I’ve been battling acne since I was 11, and the one thing that kept me sane in my teens was the belief that by the time I reached 30 at the latest, I’d no longer be breaking out in pimples. As it turns out, that was a mistaken belief. My 30th birthday has long come and gone, and I’m still zapping zits. When I think about the amount of money I’ve spent on acne medications — prescription and over-the-counter — a conservative estimate is more than five thousand dollars. Sigh. If only I had known about this cheap acne remedy years ago. Since I’ve started using it, I have fewer, less-severe breakouts and my skin clears up post-pimples much more quickly. As a bonus, my skin is also much softer thanks to the lactic acid in yogurt.

Garlic, Aspirin and Probiotic Yogurt Mixture for Acne

The best thing about this acne remedy is that if you already have these products at home, you won’t need to spend extra money to use them to treat your acne.

  1. Crush four large cloves of garlic into a fine pulp.
  2. Use a mortar and pestle to crush six non-coated aspirin tablets into a fine powder.
  3. Add the crushed garlic and aspirin to ½ cup of plain probiotic yogurt. Smear some of the mixture onto the acne-prone areas of your skin. Use a tissue to flick away any little bits of garlic left on your skin.
  4. Refrigerate remaining mixture as soon as possible.

To make this mixture at the lowest cost, I bought a store brand of aspirin on sale for $2.99. I already had a five-pack of garlic at home for cooking that I’d originally bought for $0.89 at the market. I also already had a container of Astro BioBest® plain probiotic yogurt that I’d bought for $2.99 on sale. It contains Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus acidophilus. I make only a small amount of the mixture at a time so it doesn’t last beyond the expiry date of the yogurt.

Why This Cheap Acne Remedy Helps

Garlic is one of the richest natural sources of sulfur, which has been used to treat acne since the 1940s. Sulfur is a drying agent so it helps to control excessive skin oiliness that contributes to acne, and it may also help to kill Propionibacterium acnes, acne-causing bacteria that live on the skin. Also, you may be surprised to know that some well-know acne medications like Clearasil actually contain sulfur.

Similarly, a key acne-fighting ingredient in popular over-the-counter medications like Oxy Clean is salicylic acid, which is another name for aspirin. Salicylic acid slows down skin cell turnover, which means there are fewer dead skin cells to clog your pores and cause pimples. It’s also effective at breaking down pimples. Finally, studies — including one in a 2011 volume of Gut Pathogens —have shown that the healthy bacteria in probiotic yogurt can kill Propionibacterium acnes. Probiotic bacteria also reduces skin inflammation, which is present in all types of acne, not just cystic acne.

Extra Acne Remedy Advice

Apply the mixture about 15 to 20 minutes after washing your face with a mild soap. Nighttime application is best because garlic is pretty pungent. Also, both garlic and aspirin can sting your skin, so apply the mixture to only one small area of skin at first to test your tolerance. If you suffer too much irritation throughout the course of treatment, add extra yogurt or apply the mixture less often.

One thing to keep in mind is that like any acne treatment — including isotretinoin, the only known cure for acne — the garlic-aspirin-probiotic remedy may not work for everyone. If it’s not as effective as you’d like after four to six weeks, try making the mixture stronger before giving up on it altogether. For instance, use more garlic cloves or add a few extra aspirin tablets. Still, you should first consult a doctor or dermatologist about treating acne.

This has been a guest post by Andrea from Ontario, Canada
Find out more about the KCL Contributor Network!


Leave a Reply

21 thoughts on “Help is On the Way: Cheap Acne Remedy for Under $5”

  1. You can also go to ehow there is a whole bunch of videos on natural acne remedies for various kinds of acne, I never had a major problem with acne until we moved to Portland, it is so humid here that my face has exploded with very large painful zits, I have tried two of the recommendation and so far my face is starting to clear up. I have tried several over the counter remedies and nothing has worked as well as this.

    • Anonymous says:

      I didn’t realize Portland was so humid. I’m in Houston and I just can’t imagine somewhere as humid as here, except maybe the rain forest. LOL

  2. Thanks for posting this. I have had acne since I was 12 years old and I am 27. The only thing that helped calm down my acne was pregnancy and breastfeeding. After that it came back, but not quite as bad as before. I am still the only person from my high school class who still has acne. During the summers it really tends to flare up, I will try this remedy as I hate over the counter stuff as it is very drying. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Angelica–I was in the exact position as you!  Hormones!!!  I asked the DR if we could trick my body into thinking I was breastfeeding because it REALLY helped my skin. He just laughed.  (I was serious!!)  Nothing topical ever worked for me, so please post if this does!  I am mostly acne free now–3 kids and the mid-30′s was the secret for me!

