Acne is a very common skin condition that most people have at some point in their lives (usually adolescence). It is caused by sloughing dead skin cells (a normal skin process) and sebum (natural oil production in the skin at the base of hair follicles) that clog pores. Bacteria that are present on the skin can then flourish in this environment, causing an actual infection with redness, inflammation, and even pus. Acne can be anywhere from mild to severe, and can be either a temporary or lifelong problem in some people.
However, there is a lot more to acne than just these few simple principles, and it is a very complex topic overall. It is important to understand the basics of acne from a medical perspective, because there are many myths that are propagated regarding what causes acne and how to treat it. Hormones and genetic tendencies play a huge role, and people with prolonged or very severe cases need expert medical attention to get good and lasting results and prevent scarring. A reputable resource for understanding common medical problems is WebMD, and they have an excellent section on acne. As a healthcare provider myself, I often direct patients to this site for a good basic overview and accurate information.
For people with more mild and sporadic cases, there are some good natural remedies that can work well to either discourage acne formation or treat individual pimples when they arise.
A good, gentle cleansing regimen is important overall. The principles that you want to keep in mind are keeping your skin clean and controlling oil without stripping your skin of important moisture. Avoid aggressive scrubbing or harsh detergents, as these can cause skin irritation that can actually make acne worse and even result in reactive overproduction of oil. Also, different people react differently to specific ingredients, and it is important to watch for rashes or general irritation (redness, dryness, itching, etc.) with any product. That said, some products that contain natural ingredients include:
Mychelle Clear Skin Cleanser
100% Pure Purity Facial Cleanser and Mask
Gentle exfoliation is important in helping to get rid of dead skin cells. My personal favorites include:
100% Pure Facial Scrub
Mychelle Fruit Enzyme Scrub
A good natural product you can purchase to treat an active pimple is Purity Spot Treatment.
A good home remedy that works well for individual pimples is a simple white onion:
Wash the outside of the onion well and peel it to get down to the inside layers.
Cut a small piece and place in microwave-safe plastic wrap.
Heat in a microwave for about 10 seconds until steaming.
Remove from plastic and allow to cool.
Place onion directly on pimple for a few minutes.
The sulfur in the onion works very well on the bacteria without harming your surrounding skin. After you remove the onion, splash your face with some rosewater or a fresh tomato mask to help neutralize the onion smell. I have personally used this over the years, and have never found anything better.