Two Quick and Simple Acne Tips

If you have read any of my posts, you know that I always stress the fact that most chronic skin conditions must be healed from the inside out.  As an acupuncturist and herbalist, I use the tools of my trade (acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine) to improve the overall health of the body as the main treatment for skin problems.  But there are still some really simple things you can do at home to help reduce blemishes and improve the quality of your skin.  Below are 2 simple and inexpensive changes you can do today that will really make a difference to your complexion.  This cleanser and toner are great for skin that suffers from blemishes, acne, uneven skin tone, dryness, or rosacea.  They are also great if you just want to simplify your beauty routine or start using more wholesome, natural products on your skin.

Make your own wholesome cleanser

Stop using harsh chemical facial cleansers or soap.  Instead, make your own facial cleanser using honey and oatmeal (rolled oats – like the kind you buy in the cereal aisle).  Get a small clean jar (glass or plastic is fine, just be sure it is really clean).  Grind the oats in a coffee grinder (but not too finely).  Add enough to fill your jar halfway.  Fill the rest of the jar with honey and mix it in.  You now have an awesome facial cleanser that you can use twice daily.  Be sure to apply it to a damp face (otherwise it will be way too sticky) and GENTLY circulate on your face and neck then rinse it off.  The honey has wonderful anti-bacterial properties yet won’t dry out your skin and the oats gently exfoliate without irritating your skin. If you prefer something even more special, our professionally handcrafted HoneyHerb Scrub makes an excellent cleanser.

Use a vinegar toner

Make your own toner using apple cider vinegar (ACV) and distilled water.  In a small bottle, add half distilled water and half ACV.  If that smells too strong for your liking, water it down a bit (two-thirds water, one-third ACV).  Apply to your clean, dry face using a flat round cosmetic pad or cotton ball.  Leave it on – it will dry quickly.  Apply it after every time you wash your face (twice daily).   Apple cider vinegar is your face’s friend – it helps restore the acidity to the acid mantle.  This acid mantle is the thin, slightly acidic film on the surface of your skin that helps reduce the over-proliferation of bacteria.  If you want an even more effective toner, check out our herb-infused AcneHerbal™ Facial Toner. I can’t make any guarantees, but I think you will be impressed at how quickly these 2 simple tips will improve the texture and appearance of your face (or chest or back) in just a few days.

Tags: acne, blemishes, dermatology, dry skin, Facial care, natural skin care, rosacea

Topics: Acne, Beauty, Facial Care, Rosacea

Publish Date: July 12, 2011     *Articles may include updates since original publishing.

About the Author ()

Diana Hermann is a licensed acupuncturist and board certified in Chinese Herbal Medicine. She received her Master Degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine in Portland, OR and trained in China at the Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Diana treats patients in her Fort Collins, Colorado clinic and hand crafts herbal skin care products for her company Zi Zai Dermatology. In 2015, she completed the Diploma In Chinese Medicine Dermatology program from Avicenna in London, UK. She completed the program for a second time in 2019 in Chicago.

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  1. Tips to Manage and Improve Rosacea | Zi Zai Dermatology's Blog | August 4, 2011
  1. Courtney says:

    Nice post! We’re doing some exploration of dermatology and skin conditions on my website right now, too, and one thing people often overlook is proper hydration. Drinking enough clean water each day will improve your skin without doing much else. I talk a little about this in my last post: And I had no idea acupuncture and holistic treatment could treat acne. (I am a harsh chemical user, myself, mostly because I have very troubled skin: dry, eczema, and oily.) Excellent!

    • YES! Drinking plenty of water is SOOO important for your skin no matter what type of dermatological issues one is dealing with. Want younger looking skin? Drink up the water! (By the way, I also advocate using shower filters for people who have eczema and allergic skin reactions.)

      • Ryan Rogen says:

        I completely agree that shower filters are essential for those people . When you think of showering, you will automatically think about getting clean. This is not always the case, especially if you live in an area that has hard water. Impurities and harsh chemicals such as chlorine can end up leaving you with adverse health problems. You can find that you develop your skin, dandruff, and you may even become allergic to things. In order to fix this problem, you could purchase a shower filter.

