Is Garlic A Friend Or Foe For Your Skin?

Is Garlic A Friend Or Foe For Your Skin?

There are certain foods that are very controversial when it comes to your skin’s health, and whether or not that particular food will aggravate your acne.

garlicGarlic seems to be one of those foods that is either listed in acne treatment resources as your friend – a great way to treat your acne, or your foe – a food that has the ability to make your acne worse. So which do we believe?

The diet guidelines that I live my life by are the result of reading a collection of diet and acne books, talking to medical and health professionals, and through trial and error on my own skin and body (basically seeing what happens when I eat certain foods). Through all of this I’ve discovered what I call ‘danger’ foods, foods that I know WILL aggravate my acne. One of these being garlic.

Why garlic is bad for your skin when taken internally

It’s really important to note here that I’m talking about eating garlic, not using it as a topical. I’ll talk more about garlic and topical treatments later.

I have had differing opinions with the food garlic, which is why I think it’s one of those very controversial foods. I went to a naturopath about my skin once, and she actually recommended that I eat lots of onion and garlic to help my skin heal. I actually didn’t follow her advice because I don’t like to cook with these two foods (for other reasons) and I’m glad I didn’t! Because I’ll share a garlic related story with you that made me realize that yes, garlic is not good at all for the skin when taken internally.

A few months ago I’d arranged to go for a long walk for exercise, and then dinner with a friend. I had a quick …okay long …look at my skin before I went out and was happy. My skin was looking fairly clear and with just a small dusting of mineral makeup you could hardly see any of my acne scars. I didn’t have any new pimples forming either which was great. I remember at dinner even bringing it up with my friend. I told him that my skin was doing great and asked him what he thought. He looked at me and confirmed that yep, he couldn’t see a single spot on my face! I was soooo happy.

So we ate at a really nice restaurant close to where I lived then. I ordered a fish dish that came out on a bed of mash and roasted vegetables, including a ton of roasted garlic. I never would normally eat whole garlic cloves like that but I thought screw it, they’re weaker when they’re roasted so I hoed into it and ate the whole lot. AND I have to tell you, it tasted awesome.

The next morning I woke up with very aggravated skin. I had a heap more comedonal acne, my skin was a little reddish and blotchy, and already there were new pimples forming. I had an appointment with my Chinese herbalist (who is also a medical doctor) that day which was good because he was helping me clear my skin at the time. I think if I didn’t have that appointment I would have panicked! So I turn up at my appointment, and one of the first things he noticed was the garlic smell coming off my skin from all the garlic I’d eaten the night before. Hey, I couldn’t smell it!

He then asked me, “Do you like garlic?” which I responded with, “Normally no, but I ate a ton of it last night when I went out to dinner with a friend!”.

He shook his head and said, “Garlic will aggravate your acne and cause pimples you know.”. He then suggested that the next time I go out to eat I should ask the chef to not put any garlic in my meal. It was that moment that I realized that garlic taken internally IS bad for your skin and I would try to avoid it at all costs.

You see, in Chinese Medicine it is said that acne is caused by too much heat and dampness in the body. So what we want to do essentially is cool our bodies down. Every time I visit the doctor he tells me to stop eating ‘hot’ foods. This doesn’t mean temperature, it means foods that create heat in your body. Like chili, garlic, onion, peppers, cinnamon etc. I once asked him how I could tell that a food is ‘hot’, and he told me to put a little bit on my tongue, and you will know if it’s a hot food. Err, I haven’t really tried this yet, but I am very disciplined with staying away from spicy foods, chillies, peppers, garlic and anything that is obviously hot.

Keep in mind that this doctor I respect a lot. He’s practiced conventional and natural medicine for over 35 years and he’s damn good at his job with a huge waiting list. So I listen to him!

If you’re wondering that perhaps I just have a garlic food allergy, you’re wrong. I later wondered this myself and went and got tested. The results were negative, I have no garlic allergy. So, garlic is just one of those acne aggravating foods.

Avoiding eating garlic

I don’t think you should ever have to avoid eating any foods 100%, I think this is just about impossible, and can make you sometimes antisocial and a little boring :) I do however now avoid garlic as much as I can. This means I never cook with it at home, and when I’m cooking with a friend at their house, I mention that I can’t eat garlic because it gives me pimples …and they always leave it out for me (how nice).

Eating out is a little harder and since I’m travelling now I’m eating out at least twice a day. All I do is make sure I don’t order anything that has ‘garlic’ in the description of the food. If what I’ve ordered comes out with a very garlic taste, then so be it. I’ve found it’s okay if I eat it every now and again, and as long as I don’t eat whole entire cloves like I did before.

Garlic used as a topical

face maskThis is a whole different thing altogether, and while I can’t speak with personal experience, I’ve read a lot of reviews in forums on the net, and I’ve even been emailed by a couple of my High on Health readers that say that garlic used as a topical has done great things for their skin.

