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
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