There are some ingredients that you almost can’t go wrong with when attempting DIY skincare. And honey is definitely at the top of the list. This kitchen pantry staple has been used in food and medicine since the Stone Age. Here’s why your skin loves it, too.
Honey is naturally antibacterial, which helps to fight off acne [source]. High in antioxidants, honey combats harmful free radicals that damage your skin. It is a natural humectant that draws in moisture from the air, leaving your skin moist and smooth. And it can help break up excess sebum (oil) that might be clogging up your pores, which leads to those pesky pimples.
You’ll get the most benefits using raw, unfiltered honey. And if you’re willing to splurge, you can’t beat Manuka honey. Coming from the Manuka tree in New Zealand and Australia, this honey is an antibacterial superfood with tons of immune system and wound care benefits. Keep a jar around and dab the honey on acne, chapped lips, burns, and minor cuts. And if you’re feeling sick and especially if you’re coughing, it helps to take a spoonful or two [source].
How to Use Honey on Your Face
We all spend money on skincare products, but sometimes it is okay to skip the fancy serums and splurge on good honey. You can use it to wash your face, make a scrub, or treat your skin to a weekly homemade honey mask. Honey is a great complement to any skincare regimen.
Here are some masks that are perfect to try for an in-home facial. Start with clean skin and, before applying the mask, lay a warm, wet washcloth on your face to open up your pores. After rinsing off the mask, wash your face with cold water, or use a toner to close the pores. Then apply a good face oil.
5 Honey Face Masks
Here are 5 simple recipes to get you started. Find the one that works for your skin type or the problem you want to address.
1. Honey face mask for acne-prone skin
Dermatologists love baking soda because it’s both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial [source]. Combine it with exfoliating lemon juice and soothing honey, and you have a gentle but effective mask to help control acne.
- 1 teaspoon lemon
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
Add lemon juice, honey, and baking soda to a small bowl. Mix well and apply by gently smoothing it over the face and neck. Avoid the area near your eyes (lemon juice and honey will both sting). Don’t turn this into a scrub by rubbing it into your skin. After 15 minutes, remove the mask first with warm water, then with cold water.
A caution when using lemon juice: Although lemon has lightening and brightening qualities, it can also make the skin photosensitive. Rinse your face thoroughly and use a zinc oxide SPF 30+ sunscreen if you’ll be out in the sun soon afterward.
2. Honey face mask for oily skin
Clay masks are awesome for controlling oily skin. Honey helps break up excess oil, and highly absorbent clay removes it while gently exfoliating. Bentonite and Moroccan Red are two of the best clay choices for balancing the natural oils. And they both have antibacterial properties to treat acne-prone skin [source].
Combine clay, honey, and apple cider vinegar in a small nonreactive bowl (never use metal when working with clay). Stir together and gently apply to the face and neck. After 15 minutes, remove the mask first with warm water, then with cold water.
3. Honey face mask for inflammation (or sensitive skin)
Green tea and honey are two ingredients that each work anti-inflammatory magic on skin redness and inflammation [source]. This soothing combo is gentle enough for sensitive skin (do a patch test if you’re worried). Both ingredients are potent antioxidants that fight free radicals and repair damaged skin.
Combine matcha powder, honey, and oil in a small bowl and mix well. (If you don’t have matcha powder, cut open a green tea bag and use the leaves.) Apply this to the face and leave it for 15 minutes before washing off warm water.
4. Honey face mask for dry skin
Honey and avocado are the perfect combo of hydrating ingredients for dry skin. Ground almonds gently exfoliate, and their good fats leave your skin feeling super soft. If you want to add even more moisturizing benefits, add a tablespoon of oil to the mixture.
- 2 tablespoons honey (or 1 tablespoon honey and 1 tablespoon of an oil like jojoba or sweet almond)
- 1/4 avocado, mashed
- 2 tablespoons almonds, finely ground
Add honey and avocado to a small bowl and mash together. Stir in the ground almonds. Spread over the face and neck, and after 15–20 minutes, rinse with warm water.
5. Honey mask for discoloration
Turmeric masks are commonly used to even out skin tone and reduce the appearance of fine lines and dark spots or scars [source]. Honey adds a slight bleaching effect while lemon juice and yogurt gently exfoliate to get rid of dead skin and encourage new cell growth.
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon yogurt
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Apply a thin layer over your entire face and neck. Rest for 20 minutes and rinse with warm water. Repeat the mask weekly or use the mixture as a daily spot treatment by dabbing it onto areas of discoloration. Results will take 2–3 months.
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Jennifer Haley, a board-certified dermatologist with extensive experience in medical, cosmetic, and surgical dermatology. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical review board here. As always, this is not personal medical advice, and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.78