Is Ghee Beneficial For The Skin?

Written 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?

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

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 ghee cause pimples on your face?

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

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:

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  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/
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