6 Raw Honey Acne Remedies
Raw honey is the most effective, most powerful and safest natural remedy I have found to help treat and heal my cystic acne. Six months ago I switched from my prescription antibiotic topical lotion from my GP which I had been using for 2 years, to simply a jar of raw honey. Since then, I have not looked back and I thoroughly recommend anyone having trouble with acne to try this side-effect free option!
The Side-Effects of Conventional Acne Treatments
Before researching natural solutions, I tried in vain several different options from both high street beauty brands and the pharmacy. At first I was convinced that the more money I spent on a spot cream or acne lotion, the better my chances were at banishing my outbreaks and achieving goddess glowing skin. I tried every product in The Bodyshop tea tree range (completely useless), Sudocrem (greasy), Neutrogena face washes and spot gel (irritant to the skin), Clean and Clear blackhead exfoliators and toners, HRI Clear Complexion Tablets, benzoyl peroxide lotion similar to Freederm gel, then finally a topical antibacterial ointment prescribed by my family doctor.
The only options that were effective were the benzoyl peroxide lotion which caused terrible dryness and flakiness of the skin; and the antibiotic ointment which only kept acne away as long as I applied twice daily. Both had a bleaching effect so I had to be careful with clothing, and the antibiotics became a worry when I read that only a six-to-eight week course was meant to be used! I had been using it for two years. According to the NHS website, the side effects include the risk that the bacteria on your face may become resistant to the antibiotics, irritation of the skin, redness and burning of the skin, and peeling of the skin.
The Natural Solution – Raw Honey
According to a research article published by Frontiers in Microbiology investigating the effect of heat and filtration processing procedures on antimicrobial activity in raw honey before and after commercial processing, it was documented that processing was usually damaging to antimicrobial activity. The researchers concluded that “the potentially detrimental effects of even mild heating should be taken into account when processing and testing honey destined for medicinal use”. It is interesting to note that they discovered other factors present in the honey besides hydrogen peroxide and floral source seemed to be responsible for antimicrobial activity but that these are also sensitive to heat treatment. You can read more about the benefits of raw honey in my recent article.
6 Raw Honey Acne Remedies
I would advise that for use as an acne treatment it would be better to use a raw honey rather than a processed honey. A personal favourite of mine, I would recommend Hilltop Honey as I have been using this myself for six months. It’s made from British honey from British beekeepers, so the food miles are far lower than imported honey with high air-freight miles. I would advise either Hilltop Honey’s British Raw Wildflower Honey, Welsh Raw Wildflower Honey or British Creamed Raw Honey (a blend of oilseed rape and wildflower honey).
Super simple and it really works! Just apply raw honey to slightly damp freshly washed skin. Use enough to coat the skin in a fairly thick layer of honey (I use a heaped teaspoon) to create a face mask, or if you wish you could apply only to areas afflicted with acne. As honey is so moisturising, I like to cover the whole face. On application, you can work it into the skin using circular motions with your fingers. The natural crystals in the raw honey are perfect for very gentle exfoliating and to buff away dead skin. Leave on for as long as possible – preferably 45 minutes to an hour. If the acne is particularly bad, then apply in the morning and leave on for 15-20 minutes, as well as applying in the evening. Wash with warm water and your skin will be glowing 🙂
Honey + Salt
There are amazing testimonies of acne sufferers finding sea salt helpful for clearing acne such as those on Acne.org, and I too have seen the benefits of adding it to the honey method. To use, mix 1 heaped teaspoon of raw honey with 1/2 teaspoon of dead sea salt and carefully apply as a face mask. I wouldn’t advise to rub this into the skin as an exfoliator as the salt crystals will be too harsh and abrasive for inflamed skin. Alternatively apply raw honey onto the skin as above, then pat on dead sea salt into the honey. To completely avoid the coarseness of salt directly against the skin, make a dead sea salt toner to rinse off the honey mask by dissolving dead sea salt in warm water. For a toner spray, mix together raw honey, sea salt and freshly boiled water into a glass atomiser bottle to use on clean skin.
Honey + Oats
Oats (Avena sativa) are known for their use as a soothing agent, relieving itchiness and skin irritation with studies documenting its anti-inflammatory activity (Sur et al. 2008, Archives of Dermatological Research). To create a topical treatment, mix 1 heaped teaspoon of raw honey with 1 teaspoon of organic rolled oats. It might be helpful to grind the oats in a food processor or pestle and mortar to make a fine powder for ease of application to the skin. Add a little water if needed to loosen the paste and apply as a face mask. Leave on for at least 45 minutes before rinsing with warm water. To boost the immune system and further benefit from the nutraceutical properties of oats (Sing et al. 2012, Food Science and Nutrition), make a porridge with organic oats and dairy-free milk or water to also help clear acne, topping with a spoonful of raw honey.
Honey + Clay
This is one of my favourite methods to clear acne flare-ups, with the honey giving a nourishing effect to the skin. According to The University of Seville, natural clays contain minerals which are beneficial in aesthetic medicine. Mix 1 heaped teaspoon of raw honey with 1 heaped teaspoon of Bentonite clay and a dash of water to loosen the mixture to form a thick paste. Apply to skin and leave to dry for about 15 minutes before washing off. Other clays that could be used include Rhassoul (Moroccan red clay) or French green clay.
Honey + Lavender
The antimutagenic and antiseptic properties of lavender have been proven to be effective to topically treat acne (Evandri et al. 2005, Food and Chemical Toxicology). To use, mix 1 heaped teaspoon of raw honey with 1 drop of lavender essential oil or 1/4 teaspoon of dried ground lavender. Be careful with lavender oil as adding too much may irritate eyes. Alternatively add 1 drop of lavender to warm water to rinse skin following a honey face mask.
Honey + Lemon Tea
One of the best sources of antioxidant Vitamin C, fresh lemons are antibacterial, reduce inflammation and act as a detoxing diuretic: helping to regulate hormones by the removal of toxins (Dr Stanway, 2011). Make an infusion of fresh lemon juice in hot water with 1 teaspoon of raw honey per cup. Drink in the morning on an empty stomach for fresh skin and to flush away toxins! To emulsify sebum and to tackle the bacteria that causes acne, you can apply freshly squeezed lemon juice to skin once a day. I would advise to try this cautiously if you have extremely sensitive skin.
I hope these were helpful! I encourage acne sufferers to try some of these remedies as raw honey has been the key to clearing my adult acne. Please let me know if you try this – tweet me or comment below!