25+ Blemish Busters You Can Make Yourself

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Quite a list of remedies here folks! These can be used for banishing a single pimple or two, acne, recipes for maintaining clear skin and I’ve also listed some tips at the bottom of the page to help with rosacea and a blackhead recipe.

IngredientsNote: If acne seems to worsen at the beginning, keep in mind that the treatments are drawing out impurities and this could be the cause. Steady applications should show improvement over time. Also results will vary so if one doesn’t do the trick, try another until finding one that works.

Directions: Pick a remedy below then apply directly to blemish or whole face then let dry for at least 20 to 30 minutes before washing off (unless otherwise noted).

Keep ingredients away from eyes. If allergic to any of the items, do not use topically since they may still trigger a reaction.

  • Aloe vera: Fresh aloe vera gel, allow to dry before washing off.
  • Alum: (paste) 1/2 tsp alum with 1 TBS warm water.
  • Apple cider vinegar: Recommended for acne, wipe vinegar over face with a cotton ball. May sting a bit and may smell, but stick with it if possible. If it’s just a pimple or two that’s causing grief, a q-tip does the trick.
  • Aspirin mask: This one’s from Dr. Oz…Crush 6-12 non-coated aspirins into a powder then mix with freshly squeezed lemon juice. Soak for 5 to 10 minutes until the it dissolves into a paste then apply to breakout. Remove with baking soda and water. Why it works? Aspirin contains salicylic acid which acts as a chemical peel and lemon juice contains vitamin C. Source: doctoroz.com. Not recommended for those who suffer from rosacea since the salicylic acid could aggravate it.
  • Banana: (Mashed) Leave on for a couple hours (if possible).
  • Calamine lotion: Leave on overnight.
  • Cinnamon & honey: Good for acne, combine cinnamon powder and honey into a paste. Allow to set for at least an hour before removing. Recommended to do daily.
  • Cucumber mash: Peel then puree in a blender, apply then keep on for at least an hour. Good for acne.
  • Fuller’s earth: (paste) Freshly squeezed orange juice with Fuller’s earth. Allow to dry for 20 to 25 minutes. Can use grated orange peel instead (dried).
  • Honey: Dab with pure honey, allow to dry then wash off or mix 50/50 honey and freshly squeezed orange juice. You may find it beneficial to apply a hot compress first.
  • Milk of Magnesia: (acne) Leave on overnight.
  • Neem: Pour 2 cups of boiling water over a handful of neem leaves. Cover and steep for about 10 minutes then strain. Allow to cool then add Fuller’s earth to make a paste.
  • Olive oil: (for acne and breakouts) After cleaning with a mild soap, apply a light layer of extra-virgin olive oil three times a day (do not wash off). An oily substance may seem contrary to logic (clogs pores) but this seems to both heal and draw out impurities. More breakouts may occur at first but after a few days this will settle down.
  • Orange rinds: Combine equal parts grated orange rind (dried), plain yogurt and rosewater. A paste can also be made with ground peels (dried) and milk (keep on for about an hour).
  • Pineapple juice
  • Sandalwood: (thick paste) Equal parts sandalwood powder, turmeric powder and milk. Leave on overnight.
  • Tea tree: Dab directly onto trouble spot with a q-tip.
  • Toothpaste: (not gel) Just a dab will do ya, leave on overnight.
  • Turmeric: (paste) Combine with a bit of milk or plain yogurt. Another option: mix 1/2 tsp turmeric with a bit of water (4 times per day).
  • Witch hazel: Dab directly on pimple 4 or 5 times per day.

Clear Skin Helpers:

  • Buttermilk: Use each day as needed to help clear acne.
  • Coconut Oil: A thin layer (daily) to help fade scars.
  • Cold brewed tea: Wash daily with this.
  • Grapefruit Seed Extract: Add a few drops to a mild liquid facial soap wash skin daily with this. Tea tree can also be used in the same way.
  • Strawberry leaf infusion: Wash skin with this twice a day, morning and night (1/4 cup strawberry leaves and 1 1/2 cups boiling water, cover and steep for 2 hours then strain and chill before using).
  • Tea Tree: Add 10 drops to 1 cup of lukewarm water then wash face with mixture (avoiding eyes).

