestions.

All of the ingredients for making your own acne products can be found here.


I always recommend staying away from soaps and the same goes for acne conditions. Soaps dry the skin, causing it to then produce more oil to compensate. Oil has many functions: moving toxins out, lubricating, protecting. Our skin NEEDS oil. To read more about the function that oil plays in the skin, read Natural Skin Care Oils.

So there are 2 ways to go here to cleansing your skin:

The Oil Cleansing Method

Cleanse with a grain and herb-based formula. Click here for my favorite facial cleansers.

Toning and Moisturizing

This is a 2 step process: apply a water-based toner such as aloe vera, witch hazel astringent, bay rum astringent or even pure water. When the skin is still damp, apply a thin coat of facial oil.

Which Astringent to Choose?

They are all good and beneficial for acne. I suggest you choose one to start and see how your skin responds. Give it at least a month before deciding if you like it or want to try another. Astringents are really easy to make on your own. You can read how to make them here (although that article covers witch hazel astringents, the same process applies to vinegar based astringents too).

Aloe vera has strong antibacterial properties against P. acnes (the bacteria partially responsible for acne). Apply to spot treat, as well as for a toning effect on the whole face. Add tea tree oil or another of the essential oils listed below to the aloe to strengthen the effects.

Vinegar-based astringents (I like apple cider vinegar) are good natural remedies for acne because they help the skin to maintain its natural acidic mantle. At a low pH, the skin is best able to maintain a healthy bacterial composition and function at its best.

Witch-hazel based astringents are toning and tightening in nature. Witch hazel is a natural astringent, high in tannins, which are plant chemicals with a drying and tightening nature.

Oils that are good natural remedies for acne and keep the skin lubricated:

  • Jojoba Oil has acne healing effects on its own. You can read about jojoba oil and acne here.
  • Castor Oil is another oil with antibacterial effects, often found to be helpful in acne. Mix castor oil with a lighter oil for cleansing and moisturizing.
  • Grapeseed oil is very light and easily absorbed into the skin without clogging pores.
  • Sweet Almond oil is another very light oil that is easily absorbed. It is widely used in Ayurveda as a massage and beauty oil.

Essential Oils for Acne

To any of those carrier oils, essential oils can be added to increase the therapeutic effects. These are essential oil that have acne-fighting properties.

Weekly Treatments

In addition to the above daily routine, a weekly face mask will also be helpful in treating acne.

Jojoba oil Acne Mask has been studied for it’s acne-fighting effects. You can easily learn how to make your own with the short video I made.


Honey Mask- Honey is a natural antiseptic, skin softener and antibacterial. Read more about honey for the skin.

Natural Remedies for Acne Scars

Rose hip seed oil has trans-retinoic acid, a precursor to retinoic acid, and is a mild exfoliant. It can help to smooth out existing scars when used daily over a period of time.

Regular, gentle exfoliation helps the skin to produce a new, unscarred layer and slough off dead skin cells. Once the acne is under control, try out some of these fruit exfoliants to shift into smoother skin.

Acne Can Be Complicated

Keep in mind that acne can be a complicated condition and the root cause will need to be addressed. Your skin may respond differently to these suggestions. Always be mindful of how your body is responding and if after 3 to 4 weeks, no change is noticed or a worsening continues, then consider another treatment. Sometimes there will be a temporary worsening of the acne as your body clears out toxins and regains balance. This occurs even with allopathic treatments.

In addition to topical natural remedies for acne, many people will need to make dietary changes and/or herbal support. I know everybody does not want to make their own herbal medicines, so I encourage you to check out the digestive and liver-supportive blends made by Mountain Rose Herbs.

Herbal Bitters is a certified organic elixir full of digestive supportive herbs and formulated to be yummy. They also carry a Skin Care Extract, formulated specifically for “managing common skin issues like acne, eczema, psoriasis, dandruff, boils and rashes”.

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