25 DIY Home Remedies For Cystic Acne

Cystic acne can be very painful and annoying to have. Regardless of age, it can affect anyone but it is very common in teenagers. Hormonal change during puberty is the root cause of cystic acne. During puberty, androgen hormones increase rapidly which encourage excess oil production. When the excess oil clogs the pores, the bacteria thrive in it developing cystic acne.

Even adults can develop cystic acne when there is a hormonal imbalance. This usually happens during menopause, pre menopause, polycystic ovary syndrome, pregnancy and menstruation.

How To Treat Cystic Acne?

Cystic acne is considered hard to treat. But the right approach for treating cystic acne is to solve the root cause. Proper diet, stress control and daily exercise can balance the hormones and reduce the cystic acne gradually.

How To Get Rid Of Cystic Acne?

You may be trying different ways of getting rid of cystic acne. Many expensive products are in market. But here you should be careful using market products, as they contain chemicals and could create reaction making the acne worse. Meanwhile you can try topical home remedies to keep the cystic acne under control. As natural home remedies are free from chemicals and have no side effects.

Home Remedies For Cystic Acne:

You can try any one of the remedies mentioned below for treating cystic acne. Apart from that you have to eat a nutritional diet, follow good skin care regimen and few prevention tips for effective results.

1. Baking Soda

The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of baking soda reduce the inflammation. It pulls out the excess oil, dead skin and impurities from the skin pores through exfoliation. Baking soda fights with the bacteria causing the infection. It also tightens the pores and makes your skin smooth and radiant.

Method 1:

  • Wash your face using a mild soap and warm water to open up the pores.
  • Combine 1 – 2 tablespoons of baking soda and water to make a thin paste.
  • Apply the paste on the affected area.
  • Leave it for 15 – 20 minutes and rinse off with lukewarm water.
  • Pat the skin dry and apply some moisturizer.
  • Repeat the process 1 – 2 times daily.
  • If you have sensitive skin, then add 2 – 3 tablespoons of cucumber juice to reduce the sting and increase the soothing.

Method 2: With Epsom Salt

Magnesium present in Epsom salt has anti-inflammatory properties which reduce swelling and soothe the flare ups of cystic acne. Whereas the sulfate present in it flushes out the toxins.
  • In a bowl, add 2 tablespoons of baking soda, 1 1/2 tablespoon each of Epsom salt and warm water.
  • Gently combine the ingredients to make a paste.
  • Apply the paste on the affected areas and leave it to dry completely.
  • Gently rinse off with lukewarm water and pat dry.
  • One the first day of the treatment, follow the process once in a day, on the second day try it twice a day and on third day check if the application is showing any positive results. Three days of this treatment should definitely show some results.
  • This process can make your skin dry. To ease the dryness you can add a drop clove oil. Clove oil has amazing properties of battling cystic acne. But make sure to dilute clove oil properly as it is very strong and powerful.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar contains astringent, antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It also balances the pH levels of the skin. Malic acid present in ACV exfoliates the skin effectively.

Method 1:

  • Before trying out the treatment first cleanse your skin and pat dry.
  • Using a Q-tip or cotton ball, apply apple cider vinegar on the affected area.
  • Leave the application overnight and rinse off with water the next morning.
  • Repeat the process regularly for effective results.

Method 2: Diluted ACV

If you cannot handle the direct application of apple cider vinegar then you can follow this process.
  • Combine equal amounts of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and water.
  • Using a cotton ball, apply the solution on the affected area.
  • Leave it on for 15 minutes and rinse off with water.
  • Repeat the process 2 times a day for few days to notice the results.

Method 3: Internal Consumption of ACV

When we drink diluted apple cider vinegar, it detoxifies the body which reduces the effect of free radicals and harmful toxins. It helps to prevent acne and other skin problems.
  • To a glass of warm water, add 1 teaspoon of unfiltered raw apple cider vinegar and a little honey.
  • Stir well and drink it once or twice a day.

3. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has amazing natural antibacterial properties which treat the cystic acne. Apart from that, it penetrates deeply into the skin and unclogs the oil secreting glands, disinfect pores and dry out blemishes.

