There are many products that claim to treat or prevent acne and some people often prefer these store-bought products over natural remedies because they consider the latter ineffective.
Some kitchen ingredients are too harsh and should never be used on your face, like lemon juice, but if you want to naturally treat your breakouts without using harsh topicals or oral medications, you might benefit from using thyme, a popular spice.
One popular home remedy involves freezing thyme tea and rubbing it all over your face. But is this thyme acne remedy really effective?
In a viral TikTok video, creator @mzansinatural rubs a “thyme pop,” or frozen cube of thyme tea, on their skin and claims that this remedy is more effective than benzoyl peroxide, another product often used to prevent acne.
Benzoyl peroxide helps reduce breakouts by killing acne-causing bacteria on your skin. Benzoyl peroxide products are effective, but they can cause irritation, particularly if you have very sensitive skin. Benzoyl peroxide can also cause redness and physical discomfort if overused.
On the other hand, studies have shown that thyme essential oil has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Depending on how you use it, thyme may provide those beneficial properties without causing irritation. (Related: Use antioxidant-rich neem oil to address skin conditions like acne and eczema.)
How to use thyme to improve your skin health
If you want to try using thyme ice cubes, follow the recipe below:
- 1 Cup water
- 1 Green tea bag
- 1 Teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- A pinch of pink Himalayan salt (optional, add if you have oily skin)
- Boil the water and add the tea bag, thyme and pink Himalayan salt (if you’re using it).
- After boiling, strain the mixture and set the liquid aside to cool. Use the liquid as a toner after washing your face, but skip the salt because it can dry your skin.
- Alternatively, freeze the liquid in an ice cube tray.
- Take one thyme cube and rub it on your skin to help prevent acne.
Another option is to make your own blend using thyme essential oil. Combine several drops of thyme essential oil with a carrier oil like grapeseed or jojoba oil to dilute the concentration and prevent irritation.
Store the essential oil blend in a small jar or container. Before applying the thyme essential oil mixture to your face, do a patch test on your skin or scalp to check for a possible allergic reaction.
Thyme toner recipe
Here’s a thyme toner recipe that can help fight acne.
- Fresh or dried thyme (Only use thyme that is organic and pesticide-free.)
- Witch hazel (Witch hazel is known as an astringent and antioxidant.)
- Coffee filter
- Glass jar
- Small container to store toner
- Sterilize the steeping jar and fill it with witch hazel. Because witch hazel is astringent, it can help “tighten” your skin and lessen the release of oils. Witch hazel also helps lock in moisture.
- Add the thyme to the witch hazel in the jar and let it steep for a day or two in a cool dry place. When finished, the liquid will turn amber.
- Use the coffee filter to strain the liquid into the sterilized toner bottle.
It’s best to make the thyme toner in small batches. Refrigerate the toner when not in use.
Use a pump-style bottle to avoid introducing bacteria to the mixture when you use it. To use the toner, pump the liquid onto a cotton ball and use it in trouble spots or gently wipe it across your whole face.