129 Responses to “Thyme: To Control Blemishes and Acne”


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  1. JJ

    can you use the thyme you’d buy at the grocery store? and if you wanted to try it with an apple cider vinegar / tea tree oil mix, would you steep it with those 2 liquids or on its own and then add it to the mixture? i have had terrible acne all my life and sometimes the ACV/TTO mixture helps dry out my pimples but it’s missing something because it definitely isn’t the miracle worker i had hoped for. thank you!

  2. lesley

    I have “T.N. Dickinson’s Witch Hazel 100% Natural Astringent For Face and Body”. Is this ok, or should I go and buy an ORGANIC one?

  3. Nearly Natural Nicole

    Thanks for this great info! I made my own thyme tincture and I’ve been using it for 3 weeks now. Here’s a post on my blog about it:

  4. CPerry

    I just love this BLOG!

  5. ani

    I am new here, but love this post. Can you only use dried thyme? what about fresh thyme? Because I would think fresh is always better. I have used this to make a steam bath while using a mud mask, then wash with the water. But I want to to this tincture.

  6. ry

    Do ya think it would work to add thyme to your daily honey wash?

  7. I love using the thyme! In the last year, I’ve started having some issues with acne, which I haven’t really experienced before. (I”m 23 now.) After starting to read posts on Crunchy Betty, I’ve made myself a facial mask that has almost completely gotten rid of my acne, something which no commercial product was able to do! Here’s how it works!
    In one jar: Fill halfway with green cosmetic clay, add dried ground thyme to 3/4 full, add dried neem leaf to 7/8 full, and add a little bit of dried cinnamon.
    In another jar: Put contents of one single-serve container of plain yogurt, four or five strawberries, a handful of blueberries, one or two eggs, a few spoonfuls of used coffee grounds, one or two spoonfuls of unsweetened cocoa powder (optional, though it seems to make my skin a bit softer), a couple spoons of honey, a few drops each of tea tree, lavender, rosemary, and eucalyptus oils, and a little witchazel in your blender, and mix well. I don’t bother with exact measurements, here, but it comes out to the consistency of a thick liquid, like a smoothie. Store in fridge.
    To use, mix small amounts of the contents of your two containers in your hand to form a thin-ish paste. Apply to clean face and wait for it to dry, about 15 minutes.

    • torey

      Based on my experience, the reason you probably started getting acne was because you tried a new lotion, face makeup, or even an anti-acne product. There are tons of ingredients that cause acne in store bought products. Try googling facereality, where you can find a list of pore clogging ingredients. I went to them and am now 100% clear for over a year, and even if you cant afford the program, the info they have on their website is beyond valuable.

  8. jocelyne garcia

    Can I use the thyme they sell in bags and can I wash my whole face with it or just the infected areas and which recipe do you think would be more effective agains cheek acne and occasional chin acne and which which hazel do you think would be the most effective

  9. jocelyne garcia

    I got confused the witch hazel has alcohol but the organic one doesn’t AMD the organic one is considered better but I thought that alcohol with thyme made it more effective

  10. rachaeljune

    Hi! My name is Rachael and I just wanted to share a few things with you!
    First of all, I just LOVE and appreciate all of your posts- they are so hilarious to read and very informative! I have learned so much from your blog and my passion for natural remedies has really grown. Any ways, a while back I saw your remedy for people with Keratosis Pilaris/chicken arms, and I decided to try it on my own arms since NOTHING from the dermatologist seemed to work for me! I used the apple cider vinegar and the coconut oil/sugar body scrub! I did notice a difference and it seemed to help me, but my case was so extreme that it did not completely clear it up. The other day while at the flea market, I found this neat little organic shop that sells home made goat soaps, natural skin moisturizers, herbs, and ect. I told her about my condition and asked if she had any recommendations. She gave me a little cup of Shea butter that she scooped out of an actual African Shea tree nut, right there in front of me! She told me to use it twice a day and that the raw Shea butter heals a lot of skin conditions! It has only been a week and my arms already look so much better! I just wanted to share that with you, and thought that maybe you could do your research on it and share it with others!

    Rachael Jones

  11. Kaylee Marie

    I went out and bought dried thyme and witch hazel immediately after I read this… Haha.
    Question though: I’m steeping it in a mason jar… How long should I leave it in there? I want it to be as potent as possible, but won’t it start to get moldy after a few days? I bought witch hazel with 14% grain alcohol, will that act as a preservative? Advice from anyone would be appreciated!

