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!
omg. just like tvshow7:D
So glad I found your site! I’m looking for natural skin care options and love your suggestions!
Johnny. InstaG: juujuubees
I’m a guy and I’m gonna try some of these since I have some mild acne at the moment. This is definitely helpful
I have on the honey and cinnamon just now 🙂
I just wanted to say thank you sooooo much for this it is so helpful! I have been trying to get my face to clear up for weeks now while preparing for my senior prom and I was successful with my store bought face cleaner until 2 days ago. 4 days before prom. suddenly a massive zit right above my upper lip centered in the middle of my face! I’ve been freaked out all week but I tried the lemon juice and it literally zapped the zit in front of my eyes. I am eternally grateful!
Thank you for the tips!! I didnt know only honey would work! Is baking soda useful in removing pimples?
monu punjabi & pooja bihari
these quick & crunchy ideas are just fake these are not effective & useless
I had pimples for a week in my chin it is painfull but it is small can i erradicate this within 2 days plz say any fast remedies
DO NOT USE GARLIC ! I TRIED THIS AND IT BURNED MY SKIN AND LEFT A BLISTER . MY SKIN LOOKS SOO MUCH WORSE THAN IT DID BEFORE
Do you have any suggestions for chest and shoulder acne? Would using some of these same techniques work for that as well or would finding something else work better? Thanks for any help!
garlic is brilliant, works out in over night , no doubt in it but for heaven sake dont use garlic, i tried and the spots wherever i used it left burnt scar. after nearly 2 months i got back to normal skin.
My 11 year old son has just started getting small pimples on his nose and I’d much rather he use something natural than something full of chemicals. We just now applied some apple cider vinegar and I’m very interested to see if there will be a difference tomorrow. Thanks!
Word of advice, tie hair back securely before using the honey cinnamon treatment lol not fun when you have baby hairs!
i wish i read this comment before trying this treatment hahahahahah
Okay, thanks so much for this! I mean it, I have a date soon and my face decided to hate me today so I tried something that wasn’t here, Sugar, honey and lemon juice, rubbed all over your face, I left it on for twenty minutes and then scrubbed it off, and it worked so well! Another good remedy you forgot is rolled oats, heat ’em up, scrub on your face, wait, and rinse! Works wonders!
Best cure of all though, don’t stress!! Stress is the leading cause of pimples, followed by sweat. Stress less princess! If you feel stressed, remember stressed backwards is DESSERTS! Treat yourself to some fat free delish yogurts or a nice fruity cheesecake!
the lemon worked wonders for me… n i cant imagine how could i possibly thanku for this…all this while i tried so many things..but none really helped until i read this article n experimented.. 🙂 THANKYOU
Hi just to let you know, garlic applied directly onto skin will cause further irritation and even skin burning. If you’d put hot chili directly onto your acne, then by all means proceed with the garlic, since they are very similar in chemical properties.
Loved the lemon juice and salt solution… I have spurts of break outs and pro activ no longer works for me, im going to try other suggestions from here since this worked so well: )
Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am inspired! Extremely helpful information particularly the ultimate section 🙂 I maintain such information a lot. I was seeking this certain information for a long time. Thank you and good luck.
Acne Home Remedies
I think certain things work for different people and you use what you think will work for you. I use store products and it works but It wears off so I do home remedies, sometimes its good switching it up but use it the right way. Also if you going through periods of changes then try working through those as well cause we all need to take care our bodies as well. Continue finding things that will work for you and keep healthy
I absolutely love Mountain Rose Herbs! I have been buying from them for years and their quality is incredible. And they somehow manage to do it without jacking up the prices. I know I sound like a commercial, but it is so true. I used their carrier and essential oils in my massage practice. I use their clay, salt, spices, henna. All of it has been awesome!
I also use the inner skin of an egg for the nasty ones. But have almost all these ingredients at home right now. It kind of smothers the zit, always works great!
Oops. Leave it on overnight or all day!
I had have acne for so long and had to be dragged to doctors to buy treatments and stuff that did almost more bad than good… Now, I’m reading this and I am gobsmacked 🙂 Really, I am going to hunt down some cinammon to try the honey-cinammon remedy! I really hope it’ll work. I tried the other day a scrub nutmeg+milk mask and it did wonders:) THANK YOU!
This is fantastic! I’ve become an overnight fan. I do have a question, though. How does the galic cure work?
In the last year, I’ve started having some issues with acne, which I haven’t really experienced before. (I”m 23 now.) After starting to read posts on Crunchy Betty, I’ve made myself a facial mask that has almost completely gotten rid of my acne, something which no commercial product was able to do! Here’s how it works!
In one jar: Fill halfway with green cosmetic clay, add dried ground thyme to 3/4 full, add dried neem leaf to 7/8 full, and add a little bit of dried cinnamon.
In another jar: Put contents of one single-serve container of plain yogurt, four or five strawberries, a handful of blueberries, one or two eggs, a few spoonfuls of used coffee grounds, one or two spoonfuls of unsweetened cocoa powder (optional, though it seems to make my skin a bit softer), a couple spoons of honey, a few drops each of tea tree, lavender, rosemary, and eucalyptus oils, and a little witchazel in your blender, and mix well. I don’t bother with exact measurements, here, but it comes out to the consistency of a thick liquid, like a smoothie. Store in fridge.
To use, mix small amounts of the contents of your two containers in your hand to form a thin-ish paste. Apply to clean face and wait for it to dry, about 15 minutes
anneline singh puskas
amazzzzzzzzing advice!! 🙂 thankyou
Wow! What a great list of natural remedies for acne treatment .