Method 1:

  • Cleanse your face with mild soap and water. Pat dry completely.
  • Add 1 or 2 drops of tea tree oil onto a cotton ball.
  • Gently dab it on the affected area.
  • Leave it overnight and rinse off with lukewarm water in the next morning.
  • Repeat the process daily to notice the results.
  • Tip: People with sensitive skin should dilute 1 part of tea tree oil in 3 parts of water. This helps to reduce any irritation or burning sensation caused by tea tree oil.
Note: Tea tree oil is poisonous if taken internally so avoid doing it. To ensure you are not allergic to tea tree oil, please patch test on your arm before applying it on cystic acne.

Method 2: With Honey

Honey contains antibacterial properties which deals with bacteria and its anti-inflammatory properties will soothe the swelling.
  • Combine 4 or 5 drops of tea tree oil and 1 teaspoon of raw, organic honey.
  • Apply this mixture on the affected area.
  • Let it rest for 15 minutes and rinse off with water.
  • Repeat the process regularly to notice the results.
Apart from the above methods, you can add few drops of tea tree oil into moisturizer, facial masks or aloe vera gel. You can also use products containing tea tree oil.

4. Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil is rich in lauric and caprylic acid. Both of them possess antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties which naturally fight the bacteria causing cystic acne. Vitamin E present in coconut oil deals with free radicals and which help to remove acne scars.
  • Do a facial steam for few minutes to open up the pores which helps the treatment to penetrate deeply and work effectively. If you have cystic acne on other parts of the body, you can either clean or steam that area.
  • Apply few drops of coconut oil on the affected area.
  • Now gently massage in circular motions.
  • Rinse off with mild soap and water.
  • If you have a dry skin, apply 1 – 2 drops of coconut oil after rinsing off with water to moisturize.

5. Clay Mask

Due to their absorbent, exfoliating and astringent properties, clay mask is considered one of the beneficial ingredients to treat cystic acne. It draws out the excess sebum, toxins and impurities to the skin surface which makes the acne come to head fast. This may look like the acne got worst but in fact it is the right of healing it faster without leaving a scar.

There are different types of natural clays. You have to choose one as per your skin type. The different colors of clays indicate different minerals present in it which affect your skin in different ways. .. Brown clay contains amazing exfoliating properties but it is not good for dry skin. White and green clay are good for all skin types as they are gentle.

Ingredients:

  • Fullers Earth or Bentonite Clay or Green Clay (Choose as per your skin type)
  • Water for oily skin, jojoba oil for dry skin and milk for combination skin
  • Honey – 1 teaspoon
  • Tea Tree Oil – 1 to 2 drops

Method:

  • Combine all the ingredients to make a paste.
  • Apply this paste on the affected area.
  • Leave it for 15 – 20 minutes or until it dries off completely.
  • Wet a washcloth using warm water.
  • Wipe off the clay mask completely using a washcloth.
  • If your skin is dry, apply moisturizer.
  • Follow this process daily for a week and 2 times a day from the next week.

6. Egg White

Apart from being rich in protein, egg white also contains albumin and lysozyme. Albumin contains antiviral effect while the lysozyme destroys the cell walls of bacteria. Due to its skin tightening properties, it tightens the pores and cleans the skin deeply. This process works well for people with oily skin as egg white contains drying effect which removes excess oil from the skin.

Method 1:

  • Separate egg white from 2 eggs.
  • Apply the egg white in the affected area.
  • Leave it on for 5 – 8 minutes and rinse off with lukewarm water.
  • Repeat the process regularly until you achieve the results.

Method 2: With Milk and Honey

  • Combine egg white of 1 egg, 1 teaspoon of milk and 1/2 teaspoon of honey.
  • Stir well until the ingredients combine together.
  • Apply the mixture all over the face except the areas around eyes and mouth.
  • Leave it on for 30 minutes or until it dries completely.
  • Using your finger, pat some water on the mask and gently rub the mask in circular motions.
  • Rinse off with water and pat dry.
  • Repeat the process 2 times a week until you notice the results.
  • Precaution: People with dry skin should avoid using egg white as it dries out the skin.

