8 Ways To Use Honey Mask for Acne

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

For centuries, people have been using honey masks as a treatment for acne and for curing other marks, scars, spots, and blemishes. There is not just one recipe for a honey mask that treats acne, but rather, it can be made from different combinations of herbs and other substances. In this article, we’ll try to cover all relevant aspects related to using honey masks as a treatment for acne.

Using honey masks for acne treatment is a very popular home remedy. Also, if you are serious about treating your acne in a natural, harmless way or if your body does not respond well to absorbing medicines made of harsh chemicals, then honey masks are the right choice for you. You can get rid of acne without enduring the pain of digesting bitter pills or applying those creams and lotions which, in most cases, are nothing but lumps of petroleum jelly mixed with an artificial scent, color, mild bleach, and random antibiotics.

The chemicals present in these common solutions to acne can be harsh on your skin, and the potent mix of chemicals can affect your body in other ways that you may have never expected. In terms of the honey mask approach, you can use it combined with the medication you may already be taking and it won’t interfere in any way. However, before you start exploring the treatment options, you should fully understand what causes acne and then try to logically deduce how honey masks can be helpful in its treatment.

Young beautiful woman having the facial massage at the spa

Honey mask for acne is helpful if done twice a week. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Causes of Acne

Acne vulgaris (the scientific name for the common form of acne) is an almost universal problem, with nearly everyone in the world suffering from some form (mild or severe), sooner or later in their lives. This type of common acne is caused by the blocking of the sebaceous glands, the glands responsible for the production and secretion of sebum, either due to the peeled skin, dust or other such material obstruction.

Common acne can also arise due to certain hormonal activity during the teenage years that are often associated with the entrance into puberty. This hormonal activity often makes the regulation of the sebaceous gland to malfunction, abruptly producing huge amounts of sebum. This is why acne is most commonly found in teens. When the openings of these sebum glands are blocked, the sebum cannot escape and it starts depositing itself below the skin pores, making them look red and swollen. As a result, the openings of these glands cannot be cleaned, whereas they were previously cleaned due to the regular flow of sebum. This makes these pores susceptible to infections by microbes and the situation becomes a vicious cycle that gets severe. The pores proceed to become red, itchy, and painfully swollen spots on the skin which look unattractive and leave dark spots on the skin when they heal.

Treatment for Acne

Since acne is caused due to the blockage and subsequent infection of the sebum glands, clearing the blockage and fighting the infection should logically help reduce your acne symptoms. This is where the honey mask for acne comes into play. Using a honey mask for acne not only clears the blockage but also removes the infectious microbes, thus reducing the signs of acne. Different types of honey masks for acne are used for different skin types. For example, dry skin, oily skin, and sensitive skin might benefit from different styles of honey masks. Below are some of the most widely used combinations, and you should be able to find the one that fits your needs.

Honey Masks for Acne

Here are the examples of masks, along with their recipes, symptoms, the skin type for which they are specifically made, and some helpful tips.

Honey Mask

Honey alone can be used as a mask and is effective in curing acne by cleansing your pores and not letting microbes grow, due to its antimicrobial properties. Additionally, the waxy part of honey helps to keep the skin soft, smooth and glowing.

Ingredients: Nothing but honey.

Quantity: As per requirement.

Preparation: None

Application: Simply spread a layer on your face.

Tips: Try to use filtered honey, rather than traditional cooking honey.

Facts: Honey has antimicrobial properties and antioxidants which are beneficially sticky. This stickiness pulls away from the dust, dead skin, and microbes from the pores while the antimicrobial properties keep the skin from becoming infected again. The antioxidants in honey help make the skin look younger and finally, the wax makes the skin smooth, shiny, and moist.

Caution: Those who are allergic to the topical application of honey should not use this method.

Apple Honey Mask

Here is a simple and very beneficial mask whose leftovers can also be eaten (just joking).

Ingredients: One medium-sized apple (preferably organic), four to five tablespoons of honey (also preferably organic) and lukewarm water.

Preparation: Scoop out the seeds of the apple and run the rest through a mixer to make a fine pulp. Then, add three to four tablespoons of honey into the pulp. The amount of honey will depend on the size of the apple and how many masks you intend to make with it. Basically, the quantity of honey should be sufficient to mix well with the pulp. Mix well into a uniform paste and your apple honey mask is ready to apply.

Application: Apply a layer of the apple honey mask on your whole face. Wait for ten to fifteen minutes and let the mask dry up a bit. After that, wash the mask off with the lukewarm water and wait for the results!

Tips: The apple honey mask works best when it’s fresh. In other words, after preparation, you shouldn’t keep it in the refrigerator to apply later. Since it is so quick and easy to prepare, make it just before you plan to use it.

Facts: While the grains of the apple works as a sort of gentle scrub for cleaning your face, the glycolic acid in it facilitates exfoliation. Together, they clear up the skin pores. Honey is a natural antioxidant and it has antimicrobial properties. This eliminates microbial infections that cause acne.