  2. cocolala says:

    my pimples come and go, always repeating. I think it might be my body is not ‘clean’, any suggestion? I’m trying to drink more vege and fruit juice now to improve my bowel system.
    Also, sometimes i have inflamed pimple and they often leave marks eventhough i did not pick them. Pick or no pick, they leave scars, and my scars are very hard to heal, slow-healing. it all started during my first job 11 years ago in a furniture factory. it had never stopped before. i’ve been using natural skincare for 2 years now.

    • I intend to write additional posts about acne and explain these things according to Chinese medicine theory. Too long to write about in a comment here – check back for it!

  3. Dee says:

    Great post! Thank you! Can you tell me how long the oats and honey cleanser will last once it’s made up?

    • Well, I am not exactly sure. Honey does not spoil – it is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal. But with the oats in it, that may change things. The longer it sits, the more the oats absorb moisture from the honey and the stiffer the concoction becomes. So I would suggest making it in 4oz. (1/2 cup) batches and then when it gets used up, make a fresh batch!

  4. Angie says:

    I am vegan so I cant use honey, is there are a replacement I can use?

    • Bummer. Well, I don’t know of anything quite as amazing for skin as honey…but if I come up with something I will certainly post it here. May I ask you (or someone else who is vegan who wants to answer), why are bee products not okay to use if you are vegan? No bees are harmed in the process of obtaining honey or beeswax and beekeeping actually has many environmental benefits. I am not judging…I am just curious. It is the only aspect of vegan-ism that I don’t fully understand. Also, if anyone else has ideas for a good natural, simple cleanser that has properties similar to honey, please share with us!

      • Angie says:

        Veganism is a way of living which excludes all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, the animal kingdom, and includes a reverence for life. It applies to the practice of living on the products of the plant kingdom to the exclusion of flesh, fish, fowl, eggs, honey, animal milk and its derivatives, and encourages the use of alternatives for all commodities derived wholly or in part from animals. With that said, this is why honey is not part of a vegan diet: While harvesting honey, any bee that defends the hive by trying to sting the farmer necessarily dies afterward. Also, even though some people tell me that they buy “organic” honey from little farms that may not be harming them in a significant way, bees spend time making honey, and we take it. It’s not ours to take.

        Thank you for all this information, i’ve been battling acne/rosacea (not sure yet which one is yet) and I haven’t found a way to eliminate it! This started about 6 months ago (I’m 42 years old) and my eating habits have not changed a bit (I’ve been vegan for 4 years). Maybe is pre-menopause? I even thought maybe to go gluten free/wheat free. Any insights on this are truly appreciated it.

        • Ah…that makes sense. Thank you so much for clarifying that. I understand now.

          Regarding rosacea and acne, they can worsen when a person ages because our Yin declines. Western science explains this as hormone imbalance as we (women) get closer to menopause. But in TCM, our Yin is our moistening and cooling factor; as our supply of it decreases, the Yang (fire) can flare up out of control and often this will manifest as heat rising to the face. I would highly suggest finding a local TCM practitioner near you for internal herbs to replenish your Yin (once they examine you they may determine a different diagnosis, but I still think internal Chinese herbs would be very helpful for you). I also would avoid alcohol. Contact me personally at if you want help finding a practitioner near you.

  5. Sophie says:

    Hello, what is your take on someone whose face flushes and gets red and hot (not rosacea) on very hot days? I told my Chinese medicine doctor and he said something about my Chi being blocked and to drink more water (which I always have) and exercise so that I sweat (he guessed that I don’t sweat much and he is partly right but then again, I don’t really exert myself physically). but I am talking about preventing it from happening in the first place – I am not going to go exercising on the spot because my face gets red and hot, for the sake of forcing myself to sweat. I do sweat somewhat from the heat but still, my face feels like I’ve got it stuck in an oven and only time and moving to a cooler area will dissipate it. Summer is approaching and I am absolutely dreading it because of having to cope with a hot and red face, which often gets people to point out that my face is red (yes, I know).

    Also, are there foods you would suggest for getting rid of brown spots on the face? Isn’t it a sign of one of your organs not functioning properly (or something like that), in addition to the sun? I want to do something to address it, not just use topical stuff on my face. I had used a whole bottle of a Vitamin C and E treatment to fade these brown marks but they did little, if anything, for me to even notice any noticeable change.

    Your thoughts would be appreciated, thank you.

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