Acne is more than just a skincare concern. It can also be painful, persistent, and uncomfortable to the person who develops it.
While prescription and other medicinal treatments can work, they may also contain harsh ingredients that can dry out the surrounding skin. Those looking for more natural remedies or for something that will clean the skin more deeply may turn to mask applications.
One such mask that is rumored to treat acne is made from honey and cinnamon. While there are some things to bear in mind when creating this mask, the treatment can be very soothing and work well as a cleanser.
Benefits of honey and cinnamon for the skin: Honey is a solution that is made from sugar, mostly fructose and glucose. These sugars contain proteins, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.
For centuries, people have used honey as a medicinal treatment. The compound has been used to treat dandruff, psoriasis, burns, and fungal infections. Honey is also added to many skincare products.
The main reason for using honey and cinnamon to treat acne is because it can help to kill the bacteria that contribute to inflamed pores.
The Proionibacterium acnes or P. acnes bacteria have been found in many red and inflamed pimples. The bacteria feed on sebum, which is the waxy substance that can build up and clog pores, further contributing to acne.
Honey has several chemical properties that enable it to kill bacteria. Examples include:
A high concentration of sugar, which puts pressure on bacterial cells, making them less likely to multiply.
An acidic environment where bacteria cannot easily grow.
The compound propolis that bees use to seal their hive has antimicrobial properties.
Cinnamon also has antimicrobial properties. According to an article in the International Journal of Pharmaceutical Science Invention, cinnamon can kill or suppress the E. coli, Staphylococcus, and Candida albican microbes. Cinnamon also has astringent properties. Astringents help to shrink pores, which can make the skin appear smoother and more even.
Research regarding honey and cinnamon's benefits: The benefits of using honey and cinnamon together as a face mask haven't really been studied. The two have been separately studied, but the research is mixed on whether or not they are effective.
A study published in BMJ Open investigated the application of a 90 percent medical-grade kanuka honey and 10 percent glycerine (honey-derived) treatment after washing the face with an antibacterial soap compared with washing the face with the same soap, but not applying the honey.
The researchers concluded that adding the honey combination to the acne regimen only improved 4 out of 53 patients' acne.
Potential risks and alternatives: Honey is often safe when applied to the skin. It is possible that a person may have an allergic reaction to honey, however. Examples of allergic side effects can include hives, itching, swelling, and wheezing.
Cinnamon can also be highly irritating to the skin. For this reason, it is important to always use a test patch on the hand before applying the honey and cinnamon face mask to the entire face.
Other tips to help control acne: When it comes to treating acne, the goals are to keep the skin clean, moisturized, and free of pore-clogging oils and bacteria without over-drying the skin.
Many natural treatments for acne exist that can be used in addition to honey and cinnamon masks.