Asian woman touching her face

Trying out different h home remedies for pimples is like a rite of passage for Filipino teens. Your mom always that one trick that she swears by that worked for the daughter of a friend’s friend. By the law of transitivity, it should work on you, too! Right? Not necessarily. Some of these supposed solutions can irritate your skin and aggravate the problem. Here, we decode which home remedies for pimples actually work and which ones you should junk ASAP.

Red Lipstick

For this home remedy, you can’t just use any kind of lipstick. No one knows who made these rules, but it must be red. You dab the lipstick on a new pimple, which will supposedly dry up overnight. However, don’t whip out your Ruby Woo just yet. The waxes and oils commonly used in lipstick formulas, such as castor, olive, and mineral oils, can block your pores. According to the EDP Sciences Journal, these ingredients can be comedogenic and can make things worse. In short, use your lipstick for your lips, not to get rid of pimples.

Toothpaste

Toothpaste is one of the most popular home remedies for pimples. Supposedly, applying toothpaste to the pimple can also dry it up. While this method can work for some people, it can also cause severe breakouts in others. According to the Indian Journal of Applied Research, toothpaste also contains ingredients that can irritate the skin when applied directly and left on for lengthy periods. It can make your skin react and break out more.

Egg White Mask

Masking is a great way to nourish your skin and help heal pimples.

It’s said that whipping some raw egg whites and applying the mixture like a mask can help your skin. If you have large pores or acne-prone skin, an egg white mask can help minimize the appearance of pores. For mature skin, egg whites can promote firmness. However, the National Institutes of Health warns that laying down raw food on your skin is never a good idea. Raw eggs can contain salmonellosis bacteria as well as cause a secondary infection, especially if you're allergic to eggs.

Instead, use a dermatologist-tested product like POND’S Avocado Face Mask to nourish your skin. This sheet mask has 50 times more Vitaboosters from Vitamin E, an antioxidant that eases inflammation and protects skin from damage. It’s packed with oleic and linoleic acid from avocado that intensely nourishes and heals skin from within. Ditch your egg white mask for this one to give your skin a dose of vitamins for a dewy glow. 

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is one of the most recommended home remedies for pimples. Although it has antimicrobial and antifungal benefits that can help fight acne, applying it directly to your skin can cause rashes and irritation. To make this home remedy more effective, dilute it with a carrier oil, like sweet almond oil, which is mostly non-comedogenic.

A study by the National Institutes of Health found that a combination of tea tree oil, propolis, and aloe vera is more effective at reducing pimples than erythromycin, an antibiotic that’s often used to treat certain forms of acne. Tea tree oil can also soothe the inflammations that cause pimples to some degree and help reduce levels of acne-causing bacteria on the skin. 

Dietary Changes

A healthy diet is good for you and your skin

According to studies cited by the American Academy of Dermatology, people who consume dairy products (milk, in particular) are more likely to develop pimples. However, it still depends on your skin type and your tolerance. You don’t have to give up milk. Just be more mindful of what you eat to determine your acne triggers.

Over-The-Counter Products

While you might be curious to try home remedies for pimples, sometimes it’s best to go down the tried-and-tested route instead. Over-the-counter skincare products can sometimes be more effective, not to mention safer, than home remedies.

The British Association of Dermatologists recommends skincare products that have benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, niacinamide, or retinol. Benzoyl peroxide is great at treating comedones and inflammatory acne. If you want some mild exfoliation to prevent clogged pores, choose a product with salicylic acid. Meanwhile, niacinamide has anti-inflammatory properties that can help treat pimples while hydrating and brightening the skin. Retinol can also help acne-prone skin by increasing cell turnover. 

The effectiveness of home remedies for pimples can differ for everyone. Make sure you are not allergic to any of the things you are applying to your face. Moreover, talk to your dermatologist to find out the best course of treatment and products for your condition.