Rosacea:

Do consistent, daily treatments for at least two weeks before determining if results are satisfactory or not.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Clean with a gentle soap, rinse well, pat dry then wipe with a cloth dipped in apple cider vinegar (once per day).
  • Chamomile Infusion: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 2 tsp dried chamomile flowers, cover then steep for 10 minutes. Strain, cool and then apply as a lukewarm compress.
  • Flaxseed Oil: Consume 1 tsp three times daily or try making a scrub with ground oatmeal (uncooked) and flaxseed oil then gently exfoliate.
  • Green Tea: Drink at least 2 cups a day and wash with it daily (cool after brewing). New to green tea? See plenty of info here to get started. A 50/50 blend with chamomile tea is a nice toner.
  • Lavender Infusion: Same as the chamomile infusion above but using dried lavender buds instead.
  • Rose Water: Wash daily with this. One recipe to try: For every 1 firmly packed cup of petals, pour 2 cups boiling water over top. Cover and steep until the liquid is cool. Strain, squeeze out the liquid from the petals, and refrigerate in a sterilized jar. Find more recipes here.

Blackheads:
*First published May 8, 2007 and moved to this page for better organization

Try a facial steam bath first (instructions below) then the recipe, this will open up the pores as well as soften up the blackheads for easier removal.

1 TBS Unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 TBS Milk

  • Combine the gelatin and milk then heat in the microwave for about 12 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir with a wooden stir stick (a clean one!). Generously slather on problem areas. Be careful not to get too close to the eyes.
  • Let completely dry (between 15 to 30 minutes) then carefully peel it off. The gunk clogging pores will be stuck on it, the result is similar to the expensive removal strips found in stores.
  • After removing, splash face with very cold water to close the pores.

Steam Bath:

First use a cleansing soap. Then fill a bowl with boiling water and place your face down close to the surface to be near the heat. Cover head with a towel to trap the steam, stay put for about 10 minutes then use the peel above.

  • Optional: Add tea bags or Epsom salt or dried lavender to the boiling water.

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Published: April 11, 2012

What Readers Are Saying:
72 Comments to “25+ Blemish Busters You Can Make Yourself”
  1. Linda Jordan says:

    Here’s a tip to remove those whiteheads that I get on my cheek and jawline that kinda feel like beard stubble….Prell Shampoo. I use a little on a wet washcloth while in the shower and wash my face with it. Since it’s a stripping shampoo it melts the whitehead stubble away. Just be sure and use a gentle face moisturizer to counteract the stripping effect afterwards.

    • Marian Brown says:

      Equal parts baking soda and water can loosen blackheads so they can be easily cleansed away. This is less expensive and doesn’t involve gelatin (which is made from boiled animal hide). Baking soda is definitely preferable to any vegans, vegetarians, or omnivores who would rather not treat their face with other animals’ skin.

  2. R.D. says:

    I tried the gelatin milk mixture for blackheads…..WOW did it clean out my pores!
    It was simple to make and worked like a charm, I will be trying it again ! Next time I will cut the amounts in half since it made too much for me to use in one use. I will pass this on !

    • Natasha says:

      I started doing this about 4 days ago and YES I love it. I do it every 3-4 days and man Im soooo surprised at what comes off. Keeper for sure!!! Plus ur skin is soooo smooth {:

      • Niki says:

        I did the gelatin cleanse today, and I found it a little painful. Did you all put it all over your face or just on parts? I didn’t notice a huge amount of ‘gunk’ coming out of my skin. I agree though that my skin felt much smoother after.

        • Alyse says:

          I used the gelatin mask, and I also found it painful! My skin felt so soft and smooth after, but by the next day my face broke out like CRAZY! Now instead of blackheads I have these nasty whitehead kind of pimples. Anyone know why this would happen? Or how to fix it??