  12. Blackhawks

    I just started using the thyme toner last night…..I made the toner using fried organic thyme and The homestead company pure witch hazel. I let the thyme steep for 2 days. I will try to update every few days since i plan to try this out for 2 weeks.

    • blackhawks

      i meant dried organic thyme

      • blackhawks

        UPDATE: its been 4 days now o using the toner just at night…..Ive experienced some purging especially over my problem areas….little white heads no cysts…..Dont know if thyme is causing this but ive read it may be a common thing….any one else experience this???

  13. Kacie

    Does thyme make tamanu oil smell less…well….like tamanu? I’ve tried all the typical household EOs with it and nothing comes close to covering or complimenting the scent but hey, if thyme does it, win/win on the pimple front!

  14. Veronica

    Oh my goodness, I just discovered your website and this article. THANK YOU! I will be making a Thyme tincture pronto.

  15. nutz4squirrels

    Ok…so I’m on day 3 of mixing raw local honey and ground thyme (the kind you get in the spice section at the grocery store) and using it as a mask at night and a cleanser in the morning, and I’m already seeing good results! Now I’m just hoping these good results last!

    Just for some background:

    I have oily acne prone skin. I’m 30, and I have had acne since my late teens. I used Proactiv for the majority of that time and it really worked, most of the time, to stop the breakouts…but it also REALLY worked to throw my skin out of balance and cause me to get acne breakouts on parts of my face that never really had a problem to begin with (my problem area is around my mouth and on my chin.)

    So, about 2 months ago I realized that I have got to be nicer to my skin if I want it to be nice to me, so I’ve begun a journey to find what makes my skin happy.

    And so far this honey/ thyme mixer has made it the happiest. I’ll post back here and let you know how it is going once I’m further into this experiment.

  16. Vicki Kennedy

    Has anyone experimented with different varieties of thyme? I have several different kinds growing in my herb garden and my lemon thyme in particular is taking over! I have been looking for a good use for it. My twelve year old son has had a terrible outbreak of acne and I am looking forward trying this.

  17. Denise

    The thyme/witch hazel combination worked wonders on my son’s face. He’s been battling teenage acne for about a year and a half using the medications prescribed by the dermatologist with mixed results. He started using the thyme/witch hazel and honestly, the next day we could see a difference. Two weeks now his skin is clear. He loves his momma and I am thankful for Crunchy Betty.

  18. Jess

    read about the power of thyme in an issue of Women’s Health, was so pumped when i found all these awesome recipes using thyme. i hate using prescription meds, they never seem to do the trick. i just made the fresh thyme facial mask. i have it on right now. it actually feels like its working. i also plan on making the thyme tincture.

    ill keep you posted! :)

  19. Melissa

    What do you think about making a sort of thyme “tea” with water and then applying that to the face. I am afraid to use witch hazel because I have very sensitive skin that drys out easily. Also, do you think there would be any advantages in using fresh thyme? Has anyone tried either of these ways?

  20. Sara Lee

    Hi I was wondering if you have to wash the thyme before you soak them into the witch hazel? Do you recomment Thayer’s witch hazel or Dickinson? I have them both at home and was just wondering if I could use either brand…..