My skin has become quite clear now, I have a few small reddish scars that are fading and one pimple on my cheek that’s on its way out. This is all great because I feel more confident in helping you all out when I’ve managed to completely clear my own skin, but at the same time I feel like I can’t experiment on myself anymore! So unfortunately I’ll have to go on others reviews of using garlic as a topical, and you may need to try it yourself. Just remember to start something new slowly, because even natural substances used on the skin can aggravate or cause cosmetic acne for some people. It’s better to start slowly than to freak your skin out by using too much at once.

How to use garlic in your skin care routine

Garlic is one of those magical foods that is naturally anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral …which is why it does so well on our skin. This is similar to the healing properties of apple cider vinegar and coconut oil.

I got an email from Susan, one of my blog readers the other day. Susan is awesome, she’s found her own acne cure which involves a few natural treatments that are working wonderfully for her. You can read her post here:

I thought I’d share with you her garlic topical because it is working just so well for her.

Susan’s Garlic Mask / Spot Treatment

- 6 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 spoonful maluka honey
- a dash of turmeric powder or freshly grated turmeric

Combine ingredients then apply to freshly cleansed face directly onto acne and acne prone areas. Leave on your skin for 10 – 30 minutes then wash off with warm water. Apply a moisturizer.

Note: Please use turmeric with caution. It can stain the skin yellow if you use too much. If you have pale skin like me, please use only a very

There are a heap of other home recipes for masks and spot treatments on the web. All you need to do is a Google search :) But I’d like the sound of this one because Susan has had so much success with it.

So I guess garlic is both our friend and our foe!


59 comments… add one

  • julie

    You have a food allergy to garlic, because not all people break out when they eat garlic. I eat garlic smashed with lime in it, and with olive oil virgin, and it helps not only my skin but helps my intestines from bloating . It also helps lower my cholesterol. I have high cholesterol. I really enjoy the results, even though it makes my breath smell bad. I dont have to face alot of people anyway.

  • Sandy

    I applies garlic directly on my pinple without cleared my pimple but burnt a lot an has left a red scar, which i know is not from the pimple.. What to do with the scar?

  • Denis

    Could garlic also be responsible for blackheads being produced on my forehead and nose?

  • I have always had clear skin my entire life. I had perfect skin. I hardly ever wore makeup except mascara and blush. Two years ago I had a root canal done on a tooth. Before they did the root canal the doctor finally convinced me to take an antibiotic to get rid of the infection even though I was taking something natural to help with it. It was not fast enough for them. So I took 3 pills and got such pains in my stomach it was awful. Needless to say I stopped the pills right away. After that I got a sinus infection, throat infections, cold, etc. You get the idea. Since then I have had terrible breakouts on my face. I have tried so many things to help with it but I am finally learning that the antibiotic killed the good bacteria in my system and my system has been trying to get back to normal and I believe I have Candida. So I have been taking Shaklee Garlic tablets, and putting honey, Redmond Clay, and using my Shaklee Skin care. It is getting much better. I will continue to see if it goes away. I truly believe i have to get rid of the Candida and get my body back to normal. It takes time for you to get back to normal.

    Also Garlic is better than any antibiotic out there without the side effects. It does not kill the good bacteria. It helps build the immune system, it also helps kill cancer and prevent cancer, it kills bacteria, viruses, etc. It is something that everyone needs to take.

    As far as eating cooked garlic it does not have the benefits of fresh garlic or garlic tablets. Once garlic is heated it loses it’s medicinal properties.

    Shaklee is the best on the market.

  • Melissa

    Again… that advice is HORRIBLE advice for those of us with acne with a food intolerance to it.. this may not be the case for everyone with acne but it is for me. On my food alergy test.. garlic is listed as AVOID! Whenever I eat garlic in any form, I breakout within a day. If you had read the other information on her site she tells one to get your food allergies tested first if at all possible. I did.. and through those results I am clear for the first time in 30 years!

  • Tiag

    your very misinformed about garlic.

    Allicin is an antibiotic and has wonderful effects in the human body, but garlic must be eaten RAW to get any allicin effect.

    Allicin will kill parasites and bacteria throughout you internally which will allow your body to focus its energies on the natural waste elimination processes and your acne should lessen.

    - The pimpliest kid who finally changed his lifestyle and everything cleared out.

  • linda

    i remember it was about one year ago,i had gone to a party and after that when I came home I was so tired as I felt asleep , when I woke up at the morning,after washing the face i went to the mirror to look at my beautifull face , I wont forget that, it was terrible , my face had got lots of zits and acne . I got so worried as i did every things possible to make them disappear but none of them worked. They were geting worse and worse and I didnt know what to do , I even went to different doctors . they were just saying me that it’s not such a very important matter and they will be better then they were giving me some medicines. I cant say the medicins were not good at all but they were not wonderfull too.after that I decided to try home treatments,it was such a surprising event that home treatments made me so better and right now I do’nt have any zits or scars eaither on my face and I feel so confident about my face I should say that i was picking all the zits as a habit and now none of them are on my face
    i would now give you some advices I hope they will be helpfull for you:
    1-I drink about3-4 liters water in a day
    2-I’ve tried row garlig, it is amazing i use a half garlic for eating per a day and a half for my skin
    3-the other thing i’ve tried is lemon joice and salt I was using this 2 or 3 times per a day
    4-as my skin was geting dry I was using a mild natural cream

    At the end , I just would admite that garlic is a great natural medicine for the skin ,try it.