7. Honey Mask

The antioxidant property present in honey prevents the damage caused by free radicals. It heals the acne scars and makes your skin smooth and moisturized. It can absorb the oils and prevent the growth of microorganisms which are trapped in the pores.

Method 1:

  • Using fingers, apply honey on the affected area.
  • Leave it on for 10 – 15 minutes and rinse it off with water.
  • Repeat the process 2 – 3 times a day.

Method 2: With Cinnamon

  • Combine 1/2 teaspoon of honey and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder to make a paste.
  • Apply it on the affected area and leave it on for 10 minutes.
  • Rinse it off with lukewarm water.
  • Repeat this process daily for a week.

8. Turmeric

Turmeric contains curcumin which is responsible for anti-inflammatory property. It also contains antiseptic, antitumor and astringent properties. When turmeric is applied on cystic acne, it first dehydrates them, drains out the pus and reduces the inflammation and pain.

Method 1:

To 1 – 2 teaspoons of turmeric powder, add some water or sesame oil to make a paste.
Apply this paste on the affected area and leave it on for 1 hour.
Rinse off with water and pat dry.
Repeat the process 1 – 2 times in a day.

Method 2: With Coconut Oil

When the curcumin is combined with lauric acid, they work more effectively in fighting the acne from inside.
  • Combine 1 tablespoon each of turmeric powder and coconut oil to make a thick paste.
  • Cleanse the affected area and pat dry.
  • Apply the paste on the affected area and leave it on for at least 10 minutes.
  • Rinse off with cold water.
  • Repeat the process 3 times a day.
Alternative: Being an antibacterial agent, when turmeric is consumed, it will help in fighting the acne by breaking the cysts. So add ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of warm milk and drink it twice daily.

Caution: People who have gallbladder issues, are pregnant, diabetic, breast feeding, or under anticoagulant medication should avoid taking turmeric.

9. Indian Lilac

Indian lilac which is also known as neem or margosa contains antimicrobial and antiseptic properties which fight the root cause of cystic acne and reduce both inflammation and pain. Consuming neem also helps to detoxify your body and purify your blood.

Method 1:

  • Take some neem leaves and blend it to make a paste.
  • Leave it to dry completely.
  • Rinse off with water.
  • Repeat the process 2 times a day.

Method 2:

  • Dip a cotton ball in few drops of neem oil.
  • Apply it on the affected area.
  • Let it dry completely.
  • Repeat the process 2 times a day.
  • You can leave the application overnight as well.

10. Lavender Oil

Lavender oil reduces both pain and inflammation. It also helps the fluid come to head within a day and promotes healing and prevents scarring.

Method 1:

  • Using a cotton ball, apply some lavender oil on the affected area.
  • Repeat the process 2 or 3 times a day.
  • Alternatively, you can add few drops of lavender oil into your face cleanser and use it to wash your face 2 times in a day.

Method 2: Steam with Lavender Oil

  • Take a bowl of hot water and add 4 – 5 drops of lavender oil in it.
  • Cover your head with a towel and let the steam flow over your face.
  • After 5 – 10 minutes, rinse off with water.
  • Repeat the process 2 – 3 times a week.

11. Green Tea

Drinking green tea helps your body get rid of toxins which allows faster healing times. Apart from removing toxins, green tea also contains antioxidants and catechins which reduce the inflammation and redness.

Method 1:

  • Brew 1/4 cup of green tea.
  • Mix 1/4 cup each of green tea and water.
  • Using a cotton ball, apply the solution on the affected area.
  • Leave it on for 15 minutes and rinse off with water.
  • Repeat the process 2 times in a day to achieve the results.
Note: This mixture can be used up to 2 weeks.

Method 2: With Apple Cider Vinegar

  • To 1/4 cup of green tea, add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup of water.
  • Apply this solution on the skin 2 times daily before moisturizing.
Note: This solution can be used up to 2 weeks.

Method 3: Internal Consumption

  • Brew some green tea. Have 3 – 4 cups of green tea daily.
  • As green tea is low in caffeine, you can drink up to 6 cups of green tea in a day.

