Is Ghee Beneficial For The Skin?

Discover the hidden benefits of ghee in making your skin look radiant and healthy.

Medically Reviewed by Dr. CP Thajudheen, MD
By Annie Jangam

Ghee has been a staple in Indian households for a long time. It has multipurpose uses that include adding flavor to the dishes, improving digestion, and healing the skin. You can also use ghee for skin care woes. Topical and oral use of ghee benefits the skin in many ways. However, there is not enough scientific evidence to prove the benefits of ghee for your skin.

If you want to try using ghee for your skin, we can help you with the proper steps. Read this article to know more about how ghee benefits your skin, its use, and its side effects. Scroll down.

Is It Good To Apply Ghee On Your Face?

Closeup of hands ready to apply the ghee to the skin

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No. The topical application of ghee may trigger the overgrowth of Malassezia furfur, a naturally occurring yeast-like fungus, on the skin. Like any other clarified butter, ghee contains fats and cholesterol, and Malassezia feeds on lipids. A study observed that Malassezia could flourish in ghee or butter (1).

Overgrowth of Malassezia furfur can cause pityriasis versicolor (yeast infection that causes flaky patches) and seborrheic dermatitis (1). If you have oily and acne-prone skin, applying ghee can aggravate the issue. Moreover, it may also clog the skin pores and cause breakouts.

Did You Know?
Cow-milk ghee is a revered ingredient in Ayurveda. In ancient practices, people got full-body ghee massages for nourishment and luster.

However, many people have used ghee on their skin, claiming it to function like a natural moisturizer. Let’s take a look at the benefits of ghee for the skin.

The Benefits Of Ghee For The Skin

Ghee is made up of carotene, butyric acid, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, B12, D, E, and K, and offers the following benefits:

1. May Moisturize The Skin

Woman with moisturized skin

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A study found that ingesting ghee can keep the skin moisturized and reduce erythema (dryness), scaling, and itching associated with dry skin. Another study evaluated the effect of a ghee-based cream and concluded that it could help hydrate the skin (2), (3).

2. Prevents Dark Circles

Anecdotal evidence suggests that ghee’s nourishing and hydrating properties may help maintain the delicate under-eye area and eliminate dark circles.

3. Wound Healing

A study found that a ghee and honey dressing can facilitate wound healing. The dressing has antimicrobial properties and is effective on drug-resistant microbes, promotes healthy tissue growth on the wound, and reduces foul smell, pain, and ulcers (4).

4. Good For Chapped Lips

The phospholipids from ghee help retain moisture in the skin, making ghee beneficial for cracked or dry lips.

Ghee may be beneficial for the skin when used with different ingredients and as a part of a skin care formulation. There is no scientific proof supporting the benefits of topical ghee application when used alone. All evidence is based on individual experiences. If you are not allergic to milk and want to give this age-old remedy a try, we have some recipes. Scroll down.

How To Use Ghee For Skin

1. Gram Flour And Ghee

Gram flour is used in herbal face masks. It exfoliates the skin, reduces oiliness, and minimizes pimples (5). The lactic acid present in milk may work as a mild exfoliator and stimulate new cell growth (6).

What You Will Need

  • 2 tablespoons of ghee
  • 2 tablespoons of gram flour
  • 1 tablespoon of milk

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix all the ingredients and prepare a thick paste.
  2. Apply the paste all over your face and neck.
  3. Leave it on to dry and wash it off with cold water.

How Often To Use

Use this two times a week.

2. Honey And Ghee

Honey and ghee for skin care

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Honey has antioxidant, antimicrobial, and wound healing properties (7). The antioxidants in it can help fight free radicals, improve skin health, and minimize signs of aging. This face mask can moisturize your skin.

What You Will Need

  • ½ tablespoon of ghee
  • ½ tablespoon of honey

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix both the ingredients.
  2. Apply this mixture all over your face and neck.
  3. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Wash your face with lukewarm water.

How Often To Use

Use it once a day.

3. Turmeric And Ghee

Topical and oral turmeric have therapeutic benefits. It can help soothe skin conditions like atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, radiodermatitis, and photoaging (8). This face mask can soothe and heal your skin.

What You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon of ghee
  • ½ tablespoon of turmeric powder

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix the ingredients and apply the mixture to your face and neck.
  2. Leave it on until it dries.
  3. Wash your face with cold water.

How Often To Use

Use it twice a week.

4. Ghee For Dark Circles

Applying ghee can soften and hydrate the delicate under-eye area and improve dark circles.

What You Will Need 

  • 2-3 drops of ghee

What You Have To Do 

  1. Massage the ghee under your eye.
  2. Leave it on overnight.
  3. Wash your eyes with cold water in the morning.

How Often To Use

Use it once a day.

5. Sandalwood Oil And Ghee

Sandalwood oil and ghee for skin care

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Sandalwood oil has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It has shown promising results in soothing acne, psoriasis, eczema, and warts (9). Turmeric has therapeutic benefits. When used with ghee, these ingredients can keep your skin healthy.