  • Scott

    Hi all. Just came to share my thoughts. I’ve had minor acne on and off for a while now. Recently, I got back in the gym and have been more active. I have to say, could be coincidence,but my face is as good as ever and raw garlic is part of the reason in my opinion. I love how it makes me feel, sure feels like its helping. Raw garlic + plenty of water seems to work wonders for me

  • H.Hunter

    Wow. So many different reactions…I guess I must share my experience with garlic.
    Several months ago I started to show signs of rosacea on my face, mainly my cheeks. Doctors were surprised because rosacea should also attack the nose as well as the cheeks (in most cases). Anyway, I was prescribed a topical called metronidazole. I used it for six weeks and boy did it sting when it was applied (btw…I had used EVERY single OTC moisturizer before going to the doctor) however, there was little resolve. My cheeks were bright/blotchy and my skin was red and dry, dry, dry. I was also told to use an OTC soap/conditioner called Cera Ve. This product helped a little bit but still irritated my skin.
    By a strange/unrelated coincidence I started to eat pickled garlic cloves last week (2 per day) and I’m telling you that my face is now clear…almost instantly.
    My kids and wife are complaining that i stink like garlic all the time but it is amazing how i suffered for months and am cured now! I have to attribute it to my recent/coincidental garlic use.
    i’ll be eating 2 per day for good now!

  • Melissa

    EXCEPT those of use who have a food intolerance/allergy to garlic … like me.

    Since finding that out and avoiding it … my face has NEVER been CLEARER. Whenever I eat a meal heavy in garlic, I breakout the next day. And as with any breakout … it takes days/weeks to fully heal.

    So your advice doesn’t work for everyone … please take that into consideration when saying it is “EXCELLENT” for the skin.

  • Jihane

    Garlic is EXCELLENT for the skin. In fact, is one of the best thing you can take for it. it might cause the skin to break out during the first days when you are taking it but that’s the body reacting to a change that will be positive. it is anti-aging and is a great acne healer. taking it raw daily is simply the cheapest best thing you can except that you have to listerine quite often.

  • but I prolly assume that you’re allergic to garlic.

  • hello, I’ve read your article but I’m sad to say that I had a very different story =p
    I experience acne issues, mainly during PMS, and I started to eat raw garlic (3~4cloves a day) and it really help to clear out my skin!

    I think it’s not because the garlic that made you had acne issues back then, maybe u ate some kind of oily food? well. Garlic is actually very good for skin. I’ve done a research. and if u want to check, many korean has a good skin bcuz they eat raw garlic on daily basis (garlic that blended together in kimchi)

    and u might also know that garlic’s allicin acts like a natural antibiotics that clear out our blood and reduce the amount of germ inside. and outside our body. So when to germ ‘touch’ our oily facial skin, it will die. so no more acne :D

  • Arul

    Garlic is good for you. Garlic oil is good for you. If your blood is dirty, garlic will push all your toxins to your skin. One of the ways to improve skin’s texture is to do blood ozone. To remove free radicals and toxins in your blood stream. I have done this before. Once you clean your blood from free radicals, then eating garlic will not have bad effects. Then eating garlic WILL make your skin look nicer and younger. You can collect alot of toxins in your blood vessels, not to mention clots that can block blood flow.

  • J

    “You see, in Chinese Medicine it is said that acne is caused by too much heat and dampness in the body.”

    This actually makes sense to me because my acne problems started when I was eating a ton of hot/spicy foods. I built up a tolerance and couldn’t eat foods hot and spicy enough. I quit these foods and there was a huge improvement bu the slightest bit triggers it again. It’s insane.

    On the other hand, I keep reading about “parasites” and other things and keep reading that acne/breakouts are caused by “parasites” and garlic/cayenne pepper is a “detox” food so the toxins escape your body through your skin and cause breakouts. People have told me things get worse before they get better..but I’m not muslim so I can’t walk around with my face covered.

    I don’t know what to think. Do I have parasites and toxins or does my body just not want garlic or any hot spices at all even though I’ve eaten them most of my life and never looked like this before!

  • dani

    Omg THANKYOU for posting this! I’m really into raw foods, and I’ve been eating a clove of raw garlic every morning for a couple months. My cheeks are so embarassing. Every acne scar I’ve ever had is bright red and my skin is red and blotchy. Not only my face but my entire body.I thought I was developing rosacea or some skin disease. I even went to my doctor and he ran blood tests but they came out fine. I finally know what’s causing it, thankyou :) please tell me the affects weren’t permanent and that your skin went back to normal

  • Melissa

    I got my food allergies tested with a blood test and found (to my shock) that I am intolerant to garlic (along with cheese, milk, eggs and wheat).

