Natural Remedies

Discover the Ancient Garlic Cure for Acne

| Modified on Sep 17, 2023

While we all probably recognize garlic as a common herb used to flavor some of our favorite foods, garlic has a place outside the kitchen as well. This potent herb has been used as a natural medicine for years and is a known treatment for a variety of diseases and other disorders. One of our favorite uses for garlic is curing acne.

Why Is Garlic Good for Acne?

Garlic is most effective for treating acne that is related to bacterial infections of the skin. This type of acne is caused by the overproduction of oil in the skin which leads to the buildup of bacteria in the pores, translating into acne breakouts. Garlic possesses a variety of qualities that make it an effective treatment for this type of acne.

In essence, garlic is a potent antioxidant, so it functions to remove infectious pathogens from the skin. Garlic also contains a compound called allicin, which is responsible for the herbs intense flavor and smell as well as its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory capabilities. Additionally, garlic serves as an effective antifungal and antiviral, so it eliminates the basic causes of acne.

How Can I Use Garlic to Treat Acne?

Garlic can be used in a number of different ways to effectively treat acne. You must be careful when using the treatments, however, as garlic is a particularly strong compound.

Spot Treatment

A garlic spot treatment is especially effective for treating stubborn acne, but always be sure to dilute the treatment with water or another substance to avoid damaging the skin. To make the treatment, crush a clove of garlic and mix it in 1/2 teaspoon of water. Rub the garlic mixture on your spots of acne and let it dry for 5-10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and pat the face dry.

Internal Use

Garlic is also effective for treating acne as an internal use. Eating or even drinking garlic will help clear your acne from the inside out. Either add 1 or 2 crushed garlic cloves to your favorite meal or mix the cloves with water or juice and drink it.

While garlic is a strong acne treatment, it won't give you results overnight. However, if you continue with the treatments you'll see clear skin in no time and have the benefits of a boosted immune system as well.

Continue reading below for reviews from Earth Clinic readers who have tried garlic to treat acne issues!

Related Links:

12 Proven Natural Remedies for Acne
Garlic: A Superfood for Health and the Immune System
Glowing Skin Remedies
Natural Blackhead Remedies: Clear Skin Solutions
Natural Remedies for Cystic Acne

11 User Reviews

Posted by RGENE (Hawaii) on 08/08/2021

I too have had acne all my life and I just starting taking the garlic supplements. I am amazed!! My skin has never looked or felt better. It took about 1 week for my skin to heal but I will take the garlic supplements from now on!!

Posted by Ashley (India) on 07/22/2015

Hi, I have recurring pimples since many years and I've used many products but nothing worked for me. Finally I've decided to use use home remedies and found ginger & garlic are very helpful. I've started using it. The correct method is apply ginger-garlic paste in small quantity on the affected area and in while applying it will burn, then leave it for whole night and see the difference it is really great the pimple scars will shade off and the upcoming pimples will stop and squeeze off, but try in a correct manner.........

Replied by Grace
(Toronto, Canada)

Hi Ashley, do you dilute the paste with water or some other things, or you used it straight? Thank you!

Posted by Frustrated (Mississauga, Canada) on 12/02/2007


Replied by Katrina
(Taunton, Massachusetts)

You're supposed to dilute it with mostly warm water, sometimes tree oil or honey also and keep on the skin no longer than 3 minutes.

Posted by Mika (Santa Barbara, California) on 09/20/2007

RAW GARLIC. garlic is a natural, powerful antibacterial. the antibacterial compound is called allicin. It works when eaten raw. yes, RAW. it burns the stomach, but well worth the immediate results. I finely chop a clove of garlic when my acne gets severe, put it on a spoon, and swallow it with some water like powder medicine.

*** CAUTION: do NOT eat on an empty stomach!.

I HIGHLY recommend you eat it with/right after meals or have a bottle of antacids ready. ***

This causes garlic breath and you sweat out garlic because your blood carries allicin through your body. Think about it--antibacterial sweat and blood! My face clears up after a good night's sleep and i get no new acne when i do this twice a day (morning and before sleep). The only downside is that it doesn't help take away scarring. Oooh, and smelling like garlic. My mom says I reek but personally, i love the smell.