  21. Rebecca Godlove

    It worked! It worked!
    Or, rather, it’s WORKING. I’ve had problem skin since I was about 11…meaning that I’ve been battling acne for 2/3 of my life now. Sounds pretty depressing, doesn’t it? I finally gave up on all the creams, cleansers, pads, and scrubs and headed to a dermatologist last year. Although the prescriptions I received worked fairly well, only one of the three medications were safe for a pregnant woman. Although I wasn’t pregnant at the time, I’d already had a miscarriage and I didn’t want to increase my chances of another, so I stopped taking the medication. I switched back to commercial products and found varying rates of success. I read this post around the same time I noticed the unfortunate side effects of having to go back on The Pill. My face has broken out horribly, with those big painful bumps you can’t even pop – most of you know the ones…
    Anyway…I actually ran out the very night I read the post (about a week ago) and got the supplies. I could only find witch hazel with 14% alcohol, so I stopped using it twice a day and am only doing it at night. Here are my findings:
    1. It greatly diminishes the redness of the pimples (this was almost immediate).
    2. It slows, then stops the formation of large pimples.
    3. It greatly diminishes the look of blackheads (this surprised me).
    4. It does dry skin slightly because of the alcohol, however, the bonus is that my skin does not become oily by the end of the day (except under my bangs).
    5. It feels good.
    6. It does not completely stop new pimples from forming, but the new ones are not the big, painful ones, and the ones that are forming are infrequent. I’ve only gotten one or two new ones in the week since I’ve started using the toner. So that’s good.
    I don’t know if this is any “better” than commercial creams, but it’s cheaper, definitely. I was so pleased with the results that I dumped the entire jar of thyme into the bottle of witch hazel. I didn’t even bother to strain it. That bottle will last me well over a year. All told, it was about $9.00. I can’t pay that for a month of prescriptions, to be sure, and even OTC creams run about $5 a package, at least. Not to mention, I know exactly what i’m putting on my face. And yes, it feels rewarding to have made it myself!
    My next step is to try the oil cleansing method, but I’m allowing my skin a little more time to get used to the thyme before I try it. I’m really happy with the results so far. :-)

  22. Maile

    I have read on several all natural blogs that those “chicken arms” are a symptom of low functioning adrenal glands. Thought I might share if you want to do some research

  23. “We DO NOT have to sit around and wait for a double-blind, peer-reviewed scientific study to tell us whether thyme works on our blemishes and acne. We CAN try this out on our own right now.” You are my hero! Great article, too!

  24. Kaz

    Can I use Almond oil, instead of the oils you mentioned? I tend to have dry flaky skin, especially on the nose and around the nose area. Do you think Almond oil will be effective on my skin?

  25. Melinda

    I think I will use it with coconut oil as that helps the blemishes also. And add some honey to the mask for the perfect facial mask for one with blemishes. Or even for a person without!!

  26. olive jani

    Thyme tincture, if made properly, would be made with vodka, which has never been drying on my skin like rubbing alcohol. So I’ll be doing what the experimenters did, and using (pure potato) vodka to extract the thyme properties. (I’ve been using anti-bacterial thyme wipes I got out of convenience, and my skin is definitely softer and more even-looking in tone, so it should be fun to go at the acne with pure tincture)

    • olive jani

      some tinctures, btw, can be made with glycerin, (you’ll see these on the store shelves–non-alcohol herbal tinctures made with glycerin)–often, you can find pure glycerin at a health food store (or order it online) and make your own the same way, alcohol free. Just soak the herb in the stuff, 6 weeks is a general rule for best results…)

  27. Asking questions are really fastidious thing if
    you are not understanding anything totally, except this article provides nice understanding even.

  28. Teaberry

    I am happy to have found this blog! I steeped thyme in vodka for several months and just now decided to try it out. Can’t wait to post the results. I’m testing it on “patches” to see how it does – my forehead (broken out because I’m sweating so much), a big nasty red mark on my back from what once was a monster pimple, and a patch on my left arm, because my arms are just rough in general. So I’ll report back soon!

  29. Dennis

    I’m just here to share some info with you Guys.
    Now first of all, I know that every case of acne prone person is diffrent, but here’s what worked for me almost over night.

    Pure Thyme Oil on a cotton stick, directly on the red bumbs or whiteheads. It Works, FAST!. It stings slightly, like lemon juice, for about 10 minutes and then it stops and the small irritation goes away within an hour (in my case).
    All red irritation bumbs / new forming sits are now invisible and flat in literally 3 hours, or at the very least over night. Been using it with astonishing succes for 2 months now, and it’s the same story every time.
    Watch out though, just because my skin can handle pure Thyme oil does’nt mean everyone can, but I believe I do have sensitive skin.
    Good luck out there everyone.

    – 23 year old with moderate/severe adult acne.

  30. Chelsea

    I thought I would share this with you, my younger brother and I both had pretty bad acne as teens, I was cured with roaccutane, however when it came my brothers time he ended up on steroids, antibiotics and the roaccutane, and after about 10 months of his skin getting progressively worse – his skin looked like he had boils all over his chest/back/neck/face- he took himself off it (I think the dermatologist was pretty perplexed that her concoction of chemicals wasn’t working to be honest). About the same time my mum somehow procured this treatment: take a cup full of thyme (out of the garden) add a cup of boiling water and leave it to cool right down, strain it into a jar and keep in the fridge (two weeks max). And guess what? It was THE BEST THING for my poor little brothers skin. Just used like a toner, a swipe with a cotton pad after cleansing.