What You Will Need

  • 2-3 drops of sandalwood oil
  • 1 tablespoon of ghee
  • ½ tablespoon of turmeric powder

What You Have To Do 

  1. Mix all ingredients to form a paste.
  2. Apply it to your face and neck.
  3. Leave the mixture on for 20 minutes.
  4. Wash your face with lukewarm water.

How Often To Use

Use it 2-3 times a week.

Fun Fact
The ayurvedic way of using ghee for skin is called ‘Shata Dhauta Ghrita.’ Cow-milk ghee is washed 100 times with water during the process, and the airy whipped cream left behind is used as a moisturizer.

These are a few ways you can use ghee for skin care benefits. However, it is best to avoid ghee if you have any skin conditions or milk allergies. Scroll down to understand how ghee can have adverse effects on your skin.

Disadvantages Of Using Ghee On Your Face

Ghee on face may cause rashes and aggravate acne

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We mentioned earlier that ghee could facilitate an overgrowth of Malassezia furfur on your skin and worsen an existing skin condition. Avoid using ghee if you:

  • Have eczema, psoriasis, or seborrheic dermatitis.
  • Have oily and acne-prone skin, as ghee may clog the skin pores and cause breakouts.
  • Are allergic to milk.

Using ghee may cause eczema and psoriasis flare-ups and lead to:

  • Skin rashes
  • Redness
  • Itching and irritation
  • Allergic reactions like hives

Ghee helps your health in several ways and adds flavor to the dishes. However, ghee can also benefit your skin in many ways. Consuming ghee can keep your skin glowing and improve its texture. However, it is not advisable to use ghee on the face. Applying ghee on the face can cause fungus growth and aggravate your skin issues like acne. However, many people have tested it on the skin, and claim ghee helps moisturize the skin, prevent dark circles, and heal wounds. Still, it may not suit all skin types, and you may have to be extra careful if you plan to apply it to your skin.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can we apply ghee on our faces every day?

Yes, you can apply little amounts of ghee on your face daily to keep your skin supple and healthy. However, people with oily and acne-prone skin must practice caution while applying ghee as it may aggravate acne.

Does ghee make lips pink?

No, ghee does not make your lips pink. However, the application of ghee can make your lips hydrated and reduce dryness (10).

Does ghee have retinol?

Yes, ghee is rich in vitamin A, which is used to create retinol. Retinol boosts collagen production and improves the appearance of your skin (11), (12).

Does ghee have collagen?

Yes, ghee contains vitamin A that is essential in boosting cell growth and collagen production (13).

Key Takeaways

  • Ghee has several benefits on the skin, like moisturization and wound healing.
  • Though beneficial, applying it to the face may trigger acne breakouts.
  • However, you can use ghee with honey, gram flour, honey, or turmeric to get the best results.

References:

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Study of the growth of Malassezia furfur on mycological culture media supplemented with different lipid sources https://www.researchgate.net/publication/345495920_Study_of_the_growth_of_Malassezia_furfur_on_mycological_culture_media_supplemented_with_different_lipid_sources
  2. Ghee-based all-purpose herbal cream of medicinal use
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/343127300_Ghee-based_all-purpose_herbal_cream_of_medicinal_use
  3. The effect of ghee (clarified butter) on serum lipid levels and microsomal lipid peroxidation
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3215354/
  4. Ghee and Honey Dressing for Infected Wounds
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3144338/
  5. In-House Preparation and Standardization of Herbal Face Pack https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/1ca2/5c17343fd28d0dfa868e2abd0919f8e986dd.pdf
  6. Dual Effects of Alpha-Hydroxy Acids on the Skin
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6017965/
  7. Honey: A Therapeutic Agent for Disorders of the Skin
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5661189/
  8. Effects of Turmeric (Curcuma longa) on Skin Health: A Systematic Review of the Clinical Evidence
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27213821/
  9. Sandalwood Album Oil as a Botanical Therapeutic in Dermatology
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5749697/
  10. Butter, Clarified butter (ghee)
    https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171314/nutrients
  11. Improvement of Naturally Aged Skin With Vitamin A (Retinol)
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/6316137_Improvement_of_Naturally_Aged_Skin_With_Vitamin_A_Retinol
  12. Improvement of Naturally Aged Skin With Vitamin A (Retinol)
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/6316137_Improvement_of_Naturally_Aged_Skin_With_Vitamin_A_Retinol
  13. Vitamin A Antagonizes Decreased Cell Growth and Elevated Collagen-Degrading Matrix Metalloproteinases and Stimulates Collagen Accumulation in Naturally Aged Human Skin1
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022202X15407985
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Annie Jangam is a researcher-turned-content writer. She enjoys dissecting complex clinical studies and shuffling through the scientific jargon to make... more

Dr. CP Thajudheen

(MD)
Dr. CP Thajudheen has over 20 years of experience in various lasers, light-based devices, and other advanced equipment. He was... more

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