Acne vulgaris is the most common chronic skin disease which affects almost 90% of adolescents at any one point in time irrespective of their race or gender.
There have been developed certain methods and medications to cause prevention or at least reduction in the frequency of acne breakouts.
The various forms of medications include anti-biotic, anti-retinoid, oral contraceptives and Accutane among others.
However, there has also been a large scale deviation away from chemical-based medication and towards home and herbal remedies because of the wide and large scale side effects that were caused as a result of those medications.
As the popular saying goes, “the solution to every problem lies in your kitchen”, so does the solution for your acne and skin problems.
Here is one such component that is easily available in your kitchen and is also an effective and quick solution for acne breakouts.
Honey is collected from beehives and contains 80% water and complex sugar. It consists of carbohydrates, proteins, amino acid, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other compounds along with enzymes including invertase, glucose oxidase, catalase and acid phosphorylase.
Apart from this, it has traces of vitamins B2, B3 (which has anti-inflammatory properties, it reduces skin and acne inflammation and moisturizes the skin to make it soft), B4, B6 and B11, and vitamin C.
Honey also has antioxidant elements, primarily flavonoids. Darker honey exhibits larger anti-oxidant properties.
Why Honey for Acne?
Honey is effective towards the prevention and reduction of acne in two ways. Firstly, it cleans the blocked pores and secondly if disinfects the microbes.
Manuka honey is the best choice in terms of antimicrobial properties and is, therefore, most effective.
Best suited honey mask
The quality of honey, as well as its ability to fight the acne-causing bacteria, depends upon how and where it has been prepared by the bees. Hydrogen peroxide is one component common to all kinds of honey that exhibits anti-bacterial properties.
However Manuka honey, which is one of the most effective kinds of acne, also contains methylglyoxal which is an antibacterial component found in high concentrations in the nectar of Manuka flower.
Honey containing this component has been labelled as ‘Unique Manuka factor’ (UMF) and any Manuka honey which has 10 UMF is labelled as active manuka honey or UMF Manuka honey.
Preparing a mask of honey differs with respect to the kind of skin type while treating acne. Here is a number of ways in which honey masks can be prepared to deal with the problem of acne:
Amazing Honey Masks for Acne
Some great honey based masks for acne:
1. Pure honey mask
Honey itself can be used as a mask plainly. It is used by simply spreading a layer of honey on your face, preferably filtered honey.
It not only heals acne but also makes the skin smooth. It is inherently sticky which helps in the removal of dust and pollution from the skin.
Persons who are allergic to honey should avoid using this preparation.
2. Apple honey mask
It requires that you take out the pulp of one apple and mix 1 to 2 spoons oh honey to it in order to make a smooth and consistent paste.
Apply this paste on your face and leave it for 20 minutes before washing it with warm water. While honey acts as an anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial agent, apple helps remove the dead skin cells and also help towards reducing the blemishes and acne marks.
Apple pulp can also help maintain the pH level of the skin and detoxify it.
3. Lemon yoghurt honey mask
This mask can be prepared by mixing one tablespoon of honey and the juice of one lemon to half a cup of yoghurt.
Apply this mixture on your face and massage it in a circular motion for some time and leave it on for 15 minutes to dry after which it should be washed with lukewarm water and moisturized with cream in case of extreme dryness.
While lemon helps with the marks and scars by lightening them, yoghurt can tighten the pores of your skin, causing it to shrink, at the same time making it soft and supple.
4. Cinnamon honey mask
This mask requires 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of honey (should be mixed in equal quantity) to make a smooth, uniform and consistent paste.
Apply this mask on your face and leave it for 15 minutes to dry and then wash it off with lukewarm water.
Honey has an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory property while cinnamon contributes towards skin lightening and reducing of the scars and redness of acne.
5. Aloe Vera honey mask
In this mixture, aloe vera and honey are mixed in equal quantities to make a uniform consistent paste.
A thin layer should be applied on the face and left for about 20 to 30 minutes and then washed with warm water.
This paste combines the antibacterial qualities of honey and the anti-inflammatory qualities of aloe vera that heals redness, itching and swelling.
6. Kelp aloe vera honey mask
One tablespoon of kelp powder should be mixed with a half tablespoon of aloe vera and one tablespoon of honey in order to make a smooth paste.
This paste is applied on the face and left for 15 minutes before washing it with lukewarm water. This can be done twice or thrice a week.
It helps in the exfoliation of dead skin cell and at the same time maintains the moistness or smoothness of the skin.
7. Tea tree oil honey mask
For this mask, two drops of tea tree oil should be added to one tablespoon of honey. This paste/gel can be applied to the skin uniformly and left on for about 15 to 20 minutes and washed with lukewarm water.
Tea tree oil exhibits antibacterial and antifungal property and helps in the prevention of acne breakouts.
8. Aspirin honey mask
Use lukewarm water to dissolve the aspirin so that it makes into a consistent paste and mix one tablespoon of honey to it.
Apply this either on the affected areas or on the whole face and leave it standing for about 7 to 15 minutes before washing it with lukewarm water.
Since aspirin is an anti-inflammatory agent, it immediately reduces redness caused due to acne and also exfoliates the skin.
Possible issues with using honey masks
- Honey is very sticky
- It can be very messy as it may drip on your floor and clothes while applying
- It is not a very time effective process and might take time to show results
Cost of the Acne Treatment with Honey
The best part of this treatment is that it is very cost effective. Most ingredients are very easily available in your very household itself.
Kelp and tea oil which might not be in your kitchen are not very expensive especially since it is used in very small quantity and aspirin is a very inexpensive drug.
Precautions while using Honey
- Before using any of the above preparations, do a patch test to check for allergies.
- Do not use unfiltered honey as it might contain insect hair, dust, pollen grains and other impurities.
Customer Reviews of Honey for Acne
We did an online analysis of the reviews of people who have used honey to treat their acne. Here is a summary of what they had to say:
What they liked about it:
Better skin: Most consumers believed that all the aforementioned methods helped not only towards treating acne but also cause a betterment of the skin texture and tone, in general, making them soft and supple.
It also hydrates the skin and reduces redness.
Scarring: The use of honey also helps towards the reduction of inflammation as well as scarring.
It is also helpful in reducing any other kinds of marks from the skin and for many consumers, made the skin blemish free.
What they did not like about it:
Dryness: The only one thing that a few consumers complained about was the dryness that it caused.
However, it has been advised that in case of extreme dryness, a moisturizer can be used simultaneously.
The use of honey to treat acne is one of the most efficient, tried and quick method.
It requires no harmful chemicals but only things that are already available in the household. What more, it rarely causes any side effect and leaves the skin soft and supple.