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14 Ways To Use Tomato For Acne (And Why It Often Works!)

By Megan Griffith

Reviewed for medical accuracy by Dr. Jaggi Rao,
MD, FRCPC Double board-certified dermatologist

The leading cause of developing acne on the face, the neck, the back of the chest is due to the pores in our skin becoming blocked1. And this blockage is due to an accumulation of dirt and grime in the pores of our skin. These get trapped in the excess oil secreted by the sebaceous glands in our skin which further leads to bacterial infection and the eruption of acne.

Woman holding a tomato in her hands
Tomatoes are known to be good at reducing blackheads or pimple formation in your skin when dirt, dead skin cells and your skin’s natural oil clogs in your skin.

Besides these factors, a weak immune system2, hormonal imbalance, leading a stressful lifestyle, poor hygiene, and an unhealthy diet can also contribute to acne formation.

There are many topical acne treatment formulations available in the market, and some of them like Exposed are excellent and more effective than natural remedies. However, they do cost money and can, in some cases, irritate the skin. Using a natural alternative like tomato to treat acne will work great for some people and is undoubtedly cheap.

Beneficial Properties Of Tomato

  • It optimizes the skin’s pH level and removes toxins from the pores.
  • Tomato stops the blocking of pores by closing skin pores.
  • It has a moisturizing effect on the skin.
  • It works at the cellular level and prevents scar formation.
  • The anti-oxidative property of tomato3 protects against free radical that cause acne.
  • It contains a host of vitamins like A, C, K, E, B1, B2, B3 and B6 which nourish the skin and reduces pore size.
  • The iron, potassium, and other beneficial nutrient content of tomato are not only good for the skin but for general health as well4.
  • The low glycemic index of tomato does not contribute to acne.
  • Tomato improves skin health because of its inherent astringent property.

Using Tomato For Treating Acne

You can use tomato alone or in combination with other household ingredients to treat acne. In the write up below, we have outlined several methods to treat acne with tomato, choose the way that suits you the best and uses it regularly to get rid of acne.

Tomato Mask

Procedure – Make a smooth puree by blending a single tomato. Apply this puree to the acne affected area and leave for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse off with cold water and wash face with a mild cleanser and dry the area. Repeat the procedure every day.
Rubbing tomato slices to the acne affected area achieve similar results.

Avocado & Tomato

Procedure – Take a tomato and the pulp of an avocado and blend till a smooth paste. Wash face, put a towel over the head and hold face over a bowl of steaming hot water for about 15 minutes. Apply the paste of tomato and avocado onto the acne affected area and leave for 30 to 40 minutes. Wash off with warm water and dry the area. Repeat the procedure every day.

Jojoba Oil, Tea Tree Oil & Tomato

Procedure – Mash half a tomato to a smooth paste. To this add five drops of tea tree oil and one tsp. of jojoba oil and mix thoroughly. Apply onto the affected area and leave for 10 to 15 minutes. Wash off with warm water and dry the area. Repeat the procedure every day.

Oatmeal, Lemon Juice & Tomato

The oatmeal in this combination gets rid of acne-causing toxins while lemon juice exerts bactericidal properties.

Procedure – Blend half a cup of plain oatmeal with one tomato and 1tsp. of lemon juice to a smooth paste. Add water to reduce the thickness of the paste. Apply to the affected area and leave it for 20 to 30 minutes. Wash off with warm water and dry the area. Repeat the procedure every day.
Mint can be added to reduce inflammation in case of back acne.

Yogurt & Tomato

Procedure – Make a puree with half a tomato and add two tbs. of Greek yogurt to it. Mix thoroughly. Apply onto the affected area with fingertips, massaging in gentle circular motions. Leave for 30 minutes and then wash off warm water and a mild cleanser and dry the area. Repeat the procedure every day.

Lemon Juice & Tomato

Procedure – Blend a tomato to a puree. Take one tbs. of this puree and add four drops of fresh lemon juice and mix thoroughly. Put this mixture in an airtight container and keep refrigerated. Every day after washing your face, apply this mixture onto the affected area with a cotton ball massaging in gentle circular motions. Leave it for 10 to 15 minutes and then wash off with warm water and dry the area.
This method is not suited for those with sensitive or dry skin as the ingredients are acidic.

Cucumber & Tomato

Procedure – Mix proportionate amounts of cucumber juice and tomato juice and using a cotton ball apply onto the affected area. Leave till it dries. Wash with warm water dry the area. For the first week apply three times in a day then repeat the procedure once daily till acne disappears.
Alternately, rubbing cucumber and tomato slices directly onto the affected area gives the same results.