    I noticed that when I ate something I had cooked with garlic powder that I would get a fussy stomach with bloating.

    I don’t eat garlic when cooking at home and do my best to avoid it eating out … but I know that it is almost impossible to avoid it while eating out when I don’t choose the place (which is about once a week).

    Thanks for the info!

    I had found out most of the things you point out on my own (wish I had found your site earlier) and have no acne for the first time in 28 years of suffering. (I am 40 and have had acne since I was 12). But at least I can take what I have learned and use it for my daughters’ benefit!

  • amy

    you say you are hot and fiery inside…my naturopath said im cold and damp so will garlic help my skin because I am the opposite to you? I always have cold feet and hands…

  • Matt

    From reading these one can see every person has a different reaction to garlic. Each depending on whether they are allergic or their body can tollerate it in general.
    My experience was more like Elisabeths. Over the last several days I took Garlic because a friend at work said it was good for me.

    He told me that if I dice it and take it internally without chewing, the garlic will act as a natural antibiotic. My research shows that garlic contains alicin, but it will only work when diced because the natural antibiotic works that way.
    I never tried it and then I was under a great amount of stress at work and broke out like I was a teenager.

    That night I decided I would try a half a garlic clove, diced and then swallowed with water. Not chewed! The first night I woke up and my break out had gone down emmensly.

    So, I went another couple days. I hadn’t done anything different with my schedule or what I eat besides taking the garlic. By day 4 my acne was gone. I don’t know how long a person can take it internally, but it seems to have acted better than an antibiotic!

    I have continued a couple times a week and my skin is very clear. Even my barber noticed. I personally have a new appreciation for garlic!

  • Just because the doctor told you to stop eating hot foods is because you have an imbalance of too much heat – it does not mean you stop altogether to eat hot foods.

    You need to balance the yin and yang (hot and cold) in the body – saying to stop eating garlic because its bad for your skin is very naive and stupid – this is the most ignorant article i have read.

    I suggest you research your stuff before actually posting things like this and misleading people.

  • The Jams

    My Miracle story about GARLIC!!!!!

    One thing you should understand about Garlic is that it is a very powerful anti-bacterial and anti-viral. One of the world’s ONLY known natural anti-viral. I believe the reason you experienced your acne flare up is because when you eat garlic and it goes through your blood stream and out your pours it actually is pushing bacteria that was under the skin to the surface~this is another way the body rids itself of waste~through the pores.

    I used to have chronic acne all of my life and went through many regimens of treatment. One of the strongest treatments that I was prescribed was a very powerful anti-biotic. The first thing the doctor told me was not to get upset when I notice my acne getting worse at first. He said that my body would have to adjust to it and my acne would improve after bacterias in my body had been killed off. It actually did happen exactly like this. Accutane, which is the most powerful acne combatant on the market, is not an anti-bacterial, but also works in a similar way in that everything gets worse before it gets better. I am a HUGE supporter of Garlic as a miracle natural anti-bacterial and cleanser. I had ear infections as a child which left me with swollen lymph nodes well into adulthood. The doctors told me that my lymph nodes would probably never go back down to their original size because of my numerous infections and surgeries I had as a child. They felt basically like a garbanzo beans under my skin when I pressed on them (you could actually see them poking up on the back of my neck). Randomly, I went through a phase of eating raw garlic to fight off colds that were going around and making raw garlic pestos and eating them all the time (just cause i love it), and one day to my shock and excitement, my lymph nodes had gone down! One of them I can’t even feel anymore~like it was never there~ and the other is about half the size! This is 20 some odd years after the doctors told me I would have swollen lymph nodes for life, now they are almost all the way gone! I had been eating dishes with raw garlic in them at least once a day for probably 2 or more weeks? I even showed my boyfriend and he was amazed that the lumps I used to have were gone!!! Now he eats garlic all the time too!
    GARLIC !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Obviously I have nothing to gain from making any of this up….Garlic is cheap……eat it……

