How To Make a Honey Face Mask + 4 Extra Recipes for Clear, Glowing Skin

If there’s one natural ingredient to stock on your beauty shelf, it is honey. You can find the bee sap in anything from a hair mask, face wash, even an all-natural moisturizer—is there nothing the golden goop can’t do?

Consider honey the ultimate DIY superstar, one that you can add to virtually any treatment. But let’s start with the simplest out there: a single-ingredient honey face mask. Easy to make, and the benefits are just as sweet.


What is Honey?

Honey has centuries-long credibility as a respected ingredient beyond kitchen use. Chief among the benefits is the antimicrobial activity of many honey varieties—it kills bacteria living on the skin. This effect probably explains how honey came to be used traditionally as a wound-healing agent in many different cultures. The sweet substance is produced by plant matter, enzyme activity, and live bacteria. According to these research scientists Howe and Marisa Plescia, what honey contains will depend in large part on what plant source the bees who are making it are using.

Honey is what’s called a natural humectant (draws moisture into the skin). If your skin needs a hydrating boost, this is the perfect ingredient. It is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and acts as an anti-viral/anti-fungal.

Benefits of Honey for Skin

As Shamban describes, it is full of flavonoids, hydrogen peroxide, and phenolic acid dermal benefits. Raw, unpasteurized honey is one of Mother Nature’s power players you want to have on your A-team to get the job done when needed.

  • Cleanses pores: good news: Honey is naturally antibacterial, one of the reasons it makes for a great face wash. Remove dirt and debris with nothing more than a little raw honey—just add water.
  • Treat Acne: You can use honey as a cleanser to help prevent certain types of breakouts because of its anti-fungal properties. For a more potent effect, honey can be left on breakouts to help them heal faster.
  • Exfoliate Skin: Honey on its works better as a cleanser as opposed to an exfoliator because of its smooth consistency. You generally won’t find honey, even in its purest form, to be particularly granular.
  • Fade Scars: Honey contains trace amounts of hydrogen peroxide. This might give it mild lightning properties, which is particularly helpful when it comes to resolving pesky post-acne marks and hyperpigmentation.
  • Hydrates Skin: Honey draws moisture into the skin from the air. Applying honey on the face is a great way to keep your skin hydrated, glowing, fresh, and supple at all times.
  • Helps Skin Conditions: Howe shares, “One researcher has shown it to treat seborrheic dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis.” Raw honey can also soothe eczema.

How to make a honey face mask

A honey face mask is as simple as it sounds: Snag some raw/unfiltered honey from your favorite grocery store, and you’ve got yourself a spa-grade mask in a snap. Using honey by itself is an effective skin clearing, nourishing, and revitalizing treatment. That’s because honey, especially of the Manuka variety, has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that calm the skin and keep breakouts at bay.

With all the benefits honey has to offer, no surprise you can invest in a jar of the straight-up goop and slather on. Here’s how to do it right: 

  1. Apply an even layer of raw/unfiltered or Manuka honey on damp skin after your face wash routine.
  2. Leave on for 20 minutes, then rinse off with cold water. It rinses off much more easily than you might expect! It’s hardly sticky at all when you add water.
  3. After rinsing, apply warm water to face towel and gently dap the hot face towel on face for a minute. Then, follow with a cream or oil to seal in the moisture. 

Primp Tip: If you have a blemish you’d like to nix, try dabbing a little raw honey directly on as a spot treatment. “It can be particularly beneficial for acne or blemish-prone skin. There have been clinical studies proving positive results both in lessening size and duration of blemishes,” says Shamban.


In terms of how often you should mask, we recommend sticking to a couple of times per week. While it certainly won’t hurt to slather on every single day, it’s not necessary to reap all the benefits mentioned above. Just 20 minutes 2x a week is plenty: It will still provide all those skin-boosting benefits.

With that being said, it’s also not necessary to leave the treatment on overnight; while you certainly can if you feel so inclined, know that you’re not providing your skin with any extra benefits. Remember, honey is thick and has a sticky texture so that might be messy when you wake up unless you’re able to sleep on your back through the night.