Caution: Confirm if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in the mask by applying it on a small patch on your wrist and then wait for a few hours. If rashes appear or if you show other symptoms of allergy, do not use this mask on your face.

Lemon Yogurt Honey Mask

This is another very good treatment for acne. This variation is also completely made from natural and edible ingredients.

Ingredients: Two tablespoons of fresh milk, two tablespoons of honey, fresh juice from one lemon, one tablespoon of fresh yogurt, and lukewarm water.

Preparation: Thoroughly mix all the ingredients in a bowl to get a uniform consistency to the lotion.

Application: Apply one layer of this mixture on your whole face and down onto your throat. Wait for a few minutes until it dries. Then, apply a second layer and keep applying until you have used the whole batch. When you are finished applying to the affected acne areas, wait for approximately ten minutes and then rinse off your entire face with the lukewarm water.

Tips: Use this mixture three to four times a week (even a daily application is fine), but be sure to prepare it fresh every time, as it is very easy to prepare and most effective at that point. Although it may not always be possible, try using all organic ingredients. The less artificial chemicals, the better!

Facts: The citric acid in lemon juice is an excellent cleanser, and so is milk. Yogurt is also a good cleanser, as well as a good softener. This is important because using lemon juice alone can make your skin feel stretched and dried.

Caution: As always, check if you are allergic to any ingredients prior to using this type of mask.

Note: You can separately use combinations of lemon-honey, milk-honey, and yogurt-honey acne masks. All of them are effective, but some people develop preferences, and everyone’s skin is a little different!

Cinnamon Honey Mask

This variation of the honey mask for acne treatment is a very effective and popular technique.

Ingredients: Cinnamon powder and honey. The quantity of cinnamon depends on the area that is affected by acne. If you want a mask for your whole face, then three to four tablespoons of cinnamon powder would be sufficient, and be sure to have enough honey to make a loose paste with the cinnamon powder.

Preparation: Again, the preparation is very simple. Just mix the two ingredients and make a uniformly mixed paste.

Application: Apply on the areas affected with acne or you can apply it on the whole face as a preventative method. Do this before you go to bed and leave the mask on overnight. Rinse your face with warm water the next morning. It is recommended to try this for two weeks and then measure the results.

Tips: It gives very good results, but it does take time to see them. If you don’t immediately see a change, don’t give up. You can’t expect results within a day or two. Also, the mixture is best applied when freshly made.

Facts: Cinnamon is rich in cinnamaldehyde, one of its main constituents, along with eugenol, methyl chavicol, linalool, beta-caryophyllene, and roughage or fiber. The components in cinnamon oil, particularly cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, and methyl chavicol have great antimicrobial properties and they eliminate the microbial infection in acne, while the coarse granules and fiber in cinnamon powder facilitate exfoliation. This combination of characteristics, along with the benefits of honey which we’ve already explained make for acne treatment. [1]

Caution: Many people are allergic to cinnamon and it can sometimes produce irritation in people with unusually sensitive skin. Therefore, this mask should be used after testing somewhere other than on the face.

Aloe Vera Honey Mask

It is another great mask that takes very good care of your skin and helps reduce acne breakouts.

Ingredients: One tablespoon full of Aloe Vera juice or pulp (not Aloe Latex) and one tablespoon of honey.

Preparation: Mix the two ingredients uniformly.

Application: Apply a coating of the mixture on your face and to any affected areas.

Tips: Works best when fresh. Let the mixture stand for about ten minutes before applying it to the acne-affected areas.

Facts: Aloe Vera is well known for its skin-friendly properties. It moistens, soothes, softens, and tones skin. Additionally, this mixture includes the remarkable antimicrobial and antioxidant properties of honey. This mask is best for people who have sensitive skin or commonly suffer from redness, inflammation, itching, and irritation.

Caution: Aloe Vera supposedly has no side effects, and there are no reports of it being allergenic. However, some people may be allergic to honey. Regardless, it is best to test it on your wrist before you apply it to your face.

Kelp Aloe Vera Honey Mask

This is an improvement over the normal Aloe Vera Honey Mask for the treatment of acne and it can greatly increase the results.

Ingredients: One tablespoon of kelp powder, one tablespoon of Aloe Vera juice or pulp (not Aloe Latex) and one tablespoon of honey.

Preparation: Mix the three ingredients to get a fine, uniform mixture. Let it stand for about ten minutes.

Application: Apply a layer of this Kelp – Aloe Vera – Honey Mask thoroughly on your face and other affected areas. Leave it on for fifteen to twenty minutes and then rinse with lukewarm water. A few minutes later, wash your face again with cold water.

Tips: Do not use soap to wash your face or else the entire process will have been for nothing.

