Can Eating Garlic Help with Skin Problems? Find Out Here!

a bowl of garlic cloves

Garlic for Skin Problems

Garlic is a member of the onion, or allium, a family of plants. Garlic has been used to treat and prevent a variety of diseases for ages in many cultures. 

Acne is a skin inflammatory disorder that can be caused by bacteria. Garlic has been shown in studies to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects. These qualities should, in theory, aid in the treatment of acne. However, no studies have looked into the effectiveness of garlic as an acne therapy. 

This page summarises research on garlic's anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. We also go through some of the dangers of utilising garlic topically and internally. 

Is it effective? 

Acne is a skin ailment that causes inflammation. Excess oil and skin debris build up inside the hair follicles of the skin, trapping microorganisms beneath the skin's surface and also enhancing blood flow and clear complexion. Some of these bacteria create compounds that cause acne lesions and inflammation. 

There has been no research that has looked into the usage of garlic as an acne cure. Its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory capabilities, however, have been noted in several research. These qualities may aid in the management and treatment of acne. 

Garlic's antimicrobial properties 

Garlic has chemicals that hinder the growth of certain germs and fungi, according to a 2014 review. As a result, scientists speculate that garlic may aid in the treatment of some skin disorders. They do not, however, address whether garlic is an effective acne treatment strategy. 

The antibacterial properties of garlic are attributable to a molecule called "allicin," according to the authors of the 2014 review. 

The antibacterial properties of allicin and two distinct garlic extract against the microorganisms Streptococcus epidermidis. Acne can be caused by a variety of bacteria, including S. epidermidis. Epidermidis growth was inhibited by allicin, according to the findings. The two garlic extracts, on the other hand, showed the strongest antibacterial efficacy overall. According to the findings, garlic extracts contain additional compounds that enhance their antibacterial properties. 

Garlic's anti-inflammatory properties 

Cytokines that induce inflammation are known as proinflammatory cytokines. 

In a laboratory setting, allicin was reported to inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in a 2013 study. The study also discovered that cooking garlic lowers allicin levels, lowering its anti-inflammatory properties.

Allicin may be effective in the treatment of inflammatory illnesses. They did not, however, say if it would help with acne treatment particularly. 

Garlic's other health benefits 

A combination of laboratory investigations, animal studies, and clinical trials was included in the review

Garlic extract applied to the skin appears to offer antibacterial and wound-healing properties. Garlic may also aid in the treatment of the following skin diseases, according to the review: 

  • Alopecia areata 
  • psoriasis 
  • scars caused by keloid 
  • warts 
  • Fungal skin infections cause corn. 
  • leishmaniasis 

Garlic's capacity to stimulate wound healing suggests that it could aid in the healing and prevention of acne outbreaks and scarring. The scientists did not say if garlic could be used to cure acne or acne scars, though. 


When putting garlic on the skin, people should use caution. Garlic can induce allergic responses when applied to the skin. Some examples of such reactions are 

  • Irritant contact dermatitis is a type of irritant contact dermatitis that causes a localised rash and redness on the skin. 
  • Allergic contact dermatitis is a rash and redness on the skin that occurs as a reaction to an allergen. 
  • Contact urticaria is a type of urticaria that causes localised swelling and redness of the skin in response to an irritant. 
  • Pemphigus is an immune system reaction that results in painful skin ulcers and blisters. 

How to make it safe to use?

Garlic does not appear to be beneficial in the treatment of acne, according to scientific studies. Garlic may, however, be useful as an acne therapy for certain people. 

Can garlic cure skin infections?

Garlic is applied topically

When putting garlic on the skin, people should use caution. A modest amount of garlic combined with a carrier oil may help to minimise or avoid allergic responses. Carrier oils include the following: 

  • oil made from grapeseed 
  • coconut oil 
  • jojoba oil 

Before applying the combination to a larger region, a person should test a small amount on a small piece of skin. Garlic should not be applied to the skin if a reaction occurs. 

Before applying garlic to the skin, it is best to visit a dermatologist. People with sensitive skin may not be able to use garlic. 

Supplementing with garlic 

Garlic can also be purchased as a supplement. Garlic supplements may provide some health benefits, but they are unlikely to aid in the treatment or prevention of acne. 

Herbal supplements might have negative side effects and interact with other drugs. As a result, before using garlic supplements, a person should consult with their doctor. 

Is it going to assist with acne scars? 

Garlic may aid promote wound healing and lessen the appearance of scars. Garlic, on the other hand, has yet to be studied to see if it helps the appearance of acne scars in particular. 

Other acne skincare suggestions and alternatives 

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), the following home care tips may aid in the management of acne breakouts: 

  • Keeping your hands off the acne 
  • Picking or bursting the acne is not a good idea. 
  • avoiding cosmetics that clog pores thoroughly washing or cleansing cosmetics from the skin before going to sleep avoiding acne-prone areas twice a day avoiding scraping or exfoliating acne 
  • Keeping oily hair clean on a daily basis, staying out of the sun, and avoiding tanning beds 
  • Acne treatments that are available over-the-counter (OTC) can also be used. Acne-fighting creams and ointments containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid may be very beneficial. 

Take Away 

Acne is a skin inflammatory disorder that can be caused by bacteria. Garlic contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial qualities. Garlic can irritate the skin if it is applied to it. Garlic should be discussed with a dermatologist to see if it is suitable for their skin type. A dermatologist can also advise you on how to safely apply garlic and get clear skin. Garlic also has skin smoothing benefits.

Garlic supplements may be of interest to some persons. Herbal supplements might have negative side effects and interact with other drugs. Before taking any herbal supplement, people should contact their doctor.