Does Honey Help Acne? (Eat or Mask or Both? + Mask Recipe)

Have you tried all the natural remedies for banishing your acne but haven’t found THE one that produces results? Hey, we all just want clear complexion (or at least knowing we’re headed in the right direction), minus all those frustrating and annoying, self-sabotaging acne breakouts.

I’ve got something for ya…but don’t jump up and down just yet. I need to dissect and explore this one magical ingredient with y’all – so, bear with me to the end of this post before rushing to your kitchen.

That tasty, golden syrupy goodness that’s made by your fave little hardworking buzzy bees – Honey!

Honey is the world’s most natural source of sweetness that lights up dessert, gives coffee that extra touch, soothes the throat from that winter cold and can be added to whatever your heart calls for in your dish.

Honey contains amazing medicinal properties and been touted as a “superfood” that doesn’t just taste great but is potently useful for treating health ailments.

Personally, I love some organic manuka honey on apples, sometimes in black coffee and drizzled on crepes. Yum.

And how cute are the lil hardworking stingy bees that make such a gorgeous and medicinal food?

Maybe you’ve encountered some info on honey and how its antimicrobial and antibacterial – so, it must be amazing for an acne sufferer, like you? Right?

Hold that thought…

I’ve written the correlation on acne and sugar here. And I really meant any sugar that’s relatively high on the glycemic index (GI), which also includes agave, honey, coconut palm sugar – basically all the “supposedly” healthy alternatives that spike up insulin (hormone produced in the pancreas).

In this post, I will break it down for you on the benefits and cons (yes, there are some!) on using honey + which honey types are best (so many to choose from, but not all them created equal!) + my ultimate fave way to use honey (hint: mask recipe below!).

The key here, is how to use honey for acne – and, which type is best?


Let me start off with just how beneficial honey actually is – like you didn’t know, right?

  • Reduces and soothes cough from colds
  • Eases flu and fever symptoms
  • Heals wounds and burns (also beneficial for external scar tissue)
  • Boosts immune system (healthy immune system is less prone to illnesses)
  • High in antioxidants and flavonoids
  • Natural allergy relief (seasonal)
  • Natural Humectant
  • Antibacterial (perfect for acneic skin to be used as a mask/scrub/cleanser)
  • Antifungal
  • Antimicrobial


How possibly can there be cons to consuming honey, if all the benefits stated above are true?

Did you know that not ALL honey is created equal?

What you mean, not created equal? My jar at home states 100% honey. No extra additives, preservatives, etc.

Well now…

Did you know that around 76% of store bought honey has pollen removed? This is according to Food Safety News, Nature World News and Palm Beach Post.

There’s quite a few lawsuits in Florida claiming honey sold in supermarkets has been tainted due to processing measures.

In 2011, Florida became the first state to institute a honey regulation that prohibits additives, chemicals or adulterants in honey produced, processed or sold in the state.

So, why is pollen removed a bad thing?

Bee pollen contains beneficial properties of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, enzymes, carotenoids, and bioflavonoids. And those exact properties are what gives off the benefits to strengthen the immune system, heal wounds + scars, reduce inflammation, etc.

When you thought this was it…more cons on commercialized honey.

  • May be sourced from bees treated with antibiotics
  • Chemically refined
  • Heated + pasteurized, which destroys beneficial enzymes, vitamins and minerals mentioned above
  • Filtering and processing honey removes pollen and propolis

How Does This Effect Acne?

Taken bee pollen out + chemically processing honey – reduces the health benefits (including for acne) and more sugar content is emphasized vs beneficial + medicinal properties. Thus, honey becomes higher in GI (glycemic index scale; more on this in a bit) – increasing inflammation, which rises acne.

Please understand when any foods consumed that are high on the GI, the liver will have a slower time metabolizing all that sugar.

Foods high in GI pass rapidly through your digestive system and get into your blood stream. Because sugar (in all forms; exception of stevia for most) arrive in your bloodstream so quickly, they drive up blood glucose levels. This causes insulin to spike, and therefore, the body responds by producing androgen hormones, which aggravate the skin through producing acne.

For any acne sufferer, it is vital to understand the glycemic index scale (which ranks how quickly blood sugar levels rise after ingesting various foods) for making the right choice in terms of skin health when it comes to sugar in one’s diet.

