You try to do everything right, but somehow acne still appears at the worst moments.
Luckily, there is something you can do to tackle acne head-on. This recipe takes some of the best plant-based anti-inflammatory and antibacterial ingredients and packs it into an easy to make gel that will blast that acne away over a few days. Unlike over-the-counter acne treatments, this gel won’t dry out or irritate your skin.
The anti-acne gel is straightforward and easy to make at home. It starts with a base of witch hazel hydrosol, known for its anti-inflammatory properties and gets extra power from the inclusion of tea tree and rosemary essential oils (read all about the best essential oils for the skin).
To get the additional staying power, you’ll want to include a thickener. My favorite is thickener appropriate for use on the skin is xantham gum because it creates a transparent gel, but other thickeners include locust gum, guar gum, and acacia gum.
If you’ve ever used flour or cornstarch to thicken a sauce, you are familiar with the concept of how these gums work. Flour, cornstarch, xanthan gum, locust gum, and guar gum are all hydrocolloids ingredients that control water in a recipe, binding with liquids to form gels. With xanthan gum, a little goes a long way. A pinch (approx. 1/8 teaspoon) is all you need to create a gel.
If you wanted to get fancy, you could substitute witch hazel hydrosol for another hydrosol like rose geranium or cornflower that have similar properties to achieve the same results.
Botaneri “Level-Up” Tip
Look for pure witch hazel hydrosol, not the more commonly found witch hazel mixed with alcohol. The alcohol can dry the skin out and potentially cause the skin to react and produce even more sebum.
What Causes Breakouts?
The exact causes of acne are complex but generally involve a combination of hormonal imbalances, overactive sebaceous glands, and the presence of bacteria (specifically P.acnes), and sloughed skin cells that get trapped inside a follicle with a sebaceous gland.
Researchers are currently looking at why some people seem to be especially susceptible to acne. Right now, science is leaning towards a combination of genetic causes that make some people especially prone to inflammation from P. acnes as well as the presence of other bacteria.
At a glance:
Gel with essential oils
Intermediate: ingredients can be found at specialty stores or online
This gel aims to help reduce the redness and inflammation caused by the pimple as well as reduce bacteria on the skin.
Around a week.
Botaneri “Level-Up” Tip
For additional benefits, apply a warm towel to the inflamed area for 2 minutes to open up the pores prior to applying the gel.
Witch Hazel, Rosemary, and Tea Tree Acne Blasting Gel
The basic recipe is straightforward. It starts with a base of witch hazel, known for its anti-inflammatory properties and gets extra power from the inclusion of tea tree and rosemary essential oils (read all about the best essential oils for the skin).
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Witch hazel Hydrosol approx. 28 grams
- 1/8 teaspoon Xantham gum approx. .2 grams
- 3 drops Tea tree oil essential oil
- 3 drops Rosemary essential oil
Measure hydrosol and add to small bowl. I use something similar in size to a shot glass.
Take a pinch of xanthan gum and very slowly add to the hydrosol while whisking with a mini-whisk the entire time until as smooth as possible.
Add essential oil and fully mix in.
Pour into a rollerball container or keep in a small bowl.
Apply to affected area twice a day.
Store in the fridge. This gel will last for about a week.
You can substitute witch hazel hydrosol for another hydrosol like rose geranium or cornflower that have similar properties to achieve the same results. If you don’t have a hydrosol, use distilled water.
About the author
I’m Drew, creator of Botaneri and an artisanal skincare formulator and certified aromatherapist who is here to help take the mystery out of DIY natural beauty. I started creating my own plant-based skin and body care products at home to deal with my own skin issues.
What I love most is helping people create luxurious and effective self-care products right in their own kitchens. It’s a lot easier than you think. Trust me, if I can do it, so can you.