4 honey face masks for clear, glowing skin

Sure, a honey face mask is a simple, one-ingredient mask, but that’s not to say you can’t include some add-ons if you’re feeling fancy. Here are four ways to upgrade your honey mask, for any skincare concern you’ve got:

  • Brightening turmeric, honey, and lemon mask 

Turmeric and lemon are amazing for skin-brightening: Turmeric (and its active ingredient, curcumin) has antioxidant properties that can help protect the skin from free-radical damage, while lemon has a fair share of vitamin C—perfect for fading dark spots.

To make this mask, combine 1 tbsp. of raw or Manuka honey, 1 tsp. of ground turmeric, and ½ tsp. of lemon juice. Slather on and leave for 10 minutes or until the mask starts to harden, then wash off with warm water. 

  • Moisturizing honey and olive oil mask

This nourishing mask feels downright luxurious: Adding a natural oil to your honey mask can not only help with the stickiness and application of the honey, but natural oils are emollients that contain high levels of fatty acids, which moisturize and soothe the skin. The result? A lightweight mask chock-full of skin-healthy antioxidants. Feel free to choose any oil here (coconut, jojoba, argan—the list goes on.) We use olive oil because olive oil work wonders on dry skin and contains many antioxidants, such as vitamin E. Simply mix the two until combined, then leave on for 20 minutes. 

  • Exfoliating yogurt and honey mask

Yogurt is jam-packed with lactic acid—a sensitive-skin-approved chemical exfoliator—which gently sloughs dead skin cells with ease. When you add honey to the mix, it becomes even more gentle and hydrating: Simply combine 1 tbsp. of finely ground oatmeal, 1 tsp. of raw or Manuka honey, and 1 tsp. of full-fat dairy or nondairy yogurt. Stir until it forms a paste, then slather on and leave for 15 minutes.

  • Skin-soothing mint, honey, and aloe mask 

If you’re looking for a fun, summery option reminiscent of a poolside cocktail, this refreshing mask is practically screaming your name. Both aloe and rosewater are great skin-soothing and -balancing ingredients, bound to tame any inflammation you’ve got (it feels especially lovely post-sun). Try this mixture during your next impromptu spa night: Mash 2 to 4 mint leaves, and mix with 2 parts honey, 2 parts aloe gel, and a few sprays of rosewater. Leave it on for up to 20 minutes before rinsing with warm water. 


The takeaway. 

With all the skin-health benefits the goop has to offer, no surprise honey reigns supreme as a DIY-friendly ingredient. Of course, remember to do a patch test before applying honey to your face, especially if you’re new to DIY: Even if you consume honey all the time, your skin might have an unexpected reaction to it as a topical treatment. If you have any bee or pollen allergies, you may want to steer clear entirely, as raw honey might contain trace amounts of bee pollen or other tree pollens.

Other than that, feel free to slather on the star of DIY. A single jar of honey can have you glowing in no time.

BeautyLeeBar takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

Why Keeping Your Skin Hydrated Is SO Important

When it comes to skin goals, one keyword that’s often overlooked is hydration. We’re often so busy trying to get rid of fine lines, minimize our pores, and get rid of hormonal pimples, that sometimes keeping our skin hydrated gets left behind. But the truth is, keeping your skin hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your skin – it’s a cornerstone of Korean skin routines – and you’ll likely find that by prioritizing this in your skincare routine that many of your other skin concerns will improve as a result.

New York-based dermatologist, Dr. Doris Day, explained, “Your skin is your first and best layer of protection for your body from the outside world. It functions at its best when it’s healthy and intact. When you have dry skin you have increased water loss from the skin which can end up not only leaving it dehydrated but also reduce its ability to naturally combat and repair damage from pollution, sun and other ‘insults.’” Therefore, making sure your skin is always hydrated means that your skin is able to function better.

Dehydrated skin lacks having enough water in it, which means it’s not a skin type, it’s something that everyone can experience, whether your skin is oily, normal or dry – in fact, sometimes excess oil can be caused by dehydration!

The Difference Between Dry and Dehydrated Skin

If you’re wondering what the difference is between dry and dehydrated skin, Dr. Day explains that “dry skin is related to the outermost layer of the skin, namely the stratum corneum,” whereas “dehydrated skin is skin that has had excess water loss due to both internal and external factors.” She continues to explain that “You can drink all the water there is and still have dry skin.”

