Edited by Olivia Spahn-Vieira  

For almost seven years of my life, I was convinced that there was no solution to my acute acne problem, which began during my pubescence. Despite maintaining a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, taking my prescribed acne combating medication and purchasing some very expensive skin care products, my condition never improved. After years of following a very regulated skin care routine; I decided to try something different this quarantine, and that was by far the best decision I ever made. My five months in quarantine back home in Delhi quite literally “life changing". For anyone dealing with the same problem, this article is definitely for you. After consulting with a number of naturopaths and skin care specialists, and doing some additional research, I realized that the key to healthy skin was right in my kitchen all along. The following items are most readily available at any local grocery store and gives “fruitful” results!

1. Aloe Vera Gel 

Aloe Vera Gel is one of the most renowned and widely used herbal remedies for topical skin conditions. You can also apply aloe vera to treat sunburns, frostbite, cold sores, minor cuts or small abrasions. Its cooling properties help soothe inflammation and retain moisture. As well, it is very rich in antioxidants and minerals which quickens the healing process. Although aloe vera gel can be found at any cosmetics or drug store, my advice would be to purchase an aloe vera plant for your home; you can find at walmart for only $5. Extracting the gel from its leaves directly and then applying it to your face would show better results than the drugstore product, which may contain allergy inducing chemicals and scents. 


2. Mint Leaves

Mint is another common ingredient found in a range of cosmetic products; much because of the excellent skin care benefits it offers. Often found in moisturizers, cleansers, conditioners, lip balms, and even shampoos. Its cooling and toning properties are largely what it's  known for. Mint also has antibacterial properties and contains salicylic acid, both of which effectively prevent breakouts. Its toning properties act as an astringent that removes dirt and dust from your pores leaving you with smoother and softer skin. The best and the easiest way to use mint leaves is with ½ inch slices of cucumber, 10-12 mint leaves and ½ tbsp honey. After grinding all the ingredients together you get a smooth mixture that can be applied directly on the face as a natural mask. If you don’t have mint leaves in your kitchen already, worry not! You can easily find some at your nearest grocery store. 


3. Honey and Cinnamon 

The combination of honey and cinnamon makes another strong remedy to treat acne, because of its effective antibacterial properties. Honey’s high concentration of sugar puts pressure on bacterial cells making them less likely to multiply whilst also creating an acidic environment which prevents the growth of bacteria. Cinnamon’s astringent properties help shrink pores making skin appear more even and smooth. You just need to mix 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and 3 tablespoons of honey together and apply this paste on the affected area. Rinse with lukewarm water after leaving it overnight or rinse 30 minutes after application.  


4. Turmeric 

This sunset yellow spice has anti inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that can help to heal wounds, prevent breakouts, fight eczema and psoriasis, reduce acne scarring, brighten dark circles and bring out your natural glow. Although Turmeric is relatively a new skin treatment in the western world, it has been used for centuries in India and other South Asian societies to treat skin and other body issues. Using turmeric as a face mask is a little more complex. You need to mix 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon organic apple cider vinegar, 1/2 tablespoon of organic honey and 1 teaspoon milk or yogurt. Before applying this paste make sure you have washed your face thoroughly to remove any make up or impurities. Apply the mask using your fingers or a makeup brush (be cautious around the eye area) and let it sit for about 10- 15 minutes. After which you should rinse it gently with lukewarm water. Turmeric is available at walmart or any Indian grocery store. 


5. Neem Leaves

Lastly, the most effective remedy to treat acne and blemishes on your skin is neem leaves. It is best known for its antioxidant and antibacterial properties. The vitamins in neem improve and maintain the elasticity of the skin, while also evening your skin tone. Neem is also beneficial in fighting against fungal infection. Ayurveda, an alternative medicine system that originated from the Indian subcontinent, follows natural and organic ways for treatment and medicine. The system has been using neem extracts for good health and well being, for some time. Boil about 20 neem leaves in half a litre of water till the leaves are soft and discoloured, and the water turns green. Strain and store the water in a bottle. Dip cotton swabs in the water and apply it directly on your face.