5 herbal drinks that heal and clear your acne from inside out

While skincare products like salicylic acid cleansers and retinol night creams go a long way in fighting acne, holistic methods are a great way to supplement your topical routine. These elixirs, like antibacterial spearmint tea and anti-inflammatory amla juice have no side-effects (had in moderation), and won’t dry out or irritate the skin like other topicals can do. “Before we talk about things that help, I want to talk about things that might not,” says Dr Geetika Mittal Gupta, founder and medical director of ISAAC Luxe. “There have been many studies that prove that the lactose, plus the chemicals and preservatives in milk have been linked to breakouts. I advice my clients that have active acne to eschew regular milk to an alternative source,” she says. “Fizzy drinks and colas have lots of sugar and carbs that can cause issues like dullness, inflammation and acne. Same goes for packaged juices, and sugary cocktails.”

We asked Dr Mittal Gupta, lifestyle nutrition consultant Tripti Gupta, and nutritionist Nmami Agarwal to list out the drinks that could help you clear your acne, so you can add them to your AM or PM repertoire. Scroll ahead for their recommendations.

5 drinks you can sip on to help treat acne

Spearmint tea

“If consumed daily, one to two cups of organic spearmint tea can reduce acne breakouts by 25 per cent to 50 per cent, and this information is well documented by dermatologists. It can also keep those stubborn zits at bay,” says Agarwal. Spearmint tea is said to be the most potent mint to kill acne-causing bacteria and yeast, and has anti-inflammatory properties that can calm active acne.

Green tea and lemon

According to Agarwal, the combination of green tea and lemon is a potent blend to address acne. “Simply boil few green tea leaves in some water and add a teaspoon of lemon juice to it. Strain and drink it hot,” she recommends. “While the Vitamin C in lemons works to clarify your skin, green tea is rich in catechins, which are potent antioxidants that boost your immunity, skin health and overall well-being.” A recent study also showed that the polyphenols can help reduce sebum production, thus making you skin a hostile environment for acne-causing bacteria. For a stronger shot of antioxidants, try matcha, which has epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), to help counteract the sebum creation that occurs before pimples form.

Neem and honey

It may not be the most palatable drink, but Dr Mittal Gupta confirms that bitter neem tea is an antidote to pimples, boils and blemishes. “A staple during Indian summers, neem is antibacterial in nature, and widely used in Ayurvedic concoctions as well. Chewing neem leaves or drinking neem-based concoctions can help remove toxins and purify blood to an extent,” she says. “You can infuse neem leaves in water and add honey to combat bitterness,” she adds.

Amla and ginger shots

“Rich in Vitamin C, amla is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredient, which boosts the immune system and gives you the strength to fight off acne-causing bacteria. Because it is also responsible for the production of collagen, regular consumption will also make skin glow,” says Agarwal. Ginger boasts many potent anti-inflammatory compounds, including a variety of antioxidants that protect your body from damage by unstable molecules called free radicals. Studies show that the gingerols and sesquiterpenes are the key.

Lemongrass and turmeric tea

The pairing of these anti-fungal and anti-bacterial ingredients helps to ward off acne, pimples and rashes. “Lemongrass, turmeric and black pepper, brewed fresh with a cap of evening primrose oil and lavender sticks, works as the perfect tea blend for PCOD-related acne,” shares Tripti Gupta. “Turmeric contains a compound named curcumin, which possesses antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. You can also add turmeric to soups, stews, or drink a cup of lukewarm turmeric milk,” adds Agarwal.

The article was first published in Vogue


  • Aparrna Gupta

    Transitioning from crafting stories for The Asian Age and Bombay Times to setting beauty trends in Verve, Aparrna Gupta’s journey has always revolved around resonant storytelling. Her prowess in content creation is unparalleled, with articles featured in renowned publications like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, L’Officiel India, Lifestyle Asia, Elle, and Femina. She also excels in content ideation, trend identification, mood board creation, and product styling. Her expertise has proven invaluable to homegrown brands, enabling them to authentically connect with their audience.

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