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Acne results from the way hormones interact with oil glands in our skin, creating clogged pores that result in pimples. The regions most commonly afflicted with acne include the neck, shoulders and face. There are a variety of pimples that may arise, the most common being blackheads and whiteheads.

The blackhead reaches the surface, where the whitehead stays beneath causing a bump on top. By the way, the color of the blackhead isn’t due to dirt at all, as commonly thought, but simple discoloration.

It’s estimated that as many as 20 million people in the United States have Acne, and it’s not only among teenagers. While the condition isn’t life threatening, acne can cause serious scarring. Thus far there’s been a lot of discussions about the exact causes of acne, including hormonal changes, genetics, certain make up products that clog pores, friction on the skin, and pollution all seem to be potential factors alone or in concert.

Having said all that, what are some natural ways to tackle this problem? Having gone through two teenagers thus far, one simple solution is mixing baking soda and water as a paste that’s applied after washing the face with hot water to open the pores. Leave this on for at least 10 minutes then rinse it with a tincture of vinegar and water (one part vinegar to 8 parts water). At first a child might balk, but when they see the results over time, they’ll begin doing it themselves.

Another good blend is a mix of parsley and garlic juice and peppermint tea. Use this as a wash after washing with soap. It may not smell great, but when used regularly and rinsed with vinegar like the baking soda, it helps the skin get back to normal ph levels. Of course everyone has their own unique blend of herbs that they’ve tried and claimed work.

My friends recommend a tea of yarrow, chamomile, catnip, thyme, lavender, and lemon juice followed again by a rinse of vinegar water daily. If it’s a really bad breakout consider doing this twice a day (in the morning and at night). Note that these particular washes seem best for whiteheads.

For treating blackheads, mix milk with lime or lemon juice and apply this warm to the face. I find that one cup of milk with the juice of one fresh lime does the trick nicely. Alternatively, blend up raw potato with papaya juice and apply this like a facial, allowing it to dry then rinse thoroughly.


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