However, dehydrated skin is usually down to a combo of internal and external factors, it could be that you’re not drinking enough water – you should aim for at least two liters a day – however, you can still have dehydrated skin while your body iis hydrated. Too much salty food, sugar, alcohol, and drinking too much caffeine are the most common contributors to dehydrated skin. External factors like “excess sun exposure and excess hot yoga, which essentially cook the water out of your skin,” will also cause skin dehydration.


The Difference Between Hydrated and Dehydrated Skin

“Your skin contains a key ingredient called hyaluronic acid. Its job is to help with the water balance of the skin and even of the entire body. When your skin is well hydrated, the hyaluronic acid in your body binds water and that gives your skin firmness (the medical term for that is turgor). When your skin is dehydrated it will start to sag and that can make it look older and more wrinkled,” Dr. Day explains.

Essentially, Dr. Day says that “Dehydrated skin can look saggy, crepey and tired,” and that you may also notice increased under-eye bags. As well as these tell-tale signs, other signs to look for including your moisturizer absorbing particularly fast (it’s literally trying to ‘drink’ in the moisture), and it could cause your makeup to look patchy. Well-hydrated skin is a sign of good barrier function, which is important for protecting your skin.

Another point to note is that as we age, our skin produces less natural moisturizing factors like ceramides, lipids, hyaluronic acid, and fatty acids, so as you age, keeping your skin hydrated and well moisturized becomes even more important.


How to Keep Your Skin Hydrated

Keeping your skin hydrated is a combination of ensuring you’re drinking enough water, going easy on the things we know dehydrate – and which are generally just not good for our body – like the aforementioned alcohol, sugar, and salt, and topically applying moisturizers to avoid water loss. If you’re dehydrated, Dr. Day says to “Avoid excess salt, moisturize well, especially at night.”

When it comes to products, Dr. Day says that ceramides and hyaluronic acid are the best for hydrating the face. When using hydrating products, it’s important to ensure you lock everything in with a moisturizer, which typically includes three types of ingredients: Emollients, humectants and occlusives. Dr. Day explains what each does;

Emollients: These ingredients moisturize the skin and help with skin barrier restoration. They smooth and soften the skin filling the gaps between cells with droplets of oils. Some emollients can also be considered occlusives. Emollients include, jojoba oil, ceramides, aloe vera, and oleic acid.

Occlusives: It creates a barrier on the skin and occludes (or blocks) water from leaving the skin from the inside, essentially trapping moisture in the skin and preventing other ingredients from penetrating the skin from the outside. These are typically thick and often greasy products. A classic example of occlusives include shea butter and petrolatum, which Dr. Day says are “great for the body and for those with very dry skin, but can be comedogenic and would not be ideal for those who are acne-prone or with oily skin.”

Humectants: “Ingredients like hyaluronic acid and lactic acid, they help pull water into the skin and hold it there. They are not usually occlusive,” Dr. Day tells us. Other humectants include honey, ceramides (which are essentially the building blocks of skin), glycerin, and amino acids.

Dr. Day also adds, “If you have very dry skin, you might select one that is richer and more occlusive. If you have combination skin, you would look for one that is lighter and more of a humectant.”

Dr. Day shares her top tips for keeping your skin hydrated:

Don’t over-exfoliate: “ That will strip the skin and lead to excess water loss.” Think about skipping out on your AHAs or opt for a more hydrating AHA, like lactic acid.

Hydrate deeply at nighttime: “ Use a richer moisturizer at night since you naturally lose more water from the skin at night.”

Go easy with actives: “ Don’t pile on the highest concentration of every acne medication; salicylic acid, glycolic acid, retinols are great but no need to use them all in their highest concentration or all at one time.”

Focus on your wellness: “ Getting enough sleep, minimizing alcohol intake, having a healthy diet all helps your skin function at its best.”

Choose skincare wisely: “ Using the right products for your skin will help it best use its own natural resources to repair and age beautifully.”


Dr. Day’s top product recommendations for instant hydration:

Doris Day M.D. Ultra Rich Peptide Renewal Cream, $103: “It contains ceramides, shea butter, peptides and vitamin E, and improves the skin barrier. You get an immediate healthy glow and a great anti-aging effect.”

Skinceuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2, $128: “It also contains ceramides and its claim is that it helps improve tolerability to retinol.” The formula also packs essential lipids to restore skin elasticity and hydration cycles, and vitamin E for skin repair and to defend against environmental damage.

When your skin is particularly parched and dehydrated, be sure to stay away from ingredients like retinol and AHAs and BHAs. Instead, load up on hydrating ingredients like ceramide serums and hyaluronic acid and glycerin facial mists, throw on a sheet mask, and lock it all in with a rich, hydrating moisturizer. Whenever we need an instant hit of moisture, we always go to our FARMACY Coconut Gel Sheet Mask, $6, which is packed with coconut, cucumber and sodium hyaluronate to soothe and hydrate your skin, and allantoin and niacinamide to brighten and protect. The mask is dripping in serum thanks to a unique double-layer-fiber technology that allows it to hold significantly more of the powerful vitamin-rich essence than any conventional sheet mask.

TATCHA Luminous Dewy Skin Sheet Mask, $12, is a silky soft, skin-fitting sheet mask that delivers a healthy drink of ultra-hydrating botanical oils and extracts for a dewy glow in just one use. Packed with Rice germ oil, Okinawa Red Algae, Wild thyme, and Sweet Marjoram. The mask feeds skin with Japanese anti-aging superfoods such as a fermentation of green tea, rice, and algae—ingredients at the heart of the Japanese diet and time-tested skincare rituals—that restore skin health and youthful radiance.

Check out some of our other fave intensely hydrating products here.



Raise your hand if you use the words hydrating and moisturizing interchangeably. Yes, a lot of us do that all the time.

When it comes to the beauty industry, there are a lot of terms to be learned. And the biggest culprits we’ve noticed falling into this category are the words ‘hydrate’ and ‘moisturize’. While they both address the importance of nourishing our skin, they should not be treated as the same thing.

Which is why we’ve put together a simple guide detailing the difference between the two, to ensure that you get optimum benefits out of both.

Dry versus dehydrated skin – is there a difference?


The term ‘dehydrated‘ is used to describe lack of water, while the term ‘dry’ loosely translates to lack of oil. Hence, dehydrated skin needs to be hydrated (as it lacks water), and dry skin needs to be moisturized (as it lacks oil).

Hydrating adds moisture to the skin

If there’s one thing that Korean skincare has taught us is that hydrating makes all the difference when it comes to healthy and glowy skin.

When skin cells are well hydrated they swell to be plump, bouncy and reflect light effectively. If water flows out of the cells they become dehydrated and can shrivel up, which leads to lackluster skin. Imagine your skin cells are mini water balloons. In their healthiest state, they are full of water, firm, bouncy, plump and reflect light.

Now imagine these mini balloons have a slow leak where the water is steadily escaping. What happens to the balloon? It loses its rounded plump shape, it is less bouncy and as the water gets low it shrivels up and becomes dull looking.

Even if we find the leak and patch it up, the skin still needs a fresh infusion of water to refill what’s been lost. In addition, it needs support to hold onto the water.

This is where skin hydrators come in. Hydration refers to the amount of water in the skin. And hydrator are products formulated with special ingredients to increase the water content of the skin.

And what are these special ingredients? Humectants. Humectants absorb moisture from the environment and deliver it down to the skin’s layers, facilitating hydration. Glycerin and honey are some great examples.

Therefore, hydration replenishes all the water that the skin has lost and adds some more for good measure.

So, up the water content of your skin by incorporating a hydrator into your daily routine and drinking enough water. A water-based daily cream like TATCHA Water Cream ( $20 ), hydrates the skin deeply while lending it a moisturized finish all through the day. Not only will doing so help your skin regain its proper moisture balance, but will also increase the powers of your moisturizer.

Moisturizing locks moisture into the skin

Hydration is a like a glass of water for your skin. It doesn’t matter how many glasses your skin drinks every day, if there’s nothing keeping this water in, it’ll evaporate, leaving your skin dry.

Enter moisturizing. Moisturizing forms a barrier on the skin that locks water in so it can’t run away anymore and works towards retaining what moisture is present on the skin at the time of application. By forming a protective seal on the skin’s surface, moisturizers are able to reduce the risk of the evaporation throughout the day.

