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Is Honey Good for Oily Skin? Here's What Science Says

Last updated :
March 10, 2024

minutes read

Honey is a natural remedy that has been used for centuries and is now gaining popularity in the skincare industry due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. But is honey also good for oily skin? In this article, we'll explore the properties of honey, its benefits for oily skin, and how to use it safely.

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Is honey good for oily skin?

  • Honey is beneficial for oily skin due to its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, and exfoliating properties.
  • Scientific evidence supports the use of honey in skincare.
  • Precautions should be taken and potential side effects should be considered when using honey on oily skin.

Understanding Oily Skin

Oily skin is characterized by the overproduction of sebum, the skin's natural oil, that can lead to a shiny appearance, enlarged pores, and an increased risk of acne. Oily skin causes can vary, but genetics, hormones, and diet can all play a role.

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Properties of Honey

Honey is a natural humectant that can help to draw moisture into the skin. It also has antimicrobial properties that can help to kill bacteria on the skin's surface. Additionally, honey contains antioxidants that can protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. Honey also has anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe irritated skin.

The Benefits of Honey for Oily Skin

Type of Honey Properties Benefits for Oily Skin
Manuka Honey Antibacterial, Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant Reduces acne, Reduces inflammation, Provides hydration
Raw Honey Antibacterial, Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant Clears pores, Fades scars, Balances oil production
Acacia Honey Antibacterial, Anti-inflammatory, Moisturizing Reduces breakouts, Soothes irritation, Provides hydration
Buckwheat Honey Antibacterial, Anti-inflammatory, Exfoliating Clears pores, Reduces inflammation, Exfoliates dead skin cells

Antibacterial Properties

The antibacterial properties of honey are one of its main benefits for oily skin. Honey contains hydrogen peroxide, which can help to kill bacteria on the skin's surface. This is especially important for those with acne-prone skin, as bacteria can contribute to the formation of pimples and other blemishes.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

In addition to its antibacterial properties, honey also has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce redness and swelling associated with acne and other skin conditions. Honey has been shown to reduce inflammation in the skin by inhibiting the production of cytokines, which are proteins that contribute to inflammation.

Moisturizing Properties

Honey can also be moisturizing for the skin. As a humectant, honey can help to draw moisture into the skin, which can be beneficial for those with oily skin. When the skin is dehydrated, it can overproduce oil to compensate, leading to even shinier and more oily skin. By keeping the skin moisturized, honey can help to balance oil production and prevent excess sebum.

Exfoliating Properties

Honey can also be used as an exfoliant for oily skin. Its sticky consistency can help to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores, which can reduce the appearance of blackheads and other blemishes. Honey contains alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), which can help to exfoliate the skin and improve its texture.

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How to Use Honey on Oily Skin

There are several ways to use honey on oily skin, including as a cleanser, mask, or spot treatment. To use honey as a cleanser, apply it to damp skin and massage in circular motions. Rinse off with warm water and pat dry. To use honey as a mask, mix it with other ingredients like yogurt, oats, or lemon juice and apply to the skin. Leave on for 10-15 minutes and rinse off with warm water. To use honey as a spot treatment, apply a small amount directly to the affected area and leave on overnight.

Precautions and Potential Side Effects

While honey is generally safe for use on the skin, it's important to patch-test any new skincare product before using it on your entire face. Apply a small amount to the inside of your wrist and wait 24 hours to see if any adverse reactions occur. Additionally, some people may be allergic to honey, so it's important to avoid it if you have a known allergy. Finally, honey can be sticky and messy, so be sure to rinse it off thoroughly to avoid leaving a residue on your skin.

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In conclusion, honey can be a great addition to your skincare routine if you have oily skin. Its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, and exfoliating properties make it a versatile ingredient for a variety of skin concerns. Whether you use it as a cleanser, mask, or spot treatment, honey can help to balance oil production and improve the appearance of your skin. As always, be sure to patch-test and use caution when trying any new skincare product.


Q.Who can use honey for skincare?

A.Anyone can use honey for skincare, regardless of skin type.

Q.What makes honey beneficial for oily skin?

A.Honey has antibacterial properties that can help control oil production.

Q.How should I use honey on my oily skin?

A.Apply a thin layer of honey as a face mask and leave it on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing with warm water.

Q.What if I'm allergic to honey?

A.If you're allergic to honey, do not use it on your skin. Try other natural remedies or consult a dermatologist.

Q.How often should I use honey on my oily skin?

A.Use honey as a face mask once or twice a week for best results.

Q.What if honey doesn't work for my oily skin?

A.Everyone's skin is different. If honey doesn't work for you, try other natural remedies or consult a dermatologist.

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Shuaib Azam
Shuaib is a Marketing & Growth lead at Hubble. When he isn't working on growth initiatives, Shuaib writes fiction and doodles space monkeys.

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