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Thyme may be more effective against acne than benzoyl peroxide

By Alexandra Spunt for

Big points scored for team natural this week. It turns out that thyme, the herb we never really know how to cook with, could be a powerful topical treatment for acne.

Anyone who’s had it bad, knows that acne is the freaking worst. And while we always encourage people to look at potential internal imbalances (stress, hormones etc), we get that when your face is a mess you’ll do just about anything to stop it. We’ve both been there (and also done that).

Enter the nation’s most popular acne treatment: the heinous benzoyl peroxide.

Why does benzoyl peroxide suck so bad? Aside from it’s skin burning-and-peeling, sun-sensitizing effects, studies have shown it to be free-radical-generating (not a good thing). It’s also caused tumors in mice. For these and other reasons, Europe has actually banned the stuff over the counter.

But a new study by researchers at Leeds Metropolitan University tested three tinctures of thyme, marigold, and myrrh against the bacteria that causes acne. All had some effect, but thyme was found to be more powerful against the bacteria than benzoyl peroxide.

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