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11 Home Remedies for Cystic Acne

Combat cystic acne and regular breakouts with these 11 at home remedies!
Course: Skin Care
Cuisine: Home Remedies
Keyword: acne, cystic acne, home remedies, skin care



  • Ice works great when trying to reduce the size of your cystic acne, or any pimple for that matter! Although this wasn't completely eliminate it, it WILL reduce the size. The best thing to do is apply ice immediately to the acne when you see it. Drop a couple of ice cubes in a sealable bag, and hold it against the affected area for 10-15 minutes. You should notice a big difference in the swelling.

Apple Cider Vinegar

  • ACV is great for ALL skin ailments, but especially for acne-prone skin. ACV works as a natural astringent and toner that balances your skin's pH levels. Basically, if used on a regular basis, it will restore your skin's natural pH balance, which is one of the things that causes cystic acne in the first place. Mix equal parts AVC with equal parts water and apply all over face with a cotton ball. Leave it on overnight, and repeat the process every night before bed. Make sure you wash your face first!

Egg Whites

  • Egg whites have been used for thousands of years in the treatment of cystic acne. They basically have the ability to pull out grease and oil from your pores…which is what you need. Simply separate the egg white from an egg, whisk it a bit, and apply directly to your face. Leave on for 10-15 minutes until it tightens, and rinse off with warm water. Repeat 2-3 times a week. The egg white will not only remove dirt, impurities, grease, and oil, but will also tighten and shrink pores, and smooth out imperfections.


  • Lemons have a very high acidic content and as such are an integral part of treating cystic acne. Lemon juice will reduce the size, eliminate redness, and erase scars due to its bleaching properties. Mix 1 part pure, organic lemon juice with 1 part water and apply to affected area daily using a cotton ball.


  • Honey has amazing anti-bacterial properties, and is very often used in treating cystic acne. Make a honey paste by combining 1 part lemon juice with 1 part honey and apply to affected area. Leave on for 10-15 minutes and rinse off. You can apply this quick mask to your cystic acne every other day.


  • An at home aspirin mask can reduce inflammation, remove dead skin cells and calm pain. Aspirin is a close cousin to salicylic acid and so it works really well in a pinch! To make an aspirin spot treatment, crush up an aspirin really well and mix it with a little bit of water to form a paste. Apply directly to the cyst and leave on until dried. Remove with warm water and pat dry. Use once a day until the bump subsides. Check out other ways to use aspirin in your beauty regimen!

Hydrocortisone Creams

  • An over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream can do wonders for cystic acne! We recommend Neutrogena On-The-Spot Acne Treatment, which is a triple threat. It contains hydrocortisone, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid. These three ingredients target the cystic pimple directly by removing bacteria, reducing inflammation, and get rid of excess oil. Apply the cream every night and you should see results within a few days!

Retinoid Creams

  • Another over-the-counter treatment is a retinoid cream. We recommend Differin Acne Gel Treatment, which is a powerful retinoid that can help with inflammation and bacteria. It also helps to exfoliate and remove dead skin cells.

Tea Tree Oil

  • Tea tree oil has been used for a long time to treat acne and this is because it has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Tea tree oil, when applied on a regular basis reduces inflammation, unclogs pores, and can reduce the size of a painful bump.


  • Turmeric is an all powerful powder that's not just used in the culinary world. Turmeric contains curcumin, which is a natural anti-inflammatory. It also contains antiseptic properties, and it's a quick and cheap cystic pimple remedy. To make, mix turmeric and water to form a thick paste. Apply all over face or only to affected areas and leave on for 45 minutes. Wash off with lukewarm water and pat dry. Use once or twice a week every day. Check out our favorite turmeric face masks!

Hands Off

  • Lastly, but certainly not least, the most important thing is to NOT touch or pick at the pimple. Whether it's a cystic pimple or just a regular pimple, the worst thing you can do is pick at it. Every time you touch your face, you're spreading even more bacteria. The best thing you can do is just apply any of the remedies above, and leave it be – it WILL subside at one point, but it may take some time.