Honey & Tomato

Procedure – Make a puree with one tomato and then take one tbs. of the puree and mix it with two tbs. of honey. Using circular motions massage into the affected area. Leave it for 15 to 20 minutes and then wash off with water and dry. Repeat the procedure every night before going to bed.

Milk & Tomato

Procedure – Mix one pureed tomato with a quarter cup of milk. Apply onto the affected area and leave it for 10 to 15 minutes. Wash off with water and dry the area. Repeat the procedure every day. Refrigerate remaining mixture.
Lime juice can replace milk if so desired.

Honey, Camphor & Tomato

Procedure – Blend 1 tsp. of honey, half tsp. of camphor lotion and one tsp. of pure tomato juice to a smooth consistency. Apply onto the affected area and leave for 15 minutes. Wash off with warm water, followed by cold water to close the pores and dry the area. Repeat the procedure every day.

Turmeric & Tomato

Procedure – Make a paste with one tsp. of powdered turmeric and two tsp. of fresh tomato juice. Apply onto the affected area and leave for 20 to 25 minutes. Wash off with cold water and dry the area. Repeat the procedure every day.
For better effectiveness add half tsp of lemon juice.

Honey, Turmeric, Whole Wheat Flour & Tomato

Procedure – Make a paste with two tsp. of milk, one tsp. of whole wheat flour and half tsp. of powdered turmeric. Take half of a freshly cut tomato and pour honey on it and rub directly onto the affected area. Leave the tomato with honey for 15 minutes. Wash off with water and dry the area. Repeat the procedure every day.

Garlic & Tomato

Procedure – Mince four cloves of peeled garlic. Blend 2 tbs. of fresh tomato juice with the minced garlic to a smooth consistency. Apply onto the affected area and leave for 5 minutes. Wash off with water, dry and apply non-oily moisturizer. Repeat the procedure every day.

Kale, Celery & Tomato Smoothie

Besides being rich in vitamins A & C, this smoothie also has a low glycemic index.

Procedure – Blend one tomato with four kale leaves and two celery stalks to a smooth consistency. Add ice and drink once or twice in a day.

Do Tomatoes Cause Acne?

Some people have speculated that tomatoes can cause acne. It’s hard to find any evidence to support this claim, however. Eating fresh tomatoes and using them for treating acne as described above will not cause acne, but instead offers a host of health benefits5.

It is worth mentioning that canned and preserved tomatoes do have the capability of worsening acne eruptions because of the ingredients used to preserve them.

So it is always advisable to use fresh organic tomatoes while considering any of the home remedies listed above.

Things To Keep In Mind

  • Make sure you are not allergic to tomatoes.
  • Always try and include tomatoes in your diet.
  • Regularly drink tomato juice and smoothies.
  • Use a non-oily moisturizer after using the above acne removal methods.
  • You can safely refrigerate the remedies for up to 3 days.
  • Consult a dermatologist if results do not show after 2 to 8 weeks of regular use.
  • Never leave tomato remedies longer than the time suggested in the above write up.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle with plenty of water intake6 and a properly balanced diet and avoiding sugars and carbohydrates will have an added effect in treating acne with tomatoes.

References:

  1. Sparavigna A., Tenconi B., De Ponti I., La Penna L. An innovative approach to the topical treatment of acne. Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology. 2015;8:179–185.
  2. Antiga E., Verdelli A., Bonciani D., Bonciolini V., Caproni M., Fabbri P. Acne: a new model of immune-mediated chronic inflammatory skin disease. Giornale italiano di dermatologia e venereologia. 2015;150(2):247-54.
  3. Frusciante L., Carli P., Ercolano M.R., Pernice R., Di Matteo A., Fogliano V., Pellegrini N. Antioxidant nutritional quality of tomato. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. 2007;51(5):609-17.
  4. Raiola A., Rigano M.M., Calafiore R., Frusciante L., Barone A. Enhancing the Health-Promoting Effects of Tomato Fruit for Biofortified Food. Mediators of Inflammation. 2014.
  5. Story E.N., Kopec R.E., Schwartz S.J., Harris G.K. An Update on the Health Effects of Tomato Lycopene. Annual Review of Food Science and Technology. 2010;1:189-210.
  6. Palma L., Marques L.T., Bujan J., Rodrigues L.M. Dietary water affects human skin hydration and biomechanics. Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology. 2015;8:413–421.
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