Have you been searching for a natural treatment to heal your acne without any luck? Maybe you’ve tried different creams, face washes, toners, even medication – but you still aren’t finding something that works for your skin.

Whenever someone has a skin problem – acne, pimples, eczema, psoriasis, unexplained rash, etc – the first place we look is to the gut ecology. This is because the lining of the gastrointestinal tract is made from the same type of cells as the skin.

The second reason we look to the gut is that the skin is one of the organs of detoxification. And if your body is detoxing through your skin and causing bad acne, it’s yet another sign that something’s wrong with your gut, and possibly your liver. So, home remedies for acne and pimples require a three-pronged approach.

But first, let’s dive into what causes acne or pimples to better understand what we are trying to treat.

What Causes Acne or Pimples?

Pimples and acne are an inflammatory skin problem resulting from clogged pores caused by overproduction of oil from the sebaceous glands. These glands, which are connected to your skin pores through hair follicles, release an oily substance called sebum that lubricates your skin and hair.

When too much oil is produced, it clumps together with the dead skin cells to block your hair follicles. This results in the growth of skin bacteria, which cause acne – pimples, blackheads, whiteheads or cysts – on your skin.

Different studies suggest different causes of acne. Some experts believe that increased levels of the hormone androgen trigger the excessive oil production that blocks skin pores and causes acne. Some studies suggest that susceptibility to problem skin can be genetic. Pore-clogging cosmetics are also thought to contribute to pimples and acne.

Naturopathic, Chinese Medicine and Homeopathic doctors maintain that any skin condition is evidence of imbalance in the gut. So to treat acne or pimples, you need to normalize digestion and establish a beneficial gut flora (lots of good bacteria and no yeast overgrowth).

Acne and spots most often affects the face, chest, shoulders, back, neck and upper arms. Acne occurs mostly during puberty; and becomes less common as people reach age 30. Although it’s not a health threat, acne spots can be painful and embarrassing, and may leave behind permanent acne scars.

natural treatment for acne

3-Step Natural Remedy For Acne or Pimples

Home remedies for acne and pimples require a three-pronged approach:

1. PROBIOTICS: For mild acne, a therapeutic probiotic alone may be enough to balance your gut flora and clear up your acne over time. For moderate to severe acne, you definitely have to follow the other 2 steps below, as well. To get plenty of good bacteria in your gut, take one Natren Healthy Trinity capsule every day for one week, and then increase the dose to two capsules per day until your skin problem resolves. After that, the maintenance dose is one capsule per day. Don’t substitute another brand, or you won’t get the same results.

However, if you’re suffering from severe acne, I recommend you first use wild oregano oil to wipe out the pathogens in your gut, and then repopulate with good bacteria, as described in Jini’s Wild Oregano Oil Protocol which is available in both my Listen to Your Gut and Natural Treatments for Gut Infection eBooks. This protocol eliminates infectious microorganisms, increases healthy bacterial flora and maintains a favorable gut environment.

2. DETOX: The next step to get rid of acne pimples is to detox your body to maintain a healthy gut terrain. Stop consuming processed and packaged foods, preservatives, artificial flavours, hydrogenated oils, etc. I also recommend you limit your sugar intake, as it’s the food choice of yeast and fungi (feeds the bad bugs in your gut). Eat fresh organic vegetables, organic butter, pasture-raised eggs, meat etc.

If you’re suffering from severe acne, liver support herbs like milk thistle or burdock root (in liquid tincture or capsule form) are recommended to cleanse your body of toxins and restore liver functioning. Using a stool softening/bulking agent ongoing is like having a broom sweep out your gut once or twice a day, so this also really helps with detox and will greatly improve your bowel movements! You can use 1 tbsp. sprouted flax and chia powder along with 1/2 tsp. bentonite clay mixed in 8 ounces of water or diluted fruit juice – drink quickly! And follow with 1 more glass of water. NOTE: If you suffer from a stricture or bowel obstruction, consult your doctor before using flax or chia.

3. CLEAR INFECTED PORES: The last step in my home remedies for acne and pimples is to eliminate the infection topically by dotting wild oregano directly onto the acne spots, approximately three to five times per day. If you find that the oregano oil “burns” too much, you can mix it with olive oil in a 4:1 ratio to dilute it (4 drops organic olive oil to 1 drop wild oregano oil).

OR you can use potassium iodide (SSKI) as an alternative to wild oregano. Some peoples’ skin likes the oregano oil and other peoples’ skin likes the potassium iodide; which is more drying. As Jonathan V. Wright MD writes:

“When our children were teenagers, they always knew where to find the SSKI bottle. Whenever one of them ‘popped a zit’, she or he would rub SSKI into it every hour or two. The offending ‘zit’ would be gone in 24-48 hours or less; an innumerable number of social events were rendered ‘zit-free’ by this approach.”

what causes acne

OR you can use BOTH! We have found the combination of both wild oregano oil AND potassium iodide works best:

  • Apply wild oregano by dotting onto the infected spot (I just use my fingertip). Wait 5 – 10 minutes. Usually, the wild oregano will draw the infection to the surface, so very gently squeeze and wipe away pus with a clean tissue. If there is a lot of discharge, you may want to apply wild oregano oil a second time.
  • When there is no more pus oozing out, apply a drop of potassium iodide (yes it will sting quite a lot!). If the potassium iodide (SSKI) is too strong for you, then use 1.5% food-grade hydrogen peroxide instead.
  • REPEAT this whole process at least 3 times per day. If you really want to clear the infected pustules quickly, then follow the above procedure every 2 hours for the first day, then every 3 hours for the second day, then 3x/day thereafter.
  • If you find your skin getting too dry, apply a thin layer of cold-pressed castor oil, which also helps reduce acne scars.