          • Sara says:

            It probably broke out like crazy because the mask brought all of the dirt to the surface (which is a good thing!) just treat it for a few days and it’ll be gone before you know it :)

  3. molly says:

    hey do you knwo where i can purchase unflavored gelatin? to use for the blackhead removal ??

    • Kat says:

      at the grocery store. you can look for Knox brand gelatine. i think it’s in the baking aisle, should be with the other jello’s and puddings.

  4. Susan says:

    is this a one time use?

  5. Hashma says:

    onew week before u had a blackhead jungle
    i tried this out and OMGGGGGG i am s ahppy i have taken out evrything
    so happpy SO yes it works

  6. Lorelai says:

    Huh. Trying this now, it kind of burns on my deepest blackheads (chin and around my mouth). And I don’t think mine’s going to peel off, it seems too chunky. I’ll report back with how it worked; I have seven more minutes.

    All it did was burn my face. |: And I am not known to have sensitive skin. Ouch!

    On the bright side, it did absorb some oil pretty well.

    • Rhainnin says:

      I would try baking soda. I found it worked better, I tried the jello on one side and baking soda on the other. The baking soda seem to work better for me. Also, it didn’t give me this chunky paste like the jello did. YUCK!

      • Natasha says:

        I havent tried the baking soda yet, u do it just like the geletin? So far I like the geletin, it does get chunky if u cake it on, but it peals off pretty easy.

        • Kristy says:

          I’ve got really sensitive skin and tried the baking powder one – resulted in a severe rash that itched like mad! Maybe it was just my skin but for me the gelatin works better.
          If you don’t like the smell of the boiled milk you can always use a tbs of green tea or water instead. The longer it’s on your skin the harder it is to remove but the more blackheads come out.

          It’s important to remember to use an astringent or toner afterwards to close those open pores and moisturise. Aloe gel will soothe any redness and burning from the gelatin peel. :)

  7. Sarah says:

    This worked on some of my face, not all of it. I even did the face steam bath first. But I learned that you shouldn’t wait for it to completely dry. If you do it really hurts to pull off then, and it leaves your face red.

    Do you think I should try it more than once in a week?? Or should I just try something else??

  8. Charity says:

    Did not work for me. Didnt remove anything. Made my skin red and dry.

  9. natalia says:

    remember to be hydrated when removing the blackheads- the plug of sebum in the pore will not come out if your dehydrated

  10. Rhainnin says:

    I have used the baking soda and milk!! It works great for those hard to get blackheads around my nose area!!!

  11. Kristina says:

    i used this method at night, and forgot to peel it off. i fell asleep with it on and woke up it the middle of the night and it was alsost as if it was GLUED to my face! PAINFUL, to peel off. but, since it was soooo stiff, it pulled out almos every single black head. it would have done them all, if i didnt have oil-prone skin.

    • Sundee says:

      I tried the gelatin/milk on my face and let it dry for about 15-20 min and my children were laughing so hard because your face does not move at all. It was a fun experiment but be careful Not to get it to close to your hairline or eyebrows Because it rips your hair out so I had one short eyebrow which made things even funnier! Overall it worked but was more funny than anything!!

  12. Anne says:

    I used the baking soda recipe and oh my goodness it burned my face. I’m sure that I didn’t do it right but it
    Eft my face complete stripped of hydration.
    Next time I will fruit with the gelatin and maybe it will actual target the blackheads

  13. Tina says:

    I used the milk and gelatin recipe…..It worked great! I have naturally oily skin and it absorbed everything! The only negative thing I can say is it does hurt to peel it off and can be difficult if you dont layer it on a little.But the results are so worth it! I would like to know how often I can safely do this though? Is once a week too little or too much?

    • Natasha says:

      Where I seen this at, she said once every 3 days, guess depending on ur skin. I just did it again and my skin seems fine and my skin is rather sensative.