  3. i’ve also found an effective way to treat my acne is using milk of magnesia (phillip’s or a store brand) on your face after washing. I normally put it on at night and use a cotton ball to apply it to my face. It acts like an astringent and clears up acne great. at around $3 a small bottle which lasts a year+ it’s a cheap remedy. 

  4. DLB says:

    Wouldn’t this be expensive over time with buying the garlic and yogurt you need, say, every week? The yogurt has a shelf life (even though you’re not eating it, I’d assume you wouldn’t want rancid yogurt on your face), so you can’t keep the mixture it in the fridge forever…

  5. Rose says:

    Also you need to be careful putting asprin on your face, for you may not be allergic to it internally but externally. So watch for flashing, and apply from the forehead down, you go from thickest skin first to thinest skin and no more than 5 mins.

  6. Anonymous says:

    if this doesn’t work, try dr. dennis gross trifix acne solution.  it is a MIRACLE WORKER!!! i have been battling acne since middle school and totally frustrated to be still doing so in my late 20′s. i have tried everything, even proactive, and have been to a handful of dermatologists.  nothing worked! out of frustration, i gave this product a try. it is a little pricy, but totally worth it for my renewed self esteem alone!!! it is VERY drying, however.  before i go to bed, i wash my face, apply the trifix solution on my problem areas, and after letting it sink in for a couple minutes, aplly aquaphor (the kind that comes in a tub and looks and feels like vaseline).  seriously, my skin is better than it has been in years! i have no connection to the compnay and am not trying to sell this product…i just know from experience how devastating fighting a losing battle with acne can be.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Pizzaz had plenty of pimples as a kid. One day I fell asleep in the library. When I woke up, a blind man was reading my face.

  8. Agua says:

    I also read that if you sleep on a clean towel or pillow case EVERY NIGHT it helps a lot with acne.  Makes sense if you think about it. 

  9. Anonymous says:

    THANK YOU THANK YOU for posting this. i have being battling acne since my teens. i will try this once again thank you

  10. Anonymous says:

    Also just use witch hazel (we use rose scented), aspirin, and 70% rubbing alcohol. No horrible smell and costs about $3.00 for about 7 months supply.

    Witch hazel (walmart brand) $1.50
    Walgreens 70% rubbing alcohol 16oz $1.50
    aspirin (small walmart bottles) $.88
    =   $3.88 + w/e tax or price variance

    We use an old bottle of sea breeze from years ago.

    • Anonymous says:

      how much witch hazel, aspirin and alcohol do you put in. thanks

      • Anonymous says:

        My boyfriend and I use a normal 8oz bottle (old sea breeze like i said before) and we mix it 4oz with hazel, 4oz alcohol, 12 aspirin. We have oiler skin though. My brother and his girlfriend use 3oz witch hazel and 5oz alcohol and 12 aspirin. You can pretty much make it however you want. There are recipes all over the internet each varies.

        Just experiment, each persons skin is different thats what we did. It saves a ton of money and best of all witch hazel at many stores is very cheap and even at cvs its part of their always running “spend $15 on cvs products get 5ecb”. If you don’t have an old bottle to use you can score some on amazon super cheap.

    • JoyW says:

      Rubbing alcohol is very drying, and not good for the skin. The only reason its in so many face products is because isn’t cheap and the cooling/drying sensation fools you into thinking that the product is absorbing into your skin quickly. A lot of DIY recipes are bad for the sole purpose of avoiding ingredients like rubbing alcohol and sodium lauryl sulfate.

      • Anonymous says:

         Whatever works I will do. This is something we’ve altered into our own and it works for us. As I said before my boyfriend and I have very oily skin and this is something that works for us. Each person has their own opinion on products and this is something I do to keep my skin from being a hot oily mess.

  11. Just a heads up. Aspirin is NOT salicylic acid, it is acetylsalicylic acid. You can derive salicylic acid from aspirin, but they certainly are not the same.