One of the most popular home remedies for all sorts of skin ailments is honey. Honey has been recommended by people the world over for centuries as a powerful natural way to treat acne, but does it really work? Read on to discover the truth about honey and acne and whether or not this is a viable home remedy.
What Exactly is Honey?
A lot of people recommend honey for skin health, but these people do not actually know what honey actually consists of and why bees actually create it. Honey consists of primarily fructose, which is the sweet, sticky sugar commonly found in fruit.
Did you know that honey actually contains higher concentrations of fructose than even “high fructose corn syrup”? Proponents of honey often state that it is better than sugar because it has a lower glycemic index, but the reason it has a low glycemic index is because it takes a long time for your body to digest fructose, the primary component of honey.
Bees create honey to feed it to their young. Developing bees only eat honey, which is why the beehive itself contains so much honey.
The Benefits of Using Honey for Acne Relief
The primary advantage of using honey to relieve acne is that honey itself contains antibacterial properties. Honey is a sugar, and bacteria love sugar. Without antibacterial properties, bacteria would be able to multiple to great numbers and consume honey and the bee’s life cycle as we knew it would be over before it started.
Bees fight off bacteria by adding antibacterial components to their honey. This helps prevent bacteria from growing and protects the young from infections. Theoretically, these same antibacterial properties could help fight off the infections that cause acne.
The Downsides of Using Honey for Acne Relief
There are two major downsides to using honey to relieve acne. First off, it is obviously very messy and sticky. If you apply acne to your face, you will have to wash it off. The antibacterial properties of honey are not strong enough to destroy significant amounts of bacteria if you just apply it to your face and rinse it off.
Secondly, honey itself may clog pores. It is thick and sticky so you have to scrub it off. Failure to scrub it off may actually lead to new acne developing. Scrubbing may cause irritation and may increase inflammation in existing acne, worsening symptoms, increasing swelling, and possibly even cause scarring.
All in all, honey is a bit of a bust for preventing or relieving acne symptoms. There are better home treatment options out there.