Acne is more than just a skin care problem. It can also be painful, persistent and uncomfortable for the person who develops it. While prescription and other drug treatments can be effective, they can also contain harsh ingredients that can dry out the surrounding skin. People looking for more natural remedies or something that cleanses the skin more thoroughly can turn to masks. One of these masks, which is said to treat acne, is made with honey and cinnamon. While there are a few things to keep in mind when creating this mask, the treatment can be very soothing and works well as a cleanser.
Honey is a solution that is made from sugar, mainly fructose and glucose. These sugars contain proteins, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and enzymes.
Prescription treatments can dry out the skin, which is why alternative and natural remedies can be helpful. For centuries, people have used honey as a medicinal treatment. This compound has been used to treat dandruff, psoriasis, burns and fungal infections. Honey is also added to many skin care products.
The main reason to use honey and cinnamon to treat acne is that they can help kill bacteria that contribute to inflamed pores. The bacteria Proionibacterium acnes or P. acnes has been found in many red and inflamed pimples. This bacteria feeds on sebum, a waxy substance that can build up and clog pores, contributing to acne.
Honey has several chemical properties that allow it to kill bacteria. Here are some examples:
A high concentration of sugar, which puts pressure on bacterial cells, making them less likely to multiply.
An acidic environment where bacteria cannot grow easily.
The propolis compound 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 E. coli, Staphylococcus, and Candida albican microbes. Cinnamon also has astringent properties. Astringents help shrink pores, which can make skin look smoother and more even.
The benefits of using honey and cinnamon together as a face mask have not really been studied. The two products have been studied separately, but the results are mixed as to their effectiveness.
Honey and cinnamon
A study published in BMJ Open looked at applying a treatment with 90% medical-grade kanuka honey and 10% glycerin (derived from honey) after washing the face with an antibacterial soap, compared washing the face with the same soap, but without applying the honey. Researchers concluded that adding the combination of honey to acne treatment only improved acne in 4 out of 53 patients.
Another review looked at 70 articles on cinnamon and found that cinnamon has antimicrobial properties as well as healing properties. Researchers have also suggested that cinnamon may have anti-aging properties for the skin. A review published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine found that honey contains enzymes that create hydrogen peroxide, which has antimicrobial properties. However, not all types of honey have this property. Manuka honey is an example. However, Manuka honey still exhibits antimicrobial effects because it has a low pH level and high sugar content.
Like many natural treatments, honey and cinnamon as a skin remedy have not been thoroughly researched. People seeing a dermatologist for their acne should always check with them before using the Cinnamon Acne Mask to make sure it won’t affect any treatments currently being used.
How to make a face mask
Some people who choose to make a cinnamon and honey face mask leave it on their skin for 30 minutes. Others use the mask as a “spot treatment”, applying it as a paste to pimples and acne blemishes. The options really depend on the user, their concerns, and their skin type.
People who intend to make a face mask can follow these steps:
Gather 2 tablespoons of honey and mix it with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon until it forms a pasty substance.
Do a test on your hand. Apply a dime-sized portion of the mixture to the back of the hand. The user should wait at least 10 minutes to ensure that itching, redness and swelling does not occur.
Apply to skin, either to individual blemishes with a clean fingertip or cotton swab, or all over the face.
Rinse with lukewarm water after leaving on overnight or rinse 30 minutes after application. Avoid using water that is too hot, as it can dry out the skin.
The type of honey to use is something to consider. Medicinal grade honeys are available at many health food stores. These honeys have been purified and are generally free of additives. These are often the compounds used in skin care applications.
Two examples of medicinal grade honey brands are Manuka Honey and Revamil Honey. Some people prefer to use local honey, that is, honey produced by beekeepers in their area. The idea behind using local honey is that it contains compounds that can fight disease when ingested. Some people eat spoonfuls of local honey to fight allergies.
Honey is often safe when applied to the skin. However, it is possible for a person to have an allergic reaction to honey. Examples of allergic side effects may include hives, itching, swelling, and wheezing. Cinnamon can also be very irritating to the skin. For this reason, it is important to always do a hand test before applying the Honey Cinnamon Mask to the entire face.
When it comes to treating acne, the goal is to keep the skin clean, hydrated, and free of pore-clogging oils and bacteria, without over-drying it. There are many natural acne treatments that can be used in addition to honey and cinnamon masks. Here are some examples
Other natural remedies like tea tree oil can help treat acne.
Tea tree oil: A 5 percent solution of tea tree oil can help kill acne-causing bacteria.
Green tea extract: Applying a 2 percent green tea extract lotion solution can help reduce mild to moderate acne.
Alpha hydroxy acids: These natural fruit acids can help unclog pores and promote skin cell growth, but can increase skin sensitivity.
An acne treatment plan may include the following steps:
Wash skin twice daily with a mild cleansing soap and warm water.
Apply an acne treatment or product to each pimple. People who have a lot of acne pimples may want to apply lotion all over their face.
Apply an oil-free moisturizer to the skin, if needed. During the first weeks of treatment, spot treatments can be particularly drying for the skin.
Apply a non-oily sunscreen to the skin in the morning.
Apply once or twice a week a treatment mask that lightens the skin, such as a honey and cinnamon mask.
Many people cannot control their acne with over-the-counter products. In this case, they may need to see a dermatologist to get a prescription for stronger medications that can fight acne spots.