Ginger & Acne: What’s the Connection?
Whether or not acne is a serious problem largely depends on who you ask. If you ask someone who has never experienced recurring pimples, they might shrug it off as an inconsequential condition. However, if you were to ask someone who has been suffering from acne for years, then you might just get a very different reaction.
Granted, acne is not a life-threatening ailment but it has the power to make your life feel like an enormous struggle against nature. A major reason for this is that the particular causes of each individual case of acne differ enormously. You might suddenly wake up with a face full of zits and be completely clueless about what ‘hit’ you. Breakouts can merely be a result of unhealthy eating, but for others they can stem from a deeply-set genetic background of acne. Moreover, acne can appear in a single location – which can also be your face (so, don’t rejoice too quickly), or it can spread over your entire body.
If you are reading this, it is safe to assume that pimples have appeared somewhere on your body and you are wondering what to do. Regardless of the exact reasons for your acne, it is not imperative that you begin splurging on pricey treatments and medical therapies. Sometimes the cure for a condition can lie in a much more simple place – namely, in our Mother Nature1.
One resource provided by nature which has been proven to counteract acne is ginger. Rest assure that ginger is a cheap and easily accessible remedy, with countless of additional benefits beside acne. This means that you can use any leftover ginger to remedy all kinds of other complaints that you might have.
The Healthful Properties Of Acne
First and foremost, ginger is a proven annihilator of acne-causing germs. Its antioxidants are powerfuls agent when faced with the free radicals which cause you inflammation. If your pimples are making you suffer physically, there are around 30 chemicals in ginger which alleviate irritation and discomfort2 (such as zingibain, shogaols and gingerols). This sure sounds reassuring to us.
Ginger does not only treat the symptoms of acne but also acts against the condition, itself. Acne is often caused by a glucose- and insulin-filled diet, and this natural cure can impose control over these substances in your system. It also stimulates your blood flow which is not only helpful against skin problems, but it contributes to your general well-being. The plant also carries various minerals and vitamins that work to rejuvenate your complexion on a daily basis. For instance, its vitamin C content serves to disintegrate acne scars, so you don’t have to worry about your acne following you around your entire life. Not only that, but ginger can actually boost your skin’s overall health and hence prevent the onset of age-based creases. More generally, this natural gift can even help you deal with stress and tension, whether or not that is caused by lower confidence because of acne, or by any other reason. If this all doesn’t sound like ginger is a true present to us from Mother Nature, then we advise you to keep reading, and you might just change your mind by the end of this article.
Making Ginger Work Against Your Acne
The ways that you can use ginger are almost as numerous as the health benefits that it provides3. You can mix it with other products or you can rely solely on its own magnificent powers for achieving better skin. We thus provide you with a comprehensive list of ways that you can make ginger work for your particular condition!
Ginger On Its Own
Ginger is so precious that there are all kinds of ways to use it on its own in order to improve your acne. First and foremost, you can ingest the root and have it directly enter your system in that way. All you have to do is peel some of the root and chew on it for a while, which will, in itself, provide you with everything you need from it. If the taste doesn’t sit well with you, you can also find it in more exciting forms such as tea, pastry, snaps, ale, tincture, spices, soups, etc. You can also simply take ginger-based vitamin pills, which is probably the easiest way to boost your health with ginger.
If you are feeling creative, you can make some topical ginger juice, too. You need to grind up some of the root and blend it on its own, or with water, in order to obtain an even paste. If you are using water, extract the juice of this mixture and use it as an ointment that you let rest on your skin for a short amount of time. You can also mix in other beneficial ingredients like honey. If you are solely using ginger, you can also simply peel the root and massage your skin with its slices. Do this especially if you feel some momentary irritation, but know that if it tingles, it’s working! Remove the ginger with some cold water and enjoy better skin. If you notice an improvement, begin doing this every day for long lasting results.
Hot Ginger Drinks
You can also make some ginger-based drinks if you enjoy feeling refreshed on the inside, in addition to your outside. Ginger-honey tea, in particular, is an especially energizing choice. Mix a teaspoon of ground up ginger into a couple of cups of boiling water. If you want, you may add some turmeric or a chopped up stalk of lemongrass to stimulate your skin and immune system even more. Lemongrass is especially beneficial if you are battling a flu, nausea, or digestive problems4. For maximum benefit, mix in a dozen black peppercorns in their minced form.
Let this potion quietly simmer for several minutes, upon which you should remove it from the heat and let it cool off for ten minutes. During this time, you can add some more beneficial oomph by adding some pre-made herbal tea, such as the green variety, that you can allow to sit into the cooling liquid. Enjoy this with some honey, or even with some lemon for an extra boost. Drinks this twice or thrice a day for best results.
Two slightly more complicated versions of ginger tea are the spicy ginger tea and the ginger-chamomile tea. If you are in the mood for some spice, add several pieces of fresh ginger, four cloves, four pods of cardamom and a few orange peels into a bit less than a liter of boiling water. Let this mixture simmer for five minutes, then cover it and let is simmer for another ten. Put about four teaspoons of Assam leaves into it and let it sit for another few moments. Turn off the head and allow it to rest for little more than five minutes, adding a sweetener according to taste.
