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End Your Acne: Anti-Inflammatory Treatments You Can Do At Home

Acne is a common condition affecting millions globally, causing considerable distress and impacting self-esteem. The types of inflammatory acne range from mild to severe, including comedonal acne, cystic acne, pustules, and nodules, each posing unique challenges.

The development of acne lesions involves the sebaceous glands that produce oil (sebum). When dead skin cells mix with sebum, you get clogged pores (blackheads or whiteheads) that provide the perfect environment for acne bacteria. As these bacteria multiply, they cause inflammation and redness, resulting in an inflamed acne lesion.

Understanding acne involves knowing it's not just about bacteria or clogged pores. It's crucial to consider the role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of acne vulgaris. Inflammatory mediators, chronic inflammation, and inflammatory pathways are all involved in this process.

So, let's delve into our comprehensive guide on "acne anti-inflammatory" treatments you can do at home to help reduce inflammation and control your acne.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • Home-based anti-inflammatory treatments, including topical honey masks, green tea rinses, aloe vera, and turmeric masks, can effectively reduce inflammation associated with acne.
  • Consistent use of these treatments can control and prevent the formation of different types of blemishes, including both inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne.
  • Understanding the role of inflammation in acne and how it contributes to various types of acne lesions, including cystic acne and inflammatory papules, is critical to effective acne management.
  • Over-the-counter products like Exposed Skin Care offer comprehensive, dermatologist-approved solutions to acne, featuring key ingredients like all-trans retinoic acid, known for down-regulating TLR2 expression, thus reducing inflammation and controlling acne.

Woman looking at inflammed acne on mirror

The Role of Inflammation in Acne Pathogenesis

Inflammation: The Underlying Factor in Acne

In the case of acne, inflammation may start even before the pore becomes clogged. This early inflammation occurs when your sebaceous gland produces excess sebum, which may result in an acne breakout.

Inflammation involves all types of acne, from non-inflammatory acne (whiteheads and blackheads) to inflammatory acne (pustules, nodules, and cysts). However, it's particularly significant in forming inflammatory lesions such as inflammatory papules and cystic acne.

Interestingly, gene array expression profiling has indicated an upregulation of genes involved in inflammation in patients with and without acne, suggesting a role for inflammation in acne may exist even when no visible signs of inflammation are present.

Homemade Acne Anti-Inflammatory Treatments

Topical Honey Mask: A Natural Anti-Inflammatory

Honey is more than just a sweetener. It has been celebrated for centuries for its anti-inflammatory properties, which can aid in reducing inflammation associated with acne. Honey also has antibacterial properties that help treat acne blemishes. Studies even indicate its ability to stimulate the production of inflammatory mediators that can accelerate wound healing.

How to Use:

  1. Start by cleansing your face with a gentle, acne-friendly cleanser to ensure your skin is ready for the treatment.
  2. Apply a layer of raw, unpasteurized honey to your face. Ensure it is evenly spread across any acne-prone areas.
  3. Allow the honey mask to sit for about 20-30 minutes. This gives it time to exert its anti-inflammatory properties on the skin, helping to soothe inflammatory processes involved in acne.
  4. Rinse it off gently with lukewarm water.
  5. Finally, pat your skin dry with a clean towel. This can help prevent any further irritation that could worsen inflammation.

Woman happy with honey on face

Green Tea Rinse: Antioxidant Powerhouse

Green tea is rich in a potent antioxidant known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which has shown anti-inflammatory effects in several peer-reviewed studies. The antioxidant properties of green tea help combat oxidative stress in acne-prone skin, while EGCG can help reduce the production of inflammatory mediators in the skin.

How to Use:

  1. Brew a cup of green tea and let it cool. Cooling helps ensure the skin doesn't get irritated from heat, which could trigger inflammatory responses.
  2. Use a cotton ball to apply the cooled tea to your acne-prone skin. Ensure you cover all the blemishes and inflamed areas.
  3. Leave it on for 10 minutes, allowing the tea's anti-inflammatory properties to penetrate the skin and help with inflammation.
  4. Rinse with lukewarm water.

Asian woman pouring tea

    Turmeric Mask: An Ancient Anti-Inflammatory

    Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory agent, with curcumin being its active ingredient. It can help control acne by reducing inflammation. Studies have shown that curcumin can inhibit activator protein-1 in inflammatory acne lesions, a transcription factor involved in inflammation and extracellular matrix degradation.

    How to Use:

    1. Make a paste by mixing equal parts turmeric and honey. Honey provides additional anti-inflammatory benefits, while turmeric helps to reduce inflammation and inhibit inflammatory processes.
    2. Apply the paste to your acne blemishes and any inflamed areas of your skin. Remember to apply it evenly for maximum effect.
    3. Let the mask sit for about 15 minutes. This gives the ingredients enough time to exert their anti-inflammatory properties.
    4. Rinse off with lukewarm water.

