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There are a few things you can absolutely count on happening in your life: You’ll scrape your knee, you’ll fall in love, you’ll drink too many margaritas and end up sobbing hysterically in a back alley about a boy you thought you loved, you’ll complain about taxes.
And you’ll get giant pimples at very inconvenient times.
These times include: The day before prom, the day before your wedding, the day before a job interview, and at any time while competing on America’s Next Top Model.
Or it could just be, you know, tomorrow. When people are going to see you.
So here are 27 quick, easy, and painless “spot” treatments you can try to drain the life right out of your pimples, zits, blemishes, or nasties. Whatever you want to call them, at least one of these home remedies will have you covered.
While I’ve tried several of these and have been pleased by the results, I can’t speak for the efficacy of all of them. And what works for me may not work for you. It’s trial and error, baby. Crunchistry at the most personal level.
27 Quick and Crunchy Home Remedies for Pimples
- Dab a little lemon juice on it. The astringent properties in lemon juice will suck out some of the oil and shrink the blemish. Wash off before going in the sun, though, as this could bleach your face and make it more sensitive to the sun.
- A teeny, tiny clay mask will fix it. If you need clay, go here (and you need clay, I promise): Mountain Rose Herbs. So a search for “cosmetic clay” and you’ll find that an entire pound is a whopping $4.95 (you might want to order another thing or two, to make the shipping worth it). Now, once you have your clay, take 1 tsp of it and mix enough distilled water to make a thick paste. Apply it directly to the blemish and leave on as long as you’d like (at least 20 minutes or all night long). I’ve seen pimples completely disappear overnight from this. Yeah. Really.
- Use an itsy bitsy smudge of lavender or tea tree essential oil. Again, you can purchase these things at Mountain Rose Herbs. They’re great for a whole host of different things, and they absolutely annihilate zits. Use one tiny drop of either oil on a Q-tip and rub it on the blemish. Leave on overnight.
- Make a paste with cinnamon and honey. Use approximately 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and add to the honey. Mix to make a paste. Apply to the blemish and leave on for 20 minutes (or overnight). Zit = zapped.
- Rub a slice of potato on them. Leave it on for at least 20 minutes, or all day.
- Tomatoes. Tomatoes. Tomatoes. Try rinsing your pimply face with fresh tomato juice. Leave this on for an hour before washing. Or, try the Homemade Tomato Juice Peel-Off Mask!
- Apples and honey to the rescue. Grate a small bit of apple into a fine mush and add honey to make a sticky, fruity paste. Apply to the pimples and leave on for 20 minutes. Or, do your whole face! Wash well.
- Try the Aspirin and Honey Facial Mask. You can do your whole face, or just tiny little spots.
- Make a tiny mask with dried calendula and castor oil. Freaky, right? Oil for a zit. But castor oil is actually drying and the calendula will soothe the redness and the surrounding skin. Calendula can be purchased at, of course, none other than Mountain Rose Herbs (links above).
- Make ice cubes out of green tea. Just rub one of those things over the blemish area two or three times a day. Swelling will go down, skin will be soothed, and the green tea acts as an astringent.
- Pound an orange peel. Yep. That’s right. Take a small amount of orange peel, sprinkle some water on the pith-side and pound it with a (clean) hammer or meat tenderizer for 10 seconds. Rub the peel over the pimply areas (you could even tape it there for a few minutes for extra action).
- Dab it with strong basil tea. Boil 1 c. of water and add 1 Tbsp. dried basil leaves. Steep for 10 minutes. Strain. refrigerate until cool. Apply to the pimples (or all over your face, if it’s oily).
- Strawberries are yummy zit zappers. In addition to whitening your teeth, strawberries are excellent for occasional pimples (or acne). Slice the top off off a strawberry (eat the fruit) and rub the small amount of flesh left at the top of the strawberry on your pimples. Leave on for 20-30 minutes and then rinse off. You can read more about strawberries and skincare here!
