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Honey is a common ingredient in many products sold as ‘skincare. There is much debate over whether honey does has any benefits for your skin. This article will discuss the possible pros and cons of using honey on your acne. Honey was said to have excellent healing properties. Currently, numerous medical products contain or consist entirely of natural honey because of their antibacterial properties. Since introducing antibiotic creams and ointments, honey has been overlooked as a beneficial agent in preventing infection.
How does honey work for acne?
Acne is not caused by bacteria (which antibiotics combat) but by oil (sebum) production and blocked follicles; however, studies have shown that honey can help heal acne lesions. According to one study, adding honey to an antibacterial cleanser was just as effective as benzoyl peroxide 5% gel at reducing Propionibacterium acnes and free fatty acid levels and decreasing total bacterial counts.
Honey is known for its antioxidant properties, which may provide some anti-inflammatory benefits. Still, it needs antimicrobial ingredients such as lactic acid or salicylic acid to be more effective for acne. Honey can help by gently removing the top layers of dead skin cells, which will unblock the pores and allow for improved penetration of any ingredients that follow it.
Honey has antibacterial properties based on its high sugar content. Still, based on what we know about honey’s antioxidant benefits to date, it seems these are limited because they do not target specific bacteria involved in acne.
Natural remedies like honey may be included as additional ingredients in products simply because they smell or feel good; however, this must be considered when attempting to treat acne with these types of remedies.
Which type of honey is best to use for acne?
Manuka honey is unprocessed honey derived from the pollen of manuka trees, which contains higher antioxidants than other types. Manuka honey has been found to have potent antimicrobial effects, so that it may be best for acne-prone skin.
Manuka honey can be used in combination with any oil or cream you currently use on your face; however, do not use manuka under actives like benzoyl peroxide because it will interfere with their efficacy. If you are not able to find this particular type of honey, you can look for these qualities is honey:
Raw honey has many potent antibacterial qualities that can help your skin, but if you are using it on acne-prone skin, make sure to use raw organic honey. It is best to buy local honey because this will ensure that it has not been processed or heated, which can affect the properties of the honey. You should always be careful when applying any topical product to your face for the first time to limit potential side effects.
How do you use honey for acne?
Honey has antibacterial properties, making it great as an additional ingredient to any skincare routine targeting acne. Even though it does not contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide by itself, it can help improve the penetration of these ingredients. There are many ways to use honey on acne-prone skin:
- Honey face mask
Use honey to make a honey-based face mask. Combine three teaspoons of raw organic honey, ½ teaspoon of lemon juice, and 1 egg yolk in a small bowl. Apply the mixture over your whole face or specific acne lesions for 15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.
- Honey cleanser
Add two teaspoons of raw organic honey to 3 teaspoons of whole cream milk, mix until it has dissolved completely. Then add this to your regular facial foam, gel or wash and use as you usually would. You can leave the mixture on your skin for 5 minutes before washing off with cool water if desired. This method can be repeated twice daily, every day if needed.
- Honey toner
Combine two tablespoons of raw honey with a ½ cup of apple cider vinegar and a ½ cup of filtered water. Pour all ingredients into a glass bottle and shake until well combined. Then use it as you regularly would toner–after cleaning your face, apply the toner to a cotton round or ball and swipe it across your entire face or acne-prone areas.
- Honey oil cleanser
Mix 3 teaspoons of organic honey with two teaspoons of coconut oil before adding this mixture to your facial cleanser at the ratio of 1 teaspoon for each product. Shake well before applying to skin as usual after cleansing for twice-daily use for best results. You can also try mixing one tablespoon each of raw organic honey, olive oil, and almond oil together and then diluting it with distilled water or witch hazel at a 1:1 ratio.
What is the DIY honey acne treatment?
- Mix two teaspoons of raw honey with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon powder and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg, clove powder, and ginger powder. Apply the mixture to your face for 15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. You can do this up to 3 times per week or daily if tolerated well.
- Combine six tablespoons of castor oil, four tablespoons of organic honey, and ten drops each of lemon essential oil, frankincense necessary oil, and rosehip seed (optional) in a glass bottle. Shake until thoroughly mixed together. Massage into skin in circular motions for 5 minutes before rinsing off with lukewarm water. This method can be done twice daily for best results.
- Combine two tablespoons of raw organic honey with one tablespoon of whole cream milk and chickpea flour, then add five drops of tea tree essential oil. Apply the mixture to your face for 15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. This can be done every other day only if you have sensitive skin. Otherwise, it can be used once or twice daily.
- Mix one teaspoon of raw organic honey with half a cup of organic yogurt and apply the mixture to your face for 10 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. You can do this up to 3 times per week, depending on tolerance.
