I remember when I was younger and first started getting pimples, my mom would tell me to just put toothpaste or lemon on my breakouts. And well, because mother knows best, I did. I never saw anything wrong with treating my acne this way. I figured since they’re common household items that I am already using it must be fine, but to be quiet honest most of these home made methods are questionable at best.
Recently, I’ve been hearing a lot about honey as an acne treatment. How it has the power to condition and smooth the skin, reduce scarring, and help treat blemishes. It has been popping up all over my Instagram feed with natural skincare & DIY beauty bloggers AND it’s noticeably become more frequent as a skin treatment in spas. There’s pretty much a honey craze going on right now, it’s soo fetch.
Even after scrolling through message boards on Reddit, you can see hundreds of acne sufferers who claim their skin became completely clear after using raw Manuka honey. There’s even some pretty crazy before and after photos. But is this for real or just a clever trick to get us all smearing honey all over our faces or is this stuff really the beez kneez (see what I did there)?
honey has antibacterial properties
According to a cosmetic website focused on chemistry behind acne fighting ingredients, honey is in itself antibacterial, but not necessarily antibacterial towards acne. Honey’s antibacterial properties fight bacteria but it does not specifically ward off acne causing bacteria or p-acnes. Several studies have proved honey is effective against staph infection, but nothing has been done as far as research goes in terms of acne prevention. There isn’t any hard evidence, so to speak, but we do know the antibacterial properties possibly function in a similar way. Kind of crazy that although there are hundreds of testimonies swearing by honeys healing properties, no research has been done to solidify this.
raw honey works best
It’s important to mention that supposedly only raw honey has these antibacterial affects we are talking about. Regular honey- like that found in the squeezable bear which has been processed, destroying both the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, is ineffective against the treatment of acne and can actually make skin conditions worse. Your best bet is to find all natural, raw, and organic honey at your local farmers market or grocery store. Ideally honey should be gathered from hives that have not been tampered with- no chemicals or antibiotics please!
honey as a mask for acne
The most common way to use honey is by applying a thin mask like layer for around 15-20 minutes a few times a week to prevent and treat acne. Raw honey works best on inflammatory acne, because it can draw out excess fluid and help reduce inflammation. It’s also super calming to the skin so it works to reduce overall redness and angriness commonly associated with a pimple, which is a huge plus! After a single use of a raw honey mask you’ll notice supreme softness and may have to vigorously rinse your face to remove a weird film that may be left behind. Although honey is sticky, it isn’t like a biore pore strip-so it won’t be sucking all of the blackheads out of your nose.
it won´t help with acne scars
Honey has been shown to help wounds heal faster but it won’t actually help with scar repair. When honey is applied to burns it helps with collagen production and cuts down on healing time, but with reducing scarring- well, again there’s no actual research or evidence to support these claims. Honey could possibly decrease overall redness and healing time, but once a scar forms there’s nothing honey can do to make the scar disappear.
Kali Kushner, known as the Instagram alias myfacestory, is a natural beauty advocate in the greater Cincinnati area who is passionate about using organic skincare and holistic remedies to heal acne from the inside out. Her dedication lies in her own chronic acne struggles as she continues to restore herself while helping those around her.