People often think of acne as something you only suffer through during your teen years due to fluctuating hormones. However, adult acne plagues many sufferers and leaves them feeling self-conscious. I know firsthand how absolutely frustrating this can be, especially when it pops up out of nowhere!

Instead of wading through questionable lists of ingredients on various products, you can try something more natural. Here are the five best herbal supplements for combating adult acne:

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, meaning it works to regulate your hormones, and it contains antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. The herb is known as “Indian ginseng” and naturally assists in wound healing and moisturizing. Try taking it orally, since ashwagandha also relieves stress.

Add a little powdered ashwagandha to your rosewater toner and use it twice a week. When toning, pay attention to the moisturizer you use. While you may want to try to use olive oil as a natural moisturizer, you may undo the good your toner does, since olive oil can trap bacteria and cause infection, pimples and blackheads. You don’t want to over-tone or over-moisturize. Also, don’t use scrubs if you have sensitive skin.

Stinging nettle

Nettles are anti-androgen and contain many natural nutrients the body needs. Make the most of nettles by making an infusion. Drink three to four cups a day. Herbalists believe the silica in nettles helps improve circulation and strengthens the hair, nails and skin. When ingested as a tea or used topically, nettles heal the skin with analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects.

Stinging nettle contains many constituents and is considered one of the most nutritive herbs as a trophorestorative. Its constituents are carotenoids, flavonoids, Vitamin C, Vitamin B, Vitamin K, minerals, triterpenes and sterols.

Burdock root

Burdock root is excellent for cleansing and helps prevent the damage of free radicals with its antioxidants. People used burdock root for ages to treat acne, eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties can help calm and heal skin troubles when applied to the skin topically. You can also include burdock root in your cooking with pickled burdock and braised and sautéed burdock root.

Saw palmetto

Saw palmetto is a small palm tree native to the eastern United States. It’s an effective anti-androgen due to its fatty acids and phytosterols and is very popular among herbalists. Saw palmetto prohibits the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is it primary action as it resolves dermatologic conditions. American Indians used to use it as a food and to treat reproductive and urinary problems. The Mayans drank it as a tonic.

When saw palmetto lowers DHT, it reduces the production of sebum that contributes to acne development. Saw palmetto also has anti-inflammatory properties, especially due to its expression of COX-2. Saw palmetto may be used as a combination therapy or monotherapy in treating acne.

Neem

Neem is a natural detoxifier and blood purifier that works to cleanse your skin and body. It contains anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Use it topically or take it orally, but make your own toner to easily incorporate neem into your daily beauty and skin care regimen.

Boil two leaves or 1/8 teaspoon powder in a half-liter of spring water until the water turns green. Let it cool and strain the liquid into a glass container. Dip a cotton ball in the mixture and pass it over your face as needed. Use your neem toner twice a day as a good rule of thumb.

Get started today (but ask a dermatologist first)

Incorporating natural herbal supplements into your skin care routine, orally or topically, can help regulate your hormones and reduce the sebum on your skin if your body produces too much. Consult with your dermatologist and an herbalist to discuss more natural methods of fighting acne before resorting to medications.

best herbal supplements for adult acne.