Take your turmeric
When you think of turmeric, the term “acne-fighter” probably doesn’t come to mind. But with its anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antibacterial properties, the yellow spice that you can find in almost any grocery store should be on your radar if you’re prone to pimples. And hey, it got a 4.3/5 star review on the popular acne solutions site Acne.org.
Used in Indian medicine for hundreds (maybe thousands!) of years, turmeric’s main ingredient is called curcumin. Studies have shown curcumin to fight P. Acnes — the bacteria that causes acne. Curcumin has also been shown to inhibit mTor, which is a protein that has recently been uncovered as the mastermind behind acne. mTor regulates cell division, growth, and survival, and over-activation of the mTor pathway can lead to excessive cell growth. Excessive cell growth = clogged pores = acne. You get the picture.
On top of fighting acne-causing bacteria and inhibiting excessive cell growth, curcumin’s other superpower is reducing inflammation. You know when you get one of those big, painful, red pimples? The kind that hurts to even look at? Well that’s inflammation, and curcumin inhibits it.
So how do you use turmeric to fight acne? Here are two ways:
1. Apply it topically. Spoon about half a teaspoon of turmeric into a bowl. Slowly add in water until the mixture turns to paste — about the same consistency as a typical face mask. Apply this paste to current pimples or acne-prone areas. Let it sit on the skin for about 20 minutes, then rinse with cool water. Repeat twice daily.
2. Take it internally. Bring two cups of water to a boil. Add about one teaspoon of turmeric to the water, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. Pour through a fine sieve (or let the turmeric stay put — no harm in drinking it all!), then flavor with lemon and honey. Drink two cups daily for maximum pimple-fighting.
Harness the power of coconut oil
Coconut oil is huge right now. Everyone seems to be using it for moisturizing, cleansing — even oral hygiene. While the effects coconut oil may have on your teeth are questionable, research has shown that the fatty acids in coconut oil are antibacterial, antifungal, and even antiviral. And as we know, antibacterial + antifungal = acne-fighting.
Besides fighting the bacteria and fungi that lead to acne, coconut oil is also a great natural moisturizer. Did you know that having excessively dry skin can actually cause your body to go into hyperdrive and over produce oil? When your body produces too much oil, breakouts can happen. By moisturizing with a natural product like coconut oil, you’ll not only kill the bacteria and fungi that cause pimples, but also help prevent your body from going into oil-overdrive.
To maximize coconut oil’s acne-fighting power, make sure you buy high quality virgin coconut oil, like this one available on Amazon. Warm the oil up in your hands (after washing them, of course!), then rub it into your skin, avoiding your eyes. Coconut oil is amazing for treating body acne, too — apply it all over your shoulders, back, and chest. Continuously rub the oil in for about three minutes, then let it sit for an additional 10. Coconut oil consists of mostly short and medium chain fatty acids, allowing it to absorb quickly — so after those 10 minutes are up, go ahead and wash it off. (One last tip for you body acne sufferers: Scrub the coconut oil off with a deep-cleansing, extra-exfoliating Salux washcloth!)