Did you know Thyme may just be considered the best herb for acne? I didn’t either until I began researching the benefits of Thyme after my naturopath prescribed me some Thyme capsules for a viral infection last year.
Thyme for acne: is it more effective than Benzoyl Peroxide?
Researchers from Leeds Metropolitan University showed Thyme tincture had a greater antibacterial effect on acne than standard concentrations of Benzoyl Peroxide!
Benzoyl Peroxide is a nasty, synthetic ingredient that you’ll find in most anti-acne creams or washes – it’s also commonly prescribed by doctors for acne. It can have side effects which include burning, dryness, itching, peeling, redness, and slight swelling where the product is applied. It also really slows down wound healing time, so you may have got rid of that mountain on your face, but you’ll be left with an unsightly red mark for weeks, even months afterwards!
Thyme for acne: better than prescription acne creams?
This early research suggests that Thyme could be an ideal, natural alternative for benzoyl peroxide medications and could end up being more popular for treating blemishes than popular acne fighting ingredients such as Tea Tree, Lavender and Clary Sage. When used responsibly it won’t cause dryness, irritation or redness and could even help improve post acne marks!
What’s the catch?
Unfortunately, while Thyme does show impressive action against fighting acne – the research carried out on this ingredient was done ‘in vitro‘, which means it was carried out in a test tube. Just the Thyme tincture vs P.acnes bacteria – with no other factors or variables to interrupt the antibacterial action. Thyme will need to be studied much further in order to see what effect it actually has on the skin. Will it have the same antibacterial effect on the skin? Will it penetrate the skin? How will it react with other compounds found on the skin? All these things are yet to be proven by science and should be considered before you rush out and start rubbing Thyme tincture all over your face!
That’s not to say that Thyme isn’t an effective addition to your acne clearing routine, this preliminary evidence proves that it does have impressive antibacterial action – the Thyme tincture actually killed all the bacteria within 5 minutes! However, it may not be the miracle ingredient the blogs/newspapers claim it to be.
Using Thyme solo on your skin may not achieve the results you desire but by combining Thyme with other successful natural acne fighting ingredients such as Green Tea, Willow Bark and Neem oil, you could start seeing results in your skin within a few weeks. SO LONG as you’re teaming your natural skin care routine with a healthy diet and lifestyle!
Natural beauty products that use Thyme for acne clearing:
If you’re looking to add some Thyme to your anti-blemish skin care routine then these natural beauty products that use Thyme for acne clearing may help you get started in your search!
Branch to Nature – Blemish Roll-On Stick (US only) $12.50
As with all spot treatments, this product works best when you apply it multiply times throughout the day. Other key acne fighting ingredients include Green Tea extract, MSM and Witch Hazel. It’s really easy to keep in your bag and it applies easily and doesn’t leave a film or residue on the skin.
A light, toner type product that you can dab on problem areas with a cotton wool pad, this product contains lots of skin healing and acne fighting ingredients including Aloe Vera, Vitamin B5, Witch Hazel, Willow Bark and White Tea. Also available in the UK/worldwide on iHerb.
This is one of my favourite products for body acne. Even though it can be used on the face, because of the coconut and palm oil I would use with caution (some people find coconut oil can make them breakout). However, shoulders, backs and bums love this stuff! The combination of Kefir, Tea Tree and Thyme work really well to calm breakouts and minimise breakouts.
Homemade Thyme Facial Oil
One of the easiest ways to add a little thyme to your life is to blend a couple of drops of Thyme essential oil to your favourite facial oil. Just make sure to purchase Thyme Linalool essential oil and not Thyme Thymol as Thyme Linalool is considered the most gentle and non-toxic variety of Thyme and safest for using on the skin, especially for those with reactive, sensitive skin.
In my experience, oily skin works well with a blend of Neem and Hemp while dry/combination skin generally prefers Rosehip oil. To find out more about blending essential oils to base oil, head over to this post here.
Do any of your favourite beauty products contain Thyme to help control acne? Let me know in the comments below!
Peace, Love & Clear Skin