    So, I have just decided to make myself an oil cleanser and wondered whether a few drops of thyme essential oil would also be good?

    What do you think?

  31. Brandi

    I made this tincture about three months ago. (witch hazel) I used it a couple times then put it under the bathroom sink and promptly forgot about it. I’m 35 and I get bad acne along my jawline. They get big. And they hurt. Even if I don’t touch them. And I try not to, but they hurt. So I end up picking them. Which we all know makes it so much better (not) well I’m getting married Monday (tomorrow) I had a couple bumps right at the hinge of my jaw last week. Figured no big deal they’d have time to go away. But I remembered the thyme tincture so I gave put it on a cotton ball and swiped away. They got better but I really didn’t give it any thought. Then day before yesterday I got a big one right on my jaw. Right where my hair wouldn’t cover it. And it hurt. In my experience these are the ones that take a couple weeks to go away. After looking disgusting in the process. So I swiped some more thyme on. Then yesterday morning it seemed better. But during the day it started hurting again. (gross alert) Looked like it was full of puss. And it was red. And hurt. Did I mention hurt? Like bad. So I did what anyone in my situation did. Sat down and cried. Lol. No really. I got a needle and gently took the top layer off. I figured the bacteria was inside. The thyme needed to be inside too. So then I swiped more thyme tincture on it. This morning it is all but gone! There is no bump. No red. No pain. Yay thyme! Yay for having a remedy that words when I’m 35 and shouldn’t be dealing with this anymore! Thank you so much for this article!

  32. Brianna

    I’ve tried everything from Proactive to Neutrogena to dermatologist prescriptions (literally almost everything!) to help control my acne. Absolutely nothing has worked for me except for the all natural DIY thyme toner recipe listed above! I was very skeptic at first but within about 2 weeks, the redness and bumps went way down and after a month, my acne seems to be almost completely gone.

    Still have bad scarring so I’m looking for a solution for that but yeah – thyme rocks!!!

    Thanks for posting :)

    • Amanda

      I had terrible, terrible acne and used honey as a wash and somehow no scarring! If you haven’t tried it yet, I strongly suggest honey (pure, raw, etc.). I also use aloe vera gel after the toner and it seems to really help as well. I also noticed a difference when I used the turmeric/honey mask, but it was pretty messy. Hope something works for those pesky scars! Just saying, even my dermatologist was astonished at how little scars I had.

    • Annette

      HI, I have had bad deep acne scarring (pot mark)for all of my life. Solution:Fraxel CO2 Lazer. Find a good Board certified Plastic Surgeon, they must be certified and licensed for the Fraxel CO2. Expensive but it is smoothing away the scarring. Nothing else works to get rid of scarring. The CO2 lazer is amazing.

  33. Olive

    They likely didn’t use rubbing alcohol for the tincture: standard medicinal tinctures use either glycerin (which you can buy at the drug store) or grain alcohol, i.e. vodka–which is a known safe skin toner in and of itself–to make the tincture. And these are what I use myself. (p.s., in a pinch, vodka straight out of the bottle is good as an odor remover–not perfect, but good. The witch hazel actually has more rubbing alcohol in it, but since it has the nice anti-inflammatory effect, it makes sense to try that, too.

  34. Frances

    Perhaps the gentlest way to approach fresh herbs as a skin treatment is to make a simple herb water (you can use the home made rose water technique). You can then use your herb water as not only a gentle cleanser, but put it into a spray bottle and hydrate your skin as well. Great if you live in an arid climate or work in an air onditioned office! Go a little further, try making lavender and thyme water. Fantastic for your skin, disinfecting, as gentle as can be, and if you grow the herbs in your garden (and both these two are pretty easy to grow) the treatment is that magic word. FREE. (Don’t you LOVE that word!) You can find a simple explanation of making rose or herb waters in my book ‘Save Your Skin and Fix Your Face’ at, and if you’re in the kindle owners’ library scheme, the book is free too! Or just Google “how to mke rose water”. Don’t forget how important it is to keep your skin hydrated as part of a skin care routine.
    Frances Shawers

