Fact or Fiction: Can Honey Really Minimize Acne?

Fact or Fiction Honey for Acne

Spring is finally here, and this means more sun, longer days, and blooming flowers. Along with the budding flora, however, come a perennial springtime nemesis—bees. But before swatting away the next pesky bee you see, think about this — the answer to your acne problem might lie in the hive to which that bee is flying.

Honey is a delicious additive to tea and other foods, but it may also be useful outside of the kitchen. Used as a facial product for centuries, it is also thought of as being a remedy for acne. Acne is formed from bacteria-clogged pores, but honey may actually be able to penetrate into our pores and clean out the bacteria. The Acne Zone tells us, “Honey has an osmotic effect, meaning it likes to absorb water. If you put honey on acne, it will absorb the water in the wound. This kills the bacteria because they need water too.” In addition, this natural nectar also has a high acidity level, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory qualities. YoDerm explains, “Honey releases low levels of hydrogen peroxide that disinfects your skin”; therefore, honey can help to kill the bacteria that is lingering on your skin. Many acne treatments contain hydrogen peroxide as well, but is it worth it next time to skip the pharmacy and hit the food store instead? Let’s find out more about honey as an acne treatment among other natural remedies.

We already know honey kills bacteria, but why? YoDerm tells us that its “high sugar concentration and acidic properties impair bacteria’s ability to replicate, [and] applying an antiseptic to a fully developed pimple […] can stop the infection in your pore from getting worse.” The anti-inflammatory agents in honey also reduce swelling and redness that comes with acne breakouts. The Acne Zone points out, “The antioxidants in honey help prevent damage from free radicals,” which will help reduce acne if bacteria is the culprit behind your breakouts. Honey has proven to be a natural remedy for curing acne; however, if your acne is caused from stress, hormones, or because your pores are blocked, then it will not be likely for honey to help your acne. YoDerm explains, “While honey may be effective at diminishing the bacteria it reaches, if your pore is clogged, there’s no way for the honey to get inside and do its job.” Combining honey with natural exfoliators, such as cinnamon, may be helpful if you find your pores are too clogged for the honey to do the job alone.

Verdict: Fact. Honey has been proven to help minimize acne breakouts and also has many other benefits for our bodies and skin. Honey leaves the skin moisturized, so it is a perfect face mask to use during harsh weather. If you want to try honey as a face mask, be sure to use non-pasteurized, raw honey. Before applying honey to your face, test on a small patch of skin to make sure you aren’t allergic. Check with your doctor or dermatologist to make sure this acne remedy is something you can try. If you want to use honey but also need to unclog your pores, I recommend a facemask using mixture of 1 ½ tablespoons of non-pasteurized organic honey, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg.


Have you used honey on your breakouts?

To debunk more beauty myths, find our Fact or Fiction articles here.

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