Sure, great skin is the result of regular cleansing and exfoliation, but that doesn't always have to come in the form of a store-bought tube. Some of the best acne fighters out there are hiding right under your nose . . . or in your pantry. In honor of Acne Awareness Month, uncover five surprising zit-zappers you have at home.
- Aspirin is great for beating acne at its own game because it contains salicylic acid, which is one of acne's worst enemies. Make yourself a mask by crushing five to seven uncoated tablets in with some bottled water to create a paste. Add a teaspoon of organic honey, mix the ingredients, and spread onto your face for seven to 15 minutes. Note: Those with aspirin allergies should skip this remedy.
- Milk is something we all have in our fridge, and it's one of the more simple ways to improve the look and feel of your complexion. Mix 1 1/2 cups brown sugar with 3 teaspoons milk and 1 teaspoon organic honey. Scrub on to exfoliate and tone your skin. The fat in milk will help to moisturize your face, while the lactic acid will help to gently slough away the dead skin cells that can clog your pores. Those with extra-oily skin should stick to skim or one percent.
- Oatmeal has natural exfoliating and calming properties, making it an ace mask on the fly. Since oatmeal has astringent effects, it works to clean up your pores and sooth your skin. Just blend 3/4 cup oatmeal (the natural kind; flavoured oatmeal need not apply) and bring it to a boil with a cup of water. Cook for one to two minutes, let it cool, and then spread it over your face for 10 to 20 minutes.
- Toothpaste, the star of every old wives' tale relating to acne, actually works because of the active ingredient sulfur. But there are a few tips to keep in mind when reaching for your tube: only use it as a spot-treatment to avoid irritation, and steer clear of toothpastes claiming to whiten or prevent tartar. These contain ingredients that could lead to redness and irritation, especially for those with sensitive skin.
- Ibuprofen in liquid gel form is great when you feel a zit coming on but are sans acne cream. Simply split open the capsule and dab the liquid on the offending area. This allows the anti-inflammatory benefits of ibuprofen to calm the redness and irritation that result from breakouts.