  • Bok

    I have suffering from acne too but it’s now getting ok though.
    My main cause was spicy food, very warm weather, and re purified water that i was studying in china.
    But now i came back, but still having acne. But not too much. I tried lots of medication and home treatment.
    1. Tried to run on treadmill everyday more than 1000m after that drink plenty of water
    2. Every couple week go to ski resort and having cool fresh air
    3. Drink plenty of water everymorning not eating any meal
    4. Used many stuffs on my pimples (baking soda, garlic, soap, toothpaste, acne treatment products)
    5. Tried not to masturbate
    6. Cut consuming coffee, chocolate, sweet things
    7. Tried to drink high ph , high alkaline water.
    8. Wash face twice a day, morning , before sleep
    9. Taking Zinc supplement (it supports to heal skin disorder, injury)
    10. Taking salty bath
    11. Tried not to eat any spicy foodz.
    12. I gave my blood as donated to hospital 1 time. 400mg to generate new blood.
    13. Tried not to stress and sleep early, get up early
    I tried to go to professional acne treatment hospitals, but have no much time to go there. Maybe i should, some of my friends had went to there and told me the good effects.
    First my face was like a monster, 2 or 3 years ago. I always thought about having suicide and some stupid things… But now its only have few scars and some 2 ,3 pimples. Maybe i relates with my hormones though, my father told me he was like me when he was my age. i m now 21 old.
    My last few thing is if your acne doesnt have any effects that you used from outside (i mean lotions and tonic, proactive etc.), it exactly caused from inside (liver, stomach, some internal hb pyroly things.) you should research some more about internal causes. Now i m using GNC-s some supplement, and some other stomach, kidney herbal supplements. Using ACNE SOAP-s for when i get into shower. I have no acne pimples on my back and chest or other places, but only got pimples on my face. Especially on 2 cheek.
    btw guys you should try my ways to get rid of your acnes. It should be helpful. Thank you ;)

  • Baseer Khan Nazar

    Dear Fran,

    My name is baseer khan. I am from Afghanistan. I am suffering from this acnes and pimples problem for the last 5 years and it has severely damaged my face. It has made my life miserable. I have had acnes and pimples, still I have, but the main problem is when acnes vanish they leave a scar or a red mark on my face. Now my face is full of red marks and scars which really look bad. Please suggest me in this regard.

  • Manya

    I eat a raw garlic clove in the morning AND at night mixed w/unsweetened apple sauce and dashed w/cinnamon. I also drink a LOT of room temp. water with ginger, cranberry, honey, and applesauce (blended) and a green smoothie everyday. My skin is clearer than ever before. I explore as many greens and seasonal fruits and vegetables as possible. I don’t deprive myself of cheese or wine. But I have learned a great deal about moderation and am extremely wary as to what I put on and ingest into my body. Fresh air can do a world of good for you as well. As a licensed aesthetician, I can tell you that diet and stress is the number one contributor to acne. If you put junk in your body, it’s going to come out. If you start incorporating more detoxifying foods into your diet. You may experience some breaking out in the beginning. This is not necessarily a bad thing UNLESS you find it doesn’t go away after a few weeks. You are, what you eat. And your body is ridding itself of all the processed food and chemicals you have put into your body. I suggest pre cleansing your face with jojoba oil, massage it gently into your skin and add less than a dime size of a cleanser and lather with warm water after applying the oil. Together, they will dissolve impurities, hydrate and nourish the skin, soften lines, and will not rob your skin of natural oils which are ESSENTIAL for good skin. For oily skin, keep a bottle of distilled water and a few drops of tea tree oil that you can spray onto a cotton round and gently pat along the t-zone after cleansing. Add a drop of moisturizer into a dime size of aloe vera gel and use that as your moisturizer. Use diluted witch hazel with distilled water in a spray bottle as well for right after cleansing and before the tea tree oil application.

  • Hello Fran, I’d like to get tested for my allergies. I have fruit allergies.

    My mum went to contact my general practitioner and he said I first had to test myself!! So he practically said: just go eat all kinds of fruit before doing this test. Is this normal?

    And I’d like to know if I’m allergic to other things like wheat, garlic and lactose. Because you say people might be allergic to it –> acne. I do have an acne condition that I’d love to tone down a bit.

    So PLEASE Fran, if it’s possible, please respond to me, I subscribed on this article. :)
    Thanks so much ♥ your site is wonderful and I use it all the time!

  • Lilly Australia

    It seems when I take speical cold combat vitamins with high garlic,ginger and achinacia I get big pimples around my neck and my skin overall looks pretty bad. I think the tablets also of course hormones may really be making this happen especially the new ones around under my chin on my neck which are horrible. Would this make sense ?

  • Cheryl

    I think the reason some people get acne is because of the detox process of gralic when taken internally. We rid toxins via the skin and the blood is being purified. It should clear up in a few days. It gets bad before it gets beautiful.



  • Sophie


    I’ve been reading your site and its been helping me to get clear too so thanks very much!

    However there is stuff i sometimes not quite agree with and this article is one of them – i have been eating garlic and it does seem to improve my skin the next day. Furthermore I eat spicy indian foods and they too help my complexion.

    we’re all different lol, but your site is amazing and the natural way is always the best – thanks again

  • Jan

    Contracted something 6 months ago, causing “water bubble acnes” – then it turned into red spots and normal acne mostly on the legs where hair grow. Where hair is not growing, skin has become red/white spotty (hands). Last week by left foot became swollen. Dermatologits don’t care, tried several, can topical garlic be an idea? Maybe chlorinated swimming pools can kill off some bacteria?