  14. Whitney says:

    I just tried it; splashed hot water on my face for a while instead of going through the trouble of boiling water for steam.

    Yes, it does hurt to peel off and will make your face a little red (not from burning but because it’s like pulling off a band-aid). The reason it hurts is because it’s so strong once dry that it takes off all the tiny hairs on your skin along with stuff stuck in pores. I have fairly sensitive skin but I good pain tolerance so I found it doable…my face needed a good peel.

    If it gets anywhere that you don’t want to peel and dries just leave it alone till you are done peeling then wash your face; it will come off easily. In fact, if you get the whole thing on and decide it will hurt too much to peel then just wash it off.

    I added just a little cinnamon to it because I think warm milk smells bad.

    If actually allowed to dry all the way it’s too strong of peel to be using frequently. I don’t think I’d suggest doing this more than once a month; maybe every two weeks at most.

  15. Jeanine says:

    DON’T DO IT!!! IT IS VERY PAINFULL, IT FEELS LIKE YOU ARE PULLING YOUR FACE OFF OR AT LEAST 3 LAYERS OF SKIN. IT LEFT MY FACE RED AND BLOTCHY OF ABOUT 24 HOURS. IT WAS SOFT RIGHT AFTER I DID IT BUT THE NEXT DAY MY FACE WAS LIKE SANDPAPER. DAYS LATER I AM STILL USING MOISTURIZERS TO TRY AND REPAIR THE DAMAGE THAT WAS CAUSED!!!!!

  16. Idahocrystal says:

    Pre-Surgical cleansers – Betadine or Hibiclense – readily available in almost any drug store, work wonders for acne. Twice/day plus Cetaphil lotion to moisturize without clogging pores or inhibiting natural oil production.

    Often, too much washing will create more breakouts when the skin is trying to compensate for lost oils by over-producing. By killing the bacteria and not stripping the skin of natural oils, you’re doing more to treat and prevent acne or other skin infections.

    • NurseTiff says:

      Do not use Hibiclense on you face unless your physician tells you to. It strips your skin of all oils, good and bad bacteria, etc. Not a good plan.

  17. athena says:

    Ive tried this from another blog. I was only partially impressed. It smelt so horrible to me, that I didnt want to even let it finish drying. But I did. I did a medium layer of it, followed instructions for removal. It was too dang painful. I do have low tolerance though. My 4 & 10 year old were torn btwn laughing/freaking out cus they heard me in bathroom muttering profanities under my breath and gasping/tearing up from the pain of pulling it off.

  18. Anne says:

    I only skimmed the article, but I find it amusing, due to past experience, that it does not mention that turmeric is a very powerful natural dye! I would be more than a little cautious of putting it on my face, however it is also a powerful anti-inflammatory. I use it to cure infected hangnails when nothing else works. Use if utterly desperate, I suppose.

    • Becky says:

      although it is a natural dye, it does not dye your face! I use it twice a week and I’m fairly pale. Works wonders on my acne prone skin as a mask.

      I use the following recpie:
      2 tablespoons chickpea flour
      1 tablespoon tumeric
      1 teaspoon honey
      add milk until creamy and apply to a clean face. Once dry (30 mins or so) wash off. Careful not to get any on clothes or towels.. those items will definatley dye bright yellow!!

      You can also add some almond oil to the mix if you have it around.

      • Kristy says:

        I don’t know what kind of tumeric you used but I was yellow for 2 days after trying it out. O_o not an experience I wish to repeat since I’m extremely pale and looked like I’d fallen out of a kiddies’ cartoon.

        • Zobia says:

          The chickpea flour or gran flour as i use, helps to not turn the face yellow/orange! I tried it with the flour and without and without turned my face orange!

  19. Natalie says:

    Do you have anything for melasma, I feel like I have tried everything.

  20. Jay says:

    Oil Cleansing Method – a MUST!

    See above mention of olive oil – it seems counter productive but oils to cleanse help fight spots as they clean out pores and unlike soaps or washes they don’t strip skins oils…thus skin doesn’t have to over compensate by producing far more oil that would clog pores.