Hence, moisturizing is non-negotiable (even if your skin is oily). For oily skin, choose a gel based moisturizer like KIEHL’S SINCE 1851 Ultra Facial Cream Mini ( $22 ) and ORIGINS GinZing™ Oil- Free Energy Boosting Gel Moisturizer ( $30 ). For dry skin, choose something that intensely hydrates like TATCHA The Dewy Skin Cream ( $68 ) and OLEHENRIKSEN C-Rush™ Vitamin C Gel Moisturizer ( $46 ). If you have combination skin, try FARMACY Daily Greens Oil-Free Gel Moisturizer with Moringa and Papaya ( $38 ), and TATA HARPER Hyaluronic Acid Gel Moisturizer ( $116 ).

What your skin needs

But you may ask if both moisturizers and hydrators provide our skin with moisture, how do we know which of the two our skin needs?

Well, the answer is both.

Dehydrated skin that is moisturized will still look dull and feel uncomfortably tight, without receiving hydration. And dry skin that is hydrated but not moisturized will still flake and have a rough texture. So, you need to stock up on both hydrators and moisturizers, or products that offer a combination of them together.

Hydrators and moisturizers are not just synonyms written on products as part of a clever marketing scheme, to make you buy more than you need. They really do have a purpose of their own and together, keep the skin looking plump and happy.

For best results, hydrators and moisturizers should be applied morning (before sunscreen) and night. You can apply moisturizing lotions or creams after applying your hydrator so it doesn’t peel.

Wait… here are 3 ways to hydrate your skin

DRINK PLENTY OF WATER. If you drink caffeine or alcohol drink that much more water. I find that I need an app to help me stay on track with my water consumption. Tracking my consumption and getting little reminders throughout the day has made a huge difference in the amount of water I drink. There are many water tracker apps that are free. For the ladies: Flo is a women’s health app, that supports women at each stage of their reproductive cycle. It tracks menstruation, cycle prediction, preparation for conception, pregnancy, early motherhood and menopause. And, you know what else it tracks? Water intake! Download Flo for free to start tracking.

MIST YOUR SKIN. Carry a small bottle of hydrosol in your bag or backpack to mist your face throughout the day. Look for with a hydrosol mist of aloe with floral or herbal infusions for the best overall skin pick me up. Try e.l.f. Soothing Aloe Facial Mist ( $8 ) which moisturizes and refreshes skin with invigorating scent. Perfect to start or end your day with, or even as a mid-day refresher. Like a cool glass of water for parched skin After Sun Soothing Aloe Mist ($20) provides breathable, lightweight hydration that skin will instantly drink up and MARIO BADESCU Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater ( $12 ) is another great choice! This floral face mist features complexion-loving rose and gardenia extracts, skin-softening bladderwrack (a type of mineral-rich seaweed) extract, and clarifying thyme extract to boost the complexion. Mist whenever, wherever for radiant and re-energized skin.

Note: Avoid any mists that contain alcohol. This can dry the skin and defeat the purpose of this hydration boost.] If you feel self-conscious misting yourself in public, you can always do it in the bathroom as a final refresher after you wash your hands.

APPLY SERUMS DAILY. Especially those that contain hyaluronic acid. I especially love to wear this in the morning to keep my skin supported throughout the day when it needs the most help staying hydrated. I rarely ever skip this step.

If you are in a hurry and need to cut down on your routine, find another way to shave off time in your morning prep and keep this step as a non-negotiable. Your skin will thank you today and years from now.

Choices of Serums: THE ORDINARY Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 ( $6.80 ), Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Serum ( $24.99 ), Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Serum ( $65 ), DRUNK ELEPHANT B-Hydra™ Intensive Hydration Serum ( $48 ), PAULA’S CHOICE Resist Hyaluronic Acid Booster Concentrated Serum ( $39 ), kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Vitamin C Serum ( $68 ), Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Serum ( $48 ), Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Booster Serum ( $80 ), Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II ( $103 ), CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum ( $18.99) and L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives Hyaluronic Acid Serum ( $23.99 ).

Primp Tip: While you’re shopping, look for serums that have a one percent concentration of hyaluronic acid, as higher levels can cause skin irritation. And choose serums that have natural hyaluronic acid, plus vitamin C, without irritating ingredients, such as alcohol, sulphates, and parabens.

Have any other tips and tricks? I look forward to hearing how you get your daily hydration and moisture fix!