Honey ranks between 35 and 45, while sugar is between 56 and 65.

sugar triggers inflammation and binds to collagen, degrading skin cells. The lower your consumption of sugar and other high-glycemic foods, the better your skin will look and feel.

Best Honey Type

Raw honey is the answer – best in purity!

Unfortunately, raw honey costs a pretty penny. Especially, if we’re discussing Manuka variety. Manuka honey is the best in terms of quality and the potency of minerals, enzymes and vitamins.

So, if your wallet can handle, Manuka is the king of them all!

Personally, I know a brand that tastes amazing + works wonders as a mask and contains all the natural, magical purity you want at a discounted price.

Wee Bee Honey is nutritious, raw and tastes amazeballs! All thanks to what the nature has provided – the cutesy, little buzzy bees that take care of us.

But honestly, if you know of any beekeepers – that’s your best bet on purity! Purchase directly, if they sell.

I must point this out, but unfortunately even the healthies of raw honey, can still pose an increase in acne due to sugar content. So, please consume in smaller doses and see if you notice an increase in breakouts – only then will you know if it’s one of the foods to stay away from while healing your skin.

Best way to use raw honey for acne?

Don’t consume it!

Instead, mask!

Reason why I state don’t consume, is again everyone reacts different to sugar, even if its comes from a natural source and isn’t chemically processed. Acne sufferers are especially very sensitive to any sugar, of all forms – it raises inflammation in the body.

However, most fruits are lower in GI, so those are the safest to consume as far as natural sweetness goes. Also, stevia is pretty good too, if you don’t mind the taste.

Applying honey as a facial mask contains the following benefits for acneic skin:

  • Honey is a natural humectant, meaning it has a natural ability to hold onto water – hydrating without creating an oily feel to the skin.
  • It’s a natural source of rich alpha hydroxy acids, which encourage exfoliation. Perfect for those suffering with dryness per breakouts. This makes it even easier for skin to absorb the moisturizing elements.
  • Honey eats away dead skin cells and disinfects through its antimicrobial + antifungal + antibacterial properties.

Mask Recipe

My mask recipe is fairly simple that doesn’t require many ingredients to whip up. And best part? It starts working its magic the second you apply it on your skin.

Raw organic honey contains all the above-mentioned skin care benefits. Lavender essential oil (use organic when possible) eases the high production of sebum (overly oily skin) and has antibacterial properties that yield an extra punch to fight off acneic bacteria + promote faster healing of scar tissue where breakouts have occurred.



Mix raw honey with lavender essential oil on a small plate or in a palm of your hand. Apply generously to cleansed skin and leave on for 15-30 minutes.

I’ve found, the longer you’ll leave on the mask, the better results -smoother, decongested, and inflammation reducing skin.

Skin will look more taut, tighter, brighter, calmer from acne breakouts (pimples flattened) and enlarged pores minimized the following day. It always seems to amaze me on the power + combo of just those two ingredients.

Mask 3X a week for best results.


I hope I’ve given you something to think about in terms of honey use on acne prone skin. Use honey externally, but either limit or eliminate internal consumption while healing your skin.

Reactions from consuming honey (even raw, organic) really depends on individual, but my personal experience while I was dealing with chronic acne was to stay away from ALL sugar (except fresh fruits that are lower in GI) due to higher sugar content.

I’ve had an experience when I was fighting off a cold during my chronic acne journey a few years back – drank 3 cups of hot green tea with a tablespoon of some organic honey in 1 days’ time. Felt way better the next day – but my skin took a beating. Had 3 cystic pimples staring back ☹.

This repeatedly happened each time when I experienced flu like symptoms. I drank the tea with honey because I knew it would help alleviate the cold, but cysts wouldn’t keep off my face come next day.

However, …

Raw honey has a serious potential to heal + uplift + tighten our skin due to so many natural derived enzymes, vitamins and medicinal properties.

Using it as a facial mask helps to treat and fight off the external bacteria of acne. Internally, other dietary measures need to be addressed to unblemished + beautiful skin for a long-term benefit.

Have you tried honey facial masking? Share in the comments below!

Sources + References (click link below)



















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