    Oils are healing, you can use multiple different oils to cleanse you face, all with different benefits, you can also add essential oils for more benefits, plus it’s cheap, green and much better for skin and general health with no irritants or harmful ingredients to worry about.

    Oil Cleansing Method also helps healing scars, preventing aging, cures dry skin, and will leave your skin glowing and super healthy. It’s awesome.

  21. Haleigh says:

    Fair warning: just did the blackhead treatment and it smells beyond disgusting. Had to keep my nose right next to a cup of lemon juice to keep my nose from smelling it. Any ideas on how to make the mixture smell better without botching results? I tried to add a little lemon juice to see if it would help but it didn’t do much. Would flavoured gelatin do anything bad to the skin?

  22. Hannah says:

    Mine was too chunky to dry! I was not able to peel it off at all, it kind of just chunked off and crumbled. Is there any further tips to make this work?

    • Kristy says:

      It sounds as if you may have left it in the microwave for a tad too long. I usually only put it in for 10 seconds, blow on it for a few seconds and then apply as quickly as possible. Try and put it on your face at the hottest temperature your face can handle.
      It’s also important to remember to add the gelatin into the milk and then stir. For some strange reason adding milk to gelatin doesn’t come out with the same results.

  23. Devyn says:

    Did anyone try the Aloe Vera treatment? I am sceptical to try. I dont want it to leave my white heads even more red, help!

    • Brenna says:

      I use Aloe Vera gel every day (even though it’s not fresh) it moisturized without clogging my pores. At least for me, even when I use fresh Aloe, there is no irritation. I get a little itchy, but that goes away. Also, fresh aloe is a natural bug repellent! I had to se it as a kid in Texas because I am allergic to Off! and other brands.

      Give it a try! It’s natural!

  24. Anisa says:

    How do you use the gelatine? I dont really understand, did it work?

  25. Neely says:

    A note about the gelatin/milk blackhead remover recipe:

    The first time I tried it, worked like a charm and didn’t dry out my skin. The second time I tried it (about a week later), I didn’t allow it to dry as much so the removal was less painful. It was effective, but I think it threw my skin off balance and now I have VERY oily skin on my face (quite the opposite of my usual eczema problems).

    I would caution you to not use it too often.

    Does anyone know a way to get my skin to balance back out?! I’ve been using witch hazel to sop up the oil as frequently as I can but that hasn’t stopped the overproduction of oil.

    • Katie Lynn says:

      Witch hazel is REALLY drying. You’re taking care of the issue at the moment but making it worse in the long run using it that much. I would recommend switching to an oil cleansing method, or just applying olive oil like the article suggests. Both of these work on the fact that like dissolves like, so adding a non-comedogenic oil like olive will clean without clogging, and have the bonus of retraining your skin not to produce as much oil. If you’re concerned about the amount of oil on your face I would recommend using rice paper blotting papers a few times a day, really anything is better than witch hazel.

    • CJ says:

      Neely,

      Sounds like you did a great job unclogging your pores and now the oil is flowing freely. I would keep the pores unclogged and eventually your skin will balance out again. I have very oily skin and a light dusting of corn starch in between face washings helps control the oil slicks. Rice papers are nice as well. :)

  26. Neely says:

    Gelatin/milk recipe:

    If you’re having problems with the mixture being too chunky and/or thick, you need to heat the milk before dissolving the gelatin. Pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds.

  27. Elise says:

    I accidentally used gel toothpaste and it BURNED!!!!!!!

  28. cierra says:

    an egg white and a tbsp of lemon juice for sensitive skin :-)

  29. Jen says:

    On the apple cider vinegar, do you wash that off? How long do you let it sit? Trying to help my 14yr old out who’s dealing with acne..PLEASE help! It’s not really the blackheads, it’s pimples. Thanks for any help!

