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Bad hair days are one thing, but a bad skin day is a real pain – especially when acne is the culprit. And even if you know it’s not a big deal, dealing with acne can be embarrassing – because it’s right there on your face for the world to see. Luckily there are a few easy ways to smooth your skin – even if you don’t want to resort to prescription creams or medicated treatments.

Acne is a skin condition where your skin becomes clogged with oil and dead skin cells. It can range from mild to severe, and include blackheads, whiteheads, papules (inflamed lesions without pus), pustules (inflamed lesions containing pus), cysts (deep, soft pus-filled lesions), and nodules (deep, hard lesions).1 According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne affects up to 50 million Americans annually – and not just teenagers, either. Millions of adults deal with acne as well. 2

Now, for severe cases of acne, it’s worth seeing a dermatologist… or investing in a powerful skincare regimen. But that’s not to say you can’t soothe your skin with easy, at-home treatments, too. There are items you probably have in your home right this second that have known acne-fighting properties.

1. Apply Aspirin

Aspirin contains salicylic acid, a plant-derived substance that has well-known anti-inflammatory properties. 3 Salicylic acid is commonly found in many acne medications, but we bet you had no idea it was also in your medicine drawer too.

How To Use It:

Crush an aspirin pill into a powder and mix it with about a tablespoon of water and a few drops of aloe vera gel to create a paste. Dab the paste onto the offending pimple and leave on for about 15 minutes. 4 The salicylic acid in the aspirin will go to work, making the pimple gradually shrink in size.

2. Grab Some Lemons

When life gives you acne, a sure bet against it is some citrus. Lemon and other citrus fruit contain alpha hydroxy acid, which removes dead skin cells and helps unclog pores when applied topically to the skin. 5 Thus, it can be effective against blackheads, whiteheads, and run-of-the-mill pimples.

How To Use It:

Cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice from both halves into a bowl. Dip a cotton ball into the juice and apply directly onto your acne.

Warning: Some people with sensitive skin can experience mild stinging and irritation when using this method. Be aware that some mild redness may occur as well. Always perform a patch test on your jawline or wrist so you don’t react to it. It is recommended to avoid sun exposure after application.

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3. Try Some Tea Tree Oil

An Australian study found that tea tree oil was just as effective as benzoyl peroxide in helping to fight acne. During a single-blind trial with 124 participants, the study also found that tea tree oil fought off acne with less side effects than benzoyl peroxide (it’s less drying and irritating). 6

How To Use It:

After cleansing and drying your skin, apply 4-5 drops of tea tree oil to a cotton ball and use it to spot treat as needed. You may also want to do a patch test on the inner skin of your arm first to make sure you’re not allergic.

4. Ice It

Perhaps the easiest and most hassle-free of all solutions is applying ice directly to blemishes, particularly cystic acne and nodules, since it can greatly reduce irritation and swelling. The reason this works is because cold temperatures help constrict blood vessels. 7 Though this method won’t completely get rid of the annoying lesion, it can help shrink it so it’s less noticeable.

How To Use It:

Wrap a cube of ice in a paper towel and apply to the pimple or cyst in 10-minute intervals for about an hour.

Face The World With Confidence

Don’t hide your face every time acne strikes – it happens to just about everyone! Remember that there are a number of natural and relatively easy acne remedies you have in your arsenal. Return to these time and again to make sure your skin stays smooth and clear. With some elbow grease and the right techniques, you can slay that acne like a boss.

For more helpful health tips, keep reading:

Could This Natural Supplement Be the Answer to Stomach problems?

6 Natural Remedies For A Runny Nose (most are already in your panty!)