- Combine one tablespoon each of raw organic honey, olive oil, and distilled witch hazel together in a small bottle and shake until it’s well mixed. Apply this mixture to your skin using a cotton ball or clean fingers and leave it on for 20 minutes before washing off with lukewarm water. This can be done twice daily for best results.
- For normal/dry skin: Combine two tablespoons of raw, unpasteurized honey with half a cup of whole cream milk and rose water. Apply the mixture to your face for 15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. This can be done up to twice daily if tolerated well.
- For normal/oily skin: Combine two tablespoons of raw, unpasteurized honey with half a cup of egg white and lemon juice. Apply the mixture to your face for 15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. This can be done up to 3 times per week only if you have sensitive skin. Otherwise, it can be used once or twice daily.
- For dry skin: Combine two tablespoons of raw, unpasteurized honey with one tablespoon each of olive oil and almond oil in a small bottle and shake until it’s well mixed. Massage the mixture into your skin in gentle circular motions for 5 minutes before rinsing off with lukewarm water. You can do this up to 3 times daily, depending on tolerance.
- For normal/dry skin: Combine two tablespoons of raw, unpasteurized honey with one tablespoon of organic yogurt and ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder and milk cream (optional). Apply the mixture to your face for 15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. This can be done up to 6 times per week only if you have sensitive skin. Otherwise, it can be used once or twice daily.
- For dry /sensitive skin: Combine equal parts plain Greek yogurt, raw honey, and coconut oil in a small bowl until well mixed. Apply the mixture to your face for 15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. You can do this up to once daily for best results.
Honey Acne Treatment – The Pros & Cons
Raw honey is widely accepted as being suitable for the skin, given its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Some studies have also shown that it can remove acne scars if applied regularly over eight weeks. Honey has been used in ancient Egyptian and Indian herbal medicine to treat pimples and acne. The benefits of honey include:
- Antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory – kills bacteria, etc., deep down in pores; beneficial for blackheads/whiteheads; helps reduce scarring; reduces inflammation; works well for inflammatory acne (e.g., papules and pustules).
- The acidity of honey makes it a good exfoliator – removes dead skin cells from the surface, unblocking pores, allowing sebum to flow freely.
- Honey is moisturizing and hydrating – due to its high sugar content, it attracts water from the air when applied topically; it can also help balance pH levels in the skin.
- Studies have shown that honey is especially effective against P acnes bacteria which causes pimples/acne. The presence of hydrogen peroxide makes it more potent than other sugars.
- The antioxidant properties of honey prevent damage to healthy cells and increase cell growth: reduces free radical damage and inflammation. All this adds up to faster healing time and less scarring after extractions or breakouts. However, there are a few things you should be aware of:
- Honey treatment for acne works best on clean skin without any oils or lotions applied beforehand (oils and lotions can dilute the acidity of honey, reducing its effectiveness).
- Honey is acidic and may not be tolerated by sensitive skin. Those with sensitive skin should start very slowly by applying a tiny amount to one spot for a few days and seeing how well their skin tolerates it before applying over the entire affected area.
- Don’t apply too much at once: honey treatment for acne works best when only used in small amounts.
- Some people do experience an initial breakout when starting this treatment, but that’s just because all the gunk in your pores is being brought to the surface much faster than expected. It should settle down after a few days. If you’re concerned, reduce the frequency of applications.
There are a few more precautions you should take:
- Always store raw honey in your fridge once opened to keep it fresh and prevent fermentation from yeast spores. If your house is very warm, it’s best to store it in a cool place instead.
- Make sure that the raw honey you buy has not been heat-treated or pasteurized as this kills all-natural enzymes and compounds, which can reduce its effectiveness on acne. Look for labels that say ‘raw,’ ‘unpasteurized,’ or ‘with live enzymes.’
- Do not apply if there are open wounds/cuts/scratches/sunburn etc., because raw honey may cause infections in these cases. You will likely end up with an itchy, red, swollen face.
- Test a tiny amount of honey on your skin first to ensure you don’t have any adverse reactions to it (e.g., itching, rash, etc.).
- Do not leave raw honey on overnight unless you want to end up looking like the Wolf-Man (just thought I’d let you know)!! It may stick around longer than it should because honey has strong anti-bacterial properties, fighting against Propionibacterium acnes, the bacteria responsible for acne breakouts.
Honey has been used for years in homemade acne treatments. Many people swear by it and claim that it cleared their skin when nothing else would. While there’s no scientific evidence to back up these claims, there is undoubtedly a noticeable trend in forums and blogs where people have had success with honey. Acne is usually because of many reasons, so it is also essential to visit a skin doctor to find out what’s happening on your skin. You can opt for natural treatments like homeopathic treatment for acne because it’s safe and effective. Homeopahty doctors are also very good at finding the root cause of your problem. You can book an appointment through OHO Homeopathy, and the homeopahty doctor will help you get rid of your acne.