If you’ve ever been an acne sufferer, it’s fair to say that whenever an uninvited breakout pops up, you’re willing to try anything and everything to get rid of it. Whether it’s a clay mask, spot treatment or DIY home recipe, no treatment is too far left of field when you just want your pimples gone, stat.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of effective alternative acne treatments to try when your trusty salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide duo just aren’t cutting it. We spoke to cosmetic dermatologist and founder of ENRICH clinic, Dr. Michael Rich, and founder of Zilch Acne Formula and registered doctor of Chinese medicine and acupuncture, Dr. Vivian Tam for their top tips.
#1/ Cut out milk
According to Rich, there “has been some evidence to show that dairy, but more specifically milk, as it is obtained from pregnant cows, may increase acne and inflammation.” This is the case as "milk can induce increased levels of hormones such as insulin and IGF-1, which promote growth amongst other functions, but can also lead to increased inflammation and acne," he explained.
#2/ Consume probiotics
There has been a lot of research and hype about maintaining and improving your gut health in recent years and it seems one benefit of doing so could be acne reduction. “Recent studies have shown that orally consumed prebiotics and probiotics can reduce systemic markers of inflammation and oxidative stress, and regulate glyceamic control,” says Rich. As a result, there “is some evidence to show that probiotics and a healthy gut are beneficial to the treatment and prognosis of acne,” explains Rich.
#3/ Ingest acne-treating tablets
Zilch Acne Formula is an acne treatment tablet formulated with Chinese medicine that works to provide long term results for acne sufferers. According to Tam, Zilch works “on reducing inflammation, and reducing the soreness, redness and uncomfortable swelling of larger cysts and nodules. On a similar level, it also works to remove heat and toxicity from the body.” She further explains: “in Chinese medicine, an imbalance of heat in the body can cause skin breakouts”.
Additionally, Tam says that the ingredients in the Zilch formula “promote and boost blood circulation to stop deeper nodules from occurring in the skin, and promote skin healing.”
#4/ Jojoba oil
As acne can be caused from both dryness and oiliness, Tam explains that jojoba oil can effectively balance both. “Of anything in nature, jojoba oil most closely mimics human skin oil.” She continues, “If your skin is dry, it is adding back moisture to the right layers of the skin, keeping the skin supple and soft and therefore at less risk of congestions. If your skin is oily, it gives feedback to the brain that there is enough oil, and your body will stop over-producing oil [that can] clog up your pores,’ says Tam.
As acne is often caused by a hormonal imbalance, Tam recommends both traditional acupuncture and cosmetic acupuncture to help rebalance hormones. “If the sufferer’s acne breakouts are due to hormonal fluctuations, acupuncture can assist in bringing the natural harmony back in the body, reducing the severity and frequency of hormonal breakouts,” says Tam.
Additionally, Tam explains that cosmetic acupuncture “brings blood circulation and movement to the face. This causes the face to become healthier and more oxygenated. If the face is healthier, there is more nutrient supply to the skin. The skin is more hydrated and softer, and therefore has less risk of congestion.”
If you are suffering from regular breakouts and want to know more, read our guide on reasons why you keep breaking out in the same spot.
Have you treated your acne in an unusual way? Share your method with us in the comment section below.
Image credit: Getty
Kate started working for BEAUTYcrew in early 2016, first as a contributor, and was then named Beauty Writer in 2017. She loves picking the brains of the industry's top experts to get to the bottom of beauty's toughest questions. Bronze eyeshadow palettes are her weakness and she's forever on the hunt for the perfect nude nail polish to suit her fair skin. Her words can also be found in Men's Health magazine, and she now works in PR.