NOTE: Be sure to sign up in the green box above to get my Free eBook: What You Need To Know About Wild Oregano Oil.

Simultaneously, you must be taking probiotics as directed. You will likely not be able to permanently clear a skin infection while your gut is infected (or not healthy). And do not put anything else on the affected skin until healed (lotions, make-up, sunscreen, etc.).

Ongoing, do not put anything with chemicals or preservatives on your skin. Your skin is a highly absorptive organ and anything you put on your skin is quickly absorbed to your bloodstream. So if you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin!

Top Foods That Cause Acne

If you read through health sites and dermatology sites, you’ll see that the top foods to avoid if you have acne are: Dairy, chocolate, refined carbohydrates; grains and sugars, and processed fast foods.

We also have published studies and clinical trials like this one showing, “a positive association with acne for intake of total milk and skim milk.”

The authors of that study hypothesized that milk may be causing acne because of the presence of hormones and bioactive molecules in milk. Of course, the milk consumed would have been from factory farmed (sick) cows, pumped with antibiotics and synthetic hormones, and flooded with stress hormones from their horrendous living conditions. Then the milk would have been thoroughly denatured through  pasteurization and homogenization.

So it’s important to note that the issues with dairy (for the gut and skin) are from pasteurized dairy. Not from healthy, pasture-raised, raw milk.

Next, we have studies like this one which showed that avoiding high-glycemic foods (refined carbs, sugar, grains) did indeed lead to an improvement in acne for young males (aged 15-25).

This review of all the literature and studies on acne and diet from 2004-2009 concluded that:

“It is generally accepted that excess sebum, hormones, bacteria and hyper proliferation of follicular cells are the major etiologic factors (causes) for acne.”

But since nutrients and their metabolites can influence skin hydration, hyper proliferation and metabolism, it is certainly reasonable to claim that diet (where we obtain nutrients) affects acne.

The grey area of course, is that everyone’s body is unique, with a unique blend of hormones, stressors (which affect hormones and gut ecology) and food intolerances.

Acne Elimination Diet

So a good way to proceed is to do a 2-3 week elimination of all the foods shown to be problematic with acne:

  • Pasteurized dairy products (milk, cheese, yoghurt, ice cream, milk protein powders, sour cream, ice cream, etc)
  • Sugar (includes chocolate, cereals, desserts, soda, etc)
  • Refined carbohydrates (white flour/bread, white rice, etc)
  • Fast foods – contain refined carbs, sugar, cheese, and hydrogenated oils

Note that these are the same foods that cause auto-immune issues, and that exacerbate digestive diseases, diabetes, heart disease and many other health issues.

I have written extensively about the problems with pasteurized milk on my blog, and why raw, pasture-fed milk does not have any of the same problems. But if you can’t get raw milk, then I would definitely test removing dairy from your diet first thing.

The other factor I would test immediately, is to remove hydrogenated oils from your diet. Unfortunately, this means you cannot eat out anywhere! As every restaurant (even the expensive ones) use canola oil. This is a price issue – compare the cost of a bottle of canola oil with extra-virgin olive oil and you’ll see why canola is used everywhere, both for cooking and salad dressings.

Sushi would be your only safe food to eat out – but none of the fried stuff! Only the sushi, sashimi, and soups.

Good oils/fats that you can consume freely are coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, ghee, MCT oil, cold-pressed flaxseed oil, beef tallow, duck fat, or pork lard (from pasture-raised animals only!). But again, listen to your body as different people require different amounts of fat, and this varies according to age, stressors, pregnancy/breastfeeding, season, etc.

After removing all these foods from your diet for 2-3 weeks, add them back in, one at a time, and see how your skin does. Ideally, add in one item and wait a week to observe, before adding the next one.


  • Balance your gut flora with Natren Healthy Trinity capsules (for mild acne)
  • Add Jini’s Wild Oregano Oil Protocol from my Natural Treatments for Gut Infection eBook (for more severe acne).
  • Detox your body. Stop ingesting toxins (artificial flavours, packaged/processed foods, sugar, simple carbohydrates, etc.) and stop putting toxins on your skin.
  • Eat fresh organic vegetables, eggs, meat, etc. with organic butter or cold-pressed oils.
  • Speed up the healing process by applying wild oregano oil and potassium iodide (or 1.5% food-grade hydrogen peroxide) onto acne spots.
  • Eliminate pasteurized dairy, sugar, hydrogenated oil and refined carbohydrates for 2-3 weeks.
  • Get enough sleep! Lack of sleep severely affects your hormones, immune system, and increases inflammation.

NOTE: If you have a teenager who is uncooperative, or the Natren Healthy Trinity are too expensive for you, then you will probably see good results from just taking 1 Healthy Trinity every 3 – 4 days and using the topical treatments and dietary changes. Some people prefer to start slowly with the probiotics anyway, as it will then minimize the die-off reaction (bad bugs and Candida dying off). In 3 months you will see the positive results (some sooner, but 3 months for sure).