If you clicked on this post, chances are you might be struggling with acne. As hopeless as it might feel from time to time, we live in the world that’s filled with different treatments, procedures and things of this nature. So, let’s get into it with answering a few of the common questions that you might have:

Question and Answer Overview

woman embarrassed over acne

-Is my acne going to stay with me forever?

-Chances are if you don’t do anything about it, it probably won’t. I’m sure, if you are reading this and clicked on this post in general you do have a desire to do something to treat it. Research shows that in the forty’s acne tends to go away, for some women it also goes away with menopause. If it still seems like a long time, treatments are there and they usually take a month or so to really start working, so patience is key.

-Does my diet affect my skin?

– It can, yes. Hormonal balance should be taken into consideration, but a diet filled with heavily processed food and foods high in sugar can have an impact. Skin is so different from person to person and what might cause flare ups for one might go completely unnoticed for another. The best piece of advice is to test it out. If you feel like you get more breakouts after certain foods try removing them from your diet for a while and see if the breakouts persist. This one is a long haul but once you find foods that cause your skin to break out it’ll feel so great! 

Is there a best way to prevent acne?

Yes and no. Similar to the diet, it’s very individual from person to person. Not touching your face can be an easy first step not to spread bacteria that causes acne to grow. If you do have skin problems, it’s key to be aware of what products you use not only for your face, but also for your hair. Using oil-based products for hair can be a factor that does affect your skin. If you do get occasional breakouts, it might also not be the worst idea to be using acne fighting skin care can be something you might need to do even when you don’t have breakouts to keep the skin at bay.

How do I treat acne?

There’s a large spectrum of treatments from topical over the counter solutions to steroid shots. Depending on the state of your skin and the severity of acne it might be a good idea to consult with a dermatologist and see what recommendations they make.

There are lots of over the counter options that do have lower dosage of active ingredients that can be a good starting point. Retinoids for example, can be a good option since they not only help with acne but also help prevent and minimize wrinkles and lines on the face. 

Now that we got some things out of the way, let’s dive deeper into where acne usually comes from.


Main causes for the adult acne:

woman stressed working


Hormones have a huge effect on acne, especially in women. Estrogen and progesterone are hormones associated with acne. Birth control plays a huge part with both starting and being on birth control as well as coming off if it. It can help with acne but also be a causing factor of making it worse. Acne in women also can flare up around the menstrual cycle.  


Stress literally affects everything in the body, acne is no exception. Stress causes androgens to be produced in larger amounts, that stimulate oil glands production and contribute to acne.


Chocolate and sugary foods might not necessarily cause acne, however poor diet that is high in processed foods can cause inflammation, which in return can cause acne to come out and play.

Skin and Hair products

Skincare is not all made with the same standard. Lots of skincare brands use products that can clog your pores and cause oil production. When looking to buy skin products it’s important to read the ingredients and make sure that they are oil free, non-acnegenic as well as non-comedogenic.

Family history

Genetics do play a part in acne. If your close family member has or had acne in the past there’s a chance you are more genetically 


Some medications can cause acne as a side effect. Medications containing steroids, hormonal birth control and testosterone. 

Not all hope is lost though. There are many ways to treat acne both from inside as well as topically. If you are wondering what options are out there and what could be a better fit for you this part is the one to pay attention to! The treatments range from natural remedies to lifestyle adjustments and topical or oral medications both over the counter and prescriptions. 


What do I use to treat acne?

Young woman with clay mask at home, closeup

Natural remedies: 

Apple cider vinegar

This one is interesting. It is known to help in balancing skin’s pH balance and reduce the oiliness of the skin. Apple cider vinegar, however, is very strong and can cause burns on the skin, so diluting it down with water is the safest way to use it. It is also important to know that for sensitive skin you might have to add more water to the mixture and just be careful with is as it can cause burns

1-4 ratio is recommended 1 part acv to 4 parts water, apply with a cotton ball, let it sit for 15-20 seconds and wash it off after. The recommendation is to do it 1-2 times a day. In my personal opinion I’d say the best way is to try it, see how you react and adjust it from there. Maybe it’s once a day for you, maybe it’s once every two or three days. Listen to your body and if you get redness and skin burn, this option is not for you. 