Posted by Ani (Melbourne, Australia) on 12/17/2006

I read on this website that you can apply garlic to your acne to get rid of it. Well so i went to the kitchen, chopped up some garlic, mixes it with a tiny bit of water to make a mash. I applied it to my face and covered it with bandages and tape and went to bed. When i woke up, I was hoping my acne would be all gone but instead, to my horror, I had blisters and burned skin! It even burned all my healthy skin! Now i look even worse then before. I have put honey on my skin and left it on all day. I look disgusting now. I should of just tried a little bit on and then just rubbed it off.

Replied by Raquelle
(Auckland, NZ)

Have a good look all over this website, there is plenty of good acne cures. Have a look at a variety of cures and then make your choice. Oh and if you suffer from constipation, that could very likely be contributing. if we dont go toilet regulary, the body starts to try and exit toxins an alternative way, the skin. Also Candida can cause tummy troubles and also affect the skin. So look at what your body is trying to tell you, (our bodys have you let us know somehow) and along with balancing the inside, work on the external. happy journeys.

Replied by Jk
(San Diego)

Guys, we have different types skins in as far as reaction to treatment is concerned. To be just, I have seem a positive difference with garlic in just three days.

Posted by Paulette (Mississauga) on 09/26/2006

Garlic is amazing. I eat it both raw and cooked. I noticed it brought my blood sugar level down, so that was a good side effect. I try to eat some everyday raw in salad, roasted and mixed with butter for bread or just top it on soup after the soup is cooked. I had a great body cleansing effect. I then decided to crush the garlic and mix with apple cider vinegar for application on stubborn acne. Great results. One week later I started adding onion to this mixture and apply to face with a natural bristle eyeshadow brush. If it was too heated, I would apply raw honey. I have used exfoliating creams, lightening creams and had peels to clear up stubborn acne and spots from face, but there was no comparison to this garlic, onion and apple cider vinegar mixture. The acne literally walked away, the spots faded gently, but consistently and progressively. There was nothing left on my face that should not be there in the first place, it all left. In one month my face was clear radiant and rosy. I will never again waste my money on pharmaceutical expensive skin care products.

Replied by Keri

Do you have any before & after photos? It sounds pretty amazing! I am a little concerned about it getting too hot once onion is applied. Is there a certain amount you use of each ingredient? Thanks, Keri

Posted by Mona (Toronto, Ontario) on 02/04/2006

garlic capsules did wonders for my badly acne suffered skin.after all nature comes to my rescue.

Posted by Ratna (Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania)

I have slight pimple skin but after starting on raw garlic once a day I've began to see the zits disappear and the blemishes are slowly fading away!!! I take 1 big clove with my lunch (for the after smell you can chew on some fennel seeds it will go) and it really helps.You'll see the difference in 5-6 days. Also have started to take fresh vegetable juice on rising. Its made of carrots,white gourd,apples and a little tomato.The difference in my skin was seen in 2 days!!This juice also cleanses your colon and you know when you have a toxin free system it shows on your skin!!

Posted by Gena (Manila, Phillipines)

I have had recurring acne for several years now. I've read about garlic here and tried it. I chop one clove of garlic and squeeze the juice on the affected area and blemishes and let it stay there overnight. The blemishes are gone in just 2 days, it will immediately flake into something dark brown, and you just have to peel it off.Same with fresh pimples. Quite painful at first, and you have to close your eyes cuz it really stings while it's on your face. also the smell might make you dizzy. After 2 or 3 minutes it will die down and the next day, just wash it off. If you're just staying home I recommend not washing it off. Garlic is fantastic!!!

Posted by Cara (Vancouver, Canada)

garlic helps with burns or skin irritations (such as acne). Crush a few cloves and mix with a little water (just enough to make the mashed garlic stick). Add the crushed garlic to the burn or skin irritation and cover with gauze and tape down. Replace the dressing (crushed garlic and gauze) every few hours as needed. Heals like a charm!