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Witch hazel is a natural astringent. It cleans gunk out of your pores and kills the bacteria that causes acne. Witch hazel is best for those who have extremely oily skin; if you have dry or normal skin, you may find it too dehydrating. It's easy to find at health-food stores, grocery stores, or online; just be sure to look for a formula that is alcohol-free, since alcohol will contribute to drying out your skin.
Thayers Witch Hazel Aloe Vera Formula Cucumber Alcohol-Free Toner, $9.49, available at Drugstore.com.
The antibacterial properties in tea-tree oil make it ideal for controlling acne. It can disinfect pores and moderate oil production. You can find tea-tree oil online or in health-food stores, but beware of using it undiluted on your face, especially if you have sensitive skin, as it could cause irritation. You might be better off buying a product that already has the ideal formulation of tea-tree oil in it. If you have your heart set on going the DIY route, you could dilute your TTO by combining it with another beneficial skin-care ingredient, such as jojoba oil or aloe vera.
The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil, $10, available at The Body Shop.
Turmeric can be helpful for soothing acne because of its anti-inflammatory properties. It can also help to control sebum production, in addition to calming redness. This cheapie cream is impressive at completely erasing redness caused by inflammation, rosacea, and irritation.
Vicco Turmeric Skin Cream, $5.74, available at Amazon.
Evening Primrose Oil
If you’ve noticed that you get a flare-up of hormonal acne before your period, try taking evening primrose oil capsules. It contains gamma-linolenic acid, which has anti-inflammatory properties that can help with acne. You can also benefit from putting this oil directly on your face, since it’s hydrating and calming.
Now Solutions Evening Primrose Oil, $12.99, available at iHerb.
Vitamins C & E
If you’re going to stock up on vitamins to fight acne, your best bets would be C and E. Not only does vitamin C have the ability to reduce redness in the skin, but it also regulates the body’s production of collagen, which is necessary for controlling acne. Combine it with vitamin E, an antioxidant, for a powerful skin-clearing duo. Vitamin E can also be effective when absorbed topically, so be sure to look for it as an ingredient in your skin-care products.
Neal's Yard Remedies Vitamin C Boost With Wild Rosehip, $21.50, available at Neal's Yard Remedies.