Iced skin roller

While using an iced skin roller won’t prevent acne from coming, doing it regularly will help reduce inflammation and keep your acne in check. You can add this practice on a weekly or daily basis, even if you are not struggling with acne, it’s a nice anti-inflammatory massage that feels great and doesn’t cause any damage to the skin.

It is important to remember to disinfect the roller before using it as well as after so as to kill the bacteria. 


Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory agent and there are a variety of ways in which it can be used to treat acne. Turmeric contains curcuminoids with the active ingredient being curcumin that has disease and cancer fighting properties.

There are multiple ways to incorporate turmeric into your acne treatment routine.

-drinking turmeric tea. Turmeric tea is available in most grocery stores. You can also make your own using the raw turmeric and boil it with some water. The tea can aid digestive processes which benefits the microbiome and in return helps with acne from inside out.

-making a turmeric mask. There are plenty of different recipes for masks with turmeric that you can try. The key thing to remember is that turmeric is yellow and can stain clothes, so that’s something to be careful about.

-add turmeric root to your food or drinks. Raw turmeric is available in the majority of grocery stores and there are many recipes that incorporate it. It adds the flavor and helps with acne. Win-win.

There are more ways to use turmeric but most importantly just incorporating it into your regular protocol can be a helpful and powerful tool.

Zinc (topical or as a supplement)

Zinc is one of the essential nutrients and is a key player in cell growth and hormone production as well as metabolism and immunity support. There’s been research showing that people who have acne have lower amounts of zinc in their system than people who don’t have acne.

You can take zinc orally as a supplement or you can use topical creams that have zinc in them. When taking orally it is very important to take it with food, for it might cause nausea. Daily recommended dose is within 45 mg, which is more than enough for general health as well as acne curing properties. 

Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil is a natural oil that’s anti-inflammatory as well as antibacterial. This is important because we need to not only kill current acne but also the bacteria that causes it. Tea Tree oil has been compared to benzoyl peroxide, a common medication against acne.

Tea Tree Oil can be found in a plethora of products, like creams and gels, and of course they come in essential oil form, that should be diluted with water before using it on your face.

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba Oil is a great tool in helping skin repair, wound healing and clearing acne lesions. It is anti-inflammatory and it helps to reduce redness and swelling of your acne. Study shows that after using jojoba oil mask 2-3 times a week for 6 weeks 54% skin improvement has been reported.

You can add jojoba oil to a cream or a gel or just add a few drops to the cotton ball and use over active acne sores. 

Aloe Vera

You might know that aloe has the anti-inflammatory properties and helps with sunburn, but it also has been known to reduce acne breakouts and even prevent them from happening. The way to use it is to clean your face first and then apply 10% aloe gel or cream over acne spots.

Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel is a pretty popular solution. It’s full of tannins that have anti-inflammatory properties. Even though research on acne treatment is small, witch hazel has been known to help with dandruff, eczema, burns, bruises and bites.

You can either make your own mixture with a tablespoon of witch hazel bark and 1 cup of water that you will brew and then store for use or you can get the commercially prepared one, but it is important to make sure that it contains tannins.

Green Tea

Green tea is great when it comes to calming down your skin. It’s full of antioxidants and is known to help get the buildup waste out of the acne sores. It reduces inflammation and helps reduce sebum production.

You can either drink it or use the extract topically on your skin. There has been a study proving that using polyphenol green tea extract topically for 8 weeks brought acne down 80-90%.


Exfoliating can be an important missing piece of your day-to-day routine. What it does is it gets rid of old dead skin cells and lets new ones to form. There are many products that can be used to exfoliate, there are chemical exfoliants as well as natural scrubs. The best way to match with a scrub is to find one that is created for your skin type.


Lifestyle Changes:

Low glycemic load diet

Food has an effect on your skin and even though it might not be the main factor it is still a contributing factor to the issue.

Glycemic index measures how quickly the food raises blood sugar levels. High glycemic index foods cause a rise in insulin that promotes sebum production and leads to acne.

Foods that have high GI are: white bread, sodas, cakes, baked goods, candies.

Foods with low GI: fruits, veggies, nuts, legumes, whole grains.

Cut down dairy

Dairy is known to have hormones such as IGF-1 which is connected to acne. Even though the relationship between dairy and acne still needs more research it has been found that for a lot of people removing dairy has been life changing.

The way to test if dairy affects your skin is to remove it for a couple weeks and see if there are changes happening in your skin. Unfortunately most things from this list have to be trial and error but it is always worth testing it out and hopefully it becomes your new solution.