  • Lala

    Yep, this whole thing about Asian culture and “hot” foods? Yeah, foods like this cause stuff like mouth ulcers.
    Beware, because not only spicy foods mentioned above are listed as “hot food”, stuff like: mangoes, mandarins, longans (an Asian fruit with a brown peel, and a clear-ish flesh with a black seed), and a heap more that i can’t recall off the top of my head…all this stuff is “hot”.

  • Elisabeth

    Hi! I mean no disrespect, I cann tell you did some research on the topic, but from my personal experience ( and I have really big issues with acne and redness as well), if I eat some garlic, the next morning I am amazed at how clear my skin is! I could not believe it. So I’m inclined to believe that persona might have had some allergy to garlic or some other causes (internal) for her skin problems that she didn’t know about. On the other hand, on your skin garlic is very helpful for acne but it can cause rashes and itches if used in excess. Again, my personal experience, but also something that was confirmed to me. :)

  • martha

    hie i had acne but funny it was only on one side i rubbed garlic on the affected area and after a day the acne became worse i used my towel for scrubing cause i was scared the skin started peeling off and the part is very dry please help i am confused cant even think straight im engaged and my wedding day is only a few weeks aways i cant face my fiance i have lost confidence please i need your as soon as possible

  • K

    I really need help. I struggling with acne. Pretty much anything sets it off, lack of sleep, the food I eat, stress, etc. I generally stay away from foods like cheese, butter, mayo, jam, peanut butter, peanuts, french vanilla coffee, regular coffee, hot chocolate, milk (canned milk ok), and pretty much anything with too much oil, sugar, salt, etc. Yet I still break out and my face is full of scars. I’m A 21 year old female and my acne problem started about two years ago. Could it be hormones? I barely got pimples prior to that, but I always stayed away from those food then as well. And when I would get pimples they would be small ones and would go away on their own a few days later. But now regardless of whether I eat them or not, I get them. And the ones I get are the big cysts-like pimples. I had a really bad episode a year ago where they appeared in clusters on my chin and left and right jaws (and I’m still trying to clear the scars) and they took awhile to go away. I couldn’t pop them, and didn’t want to anyway as they would leave marks. But eventually after a month or so I was above to get them to be softer and popped them a bit with q-tips wo get the gunk out. I broke out in those and surrounding areas a few times after that. Now, not so much, they seem to just appear anywhere on my face now, but mostly still on my chins and sometimes on or near the jaw. I cook with a lot of spices: curry, garlic powder, black pepper, red pepper, cumin, but I doubt these have anything to do with it. Do you have any advice for me? You were talking about heat and dampness, can you explain more about that? Could that be my problem? Should I look into taking pills? I’ve heard of Perfect Skin pills, do you know if those are any good? I’m trying to find the root cause of these pimples. Or is my immune system weak or something?

  • Hey Fran,

    Since you gave a small list of “hot” foods, could you give me a list of some “cold” foods?


  • Kristina

    I really hope whoever suffers from moderate to bad acne finds my blog!! I have tried every product including bp sa differin antibiotics birth control accutane everything and my acne has always come back, so stubborn!!! Just like me:) well a week ago I read an article about the healing benifits of honey when used directly as a mask on the face. Also, my mom is a firm believer in garlic and has always told me about how bacteria cant survive with garlic.. SO i decided to mix the two and create a mask for my skin. I chopped up 2n cloves and put a mask of honey on my face and then put the garlic all over my face and left it on for about 45min. I have been doing this every day since because of the amazing results!! Instantly my skin felt more moisturized and the next morning I had less zits. A week ago my skin had been inflamed for the passed 3 months and I mean zits everywhere!! I almost have completely clear skin, and I had to share this amazing little combo!! I hope u just try it if you are suffering!!!

  • janzi

    i think this depends on you personal composition/source of your acne. When i was in high school id have bad breakouts og acne on the chin and nose area which when treated topically ended up looking like chemical burns. well i got a bad case of bronchitis and my father mad a puree off garlic with a bit of pumpkin and to offset the taste. well this is all i ate for a while and after week and a half and i was sweating garlic pooping garlic, even my pee smelled like garlic . I wasnt so social but at the end of the second week my skin LITERALLY looked like a baby’s, you couldnt see a SINGLE pore. My dad said it was the antoxidant in the garlic. i thought it was the semi liquid diet but ive done that without the garlic multiple times while fasting and the only time i have the skin result is with the garlic. i never tried it topically since its worked well otherwise but i think i will try this mask.
    thanks alot :)

  • Edwina

    I just want to share my story. First of all, Garlic is the ultimate cure all! And I have been taking raw garlic every other day for most of my life, preventing colds, flus and much more. I quit taking it after I read this and my acne got worse! I spoke with a friend of the family who is a very good Chinese medicine practitioner. She told me that in my case I should eat garlic! Because unlike most acne sufferers who have too much heat, I am actually too cold and dry! My skin is very dry, despite the acne and oil, I am also cold when everyone else is fine. So I got back to my raw garlic and I do look a lot better! I have been experimenting with it as a topical treatment, seems to help. Thank you!