12. Juniper Oil

Juniper oil contains effective astringent properties which tighten the pores and make your skin firm. It also contains disinfectant and antibacterial properties which fight off the bacteria causing cystic acne. As it contains very strong astringent properties, juniper oil should be used only by diluting in carrier oil.
  • Add 2 – 4 drops of juniper oil in a small bottle of any carrier oil.
  • Shake well to let the both ingredients mix well.
  • Clean your face and apply few drops of diluted juniper oil on the affected area while it is still wet.
  • Gently massage for a minute and let it dry completely.

13. Steaming

Steaming helps us to remove the dirt, grime and oil from the deeper layers of the skin.
  • Take hot water in a bowl.
  • Drape a towel your head and bring your face near the hot water.
  • Let your face steam for 10 minutes.
  • Rinse off with water and pat dry.
  • Repeat the process 2 – 3 times a week.
Note: Remove makeup, oil or any other material applied on your face before steaming. You can use mild soap, cleanser or a makeup remover. Any debris left on the surface can backfire if you don’t remove it before steaming.

14. Potatoes

Applying juice of potatoes removes the oil from the skin pores which helps to reduce cystic acne. The essential vitamins present in it reduce the inflammation and redness.
  • Peel, chop and blend some potato pieces.
  • Apply this paste directly on the cystic acne.
  • Leave the application for 15 minutes and rinse off with water.
  • Repeat the application 2 times in a day.

15. Lemon Juice

The citric acid present in lemons acts as antibacterial and astringent. The acidic nature of lemon helps to remove dead skin, breaks down the cyst and reduces the inflammation and redness.
  • Clean your face with soap and lukewarm water.
  • Using a cotton ball, apply lemon juice to the affected area.
  • Leave the application for 10 minutes and rinse off with cold water.
  • Repeat the application 2 times a day.
Note: If you have sensitive skin, the acidic properties of lemon can cause irritation. In order to reduce this, you can apply the mixture of lemon juice and rosewater. Rinse off with water after 15 – 20 minutes.
If you unsure whether lemon suits your skin or not, then patch test on your arm before trying it on the cystic acne.

16. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera contains soothing and anti-inflammatory properties which help to deal with cystic acne.
  • Extract gel from an aloe vera leaf.
  • Apply it on the affected area and gently massage for 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Rinse off with water.
  • Repeat 2 times in a day till you achieve the results.
  • Alternatively, you can use aloe vera juice.

17. Facial Mask

Cystic acne can also be caused due to pH imbalance. The facial mask helps to solve this problem. Lemon juice acts as astringent, skin repairer and skin lightener. Apple cider vinegar contains enough probiotics which balance the pH level. Turmeric reduces the inflammation, redness, and pain.
  • Combine equal amounts of lemon juice and apple cider vinegar.
  • Add turmeric powder and mix well.
  • Apply this paste on the acne.
  • Leave it on for few minutes and rinse off with lukewarm water.
  • Repeat the process regularly.

18. Aspirin Mask

Aspirin has amazing exfoliating properties which unclog the pores. This helps in treating and preventing cystic acne.
  • Crush 1 – 2 aspirin tablets.
  • Add water to the crushed tablets to make a thin paste.
  • Apply it on the affected area.
  • Leave it on for 15 minutes and rinse off with lukewarm water.
  • Repeat the process regularly.
  • Alternatively, you can use honey instead of water.

19. Blue Tansy Oil

The anti-inflammatory properties of blue tansy oil help in reducing swelling and redness. If you have clusters of cystic acne then this method helps in the size of cysts.
  • Cleanse the affected area with mild soap and let it dry.
  • Using the cotton ball, apply blue tansy oil on the affected area.
  • Gently massage it for few minutes and leave it on for 3 – 4 minutes.
  • Rinse off with warm water.
  • Repeat the application 2 times a day.
Notes: It is better to dilute blue tansy oil with any carrier oil (jojoba oil, coconut oil or grapeseed oil) as it can stain the skin.

20. Mint

Mint contains anti-bacterial and soothing properties which help to treat and prevent cystic acne.
  • Take few mint leaves and crush them using a mortar and pestle.
  • Cleanse the affected area and pat dry.
  • Apply the crushed mint leaves on the affected area.
  • Leave the application for 15 – 20 minutes.
  • Rinse off with lukewarm water.
  • Repeat the process at least once in 2 days.
Note: This method works best in combination with other methods that can be used daily.
If you have sensitive skin, let the mint leaves rest for only a few minutes (less than mentioned above).