  35. Amanda

    Hello! I have tried this toner and loved it. When I’ve run out and used just the witch hazel, I noticed it didn’t do nearly as well! I had also added apple cider vinegar, and would like to know…can I add other things as well? I’ve been wanting to use Thayer’s cucumber alcohol-free toner with aloe, calendula flowers and lavender flowers with the thyme and acv. Would any of these react poorly with each other? Please let me know! Currently using Thayer’s unscented alcohol-free with aloe vera. Thank you and I love your website! Change comes with education and you’re hitting me with some all-natural knowledge and my skin has never been better!

  36. Adjoa

    Thank you. Just…thank you.

  37. Thank You for your post ! Sounds interesting and unique. Thyme to control blemishes and acne sounds great. I think it is very effective cause when I saw the others commented here they tried it and it is effective. Thanks for sharing it.

  38. I use thyme tea in my intimate detergent …. Is marvelous ! The smell too …

  39. cara

    does anyone know if it matters what type of thyme oil to use..because there is red and white thyme oil.

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  41. Ivette

    Well, I am 27. My story started when I was 13…a nightmare. I used Isoface (similar to roaccutane) when I was 21. It worked perfectly but acne came back when I was 25. Then again, I used Isoface, it worked…partially. Now, at the time I started a detoxing diet, like since 2 months ago, i am experiencing a very bad breakout around my chin. Maybe it’s my body getting rid of toxins or who knows. I am taking vitamins and herbal supplements. I will try this thyme toner because I’ll fight it both from inside and outside. I’m pretty excited about. Has somebody used Apple cider vinegar instead of alcohols? I’ll keep you updated! Bisou

  42. Kat

    I just want to say thank you! I have been battling adult acne and hormonal acne (and food related acne! Ugh!) for years now and every time I get it under control, something goes wrong. Usually probably me eating something I’m not suppose to, oops. Anyway, a few weeks ago my acne got out of control again and got to the point where it was painful, red, swollen, but the kind you can’t pop either. I was at a loss as to what to do because nothing I WAS doing, or wasn’t doing was working – enter CB Blog. I love this site, and am always browsing here. I found this article in particular and decided the very next day to get some dried organic Thyme and some alcohol free Witch Hazel. I’ve been using the tea mix twice a day for about a week now and my face looks and feels so much better! I still have acne, but they’re small, and they’re controllable and best of all, it’s quick to use! The first day I tried it relief from the pain and redness was almost instantaneous. I don’t know if this will work for everyone, but you wanted us to experiment and I did… with good results. So again, thank you! I also want to point out that the tea doesn’t dry my skin out at all, I suppose because it is the alcohol free version of Witch Hazel instead. I am definitely going to keep using this!

  43. pav6629

    One question id love to be answered….After applying the toner, how long should i wait to apply moisturizer?

  44. Karin

    Has anyone tried Thyme Essential Oil? My son has horrible acne and we’ve tried everything…… I have the essential oil and was curious if anyone has had any personal experience using this. Thanks so much.

  45. Jeannine

    Hi, I made a thyme extract in alcohol (fresh thyme form the garden in 70% denatured alohol from the pharmacy) after first reading about it in the Daily Mail. Use it on my two teenagers who had intermittent bouts of acne and on my own, now very infrequent blemishes. If we have a breakout we do treatment in the evening. Wash face with warm water, pop any zits that look ‘done’ with a tissue, apply thyme tincture with a q-tip locally (thus avoiding unnecesary drying due to the aclohol on zit-free skin). In the morning it’s typically already difficult to spot where the blemish was the night before. Since we do this we’ve managed to nip any oubreaks in the bud. Kids happy, me happy. Have doled out a couple little bottles of the stuff too. So far it works on everybody. I use it as a topical desinfectant as well. It worked very nicely on a little patch of torn cuticle that got a bit inflamed and painful. Calmed it right down.

  46. Hi there i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting
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  1. […] for helping to build up the immune system and for its impact on energy. I also read about a study here where a thyme based tincture killed the bacteria causing blemished and break outs.  Look, if […]

  2. […] soothe cold symptoms, and did you know? Thyme is also a common component to homemade cleaners and beauty products (especially for acne), due to its antibacterial […]

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