- Witch hazel and a cotton ball. Or any kind of fabric, really. Just soak the fabric with some witch hazel, hold on the blemish for a minute or two. That’s it. Astringent to the rescue.
- Concoct your own pimple cream with lanolin, glycerin, and castor oil. Just melt, on very low heat, equal parts of all three. Store in a small jar. Apply it to pimples as necessary.
- Make a poultice with dried hibiscus. Hibiscus makes a wildly delicious tea, but it’s also very effective on blemishes. You can have it both ways with this remedy! Just steep 3 tsp. hibiscus in 2 c. water. Strain (saving the hibiscus). Add a little honey to your tea and drink up. Then take the wet hibiscus, place it in a small paper towel or piece of cheesecloth, and apply to the pimple. Hold it there for 5-10 minutes.
- Don’t be a vampire – use garlic. I know, I know. It sounds really stinky. Desperate times call for desperate measures and all that. And garlic is pretty wondrous when it comes to clearing away the pimples. Peel a clove of garlic and then mush it up well with a fork. Apply the mush to your pimples and let it set for 20 minutes.
- Spice it up with some nutmeg and cloves. Put 2 tsp. whole cloves and 1 tsp ground nutmeg in 1/4 c. milk. Heat on low for 10 minutes (careful not to scald the milk!). Allow the milk to cool. With a small washcloth or other fabric, apply the spicy milk to the pimply areas – or all over your face!
- Splurge on some neem. Neem powder and neem oil are two magical pimple treatments, but they may be hard to find. Try Whole Foods, your local natural foods store, or Mountain Rose Herbs and pick up either one – or both. With the oil, just daub the oil directly onto the blemish. Or, with the powder, mix with a tiny amount of water or witch hazel to form a paste that you then apply to the pimply areas. Leave on all night for extra zit-busting effectiveness.
- Rosewater and lemon juice – a fragrant remedy. If you happen to have some rosewater (if you don’t, you should get some … again, Mountain Rose Herbs or Whole Foods), take 1 tsp rosewater and 1/2 tsp lemon juice and apply to the blemishes. The rosewater will act as a calmative and helps repair the skin, while the lemon juice is astringent and drying.
- Take your honey straight. At night, slather on a little honey over an extra-large pimple. Cover this with a bandaid, and sleep with the bandaid on. In the morning, remove the bandage, be amazed at the lack of pimple, and rinse your face well.
- Apple Cider Vinegar. The good old standby, the liquid that does more things than Madonna (career-wise, I mean) – just dab a bit onto the affected area and let it dry. Leave it on for 20 minutes … or forever!
- A sprig of mint’ll do you. Take one leaf from a sprig of fresh mint, rub it well between your fingers until it’s bruised. Rub the “juice” from the mint leaf over the pimple. Leave on.
- Localized egg white mask. Just separate the yolk from the white, whip the white a time or two, and dab on to spotty areas with a Q-tip. Leave on overnight and wash well in the morning.
- Aloe vera gel or leaf. For some time, I had an aloe vera plant in my home. Then I forgot to water it. For a month. Anyway, whenever I started to feel a pimple coming on, I’d break off a tiny bit of the leaf and rub the gel inside over it. Worked like a charm at heading off (sorry for the pun) the pimple. You don’t have to have a plant – just look for the purest aloe vera gel you can find in your local natural foods store.
- Bruise some fresh cabbage leaves. Just mush ’em up and rub them on the offending area. Leave the juice on for at least 30 minutes or more. Rinse off and finish with an astringent.
- Dissolve some salt in lemon juice. If you want even MORE drying power than just straight lemon juice, try dissolving 1/2 tsp salt in 2 tsp lemon juice, rub on the zit and leave on (being aware that lemon juice is also bleaching and can cause sensitivity to the sun).
I’d like to point out that the links within to Mountain Rose Herbs do go to my affiliate account. If you order from them, I would adore it if you’d use the link. Any help is a lot of help at this point. (And, while they are affiliate links, I can say quite honestly and confidently that the prices are lower and quality is higher than anywhere else I’ve been able to locate.)
In unpimply crunch!