Not touching your face

This one seems generally easy, but it’s a hard one and an important one. Not touching your face can prevent the spread of bacteria, so try not to touch your face. Mk. I believe in you.

Finding skincare that works for you

It’s not only the skincare products that need to be carefully chosen to work with your skin, but also hair products. Focusing on things that don’t have parabens in them is important, as well as looking for products that are oil free and natural.

Drinking enough water

Staying hydrated can help with not just the hydration on the inside, but hydrating the skin from inside out. When your skin is dry it’s more prone to outbreaks. The amount of water that you should be drinking is linked to your physical activity as well as height and weight, someone who weights 110 pounds will need less water than someone who’s 170 pounds.

 Reducing stress

The hormones that are being released when you are stressed out can increase inflammation and make your acne worse. Stress also can affect bacteria in your gut that can lead to inflammation as well.

Focusing on getting more sleep, working out regularly, meditating and using variety of relaxation techniques can help keep those hormones in check and in return control the inflammation that causes acne.


Topical over the counter solutions:

Salicylic Acid

This one is one of the most popular ingredients to use for acne. Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) and is an exfoliant. It’s oil soluble, which helps to unclog the pores and get deeper into the skin than chemical exfoliants.

A lot of stores carry products with Salicylic Acid, from CVS to Sephora. There are exfoliants, cleansers, tonics and serums. If this ingredient works for you can easily create a full skin care with products containing it.


-Salicylic Acid exfoliates skin, decreases inflammation and kills microbes that cause acne so it is three in one product that will take care of your acne all around. 

-If you have oily skin, it is known to help reduce skin oil and balance the skin. 

-It is safe to use for all skin types, if you use it in the lower dosages. 


-Salicylic Acid can cause allergic reactions in individuals who are sensitive to ingredients in the cream such as salicylic acid aspirin. 

-Can cause moderate chemical burns when using a high dosage of Salicylic Acid. Over the counter products should not have more than 2% for the ones that you leave on your face and 3% for the ones you rinse off. Higher dosage are prescription only and can be higher. 

-If you already have dry skin using salicylic acid may cause it to overly exfoliate and cause discomfort. 


Benzoyl Peroxide

It is an antibacterial ingredient and helps to kill C. acnes bacteria which is one of the cane species. If you have sensitive skin creams containing benzoyl peroxide can dry it out but it has been known and proven to have great results. Anything more than 25 will not necessarily make a difference. High concentration is harsher on the skin but not necessarily harder on the bacteria.


-Benzoyl Peroxide kills bacteria that causes acne. 

-Benzoyl Peroxide is anti-inflammatory and can help reduce the amount of oxygen in the skin which in return helps reduce acne. 

-It is known that lower concentrations of Benzoyl Peroxide can be more effective than high ones. 


-Using too much Benzoyl Peroxide can dehydrate skin and make it dry and itchy.

-Benzoyl Peroxide can thin the pores which can minimize the ability of the skin to protect itself from the sun. Using sunscreen can prevent that. 

Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic acid tend to be the most popular and easily available ones, however there are a few other medications that are available in lower doses for over the counter purchase: 

Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Polyhydroxy Acids (PHAs), Retinoids, Adapalene, Sulfur, Azelaic Acid are some other options to look at. For medical grade acne care it is best however to consult with a dermatologist.


Other solutions:

If you feel like the topical solutions won’t quite cut it for you, again, going to a dermatologist for help is your best bet. They are the ones who can fully diagnose the severity of your acne and prescribe heavy duty things like: 

Oral Medications, Cortisone Injections or even Antibiotics.

All this information might seem overwhelming, and it is. The world is full of treatments and preventative care for acne.

To really bring it all together, like with most medical related things, it is best to talk to a specialist if it is a big concern for you and work out the course of action that is specific and is designed for You!

If you have breakouts here and there and that’s not something that’s deeply affecting your day to day life, maybe start with holistic options or over-the-counter solutions and go from there. 

My belief is no matter how big or small talking to the specialist is a safe route and potentially the best long-term plan.


By Co-Author (Primary): Karina Movsesova

Editor: Amanda (Meixner) Rocchio

You May Also Like...

Follow Blog Via Email

Follow This Blog And Receive Notifications Of New Posts By Email

Or Follow on Social Media