  • sol

    Garlic is considered toxic. Pilots can’t take garlic because their attention is affected by it.
    It’s also not good for spiritual practices. Bhudist and Hindus don’t eat it.
    According to ayurveda acne is sign of a “pitta” disorder (too much “fire”), so things like garlic, chilies, citrics (except lemon), wheat…will agravate pitta. Cooling things will balance it, like bitter food, sweet food (NOT SUGAR)… you can do some research. It’s very interesting.

  • An interesting read. I’ve read about garlic before and how some people claim it’s a poison and other say it distrupts the brainwaves etc.

    I don’t suffer from acne but I do suffer with a form of dermatitis and have done for a number of years. I don’t know what causes it, but I do eat a lot of garlic and spices.

    Do you think that garlic could be a contributor to my dermatitis?

  • Hi aldolopur, my basic diet is explained in my book –

    I don’t like to do intensive diets. I prefer to gradually incorporate healthy foods into what I’d normally eat. For example I’m now eating a lot of quinoa instead of rice and bread, simply because it’s a lot easier for the body to digest. And I’m choose pineapple, blueberry and green apples as my fruit of choice because these are the least sweet of fruits that Iike and are accessible to me.

    But you’re very right about the one diet not working for everyone. Many factors need to be considered, including food intolerances and allergies, general health and well being, blood type, genetics and even what food you were brought up on.

  • I’ve already come to the conclusion that one diet will work wonders for one person yet not make a slight difference to another.
    What diets have you done that actually worked for you?
    How long did you keep it up? (Yes I’m assuming you gave up at some point)

    I’ve done many diets in my life and each time I gave up keeping it going for various reasons.
    One does stand out though and that’s the cabbage soup diet. It is meant to cleanse your body of all the bad foods you’ve had and should only be done for one week since it is not a diet for life. I can say it really worked. My mum and I did it (I think 10 years ago) She lost about 3 kg in that week and looked no different in her appearance. I, on the other hand lost nothing, yet I looked great.
    In a nut shell the diet consists of having a certain recipe for cabbage soup which you can eat as much as you want the entire week, and every day you eat something else (can’t remember the list though..)

    How about you?

  • Mia

    I’m not sure I can get paula’s choice although it does sound very cool. I’m pretty young so I can’t buy stuff, so I have to use what I have. But I guess I can live with black and white heads, there not so bad.

    I didn’t think I had cystic acne, but I guess I do. It’s very annoying having to deal with acne at such a young age, and I’m not sure why have it soooo bad because I am doing everying right, other than having that picking your face issue. Which I am really trying to stop cause my face is always better when I don’t pick at my face.

  • Hi Mia, sounds like your concoction has started to draw stuff out which is a good thing. The pimple you’ve described sounds a lot like an inflammation ..just leave it alone, keep putting a spot treatment on it and it will go away very soon.

    Whiteheads and blackheads are a little different, they’re comedonal acne so need to be treated a little differently. Try using Paula’s Choice 2% BHA a search in my blog because I’ve written a few articles about it :)

  • Mia

    Hey Fran, last night I tried a mixture of garlic juice, organic honey, and tumeric for a spot treatmeant with pretty good results. But later today I had lots of those spots of acne that are filled with that white stuff, and I had to squeeze them because I cannot stand the way they look or feel. So now I have a honey, tumeric, and lavender oil mixture on my face, I’m not sure how it’s going to work though. So I’m wondering what kind of acne is it when there is a pretty big bump filled with white stuff, under and above the surface. I get them all the time as well as white heads and black heads and my acne is soooo bad all the time. I eat pretty good and only beleive natural is the way to go, but I’m so frustersted with my face I am tempted to try BP again.

  • winterluv10523

    i’ve had wonderful results with garlic. I used the
    SUPERVIRAGON that the “health renegade” guy mentioned in one of the videos Fran posted.

    It cleared up my cystic acne and bumps that
    were just sitting under my skin. I maintain my
    clear skin with a healthy low sugar, noninflammatory food diet, skin vitamins and the SUPERVIRAGON.

    by the way the SUPERVIRAGON is not only garlic,
    its a mixture of onions, garlic, and other ingredients that i cant recall at this moment. But check it out and see for yourself if you’d also benefit from this mixure.

    By the grace of God I found this, so thanks Fran for your post, all of them help me understand my former problem with acne!

  • Celenia

    For those who can eat the garlic, be careful you do not get caried away with it. It makes you’re blood pressure go down, and you will get very sleepy.

