No matter how much money you spend, dealing with acne is usually a long, frustrating, and painful process. While using blue light therapy or microdermabrasion may work for some, it’s out of most of our budgets, and it might not even work for you. Thankfully, there are a ton of amazing acne DIYs and products that don’t cost a bomb, and they can be just as effective as professional treatments.
Let’s start with the basics: why do you have acne? It could be down to your hormones, your diet, stress-levels, skincare, lack of sleep, or even your bedding. So first, you need to make sure you’re doing all the right things for your skin. It might seem overwhelming, so we’re gonna break it down for you:
Here’s what you should be doing:
Double cleansing: Aka, washing your face twice at the end of the day. If you’re not doing this, especially if you wear makeup – chances are you’re not fully removing the grime, pollution, and makeup that can wreak havoc on your skin and block pores. If you’re on a budget, ensure you’re using a good gel or foaming cleanser, like this Neutrogena cleanser, $9. Wash, rinse, repeat – simple! We also recommend using an oil cleanser first (trust us, oil attracts oil), and then following with a gel cleanser.
Change your pillow as often as possible: Bacteria from your skin and dead skin cells will build up on your pillow every night. Our tip is to flip it every other day, and change your pillowcase every four days, or once a week.
Know what to avoid: High sugar foods and dairy all aggravate acne. If your diet is particularly sugary, try and cut back where you can – skip fizzy drinks, and keep an eye on your fruit intake. Similarly, try switching from cow’s milk to almond or coconut, and cut back on cheese and chocolate (FYI, this is the perfect chocolate replacement).
De-stress: Being stressed increases the cortisol hormone, which is your skin’s worst enemy. Learn to zen! Next time you feel stressed do some deep-breathing exercises, take a break and watch something that makes you laugh or listen to relaxing music.
Look at your makeup: Wearing makeup doesn’t give you acne (there are tons of women with flawless skin who wear makeup) but wearing the wrong makeup could. Check your foundations, primers, and moisturizers and make sure they’re non-comedogenic, which means they won’t block your pores.
Hydrate: Acne-prone skin needs moisture. Dehydrated skin produces more oil, which means your pores are more likely to get blocked, leading to breakouts. Look for a moisturizer that has a gel-like consistency, which will add moisture without blocking your pores.
5 budget-friendly pimple busters:
Witch hazel gel: Hit up your local drugstore and you’ll be sure to find some version of witch hazel gel. This is a natural acne-fighter, and it works a dream for shrinking the size of your pimples overnight.
Clearasil Rapid Rescue Deep Treatment Cleansing Pads: These pads contain 2% salicylic acid, which cleans deep into pores to help prevent acne, as well as treat it. There are also 90 cleansing pads, so this stash ($9), will last you at least a few months. We recommend using them immediately after your double-cleanse, and following with a direct spot treatment and then a moisturizer. Shop it here.
Bananas: Take the ripe peel of a banana and rub the inside of it directly on the pimples. The skin is packed with acne-fighting ingredients, while the enzymes help to fade scars. Leave on for 30 minutes and rinse with warm water.
Pimple patches: Shrink your pimples overnight with this super easy hack. Buy blister plasters and cut into small circles that you can leave on your spot overnight. These clever bandages suck out the puss from your spot, massively reducing them by morning. Check out the step-by-step DIY here.
Tone with ACV: Apple Cider Vinegar is an amazingly cheap way to keep acne at bay. It’s antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal, and helps to remove excess oil from your skin while balancing your skin’s pH levels. It also contains AHAs to gently exfoliate your skin and cleanse your pores. You can use it as a toner by mixing equal parts of natural, organic cider with distilled water.
Check out the links below for more acne-fighting advice.