Natural Acne Remedies Noted in Professional Studies

Let's cut to the chase: When acne is a problem, people desperately need a solution. We often turn to topical creams and ingestables prescribed by trusted professionals. After all, our visages and bodies are our billboard marketing unto the world not only how we look but how our body systems are functioning, and we need to put our best foot forward. If you have acne and want to complement other trusted methods to help allay your skin woes, nature has go-to's . Let's bypass these questions--
"Where's your source?"
"Who told you that?"
"Is that legitimate or from your crunchy crowd?"
--and go 'official.' Here I've combed through the NIH: National Library of Medicine - National Center for Biotechnology Information, and will cite studies and conclusions regarding nature helping acne:
Notes/disclaimers: Any bolded or highlighted material is not meant to change the context of the quoted text. Sources are directly linked multiple times within each section. Most effective herbal result findings relate to bacterial-induced acne. Every study comes with confounding variables. Arguably the most common thread among confounding variables in these studies is the desire for larger sample sizes and additional studies. Please do not interpret any content within this article or site as medical advice. See our disclaimer at the bottom of this site.
Acne vulgaris affects about 85% of teenagers and may continue to adulthood. There are about two million visits to physicians per year for teenagers and the direct cost of acne treatment in the US exceeds $1 billion per year. [source]
Some plants, especially the roots of mountain grapes, tea tree oil, Saccharomyces, and perhaps Ocimum basilicum due to their effectiveness and safety can be compared to alternative treatments with synthetic drugs for mild to moderate acne (74-76). Further clinical studies validated with controls are required to use plants particularly the three species of eucalyptus (E. globulus, E. maculata, E. viminalis), G. glabra, U. barbata, L. minor, green tea, mountain grape root (M. aquifolium) and gluconolactone of S. bulderi, and gugulipid to treat acne. Efficacy and clinical safety trials of H. perforatum, C. sativum, B. serrata, U. barbata, R. officinalis and green tea are also essential in bacterial skin infections. [source]
Nasri H, Bahmani M, Shahinfard N, Moradi Nafchi A, Saberianpour S, Rafieian Kopaei M. Medicinal Plants for the Treatment of Acne Vulgaris: A Review of Recent Evidences. Jundishapur J Microbiol. 2015 Nov 21;8(11):e25580. doi: 10.5812/jjm.25580. PMID: 26862380; PMCID: PMC4740760.
The Role of Herbal Medicine in the Treatment of Acne Vulgaris: A Systematic Review of Clinical Trials
Over the past few decades, interest in medicinal plants and phytochemicals for the treatment of skin disorders, including acne vulgaris, has progressively increased. Acne vulgaris is a chronic inflammatory disease of the pilosebaceous unit, which mainly occurs in adolescents and young adults. The treatment focuses on the four main factors involved in its pathogenesis: increased sebum production, hyperkeratinization, overgrowth of Cutibacterium acnes, and inflammation. The treatment includes topical retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics, and oral isotretinoin. In this regard, the use of herbal medicine as a complementary and alternative medicine is a promising strategy. The main objective of this study was to systematically evaluate the efficacy and safety of medicinal plants and phytochemicals in the treatment of acne vulgaris. [source]
This study noted the employment of the following herbs within the clinical trials:
  • Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree)
  • Camellia Sinensis (Tea Tree Camellia, different from the aforementioned, melaleuca alternifolia, the source of tea tree oil/Leptospermum).
  • Berberis Vulgaris (Barberry)
  • Chamaecyparis Obtusa (Hinoki Cypress) fermented by Lactobacillus
  • Garcinia Mangostana (Mangosteen)
  • Aloe Vera
Three scientific databases (PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus) were searched from inception to January 2021. Clinical trials comparing herbal therapies with placebo or other medicines for the treatment of acne vulgaris were included and analyzed. Outcome measures of interest comprised acne lesions (inflammatory and noninflammatory), sebum production, acne severity, and quality of life. The risk of bias in the included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) was assessed using the Cochrane risk-of-bias tool. A total of 34 clinical trials involving 1753 participants met the inclusion criteria for this systematic review. Most trials showed that herbal medicine significantly reduces inflammatory and noninflammatory acne lesions and has a relevant effect on acne severity. Some medicinal plants revealed equal or higher efficacy to standard treatments. No significant difference between groups in sebum production and quality of life was observed and no severe adverse events were reported. This systematic review provides evidence that medicinal plants and phytochemicals are promising treatments for mild to moderate acne vulgaris. However, more quality of evidence and standardized methodologies are needed to support their effectiveness and safety claims. [source]
Proença AC, Luís Â, Duarte AP. The Role of Herbal Medicine in the Treatment of Acne Vulgaris: A Systematic Review of Clinical Trials. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2022 Jun 15;2022:2011945. doi: 10.1155/2022/2011945. PMID: 35754694; PMCID: PMC9217581.
Anti-acne effects of Oriental herb extracts: a novel screening method to select anti-acne agents
The acne-therapeutic effects of Oriental herb extracts were investigated in terms of antichemotactic effect on polymorphonuclear leucocytes, antilipogenic actions, antibacterial activity against Propionibacterium acnes and resistance induction potency in the bacteria. [source]
This study noted the employment of the following herbs:
  • Angelica Dahurica
  • Rhizoma Coptidis (Coptis Chinensis; Huanglian)
  • Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Liquorice)
The ethanol extract (0.01%) of Angelica dahurica markedly suppressed neutrophil chemotaxis, comparable to the effect of erythromycin (0.01%), whereas a strong antilipogenic effect was obtained with rhizoma coptidis (Coptis chinensis) extract (0.01%), leading to a higher efficacy than that of retinoic acid (0.01%). Interestingly, only Glycyrrhiza glabra showed a remarkable antibacterial activity against P. acnes, resulting in negligible induction of resistance, in comparison with a marked development of resistance in the bacteria treated with erythromycin. We suggest that an appropriate formulation containing A. dahurica, rhizoma coptidis and G. glabra could be helpful for the prevention and treatment of acne lesions. [source]
Nam C, Kim S, Sim Y, Chang I. Anti-acne effects of Oriental herb extracts: a novel screening method to select anti-acne agents. Skin Pharmacol Appl Skin Physiol. 2003 Mar-Apr;16(2):84-90. doi: 10.1159/000069030. PMID: 12637783.
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