AJ Odudu shares her skin care routine with her followers

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Acne affects most people at least once in their lives and the stubborn spots can be difficult to shift. The internet is filled with home remedies and old wives’ tales using natural products, but how many of these actually work? Express.co.uk chatted to Dermatology Specialist at Vera Clinic, Mehmet Göker, to find out the top 10 most effective home remedies for acne.

Ice cubes

The last thing you want to do when faced with a bulging spot is stick ice on it, but it will definitely help.

Mr Göker said: “For acne flare-ups, a cold compression can help to reduce inflammation and pain, helping with the soreness and appearance rather than removing the spot completely.

“It is important to not apply ice directly to the skin, instead wrapping it in a clean cloth or towel before placing it against the skin for less than a minute as and when needed.”

Olive oil

Acne can sometimes be caused by excess oil build-up, but using olive oil on your skin could actually help to ward off spots.

Mr Göker said: “The basic concept of using olive oil on the skin is to disperse the body’s natural oils that produce acne, breaking down the hardened impurities.

“Being naturally high in vitamins and antioxidants, you can avoid stripping your skin of all its natural properties, achieving a balance.

“Start by massaging the olive oil into the skin for a few minutes before applying a cloth with warm water to wipe the face clean.”

Garlic

This unexpected remedy may sound far-fetched, but the anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of garlic can help to manage the signs of acne.

Mr Göker said: “To extract the oils from the garlic, make gentle scores in the clove and rub the garlic directly onto the troubled area.

“Leave it on overnight to absorb underneath the skin and reduce the swelling by morning.”

Green tea

Drinking green tea offers a range of health benefits, but as well as consuming, you can use green tea externally on the skin.

Mr Göker explained: “Being rich in epigallocatechin gallate which has been shown to improve acne and oily skin, the production of bacterial growth is halted to improve the condition of your skin.

“To use the green tea externally, remove the leaves from a tea bag and wet them before mixing with aloe vera or honey for best results, applying the mixture to the face and leaving for up to 20 minutes.”

Aloe vera

Aloe vera has been used on skin for thousands of years, thanks to its natural anti-inflammatory properties.

Mr Göker said: “By soothing the skin, it is great for wounds, irritation and scarring, gently helping the skin recover while reducing the physical signs of damage.

“The powerful ingredient is shown to reduce hyperpigmentation in acne scars when applied a few times a day, providing effective results without irritating the skin with chemicals.”

Lemon

Freshly squeezed lemon juice can work great on spots, penetrating the skin to target blemishes at their source.

Don’t go overboard though, as the acidic juice could throw off the pH of your skin and make the situation worse.

Mr Göker said: “By using a cotton swab to apply the juice before rinsing the skin with warm water a few moments later, the short term solution is great for tackling those unexpected blemishes for a quick fix.”

Baking soda

By mixing baking soda with water to make a paste, the mixture can be applied directly onto the skin to treat acne bumps.

The expert said: “For best results, it should be left for around 20 minutes, often hardening on the skin, before being rinsed off with clean water.

“The natural alkaline pH of baking soda can dry out the skin so the process should always be followed by moisturising to rehydrate.”

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is an affordable and accessible ingredient that is popular for a range of health benefits.

However, many are not aware of the potential to tackle acne externally.

Mr Göker said: “The vinegar can help kill off any bacteria due to its acidic content, but make sure to dilute the mixture to avoid it being too harsh on the skin.”

Honey

With natural antibacterial properties, honey can help relieve any soreness and redness from acne flare-ups.

The dermatology specialist said: “Before you rush to your kitchen cupboards, make sure you only apply natural honey, looking out for the word ‘raw’ on the label.

“Use a cotton swab to apply the honey to the affected areas (or cover the face completely if necessary) before rinsing it off around ten minutes later.”

Coconut oil

Being an all-time favourite in the world of beauty hacks, it’s no wonder coconut oil can also be used to help with acne.

Mr Göker said: “Containing lauric acid which is brimming with natural antibacterial properties, coconut oil can help tackle the bacteria to provide anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory results.

“By gently warming the oil in your hand to liquify it, it can be massaged into the skin and left overnight to absorb.”

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