If you are feeling stressed and would like to try the calming chamomile tea variety, mix a two-three centimeter slice of ginger into a liter and a half of boiling water. Add a big piece of lemon peel and honey into the mixture and allow it to simmer for several minutes. Take it off the stove and leave it be for another few minutes, adding about four chamomile bags and some fresh lemon juice. Enjoy this before bed in order to decrease tension, while simultaneously improving your skin.
Cold Ginger Drinks
Tired of hot beverages and feeling like a regenerating smoothie? This kind will not only bring down your skin’s irritation by ridding you of free radicals, but it will also act as an antioxidant for your entire system5. Just blend three carrots, an orange and a ground up two-three centimeter piece of peeled ginger. You can also use a juicer, but then you have to make the effort of mixing the concoction very well.
Feeling racy? Make some ginger beer or ale! Unfortunately, we would not recommend adding alcohol to these drinks, but, by all means, sip on a glass of real beer or wine right before or after downing these health bombs. To make ginger beer, you need to grate about 140 grams of peeled ginger and some lemon skin, and blend the results with fifteen milliliters of Muscovado sugar. Extract the juice of three lemons and stir it into the pulp. Add a liter of your favorite sort of sparkling water and let all of this sit for about ten minutes. Use a strainer to get the pure liquid out of your concoction, and add sweetener and mint, according to taste. This tastes best when consumed ice cold.
If you are more into ale, then you need almost the same ingredients as for the beer. Chop up a cupful of skinned ginger and let it simmer into two cups of pre-boiled water for three quarters of an hour. Put the top on, take it off the stove and allow it to sit for another twenty minutes. Filter the juice out and put it back on the stove. Add some salt and about half a cup of sugar, upon which you should turn the stove back on halfway. Additionally, add some dry yeast if you are craving some extra hydration. Use a spoon to mix this concoction until it evens out. Finally, take it off the heat and let it cool down. If all of this sounds like a lot of work, you should know that this amount will last for several uses! Just a fourth of it is enough to give your skin the necessary boost. Pour it into a three-fourths-full glass of sparkling water and add about half a tablespoon of lime juice. Then, sit back and enjoy the magical effects of this ale on your complexion.
Our last edible option is not really a drink but more of a supplement. We present you with the papaya-based ginger additive. Boil together 30 grams of papaya and four to five grams of ground up, peeled ginger. Additionally, pour in about 50 milliliters of your favorite vinegar. Lower the temperature of the stove and let it all simmer to the point when the vinegar smell is no longer predominant over the mixture. Take it off the stove and allow it to sit, as you should keep this mixture in the fridge for best results. Munch on two to three teaspoons of it every day. You should be feeling the visible results on your complexion after about a week.
Maybe you don’t feel like tasting ginger on a daily basis or perhaps you are not much of a cook. In that case, rest assured that there are various innovative ways to get the root into your system so as to improve your skin. In fact, masks are a great topical choice for alleviating acne. Not only do they act directly onto your skin, but they also actually make you feel like you are doing something to fight off your acne.
If you are looking to minimize the irritation on your skin, go for a powdered milk mask. A single ground up teaspoon of ginger is enough for this procedure. Add pestle, or even some mortar to it in order to make it spreadable. Mix in two to three teaspoons of powdered milk. If the result is still too hard to apply to your face evenly, drop in a small amount of water and stir vigorously. Spread it on your face with clean hands and let it rest there for up to twenty minutes. Take it off using water. Do not use warm water, as that will only open your pores unnecessarily. Since the goal of this mask is to dry up excess oils, don’t forget to hydrate your face with a mild, ideally, water-based cream in the end!
For a thorough cleanse of your facial skin, opt for a clay mask. This will bring down your natural oils, while exfoliating your complexion at the same time. All you need is some rosewater and clay to create the perfect facial spread. If you are cautious of having such a dry paste on your face, drop some vegetable oil in there, as well. Add a tablespoon of peeled, blended ginger and apply the even mixture to your face. Let it dry and then take it off with water. Moisturize your face just like with the previous mask in order to still refresh your skin after this rigorous treatment.
Masks That Also Boost Your Immune System
Garlic is another excellent cure for ongoing inflammation6. Try to perform this treatment on a Friday or during holidays, so that you avoid smelling of the funky, yet super healthy vegetable throughout the next day! But trust us, it’s worth it. Blend together two tablespoons of ground up ginger and several cloves of garlic. Mix in as much water as you see fit in order to obtain an even paste. As usual, distribute this over your face and allow it to sit for some time. Once it feels dry, take it off with some water and hydrate the affected area thoroughly using the usual products that you enjoy.