  • Garlic – I loove!!!!!!!!1
    But it does aggravate the skin, likewise ‘hot’ emotions : anger, fear.
    It is a ‘hot’ food but also can cause indigestion, and probably that is also why we get pimples !
    If you want use garlic as a ‘medicine’ , because it is a truly amazing anti-micro, anti-fungal, anti – bacteria food, but you don’t want to use regular garlic, I would suggest experiment with a wonderful product : Kyolic Aged Extract. The exclusive aging process eliminates garlic odor and harsh side effects as : indigestion.
    It posses all the best qualities of garlic.
    All the best!

  • Angie

    This is really interesting because my skin is never clear for more than a few days! Yes I’m chinese and you know we use lots of garlic in our cooking. And I adore spicy food! There’s so many delicious asian food with spices in them.. Oh my. But this is a good advice Fran! I’ll abstain from these ingredients for 2 weeks and see how it goes. Thanks!

  • hategarlic

    I noticed garlic aggravated my skin as well. I would eat garlic the night before and all of a sudden little pimples would become cyst like and when they popped they smelled like garlic.

    Same goes for spicy stuff including cinnamon.

    Thanks for the advice. Now I need a garlic detox where do I get that

    • Nanette

      OMG! This is exactly what has been happening to me for years, but never associated it with the garlic until the other nite. The next day, cyst-like breakouts! And I absolutely LOVE garlic. Sad day for me on this discovery. :(

  • Nico

    oh now I love garlic -.-
    But thanks for this intersting article, I’m going to test out if the garlic meals are effecting my skin. And I’m going to try out the spot treatment, sice I’m still searching for an effective one.

  • Aga

    Hi, I just wanted to post something about Garlic. Garlic is one of the best things out there for killing bacteria (naturally with the help of a doctor), its natural and your white blood cells don’t become immune to it, unlike man-made anti-bionics. However, it does act as a antibiotic, this is why when you eat garlic meaning a lot of it, you should always help your body by drinking a probiotic drink like : cultured milk or kefir/ yogurt. Products like this replace the good bacteria that garlic( big amounts of it) or antibiotics kill in your body. I was thinking that maybe thats why some people get bad break-outs after eating it. So, I hope I didn’t make anyone confused.

    ps…on another topic drinking culture milk can also help witih yeast infections….:)

  • Ana

    I used raw garlic on some spots once. It is quite irritating and I read you should only leave it on for 5 minutes. I think it may have helped dry up the pimples a little. But I really found it too irritating. And I think you meant ma*N*uka honey :) I’ve tried that too on spots but it didn’t do anything for me and was so sticky as an overnight treatment! I like mixing honey in my clay masks though. It keeps them from getting to dry and uncomfortable. One thing that has worked really well for me is Black African Soap. I use a bar from a brand now available at Target – they are really good organic products and the bars are only $5 :)

    Also I have been putting sea salt (you can get it at a grocery store like Trader Joe’s) on my face sometimes after cleansing, then washing it off after a few minutes. That seems to really help problem skin too.

  • Mr. E

    Thing is, I never been a garlic person or even a “hot foods” person for the most part. In fact I think I have never taken any garlic or at least not too much, and the same goes for “hot foods” as well in general except for that I do like my chili occasionally.

    So I doubt “hot foods” are the cause or a major contributing factor in my acne as there generally not apart of my diet really.

    But I will see what it does and report back here. As negative effects happen quite fast, it luckily won’t take long to figure out if it hurts me or not.

  • If you don’t have Candida then garlic may flare up your acne, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine.

    If you love your garlic I’d do a test and see how your skin responds. To REALLY test it out you could eat a heap of it, and see what happens. It’s not going to give you cystic acne or anything, it just makes my skin look a little angrier, more red and induces pimples. Remember – everybody is different though :)

    If you do try it, let me know how it goes!

  • Mr. E

    In the end, my acne seems at this moment in time to be generally caused by my now oily skin because its getting warming and to do with my general way of life in what I eat, drink and how I take care of my skin in general. Where as I guess before when I was younger, it was a hormonal thing mainly with what I just said above more so as a extra influence that made it go from bad to worse.

    So with that, would you think taking garlic be fine for me?

    Because really at this point, I figure if I get a good diet and have a nice skin care routine then I will be fine skin wise as I have seemed to grow out of the teenage hormonal variety.

  • It really depends on WHY you get acne. For Chris Gibson who wrote Acne Free in 3 Days, his acne was due to a Candida overgrowth, so garlic supplements would not affect his acne too much, just make him a little healthier.

    For those people like me, where anything sets the skin off, like hormones, stress, the wrong products ..then this is because we have too much heat and dampness in our body, so foods like garlic need to be avoided.

    If you have acne from Candida, you can probably take garlic tablets safely :)

    If you’re worried, you can also just try the tablets and see if it makes a difference to your skin. If it doesn’t flare it up, then great ..go for it.

  • Mr. E

    So taking garlic itself is bad, what about taking odorless garlic supplements?

    I ask because I purchased the Acne Free in 3 Days thing and one of the things the guy recommended for maintenance after the 3 days was to take such supplements among other things of course.

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