    • Debra says:

      You can leave the vinegar on. No need to wash it off. It has worked for numerous people that I know. Myself included. I have also found that using corn starch as a powder under my make up has helped my oily, break out proven skin.

  30. Kat fergy says:

    Okay so I tried the baking soda instead of gelatin face peel right… It just crumbled off it didn’t do anything. What did I do wrong?? Should I just try the gelatin and assume that I must have done something wrong?? Are there any other recipes like this that work the same with different ingredients?? Any help, would be helpful?!?

  31. Joanne says:

    Does someone have a recipes for treating those brown spots we have on our face or hand when we get older

    • jose says:

      I’ve read coconut oil can help with this. I don’t think it’s an immediate, 100% fix, but i think repeated use is supposed to help reduce sun spots and other kinds of mild surface scars. Aloe is also pretty amazing for sun damage, and in general. not sure about reducing sun spots, but it may help prevent.

  32. Anaa says:

    plzz tell me something to get rid of my scars.

  33. meeeeee says:

    Do I HAVE to do the steam bath prior to the mask? Or can I just take a hot shower??

  34. Raylene says:

    Does anyone know what would work for the dark spots on my face? I’m so insecure because of them and feel I’ve tried everything. Please help!! Thank u and God bless!!!

    • Angie says:

      I feel you Raylene, I had brown spots on my face (melasma) I tried plenty of natural remedies, lemon juice, papaya, you name it I tried it! Nothing worked.I finally decided to go to see the dermatologist, He gave me 0.05% retin-a and 4% hydroquinone. It worked beautifly! I got rid of the spots. The thing is you don’t have to go to the dermto get the prescription, you can get the face creams with the same ingredients at walgreens or walmart. ROC night face cream has a form of retin-a and I like Dermisa Skin Fade Cream which contains 2% hydroquinone,vitamine c , and sun block when my spots come back …because unfortunately if we don’t wear sunblock every day, they do come back. Use this one twice a day and Roc at night. They are not as strong as the prescription creams but they work very nicely too, you’ll notice improvement in about a week, and after the spots are gone ( in about a month), DO NOT forget to wear sunscreen every single day! I wish there was a natural remedie for brown spots , but until now , o natural remedie has worked for me

  35. Brooke says:

    I tried the Gelatin and Milk Blackhead removal mixture. It did remove a few blackheads off of my nose and chin, but overall it didn’t really produce the results I was expecting. When peeling it off your face, beware, it does sting quite a bit. I think next time I will try the baking soda.

  36. Dominique says:

    I used the baking soda and water mask yesterday. I worked amazing on my blackheads! They’re gone!! And my skin looks so much brighter :). I applied a thin ayer of the paste, let it dry, then aplied one more thin laye and left it on for 20 minutes. Tip: DON’T make it too thick or it will flake in your eyes as is drying (I figured this out he hard way…).

  37. CJ says:

    My skin is very oily and not sensitive. When I feel a pimple coming on I crush an aspirin, put a dab of moisturizer or Aloe Vera gel on the spot (not a lot) and then dab a blob of the pulverized aspirin on it. I do this at night and sleep on it. The pimple never appears. If I don’t catch the pimple before it erupts this trick makes it dry up much faster. It also stops the pain.

  38. annie says:

    how about stone pimples? I have several on my nose and surrounding area. Make me looks like the big bad witch :|. They’re quite hard/thick, unpinchable(?) but doesn’t hurt or anything. And it’d soften when it’s ripe (after a long long time) so it’d be easy to pop them up. Is it true that only cosmetic surgery could get rid of them for good? help! :(

  39. ally says:

    Hi there I just wanted to know what takes away stretch marks???

  40. Kathy says:

    I did the gelatin mask, washed my face with cold water and then put yogurt on my face. The yogurt seemed to help with the redness.

  41. katie says:

    do i use any of these in place of my regular facewash, or in conjunction? like if i want to use the cider vinegar on my face, do i wash it with my neutrogena first? or forget the face wash completely? or switch to a regular soap? i’d feel weird not washing at all.


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