When an acne product has 20 ingredients listed on it, it can be hard to know if one of those ingredients is actually stopping you from having success. It can be even harder when you can't pronounce the ingredient, much less know what it is and how it is going to affect your skin.
Most mainstream acne treatments are not only much more expensive than common household items, but they also don't always work as well either. With that in mind, I will list some basic household items that can work wonders on clearing up your skin.
Baking soda - A very cheap cooking ingredient that most people have in their homes already, baking soda can be used as a great scrub. The purpose of a scrub is to exfoliate the skin, removing dead skin that can eventually clog pores and lead to acne spots.
To start off, you'll want to mix a small amount of baking soda with some water for form a paste. Baking soda is very effective as a scrub, so you want to be sure to be extra careful when applying it to your face. Gently massage the paste into your skin for ten to fifteen seconds. Then rinse the baking soda off, and pat your face dry with a clean towel.
Apple Cider Vinegar - Though most people that use vinegar to treat acne use the apple cider form of vinegar, you can also use plain old regular vinegar. Regardless of which type you use, vinegar can be very helpful with it comes to clearing up acne. It can kill off acne causing bacteria, balance your skin's pH, and absorb extra oil on your skin.
Starting with clean, dry skin, apply diluted vinegar (eight parts water to one part vinegar) directly to your skin with a cotton ball, and leave it on. If you want, you can also use a stronger vinegar solution (say, 2 or 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar), and apply it directly to problem areas, rinsing it off after ten minutes.
Lemon or lime juice can also be substituted for vinegar. Both of these juices are rich in citric acid, and can exfoliate your skin very well, halting the growth of acne spots, as well as fading previous, non-active acne quicker.
Egg Whites - Rich in protein, egg whites can be used as a mask to heal and rebuild your skin. It can also help to absorb excess oil from your skin.
To start off, crack an egg, removing the yolk so that just the egg whites are left behind. Beat these egg whites, and apply them directly to your face. Let it sit for fifteen minutes, and then rinse the egg off.
Oatmeal - As odd as it may seem, oatmeal can absorb unwanted oil and draw out impurities which reside deep in your skin. Cook some plain oatmeal like you would for consumption. Let it cool off, and rub it over your clean skin. Let it sit for a while, like you would a mask, and then rinse off. If you do this on a regular basis, you should begin to start noticing results soon.
Tea Tree Oil - TTO is a commonly used all-natural household antiseptic, which you can pick up at most drugstores or supermarkets. You can apply TTO directly to acne spots to kill bacteria, or, if you strongly dilute it with another oil (such as jojoba oil), over your entire face.
Tea tree gel can be easier to apply than the oil, and many are made for applying over large areas of skin, so they aren't quite as strong as straight TTO and do not need to be diluted.
Pantothenic Acid (Also known as Vit. B5) - Pantothenic acid can be taken in large quantities for the benefit of acne reduction. B5 works by helping your body to metabolize fats which would otherwise be later turned into sebum (oil) and excreted through the skin. Small amounts of B5 won't help though, and it has to be taken several times a day.
To help with acne, you will need to take 2.5 grams of pantothenic acid (the powder form is much easier to take), 4 times per day, for a total of 10 grams per day.
Aloe Vera - Aloe Vera has been used for many years in kitchens for topical application to burns. Another benefit of aloe is that it can prevent scaring, fade marks and help heal acne spots.
You now have an idea of some basic household items you can use on your skin, that work better than many OTC acne products, and are much cheaper to use. Since we have only really covered basic acne treatments, you can always take this to another level and take all natural, internal acne treatments.
This sums up our basic list of natural alternatives for chemical based acne treatment products. You can take this a step farther by attacking your acne from the inside out. Acne has been shown numerous times to be very closely affected by the digestive system, so keeping your entire digestive system working as smooth as possible can help reduce acne. I will help give you a basic idea of some all natural products you can take to help clear up acne.
Cucumber, lemon and carrot juice, brewer's yeast, and active charcoal pills are all capable of helping the digestive system function normally. Since the digestive system is closely related with the health of the skin, they should help reduce acne breakouts. Flax seed can also be wonderful for helping your skin heal faster.