Can You Use Ginger For Acne?

Ginger is well known for its spicy, aromatic flavor that adds a tantalizing zest to stir fries and a variety of meat and vegetable culinary dishes.

But, it’s also one of the most healthy spices in existence.

It’s recommended for use for its wide range of health benefits, and is known to successfully treat a number of ailments.

But, can you use ginger for acne?

In this article we’ll take a look at the scientific basis for using this beneficial root, and show you some ways that you can add it to your anti-acne regime.

What Is Ginger?

ginger for acne

Originating from the Indian subcontinent, the root of the ginger plant has a lengthy history of use for both culinary and medicinal purposes. It ‘s been extensively used as a part of traditional herbal medicine across many parts of Asia.

Ginger is used in the treatment of a number of health problems, including:

  • Arthritis and rheumatism
  • Cardiovascular disorders
  • Digestive problems
  • Nausea
  • Pain relief

It has a rich phytochemistry, with a number of active compounds including gingerols, paradols, zingerone, and shogaols, which give it the health benefits it possesses.


Can Ginger Be Used For Acne?

Piece slice and crushed of ginger against a wood worktop

Reports from people who have used ginger as part of a method of treatment, strongly suggest that it’s effective.

But, there’s also good scientific basis for believing that ginger can be used against acne.

Studies that have been done into the various active compounds and their properties show a number of ways in which ginger helps to both fight against existing acne infections and prevent their formation.

And at least one recent study conducted in 2014 has demonstrated a positive result. In this study 32 volunteers were given ginger over a 6 month period. The reduction in acne lesions in the volunteers over the course of the study was considered to be statistically significant (1).

Let’s take a look at the specific properties of ginger which make it useful as an acne treatment.


A crucial part in the formation of acne is the colonization of blocked skin pores by the bacteria P. acnes.

Ginger contains compounds called gingerols that have a proven antibacterial effect (2).

This suggests that the topical application of ginger to the skin could kill the acne causing bacteria P. acnes, and help to clear outbreaks.


After P. acnes infects blocked skin pores, your body creates an immune response to the bacteria which results in the angry, red, and painful inflammation that characterizes the development of acne.

Studies have shown that the gingerol and shogaol in ginger can suppress your body’s inflammatory response (3). 

While this hasn’t been specifically tested in acne patients, it could help in reducing the inflammation associated with acne.


Another important stage in the formation of acne is thought to be the oxidation of sebum, which usually occurs after exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun (4). 

The oxidation is caused by free radicals that are generated by UV light. The addition of antioxidants topically and in the diet that can neutralize these harmful free radicals is of benefit to acne patients.

Shagaol is the main antioxidant in ginger, and it’s capable of significantly reducing the lipid peroxidation in the skin asociated with sun exposure (5). 

Studies have shown that ginger is equal in its antioxidant properties to the well known biological antioxidant vitamin C (6). 

By helping to prevent the oxidation of sebum ginger could play a part in the prevention of fresh acne outbreaks.


How To Use Ginger For Acne

You can purchase ginger capsules, ginger powder, and fresh ginger root if you want to eat it raw.

Ginger can also be made into a tea, and used with other natural remedies for acne to create homemade face masks.

Here are some recipes for you to try:


Ginger Paste For Acne

Fresh ginger over white background

Directions For Use:

1. Purchase a large piece of fresh ginger root.

2. Peel the piece of ginger.

3. Chop it into smaller chunks using a knife.

4. Place the chunks in a blender with a small amount of water and blend it into a paste.

5. Put the paste in a container with a lid.

6. Apply the ginger paste to your acne spots.

7. Leave it on for a few minutes and then wash it off your face.

8. Keep the container with leftover paste in the fridge.

9. Use each day to reduce acne and pimples.


Ginger Juice For Acne

ginger juice

Directions For Use:

1. Follow the directions to create the ginger paste above.

2. Strain the paste through a piece of cheesecloth or a sieve, collecting the juice in a bowl below.

3. Use a brush to apply the juice to your acne.

4. After a few minutes, wash and dry your face.

5. Keep the excess juice in the fridge for another occasion.

6. Use every day.


Ginger Turmeric And Yogurt Face Mask For Acne


Directions For Use:

1. Purchase some dried ginger powder, dried turmeric powder, and a carton of plain Greek yogurt.

2. Measure 2 tablespoons of the Greek yogurt into a bowl.

3. Add 1 teaspoon of ginger powder and 1 teaspoon of turmeric to the bowl.

4. Mix the ingredients together well.

5. Use your fingers to apply the face mask.

6. Leave it on your face for about 15-20 minutes.

7. Use water to clean your face.

8. Apply this face mask 2 times per week.


Ginger Garlic And Honey Face Mask For Acne


Directions For Use:

1. Get a jar of raw organic honey, 1 clove of garlic, and turmeric powder.

2. Measure out 1 teaspoon of ginger into a small bowl.

3. Peel, chop, and mash 1 clove of garlic using a pestle and mortar adding a little water until it has a paste-like consistency.

4. Add the garlic to the bowl.

5. Add 2 tablespoons of honey and mix together.

6. Apply the face mask.

7. Leave it on your face for approximately 15-20 minutes.

8. Wash and dry your face.

9. Use twice per week.


Lemon And Ginger Tea For Acne

Ginger tea with lemon and rosematy in glass cup closeup.

Directions For Use:

1. Get a piece of fresh ginger and a large lemon and a jar of honey.

2. Slice off a 3 inch piece of ginger and peel it.

3. Chop the ginger into small chunks.

4. Slice the lemon in half and squeeze the juice from both halves into a cup.

5. Measure out 4 cups of water into a saucepan.

6. Add the ginger to the saucepan and bring to the boil.

7. Take it off the heat and add the lemon juice.

8. Allow it to steep for approximately 30 minutes.

9. Pour it into a teapot to serve.

10. Add the honey to sweeten it to your taste.

11. Drink daily.


Green Tea And Ginger For Acne

Green Tea

Directions For Use:

1. Get a piece of fresh ginger and some green tea bags.

2. Peel and slice about 3 inches of the ginger root.

3. Add 4 cups of water to a pan.

4. Add the ginger to the water and bring it to the boil.

5. Take the pan off the heat.

6. Add 4 green tea bags and allow the ginger and green tea to steep for around 30 minutes

7. Remove the tea bags, and pour the tea through a sieve into a teapot.

8. Add honey or sugar to sweeten the tea as per your taste.

8. Drink the ginger and green tea for acne every day.


Side Effects And Precautions

  • When consuming ginger it's advised not to take more than 4g per day as this can cause side effects such as stomach complaints, nausea, and heartburn (7).
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women should speak to their doctor before increasing their use of ginger, as should people with health problems and those who are on medication.
  • Before using ginger topically, it's best to do a patch test. Apply some of the paste or juice to the back of your wrist and leave it for 30 minutes to see how your skin reacts, before using it on your face.


Final Thoughts

Ginger has a history of use in folk medicine to treat a variety of problems, and in modern times science has confirmed its significant health benefits.

The scientific tests that have been done, as well as the anecdotal reports of those who have tried it suggest that it does have a positive effect when used in the treatment of acne.

Ginger has some important properties that are useful in preventing and treating acne outbreaks, including its ability to act as an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant.

Have you tried using ginger for acne? Share your experience in the comments below.

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