Another garlicky option adds an extra boost to your immune system, as it detoxifies you and unclogs your pores. Mix some dry cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and garlic cloves into a thick powder. Add a liquid of your choice, such as chamomile tea, hydrosols, an essential oil, good old aloe vera, rose water or plain tap water. Stir all of this well, until you are able to spread it on the affected area with clean hands. Allow it to sit for a few moments, and take it off with lukewarm water. Don’t do this one too often, as it has a strong, rejuvenating effect. Opt for repeating it every four to five days for best results.
On the other hand, if you are battling severe acne, such as that of the cystic variety, you might want to opt for the stimulating orange juice and milk mask. While these are simple ingredients, the effects are truly mesmerizing. You will need a teaspoon of each of these liquids, in addition to a really finely ground up piece of ginger. That should measure about two or three centimeters in length. Stir all of this until it becomes a rich paste and leave it on your face for as long as 20 minutes. Take it off the affected area with lukewarm water and dry your face. This procedure should be repeated every few days. Soon, you will notice your bumps decreasing in size.
If you have been battling acne for a while, and already have some scars to remove, there is a mask for you, too. You can add an egg white to three tablespoons of ground up, peeled ginger. Blend the two ingredients with some water until you obtain an even texture with the consistency of a store-bought mask. Spread it all over the affected area, with specific attention to your scars, and let it harden. Remove it with water and gently dry your skin. If you are in a hurry to get better skin, do this every two days.
Alternative Topical Applications Of Ginger
Perhaps you have tried a bunch of masks and you, for example, feel like they severely dry up your face. No need to worry, as everyone’s skin is different and the same things don’t necessarily work for everyone. One thing you could try is to merely scrub your face with a mixture of half a lemon, a fourth of a cup of olive oil, half a cup of sugar and two tablespoons of minced ginger. Lather this onto your face and scrub for several minutes, after which you should thoroughly wash it off.
If this, too, seems like an excessively rough treatment for your sensitive skin, you can create your own ginger spray. Add two tablespoons of cut up parsley into two cups of boiling water. Let this sit for about an hour, with the stove off. Use a sieve to extract the juice and boil it again with two tablespoons of minced ginger in it. Simmer this for a third of an hour, get the juice out again, and spray it evenly onto your face. Do this every time you take off your make up, or even before you apply it, as well.
Ginger For Full-body Acne
Are you battling acne over your entire body? Luckily, you can also bathe in ginger or make it into soap. The bath will not only reduce your acne, but it will also alleviate your stress. Fix yourself a bath and mix in two tablespoons of ginger (or a dozen drops of its oil version). Enjoy your bath for about half an hour, drinking some water throughout so as to remind hydrated. Do this a couple times a week, but avoid it if you have heart problems.
The ginger soap requires you to make ice cubes out of about 130 grams of ginger beer. Add it to about the same amount of water with a similar amount of lye. Heat this to up to a 100 degrees and add 30 grams of shea butter and aloe vera butter, about 160 grams of sunflower oil, twice as much coconut oil, a tablespoon of minced carrot and a tablespoon of fresh chamomile. Extract the juice and mix everything together. Let it all harden over the course of a day and use it as soap whenever you shower. Enjoy the effects!
While your acne may be caused by hormones or an unsuitable lifestyle, ginger can be of help – but don’t ingest more than four grams of it per day. Remember, the more raw the ginger is, the better. Don’t use it if you have high blood pressure, thin blood, diabetes or gallstones, as well as if you are pregnant7 or taking any medicine that reduces inflammation. Avoid aspirin around the time that you take in ginger. If you are weary of ingesting it, you can also apply it topically as oil or as balm. Whatever your choice of action is, enjoy the amazing effects of Mother Nature’s root on your skin blemishes!
- Yang J.H., Yoon J.Y., Kwon H.H., Min S., Moon J., Suh D.H. Seeking new acne treatment from natural products, devices and synthetic drug discovery. DermatoEndocrinology. 2017;9(1):e1356520.
- Terry R., Posadzki P., Watson L.K., Ernst E. The use of ginger (Zingiber officinale) for the treatment of pain: a systematic review of clinical trials. Pain Med. 2011;12(12):1808-18.
- Bode A.M., Dong Z. “The Amazing and Mighty Ginger,” Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. CRC Press/Taylor & Francis. 2011.
- Shah G., Shri R., Panchal V., Sharma N., Singh B., Mann A.S. Scientific basis for the therapeutic use of Cymbopogon citratus, stapf (Lemon grass). Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology and Research. 2011;2(1):3–8.
- Mashhadi N.S., Ghiasvand R., Askari G., Hariri M., Darvishi L., Mofid M.R. Anti-Oxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger in Health and Physical Activity: Review of Current Evidence. International Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2013;4(Suppl 1):S36–S42.
- Schäfer G., Kaschula C.H. The Immunomodulation and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Garlic Organosulfur Compounds in Cancer Chemoprevention. Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry. 2014;14(2):233–240.
- Shawahna R., Taha A. Which potential harms and benefits of using ginger in the management of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy should be addressed? a consensual study among pregnant women and gynecologists BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2017;17:204.
To be your most trusted ally in your pursuit of clear, healthy skin.