New Acne Fighter: Thyme Agent in plant kills bacteria better than leading treatment By Matt Cantor, Newser User Posted Mar 29, 2012 1:34 PM CDT 11 comments Comments Thyme is the latest weapon against acne. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – The latest weapon against acne may be on your spice shelf. Scientists have found that thyme extract may fight the skin ailment more effectively than a commonly-prescribed treatment, Scientific American reports. Researchers used the plant's active compound against the chief cause of acne, the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes. Turns out it worked better than the toughest form of benzoyl peroxide. The next step is to test thyme on the skin itself.