Aloe vera gel and lemon juice are full of vitamin-rich ingredients for the skin, so they make a fantastic face pack. (What's a face pack, you ask? Well, it's essentially just a face mask used to brighten and tighten the skin. Nothing too fancy!)
And when combined with soothing raw honey, you've got a skin-nourishing powerhouse that can help reduce skin redness, inflammation, and pain! Just combine the ingredients right before your evening cleansing routine and apply after washing your face. The nutrients will sink in and work their healing magic at night while you sleep, leaving you with less redness and irritation when you wake up.
Benefits of Aloe Vera + Lemon for Skin
Aloe vera has been used for thousands of years for its healing properties. And aloe vera face masks are great for keeping skin clear and healthy, not to mention boosting healing and keeping inflammation at bay.
Aloe vera gel comes from the leaves of the aloe vera plant and is rich in vitamins A, C, and E [source]. These vitamins function as antioxidants that help protect the skin from damage from outside stressors such as the sun, and inside stressors such as poor diet and other negative lifestyle habits.
A powerful moisturizer, aloe vera fortifies the protective skin barrier and helps treat skin wounds and burns. It's a miracle substance with antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, skin-protective, and wound healing effects [source].
If you have an aloe plant waiting to be used, now's your chance to learn how to harvest it and turn it into a skin-soothing treat. You can use up any extra to make your own aloe water to hydrate and heal on the inside.
Lemons—and the citric acid in lemon juice—are also good for our skin (in moderation, of course!) Rich in vitamin C, the natural compounds in lemon help to ward off free radicals that contribute to aging skin [source]. Lemon juice is a natural exfoliant that can be used as a gentle peel for those top few layers of dead skin and to unclog pores.
Used regularly, it can also help fade pigmentation and acne scars. A potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that actually increases collagen production, it's also great for smoothing, toning, and moisturizing the skin [source].
Last but not least, raw honey (especially raw manuka honey) is antimicrobial and has potent wound healing properties. Studies have shown that it can encourage the healing of stubborn burns, wounds, and skin disorders, such as rosacea. [source]
This aloe vera face pack is recommended for all skin types.
How to Make a Fresh Aloe Vera Face Pack
- 2 aloe vera leaves (fresh is better, but if you don't have an aloe plant, I recommend using this gel)
- Juice from ½ a lemon
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- Thin cloth (optional)
Cut two aloe vera leaves from the base of the plant. Slice the edges (pointy teeth) lengthwise from each side of the leaf in long sections. Then chop the leaf into two- to three-inch sections. This will make getting to the gel much easier than slicing an entire leaf whole.
Once you’ve exposed the aloe vera gel, use a knife to extract the gel from the leaf sections. It’s okay if you’ve got some pulp along with the gel. Place the gel (and any attached pulp) in a blender along with the honey and lemon juice. Blend for 30–60 seconds.
How watery your aloe vera face pack is will depend on the size of your lemon and the consistency of your aloe vera gel. You can apply the mixture directly onto your face and neck (avoid the eye area since that is more sensitive) for 10–15 minutes.
Alternatively, you can dip a thin cloth into the mixture, soak it well, and lay it over your face and neck to make a sheet mask. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
Face Pack Tips
Place dry cotton pads over your eyes underneath the cloth if you are worried about irritating the skin in the eye area.
If you feel any type of mild stinging, don’t be alarmed; you might just need to dilute the lemon juice with water a little. If you develop a rash or persistent irritation and/or burning, rinse off your face with water and contact your dermatologist.
Once you are finished, wash off with warm water and follow with a moisturizer.
This mask can be done once a month as a brightening and firming pack.
As with any time you are using an exfoliant, either store-bought or homemade, you will want to be sure you use an appropriate SPF for sun protection afterward. This is because your skin will be more susceptible to sunburn and sun damage directly following an exfoliating treatment.
Contact with citric acids, such as lemon juice, may make the skin more sensitive to burns upon exposure to sunlight and may cause rashes and dark hyperpigmentation. So cover up!
You don't want to undo all that work of revealing fresh, glowing skin by being in the sun unprotected. Sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or above and sun-protective clothing are ways to protect your skin from not only sunburns but also those cosmetically displeasing pigmented sun spots.
Lemon Face Pack FAQ
The lemon stings my face. Can I dilute the juice?
Yes, definitely. If you have sensitive skin or if you simply find the lemon juice uncomfortable, then by all means, dilute the lemon juice with water or leave it out entirely. I would start with a 2:1 ratio of water to lemon juice, then add more lemon juice as needed to increase exfoliation.
Can I use this face pack on my entire body?
I don't see why not. It should be safe to use this anywhere you can use lemon juice, which means your back, arms, stomach, and legs are all fair game!
If I go out in the sun after using this mask, will my skin burn?
I recommend using this mask at night, so you can get the most healing benefits and not have to worry about immediate sun exposure. If you use this in the morning, the best thing to do is simply stay out of the sun. But if you must, then apply a generous coating of SPF to your face, neck, and anywhere else that's exposed to the sun.
Can I make this ahead of time and store it until I'm ready to use it?
I haven't tried it myself, so I'm not sure if the texture will change over time. But this aloe vera face pack should keep in the refrigerator for 24 hours. If it thickens, just add a teaspoon of water until it's back to its original consistency.
How many times can I use this in a week?
1–2 times a month should be sufficient. Since lemon juice is an acid, you don't want to overdo it.
Can I apply this at night and wash it off in the morning?
The lemon juice might be too strong to leave on overnight. Plus, you run the risk of the aloe vera and honey making a mess of your pillowcase and sheets. I find it best to leave this on for 15–20 minutes and rinse off prior to going to bed.
Where can I find fresh aloe vera?
You can find the plants at most local garden centers or home improvement stores. You can also find fresh cut aloe leaves at health food stores or Whole Foods.
Want more aloe recipes?
Try this aloe vera face wash or one these 13 ways to incorporate aloe into your beauty routine.
Aloe + Lemon Face Pack
- Thin cloth (optional)
- ½ lemon juiced
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- 2 aloe vera leaves (fresh is better, but if you don’t have an aloe plant, I recommend using this gel)
- Cut two aloe vera leaves from the base of the plant. Slice the edges (pointy teeth) lengthwise from each side of the leaf in long sections. Then chop the leaf into two- to three-inch sections. This will make getting to the gel much easier than slicing an entire leaf whole.
- Once you’ve exposed the aloe vera gel, use a knife to extract the gel from the leaf sections. It’s okay if you’ve got some pulp along with the gel. Place the gel (and any attached pulp) into a blender along with the honey and the juice from half a lemon. Blend for 30–60 seconds.
- How watery your mixture is will depend on the size of your lemon and the consistency of your aloe vera gel. You can apply the mixture directly onto your face and neck (avoid the eye area since that is more sensitive) for 10–15 minutes. Alternatively, you can dip a thin cloth into the mixture, soak it well, and lay it over your face and neck.
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Rina Mary Allawh, M.D., a dermatologist who practices adult and pediatric medical dermatology, skin cancer treatment, and cosmetic dermatology. Learn more about Hello Glow's medical reviewers here. As always, this is not personal medical advice, and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.120