Can Honey Really Cure Acne?

honey for acne

Honey has been a magical cure for all kinds of skin ailments for centuries. So it’s not too far fetched that honey could be an acne cure. Out of all the home remedies for pimples we’ve investigated, I would say honey is the one that get’s me most excited in terms of scientific evidence. So let’s take a look at why and how to use honey for acne at home.

How Honey Can Help Cure Acne?

There is some research which shows a lot of promise. For example, one study in the Journal of Antibacterial Chemotherapy, shows clearly that honey has strong antibacterial properties.

What’s more, honey has osmotic effects, which means it can reduce inflammatory acne by removing excess fluid. This combined with the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of honey can really help, especially if suffering from inflamed acne.

In addition to being an antibacterial agent, it is also used as an antiseptic and moisturizing agent. What’s more, natural honey is full of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins – many of which are essential for a healthy skin.

Unfortunately, while very helpful and promising, honey doesn’t tend to be a full replacement for medicated creams and face washes. But it works very well in conjunction with them.

Which Honey To Use For Acne?

Not all honeys are the same. In fact, in the United States alone, there are more than 300 different types of honey available.

Many commercial honeys are mostly sugar and won’t do much good. But raw honey has proven medicinal benefits.

In fact processed honeys actually lose most of their anti-inflammatory and antibacterial qualities when processed, so it’s important to use only organic, raw honey (to avoid pesticides and other nasty chemicals which won’t be good for your skin).

While a little bit more expensive, the best honey to use for acne is Manuka honey. This honey comes from New Zealand and is the most beneficial honey available, due to its impressive nutritional profile (it is four times as powerful as your traditional honey) and the fact that it has higher level of enzymes than regular honey. These increased levels of enzymes ( and the resulting natural hydrogen peroxide) is what gives Manuka honey its amazing antibacterial properties,  and makes this the ultimate acne cure.

How To Use Honey

This is a super simple remedy. Simply apply some raw, unprocessed honey on your face (just like a face mask) and leave it on for around 20 minutes. Wash your face thoroughly afterwards. Repeat frequently for a few weeks to determine whether this helps for your skin and acne type.

If you are going to create a honey face mask, we recommend creating a raw Manuka honey acne face mask for best results. For an added anti-microbial effect, you could also add some cinnamon. Cinnamon has been shown to have an abundance of healing and anti-inflammatory benefits in some recent studies. To be clear, this is not just any cinnamon, but Cinnamomum zeylanicum (also referred to as true cinnamon). You could either use powdered cinnamon or cinnamon oil to help clear up spots and pimples.

honey and cinnamon for acne

Just make sure you are not allergic to either honey or cinnamon before applying this mask!

Recipe: For the best acne mask mix three tablespoons of Manuka honey (or another raw honey if manuka is too expensive for you) and one tablespoon of true cinnamon. Once mixed, you can microwave for thirty seconds. Let it cool slightly and apply the mix to your face.

Apart from applying it directly on affected areas, you can also start incorporating it in your diet. A spoonful of honey is delicious, but you can also cook with it, add it to toast or add it to teas. Herbal teas are particularly good for skin, so honey and tea is a great combination.

Does Honey Really Work To Clear Up Skin?

Apart from science backing up claims that this does indeed work to clear up skin, many user reviews online state that using a honey mask can definitely clear up spots. Like with any natural homemade remedy, this treatment works better for some. One person might find this to be the magical cure they have been looking for, while the next person might have an adverse reaction and make his skin worse. But overall, this method seems very safe to use and works for the majority of people.

Forums online are full of testimonials and “before and after” pictures; so I would say that this is a legitimate homemade remedy.

What About Acne Scars?

There’s much speculation whether honey can cure acne scars. Unfortunately, this is a little bit of a myth. High quality honey can certainly speed up heeling on the skin, but once a scar is formed, there’s not much honey can do. Some users do claim it reduces the redness around a scar, so it might be worth trying it. But research has not backed up this claim at all unfortunately.

If you are going to try this, you’ll want to do it with the best Manuka honey for acne scars. Raw honey might work, but Manuka will be more powerful to treat acne scars.