21. Ice

The coolness of ice reduces the swelling, shrinks the pores and removes the dirt and excess oil. This method mainly works best for single cysts but doesn’t work for a cluster of cystic acne.
  • Pop out an ice cube from an ice tray.
  • Gently rub the ice in circular motions to encourage the healing.
  • Continue doing it until the ice melts down or until your skin has become sensitive to cold.
  • Repeat the process 3 times a day.

22. Toothpaste

Toothpaste contains fluoride and alcohol. They dry out the acne pores and fight off the bacteria.
  • Using your finger, apply a small amount of clinically approved toothpaste.
  • Leave the application for 10 – 15 minutes.
  • Rinse off with water.
  • Repeat the process regularly.

23. Mango

Mango helps to open the open the clogged pores and leaving the skin soft and glowing.
  • Extract juice from a mango and mix water into it.
  • Apply the paste on the affected area.
  • Leave the application for 3 – 5 minutes and rinse off with water.
  • Repeat the process regularly.

24. Dandelion

Dandelion extract contains tetrahydroridentin B, taraxinic acid, cycloartenol , vitamins and minerals. The extract of dandelion extract helps in fixing the hormonal balance and fights with cystic acne. Though dandelion is considered completely safe, it can cause allergic reactions in some people.
  • Drink 1 cup of dandelion decoction 2 times a day.
  • Alternatively, you can take 3 -4 droppers full of dandelion tincture 2 times day.
  • Alternatively, you can add dandelion leaves and root to salads.
  • Alternatively, you can take dandelion tablets or capsules.

25. Cinnamon

The combination of cinnamon and honey helps in providing quick relief from cystic acne.
  • Combine 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder and 3 teaspoons of honey.
  • Apply the mixture on the acne.
  • Leave it on for 15 minutes.
  • Rinse it off with water.

Dietary Changes to Treat and Prevent Cystic Acne

First let’s have a look at what foods to eat to prevent cystic acne:

Probiotic-Rich Foods: 

One of the best ways to fight cystic acne is to use probiotics to address the issues between gut and skin connection. Probiotic foods like kefir, cultured vegetables or yogurt will line up your gut with healthy, sealed barrier which prevent the inflammation that can trigger the acne. As per a Korean study conducted on 56 acne patients, drinking lactobacillus-fermented dairy drink can reduces lesion count and sebum production in 12 weeks.

High-Zinc Foods: 

People with low zinc levels are prone to cystic acne. By consuming foods like rich in zinc like grass fed beef, pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, cashews you prevent the deficiency of zinc. Zinc helps us in maintaining a healthy digestive tract and skin.

Vitamin A Rich Foods: 

Kale, sweet potatoes, spinach and carrots are rich in Vitamin A which speed up the healing and fight the infection.

Fibre Rich Foods: 

Fruits, Vegetables, seeds, oatmeal, seeds that are rich in fibre cleanse the colon and encourage the growth of good bacteria in the gut both of these can help to get rid of cystic acne.

High Quality Protein Foods: 

Foods that are high in protein and nutrients like organic chicken, free-range eggs, grass-fed beef and wild caught fish help to balance blood sugar which is very important component in fighting the cystic acne.

Live-Supportive Foods: 

As liver processes the hormones, consuming food that supports liver can be helpful in clearing up the acne. Liver supportive foods include cauliflower, leafy greens, high-fibre foods, pears and apple.

Foods to Avoid:

1. Conventional Dairy: 

Even though you are not lactose intolerant, conventional dairy products can be harsh to digest for your system. Most of the people have seen improvement once they eliminated the diary products for 2 weeks in their food routine. You can check it as well to know if dairy is the main culprit for your acne. After resolving the acne, you can either avoid dairy completely or re-introduce slowly back into your food routine. A better quality dairy food can be of a much help.

2. Sugar and Gluten: 

Foods that contain sugar or other-glycemic foods like breads and pastas make worsen the inflammation. The more inflammation you have, the worse your cystic acne will be. You can try natural sweeteners instead of them. Consuming sugar and gluten can feed the yeast present in the body and worsen the cystic acne.

