Do the words benzoyl peroxide scare you? To some people, this cheap, common and effective acne treatment brings to mind weird chemical compounds concocted in some mad scientists lab. Sometimes, in my more paranoid moods, I too feel a bit creeped out by the thought of voluntarily applying this stuff to my face. There is really no problem, though. This chemical has been used as an over-the-counter remedy for acne for many decades, and no connection to any malignant diseases have been reported so far.
Still, it is partly due to strange and complicated chemical names like these which have fueled the public’s search for natural acne remedies and treatments. Here is a list of natural compounds which people have successfully used to get rid of acne:
- Salicylic acid. Don’t laugh. I don’t agree that salicylic acid is a natural acne treatment, but some experts claim otherwise, including a doctor at the Mayo Clinic. maybe it was natural before the big cosmetics companies got their hands on it. Still, like benzoyl peroxide, there is no doubt that it works for many people.
- Tea tree oil. This is the most famous natural acne remedy. you can easily find many commercial preparations in various concentrations. It is more expensive than benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, but it, too, has been shown to work for many people. the downside is that there is no standard for measuring the concentration. you are best off choosing a brand which has a wide range of different concentrations, starting with the lowest concentration to make sure there are no side effects for you. yes, even natural acne treatments like tea tree oil can have side effects, not just lab-created treatments like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid.
- Olive oil extract. This is not well-known to the public, but has long been used in the Mediterranean, dating all the way back to ancient Greece. so all of you pale-faced white men of Anglo-Saxon extract can go ask your Greek and Roman friends what the best local brands are and how to use it.
- Licorice root extract. another ancient natural acne treatment, also thousands of years old. It is better known for treating upset stomachs, but is quite capable in getting rid of your acne as well.
- Green tea extract. This is a natural acne remedy from the far-East. better known for its effect on cancer and cholesterol, its extract is nonetheless effective against acne.
- Aloe vera extract. This is quite well-known as a healing agent in some places. also effective in helping to heal your pimples.
Which of these should you use? Frankly, different remedies, natural or otherwise, have different levels of effectiveness on different people. There are times when tea tree oil works for me, there are times when I need to switch to benzoyl peroxide. if you only rarely get acne breakouts, then you may prefer to stick to the lab-based chemicals since they have a longer shelf-life. the natural stuff do not last as long, but you can extend their life by keeping them in your refrigerator.
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