Is Ghee Beneficial For The Skin?

by Sucharita Mishra

Ghee has been a staple in Indian households since ancient times. This yummy ingredient adds flavor to even the dullest dishes. Ayurveda advocates using ghee for its healing properties and improving digestion. Consuming ghee and applying it to the skin is said to keep multiple skin woes at bay. However, there is no scientific proof regarding the skin care benefits of ghee.

Wondering whether this age-old practice is beneficial for your skin or not? Scroll down to understand how ghee may benefit your skin, ways to use it, and the side effects.

Is It Good To Apply Ghee On Your Face?

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.

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

1. May Moisturize The Skin

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).

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 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 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.

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

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

The Final Word

Ghee has immense health benefits when consumed. It is a popular ingredient in many traditional skin care recipes and is widely used to moisturize and hydrate the skin. However, topical ghee may not suit all skin types, especially if you have an existing skin condition. Hence, consult a doctor before using ghee on your skin and check for allergies to avoid adverse reactions.

Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions

Can ghee cause pimples on your face?

Yes. Ghee may cause breakouts on oily and acne-prone skin.

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Sucharita Mishra

Sucharita Mishra has a Master’s degree in Biotechnology and specializes in writing on Health and Wellness. She has worked on determining various heavy metals present in green tea for her Master’s dissertation at CSIR- CFTRI, Mysuru. After completing her degree, Sucharita decided to pursue her passion for writing. She is addicted to all things black and aspires to become a bat one day.
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