    Remember that severe types of acne might require more intensive treatment options. While these at-home remedies can help manage mild to moderate acne, many acne cases might need over-the-counter creams or topical treatments, such as retinoids and benzoyl peroxide. Always be patient with your skin and stay consistent with your acne treatment for the best results.

    Aloe Vera: Soothe and Reduce Inflammation

    Aloe vera is well-known for its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce the redness and inflammation associated with acne. Early acne lesions, including redness and swelling, can sometimes be reduced by aloe vera.

    How to Use:

    1. Apply pure aloe vera gel directly to your acne blemishes. Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe the skin and reduce the severity of acne inflammation.
    2. Let it sit for about 20 minutes. This gives the aloe vera gel time to penetrate the skin and exert its anti-inflammatory effects.
    3. Rinse with lukewarm water.

    Aloe vera held by woman on hands

    The Role of Diet in Reducing Acne Inflammation

    Eating a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods can help manage acne. Foods such as berries, fatty fish, broccoli, avocados, green tea, peppers, mushrooms, grapes, turmeric, and dark chocolate are all excellent sources of natural anti-inflammatory compounds.

    The Benefits of Exposed Skin Care for Acne Management

    Exposed Skin Care products offer comprehensive solutions for treating acne, particularly acne vulgaris. They are designed to target the inflammation in acne vulgaris, which can be frustrating for patients with acne-prone skin.

    Exposed Skin Care Basic Kit

    Key benefits include:

    • Understanding of Acne: Exposed Skin Care products are formulated with a clear understanding of acne pathogenesis, ensuring each ingredient serves a purpose in acne management.

    • Addressing Inflammatory Acne: The products are designed to target where inflammatory acne occurs, focusing on the inflammatory cascade that exacerbates blemishes.

    • Involvement in Inflammation and Matrix Degradation: Some ingredients in these products have properties that can down-regulate TLR2 expression and function. For example, all-trans retinoic acid found in these products help control the inflammatory responses by down-regulating TLR2 expression, thus reducing the production of inflammatory cells.

    • Accessible Treatment: These over-the-counter acne products offer an alternative to prescription acne treatments. They can be easily integrated into daily skincare routines, offering a user-friendly approach to acne management.

    Remember, acne can sometimes be a symptom of chronic inflammatory conditions, so consistent use of acne management products like Exposed Skin Care can be beneficial.


    Living with acne vulgaris can be challenging and frustrating, especially for those with acne-prone skin. However, understanding the role of inflammation in acne and the benefits of at-home treatments empowers you to manage acne effectively. From honey masks to turmeric treatments, each of these methods targets the inflammation and extracellular matrix degradation often involved in acne's pathogenesis.

    If over-the-counter treatments are preferred, consider products like Exposed Skin Care. These products offer comprehensive solutions that cater to the needs of patients with acne vulgaris and are packed with ingredients known for their beneficial effects in managing acne.

    For instance, all-trans retinoic acid, a common ingredient in Exposed Skin Care, helps down-regulate TLR2 expression, a crucial component of the inflammatory cascade in acne. This aids in reducing the types of blemishes associated with both inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne.

    In conclusion, while acne can be a frustrating condition, a proper understanding of its nature and the availability of effective treatments, both natural and over-the-counter, like Exposed Skin Care, mean that successful management is well within reach.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What triggers inflammatory acne?

    Inflammatory acne is triggered by various factors, including excess sebum production, dead skin cells clogging the pores, bacteria, and the body's inflammatory response to these conditions.

    How do I know if my acne is inflammatory?

    Inflammatory acne includes red and swollen pimples, like papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts. These types of acne are usually more severe than noninflammatory acne (blackheads and whiteheads).

    Can these home remedies replace my acne medication?

    These home remedies can help manage inflammation in acne, but they may not be sufficient for severe cases of inflamed acne. It's crucial to combine these remedies with an overall skincare routine, including the use of appropriate skincare products.

    Does diet really play a role in acne inflammation?

    Yes, diet can impact acne. Foods high in sugar and refined carbs can trigger a cascade of inflammatory responses, contributing to acne. On the other hand, anti-inflammatory foods can help reduce inflammation and potentially improve acne.

    Can stress cause acne inflammation?

    Stress doesn't directly cause acne, but it can worsen existing acne by inducing inflammatory responses in the body. Practicing stress-reducing activities like meditation, yoga, and regular exercise can potentially help control acne.