It is surprising how certain things happen at the exact time when you wish to avoid them the most. A guest turning up on your doorstep just as you are about to go out shopping, a power failure as the movie on TV reaches its climax and yes, the bane of most teenagers – an outbreak of pimples a day or two before the college fest or a cousin’s wedding when you wanted to look your best. There may be nothing much you can immediately do about the first two events but getting rid of pimples is definitely in your control. By using a few simple ingredients that are commonly found in most kitchens, it is possible to find a quick fix for those ungainly pimples on your face.
Cinnamon and Honey
Cinnamon is a common spice and flavouring agent but the essential oil it contains also has strong anti-microbial properties. The water activity of honey is very low and this means that it does not contain a lot of moisture which can promote the growth of microorganisms. Considering that pimples often arise from an infection within the pores of the skin, combining cinnamon with honey is an effective remedy.
Health.india.com tip: Mix a little cinnamon powder with a little honey to make a paste; avoid adding water because it will destroy the action of honey. Dab a little of the paste on each pimple and allow to remain overnight; wash off with lukewarm water the next morning. Repeat for a few days if necessary.
Lemons contain vitamin C and phytonutrients called flavonoids that have a strong antioxidant as well as antibiotic action. Free radicals generated during the metabolic reactions within the body can damage the healthy cells of the body, causing inflammation and swelling. The antioxidants in lemonrestrict the action of these free radicals and this makes lemon juice an excellent remedy for pimples.
Health.india.com tip: Squeeze out the juice from a freshly-cut lemon and dab a little directly on to the pimple. Leave on overnight and wash the next morning.
Mix a tablespoon of groundnut oil into an equal quantity of freshly squeezed lime juice and apply over the entire face; this provides long-term preventive action against blackheads that may later turn into pimples.
A word of caution regarding lime juice – it can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and therefore, do not venture out in the sun when you have applied it to your face.
Tomatoes are acidic in nature and applying their pulp to the pimple causes the skin to dry and the pores of the skin in the region get tightened. This means there is a lesser chance of oil leaking from the pores to cause pimples. Tomato is also rich in antioxidants and applying the pulp to the face reduces inflammation and damage of the skin.
Health.india.com tip: Cut a tomato in half, squeeze out a little of the pulp or the juice and apply on the pimple. If this causes you pain or drying of the skin, dilute the tomato pulp with a little water and use. Do not do this more than once or twice a day because it may lead to excessive drying of the skin which can be quite painful.
Garlic is one the wonder foods of India that has remarkable medicinal properties ranging from digestive and antibiotic action to fighting against high cholesterol levels. Garlic is also said to have the action of cleansing toxins from the blood, resulting in blemish-free, glowing skin free from pimples.
Health.india.com tip: Remove the outer skin of garlic and rub a single clove on the problem spot where the pimple has sprouted to see immediate results.
Grind a few cloves of garlic, mix with a little curd and use this face pack on the area where you see the pimples.
Remember how your grandmother always insisted on sprinkling a little turmeric on your wounds saying it would help it heal? Well, medical researchers are now finding that turmeric contains ingredients that make it a powerful antimicrobial. No wonder then that women in India have always been using turmeric paste claiming it keeps their skin healthy and glowing. Although you can apply turmeric paste directly to skin, consuming it with a little warm milk is also said to be an effective remedy for flawless skin.
Health.india.com tip: Mix a little turmeric powder with a little coconut oil and apply directly onto the pimples at night; next morning, wash your face with water to remove the paste.
Dry a few neem leaves in the sun and grind to a fine powder. Mix equal quantities of this powder, turmeric powder and a little rose water to form a paste. Apply this to the pimples, leave it on for around 20 minutes or so and then wash your face. You could also substitute sandalwood powder for neem powder – this remedy works equally well for acne.
Fenugreek or methi has multiple benefits – not only is it helpful with keeping blood glucose levels low in diabetics, it also helps to treat remove blackhead and prevent pimples from erupting. For skin application, it is best to use the leaves of the methi plant rather than the seeds.
Health.india.com tip:Grind a few leaves of methi with a little water to make a smooth paste. At night, apply this paste to the area of the face that shows evidence of blackheads and wash off with warm water the next morning.
For most teenagers, pimples are a natural result of the fluctuating hormonal levels during puberty that stimulate the sebaceous glands to work overtime. The excess sebum combines with dead cells in the outermost layer of the skin and bacteria to clog the skin pores, leading to pimples. It may also be a result of oily skin or something that runs in the family. Whatever the cause, it is important to remember that scratching or popping pimples and using certain artificial ingredients on the face you do not know much about can cause the problem to aggravate. Rather, use simple herbal remedies to keep your skin healthy and pimple-free.First Published: Dec 26, 2012 at 8:26 AM