3. Caffeine and Chocolate: 

Though many experts say that there is no link between chocolate and caffeine consumption to breakouts, there is a direct effect of them on hormonal imbalance. Overdose of caffeine can increase cortisol levels. By eliminating those in your routine can help to balance your hormones and gradually clear up cystic acne.

4. Low-Fiber, Highly Processed Foods: 

Foods that are low in fiber and which are highly processed can have a negative impact on your health and skin. Processed meats, breakfast cereals and microwave meals can cause an unhealthy shift in the microbes present in our body. This encourages the inflammation and flare-up or worsens the cystic acne.

5. Fast and Fried Foods: 

Foods which are low in fiber and highly processed contains ingredients like sodium, chemicals, added flavour and sugars which can cause inflammation.

Tips and Precautions for Preventing Cystic Acne:

1. Drink Plenty Of Water: 

Our body gets dehydrated very quickly. Water is one of the important things our body organs require to function properly and it also helps in maintaining the skin soft and supple. Without enough water, our skin gets very dry and we use a heavy duty moisturize to maintain it supple. But moisturizers can clog the pores, so it is important to drink plenty of water.

2. Avoid Cosmetic Care With Harmful Chemicals: 

Did you have a look at the ingredients of your skin products? Products which contain sulfates, chemicals and preservatives can worsen the cystic acne. So it is very important to try brands with all natural plant ingredients.

3. Avoid Popping: 

No matter how irritated the cystic acne is, avoid popping it. Due to its depth of lesion, squeezing or popping can be completely ineffective and prolong the healing time. The more you touch the acne, the more unsightly it becomes and leaves a scar behind.

4. Good Skin Care Routine: 

Avoid scented and heavy moisturizers. Make sure to exfoliate your skin before applying the moisturizer. It is very important to remove make up before going to bed as reduces the risk of clogging the pores. For a healthy growth of new skin cells, you can use effective scrubs which are not abrasive. Some of the important things a scrub should contain are glycolyic acid and fruit enzymes. Sunscreens and vitamin C helps in lightening and preventing acne scars.

5. Proper Laundry: 

Everyday your skin touches things like towels, pillow and bed sheets. Avoid washing them with harsh detergents to avoid chances of sensitivity and irritation. You can opt for homemade laundry soap instead. Change your towels and pillowcases regularly to avoid the presence and spreading of bacteria.

6. Get Relaxed: 

When it comes to beauty and health related, increased stress makes it worse. They can even cause a hormonal imbalance. To try reduce your stress by taking natural stress relievers to improve your health and skin.

7. Exercise: 

Exercising regularly helps our lymphatic system to detoxify your entire body. It acts excellent for your self esteem and mood which helps to fight cystic acne.

8. Cleanser: 

Using a mild cleanser and warm water, clean the affected areas 1 – 2 times daily which help to remove oil and dirt. To dryness, apply some moisturizer after washing.

9. Sweating: 

After exercising or an activity, sweat clogs the pores and more susceptible to acne. So take a bath whenever you sweat.

Quick Tips to Prevent Acne Scarring:

When touched, scratched, popped or even rubbed by clothing, cystic acne leaves a scar behind. To prevent this you can follow the below tips.
  • Rinse your face using a mild soap and warm for 2 times in a day (once in the morning and once in the night). A clean face prevents breakouts to leave a scar behind.
  • Never squeeze, pop or pick the pimples. They can lead to scarring. Even touching them can leads to acne scars.
  • The harsh UV rays of sun can damage your skin and increase the appearance of acne and acne scars. It is better to wear a sunblock to go out in the sun.
  • Topical acne medications like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid helps to prevent acne scarring.


Has your acne already left a scar behind, you do have several options to reduce their appearance. Click here to check out the home remedies for acne scars.

Once you have resolved the problem of cystic acne, it is very important to stick to a healthy diet and lifestyle which includes drinking plenty of water and following a simple skin care routine. Clear skin is always a mirror a good health. So choose healthy options daily and avoid junk, oily and fried foods then you can completely prevent the occurrence of cystic acne.

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