I’ve known that honey, lemon, aloe Vera, apple cedar vinegar and lemon do
really help to cure pimples and I am amazed that strawberry, garlic and green
tea can be used too. Thank you so much for sharing this. Another home remedies
for me to try.
Can these be prepared ahead of time and left to keep using? Specifically the honey and cinnamon (in a way that it won’t dry out).
I have been wanting to try honey for my acne for awhile now…I just have one question, does it matter what type of honey it is? I bought organic Acacia honey..will this work the same as regular organic honey? Thanks!
I use honey on my face all the time and I don’t think it matters what kind as long as it’s not one of the commercial ones with artificial sweeteners and whatnot. Anything that says raw, pure or natural should be good.
Hey Betty I’ve been loving your site! I started using lemon juice as recommended for acne breakouts and it worked amazingly! I was literally days away from going to a dermatologist when I started using it and it worked wonders. I never woven went to the doctor. And because of my success I decided to try and stop using my store bought face wash and go for natural remedies. I replaced the wash with the honey mask and kept up the lemon juice. It’s been about two months and up until a week ago my skin was looking great. Now I’m breaking out again.
I was wondering for you or any other readers, what’s your experience going from commercial products to natural remedies? Is there an adjustment period? How long? Obviously my store bought wash wasn’t really working cause I broke out all the time when I was using it. I don’t want to go back to it. Should I keep going with my current lemon juice routine and let my face adjust or do I need to change things up?
Miss Amy N
I completely agree with you, I’ve been having issues as well with the adjustment period. I’ve been using the Oil Cleansing Method for the past 6 months. Before switching over to the OCM my skin was constantly breaking out. The reason I tried the OCM is because I was suffering from perioral dermatitis and was trying anything and everything to fix it… the OCM worked so well that I kept it up. NOW, I’m having random issues with zits popping up since I’ve been exploring differet scrubs on this site. I used the oatmeal/almond scrub, which works great for exfoliation, but now I’ve got 3 zits (!) it’s frustrating since you think you’re going to be just fine since it’s all natural remedies. I don’t know how long it will take but I know I don’t want to go back to storebought… as for zit remedies, I’m going to try the lemon juice!! In crunchy solidarity, good luck 🙂
Are there any good remedies specifically for blackheads? The little buggers won’t go away!
Oh. My. Gosh.
A remedy that worked like magic…
I know I know… EW. That’s what I thought as I dabbed a little toothpaste on an angry red pimple. Believe me, I too was very doubtful as I placed a band-aid over the toothpaste and pimple. But now, I just have a small red mark that is easily covered up by a bit of makeup.
What you do: dab a small amount of toothpaste(not gel) on the pimple. If you tend to roll around in bed, I suggest covering it with a band-aid. Your call. Leave it on overnight and voila! Your pimple is non existant! Yippeee!
Thanks for this site, also. I plan to make the cream and smear it all over my nose. (-:
So, last month I got one just before my period and it was a fairly big red one, I tried the cinnamon and honey and it minimized the size but made it look like a small bruise (meaning it got darker). I tried honey on one I just got over the weekend since that time of the month is creeping up on me and it did nothing. I left it on overnight with a bandaid and nothing!
The raw honey and cinnamon tip seems to be working well for me!
I first tried tea tree oil about 3 months ago – it’s amazing. I put all my Clinique away, and switched to zap-it line.
My daughter just recently tried honey and it is a miracle worker!
Isn’t it lovely? There’s just about nothing it can’t do.
My new obsession right now, though, is powdered honey. It’s so good on your face, and in tea, and on cereal. With blueberries.
I can SO use these….have SO many zits, and it’s so unfortunate at my advanced age….
Ha. Yeah. I know what you mean. I remember having conversations with friends in high school about how much we couldn’t WAIT to be middle-aged, so we wouldn’t have zits anymore.
Funny trick there, life. Very funny.
Ha, we were so smart back then! Kids….
Lora [email protected]
Such a great list. Almost time for the monthly hormone swing when I will have several fantastic opportunities to try some of these out!
Sadly, I haven’t found any homemade beauty recipes that stops the hormones from doing what they do to my face. At least we can reign it in a little though, yeah? A small solace, but a solace nonetheless.
If you try one and it works, I wanna know about it!
Wow – pretty amazing what Stumble Upon can do for a post….
Hey! Your redesign looks great! It’s been a while since I’ve visited 🙁
Thanks for the cool information.
Thanks! It FEELS great, too. Amazing what a little makeover can do, yeah?
PS – Ms. Mayhem sounds like a character on Dick Tracy. You know, one with a deep, growly voice and long, sexy legs. Probably with hair flopping over one eye.
You’re too cool. Hehe.
Yay! So many to choose from, maybe I’ll use multiple at once. Unfortunately, I can do that. 🙂
You and your pimples were so in my heart when I was writing this (over the course of, like, eight-thousand hours).
I hope one of these things works! The one I want to try next? Milk, nutmeg, and cloves.
And then I want to drink it.
After taking Lactaid.
aloe vera creams
Aloe vera is amazing healing plant. It can do more then rid off pimples. Anyway, thanks for nice long list of home remedies. Great job.
Kristin @ Peace, Love and Muesli
Going to read more about strawberries and teeth whitening. I’m not sure what happened to the colour of my teeth but I’m not happy about it.
Yeah … that was pretty much it. Strawberries whiten your teeth. I did watch a video a few weeks ago about making your own (one use) strawberry toothpaste, which really just involved mushing up a strawberry, adding some baking soda, and brushing your teeth. I have yet to try that, because I really do think just straight up rubbing strawberries on your teeth works well enough.
I remember reading someone say that you shouldn’t do that, because strawberry wears at your enamel. But then I was, like, “So then you shouldn’t even EAT strawberries? I mean, what’s the difference, really?”