Written By: UMA Editorial Team |

Published on: November 23, 2023

Acne is something that many people struggle with, regardless of age. There’s nothing more frustrating than waking up to an unexpected breakout, or celebrating when a blemish subsides only to have another appear in the same location. Experimenting with different over-the-counter pharmaceutical solutions is a challenging and time-consuming process, and oftentimes the chemicals in these products can actually exacerbate rather than alleviate the skin.

While acne may initially appear to be a cosmetic issue, in Ayurvedic tradition, the appearance of acne reflects greater imbalances within our bodies. Understanding your doshic balance and paying close attention changes in your body or routine will help you identify the root cause of such imbalances. Additionally, there are a number of herbs and spices that are revered in Ayurveda for their purifying, acne-relieving effects. Here are 5 Ayurvedic ingredients that can help combat acne and inflammation, and tips on how to incorporate them into your routine. Some of the best ayurvedic herbs for acne treatment:



Turmeric is a renowned spice in Ayurvedic tradition because of its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which make it an excellent anti-aging ingredient and a powerful immunity booster. Furthermore, research has shown that turmeric can inhibit the body’s inflammatory response, enabling it to combat acne and other forms of inflammation.

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Fortunately, turmeric is an incredibly versatile ingredient; you can use it in cooking, as a mask or as part of a soothing tea. For example, you can crush mint leaves to extract their juice, then combine this juice with turmeric powder and apply the resulting paste to your face for 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can make your own golden milk as a way to wind down before bed—while also boosting digestion, improving mood and more. Note that some research suggests that the hormones in cow milk can contribute to acne by throwing your hormones off balance. If you’re not sure how your skin reacts to dairy, you can still brew your own turmeric tea with a water base.



You might know that aloe vera is a healing agent for sunburns and wounds. Rich in antioxidants, aloe vera also acts as a potent anti-aging tool with the capacity to reduce wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and inflammation. Research demonstrates that aloe vera’s anti-inflammatory properties come from its inhibition of the cyclooxygenase pathway. This enables it to effectively combat acne among other inflammatory conditions.

Aloe for acne

While there are a number of products available that channel the skincare benefits of aloe vera, you can also apply fresh aloe vera to your skin to experience its full impact! Simply cut open a fresh leaf and apply the gel to acne. Wash off with water after 5-10 minutes. Applying the fresh gel twice a day for 10-12 days yields the best results.



Sandalwood is another Ayurvedic ingredient whose antimicrobial and antiseptic properties make it a fantastic anti-aging and acne-reducing resource. Its astringent and anti-inflammatory properties enable it to minimize oil production while keeping the skin hydrated, thus effectively combatting acne without drying out the skin. Furthermore, sandalwood can lighten acne scars and instill the complexion with a warm glow.

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You can combine the purifying powers of sandalwood and turmeric by mixing equal proportions of turmeric and sandalwood powder. Add rose water to form a paste and apply to the skin for 15 minutes before washing off with water.



Rich in antioxidants and nutrients, papaya has been shown to boast impressive anti-inflammatory properties, thus making it a healthful and revitalizing source for combatting acne. Thanks to its vitamins and enzymes, it can also brighten and hydrate the skin while also reducing the appearance of inflammation and acne scars.

You can use fresh papaya to make an anti-inflammatory face mask by mashing papaya and mixing it with honey. Apply to the skin for 30 minutes, then wipe off with a warm, wet tissue before washing off with cold water

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Tulsi, or holy basil, is a revered adaptogenic herb whose benefits include boosting overall immunity, improving circulation, lifting one’s mood and strengthening cognitive function. To top it off, tulsi’s powerful antibacterial properties make it an excellent reliever of acne scars.

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there are a number of ways to incorporate tulsi into your diet depending on your preferences. You can take tulsi as a supplement, drink it in the form of herbal tea, or use a massage or wellness oil that incorporates it as a key ingredient. You can even brew your own basil tea at home by boiling crushed basil leaves in water. After the tea cools, you can apply it to the affected areas of your skin for boosted radiance and evenness.

For those who would rather not make your own acne remedies or are looking for a solution that combines many of these ingredients, our Deeply Clarifying line is formulated with ingredients such as aloe vera, turmeric and neem to specifically target acne and inflammation and to boost overall radiance and get clear and glowing skin.