Facts: Kelp is a natural detoxifier and is a great moisturizer for the skin. The minerals present in this seaweed help to tone skin and the coarse grains of dried kelp powder, as it is generally sold, are very good at exfoliating dead skin. Basically, this combination simultaneously scrubs, moisturizes, tones, detoxifies and nourishes the skin. That potent combination, along with the well-covered benefits of honey, make this mixture one of the best suggestions as a treatment for acne. [2]

Caution: Kelp may be allergenic to some due to its high iodine content. Also, kelp may be rich in metallic pollutants like lead and cadmium, since the majority of industrial sewage and wastes are ultimately dumped into the seas. So, if you are collecting the kelp yourself, avoid highly polluted places. If you are buying it, make sure that it is collected and manufactured in a place with as low a level of pollution as possible.

Tea Tree Oil Honey Mask

The tea tree oil honey mask also helps to treat acne. Here are the details;

Ingredients: Two drops of tea tree essential oil and one tablespoon of honey.

Preparation: Very simple. Just mix the two ingredients very well.

Application: Apply on the whole face or just the affected parts. Wait for 15 to 20 minutes and then rinse with lukewarm water. Use this method 2-3 times a week for better and faster results.

Tips: It is much more successful if you use organic tea tree essential oil. Use the mask as quickly as possible after preparation because the essential oils are generally volatile and often oxidize when exposed to air, which causes them to lose some, if not all, of their benefits.

Facts: Tea tree essential oil has strong antimicrobial, antiseptic, and fungicidal properties. It also has some antioxidants. Therefore, when combined with honey, it helps to efficiently eradicate the infections in acne-affected areas.

Caution: Due to its strong germicidal and fungicidal properties, tea tree oil should not be used during pregnancy. Moreover, the ingestion should be avoided. Tea tree essential oil may not suit some skin types and may cause irritations, inflammations or rashes. In that case, stop using this technique and try one of the other masks. You should consult a practicing aromatherapist before using any essential oils.

An infographic on benefits of honey mask for skin

Honey helps to moisturize your skin. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Aspirin Honey Mask 

This mask may look somewhat strange on this site meant for organic products, but using Aspirin – Honey Mask for treating acne is also an effective and easy solution.

Ingredients: 1 or 2 aspirin tablets, 1 tablespoon of honey and enough water to dissolve the aspirin tablets.

Preparation: First, dissolve the aspirin tablets in the water. Then, add honey to it and mix well. Let the mixture stand for 2 to 3 minutes.

Application: Apply the mask on your face (particularly on affected areas), and leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, rinse off your face with lukewarm water. Following that, wash your face again with cold water.

Tips: Use non-coated aspirin tablets.

Facts: Aspirin or acetylsalicylic acid is a good skin conditioner and is often found in skin care products. Furthermore, it works extremely well to treat acne for those with oily skin. The coarse granules of aspirin do the exfoliation, and the rest is taken care of by the antimicrobial and antioxidant properties of honey.

Caution: Prolonged use of aspirin or heavy doses should be avoided, as it may leave the skin excessively dry and make it look yellow. Aspirin does not suit all skins, and this should also be carefully considered when choosing which face mask to use. This mask should not be used on already dry skins, and it is a good idea to consult a doctor before using this mask.

The “Not so good” things about Honey Masks for Acne

Here are a few things that you may not like about these masks;

  • They are sticky.
  • They continue to drip, even after application and can create quite a mess on your floor or clothes.
  • You won’t get the results overnight.
  • Honey and a few other ingredients used in these masks can be allergenic to some people.

General Guidelines

Here are some points that apply to all types of honey masks.

  • It is always best to use freshly prepared masks.
  • Try to use organic ingredients as much as possible.
  • Honey should be filtered. Raw, unfiltered honey may contain dust, pollen grains, hair found on the body of bees and their dead remains that may prove to be highly allergenic.
  • Manuka honey is said to be the best choice in terms of antimicrobial properties, which is why manuka honey masks are considered the most effective.
  • Whenever you rinse your face or other body parts after applying these masks, do not use any type of soap. In fact, soap is not recommended for the treatment of acne, since the problem goes far beyond simple dirt or oil.
  • After you rinse your face with lukewarm water, wash it again with cold water a few minutes later. This will tone your face and increase the firmness of your face muscles.
  • Always test the ingredients for possible allergic reactions on a place beside your face.
  • Wash your face, preferably with warm water or a natural cleanser (not soap) before applying your preferred mask. However, this is not essential or compulsory, and you can still get good results without this step.

Availability: Although most of the ingredients used in the masks we explained are readily available (except Tea Tree Essential Oil and Kelp), there may be different levels of availability in different parts of the world. That being said, honey is typically available in almost every food store or grocer.

Price: This is one of the best parts of this treatment! Most of the ingredients discussed above are already available in the majority of households, except Kelp and Tea Tree Oil which aren’t very expensive. Tea tree essential oil may be costly, but it will be needed in very small quantities each time and you will not need to buy a new supply very often. As for aspirin, it is one of the most common and inexpensive drugs available.

Just give these masks a try. They are practically free and you don’t need to search the world to get the necessary ingredients. In short, you have nothing to lose except your acne. Why not give it a try?

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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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