If you are reading this, chances are, you have tried at least one herbal or ayurvedic acne pimple treatment cream.
Here we have compiled some of the best-selling herbal, ayurvedic and natural acne and pimple creams available in the Indian market. Then analyzed their suitability and effectiveness against pimples.
Tread carefully, do a patch test before applying any pimple cream all over the face.
It is believed that being natural, such pimple creams will take time to work. If a natural or herbal pimple cream is not showing results in 1-2 weeks (or worse causing more pimples), it is unlikely that it will start working for you in the future. It is best to stop using it if that is the case.
Herbal preparations such as tablets or capsules are often more effective than herbal creams. See our list of best Ayurvedic medicines for acne in India which includes reviews of Safi, Liv-52, Baidyanath Rakta Shodhak, Surakta, Purim tablets and other herbal medicines for acne.
What makes us happy to see the ingredient list of aloe vera, cucumber, orange peel, neem, sandalwood, sulphur, honey in a gel base is sulphur. Not too many pimple creams available in India contain sulphur. Sulphur is very effective in drying up pimples without leaving dark pimple marks. So that’s the good point about Roasacnil.
While Rosacnil has worked well for some, for some others it has caused pimples. Most likely culprit is the thick base, which despite being called a gel, and looking nothing like a gel, is possibly comedogenic. Do a patch test first, and if it doesn’t break you out, Rosacnil can be a valuable tool in your acne-fighting kitty.
Acnovin Cream for Acne and Pimples
With Kumkumadi Tailum, turmeric and neem as main ingredients, Acnovin claims to eradicate causative bacteria, promote collagen formation (fill up pitted scars?), remove blemishes and scars and bring a glow to the skin. How does it fair on these claims?
Given a choice, we would pick Acnovin capsules or Acnovin tonic formulation over this cream. Reason? Unknown cream base. And it is not about just this pimple cream. When it comes to ayurvedic or herbal remedies for acne, most companies do a better job at oral remedies rather than topical ointments.
It happens that even though they know and add all the right herbal ingredients, probably because of lack of choice or knowledge, they put these ingredients in a cream or gel base that is most likely comedogenic (skin clogging, acne causing). Even one comedogenic ingredient in your pimple cream can cause you pimples. Also, oral supplements can be more potent and work deeper.
Himalaya Herbals Acne-n-Pimple Cream
If you have a case of very very mild pimples, this pimple cream is worth a try. With its herbal ingredients of masur dal (lentils), silk cotton tree, alum, aloe and nirgundi, this acne and pimple cream can dry up pimples without leaving a dark spot behind. But remember we said a very very mild case of pimples.
Himalaya Clarina Anti-Acne Cream
This herbal acne cream has zinc and aloe vera, apart from Vatada, Matsyakshi, Manjishtha and Tankana, all good-for-skin ingredients. We found a research paper titled Evaluation of efficacy and safety of Clarina cream in newly diagnosed and previously treated cases of acne vulgaris. (The research paper is not available to common public anymore)
The research showed significant improvement in the occurrence of blackheads, whiteheads and pustule pimples from the second week of starting Clarina use. Use of Clarina also resulted in significantly improved moisture level of the skin from second week onward.
So this is what research says. What do users say? Use this cream at night because it leaves a white cast (due to zinc), leave it on overnight and wait for 2 weeks.
Vicco Turmeric WSO skin cream
Vicco Turmeric has long been hailed as an herbal acne cream. The main ingredient is 16% turmeric that is good for acne prone skin and pimples. It is available in two versions – the regular one and the newer WSO version which is Without Sandalwood Oil.
Vicco Turmeric may not suit everyone. Both the regular version and the WSO have been reported as causing pimples. To read more about Vicco Turmeric and how to use it, read this review of Vicco Turmeric cream for acne prone skin here.
Nomarks cream For Oily Skin Prone to Pimples
(This is in green packaging with herbal actives) Ingredients: amla (Indian gooseberry), aloe, lemon, rose, mint, camphor and Kayaputi (white tea tree) oil. The main acne fighting ingredient here is Kayaputi oil or white tea tree oil, which is an anti-septic. The lemon in it helps to fade dark pimple marks.
Eraser Acne and Pimple Cure Cream
Claim: With its unique herbal formulation of Masoor, Phikari and Haldi (Tumeric), Eraser Acne & Pimple Cure cream helps to soak up the excessive oil present in acne prone skin – nurturing your skin with its cooling, healing and antiseptic properties.
Our view: Eraser Acne and Pimple cure cream contains Wheat Germ oil, one of the most comedogenic substances, which means it is extremely likely to cause or worsen your pimples.
Baba Ramdev Divya Kanti Lep
Although Diva Kantilep seems to be a face pack, this lep can be used as a pimple balm. It has a strong smell and leaves a yellow cast on the skin (due to Henna leaves and turmeric in it). It is best used overnight and washed off in the morning. It does not cure pimples overnight, but the cooling sensation can calm itchy or painful pimples instantly. It has to be used regularly in order to see results. Kanti lep does contain camphor which is mildly comedogenic.
Tea Tree Oil
While we are on the subject of herbal remedies for acne, how can tea tree oil be left out? It is a potent remedy that can dry up pimples fast.
Tea tree oil can irritate the skin, so don’t soak your skin in this oil. Use a tiny amount, say, just dip a cotton bud (or Q-tip) and dab it on the pimples. Using too much of it can leave dark marks behind as pimples dry up. Just for the record, tea tree oil has a very strong smell.
Tea tree oil is available in India through The Body Shop and Aroma Magic brands. There are other herbal brands also with tea tree oil products.
Lotus Herbals Tea Tree Anti-Pimple & Acne Gel
With no ingredients other than tea tree oil listed on the label, our best guess is that it is mainly tea tree oil in aloe vera base plus yellow colouring and fragrance. Perhaps don’t expect it to clear up your skin of pimples or scars or pimple marks. Think of it as a simple moisturizing gel for acne prone skin and you will not be disappointed.
Himani Boroplus Anti-Acne Cream
With clove oil and camphor for controlling acne, tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil for preventing germ build up and nutmeg oil to reduce scarring, Himani Boroplus Anti-Acne Cream looks good with all-herbal actives. We do not have access to the full ingredient list, so it is hard to say if this cream is non-comedogenic or not.
People often give up on herbal or natural pimple creams because either such pimple creams don’t work or they take too long to work or cause more breakouts. There is almost always a good reason for that. Read on.
Sometimes, makers of herbal products feel almost obliged to throw in “nice-sounding herbal ingredients” just for the sake of adding them. Adding too many filler ingredients can thicken the base of the cream and make it practically useless (even harmful) for acne-prone skin.
Unnecessary fillers also reduce the potency of the cream overall because then you need tons of it to show effect.
In India, we have some of the best natural ingredients available for fighting pimples. But by the time they reach us in tubes and jars, they have already been adulterated with artificial colouring, strong fragrance, harmful preservatives and acne-causing thickeners.
That is what forces people to choose prescription pimple creams over herbal ones.