Honey and lemon - two extremely common household ingredients - and two absolute must-haves for clear, glowing skin! Lemons are filled with alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), which help in the removal of dead skin cells, while honey is an incredible natural antibacterial agent, full of antioxidants that fight free radical damage to the skin.
So we bring you eight very simple - and highly potent - DIY honey and lemon masks for a radiant complexion.
Please note: Some skins are sensitive to lemon juice so please patch test on another area - such as the inside of your elbow - before applying lemon juice to the face. Most skins are sensitive to sun exposure after application of lemon juice so please do not venture outside with these masks on, and wear appropriate sun protection (hats and SPF!) after you have just used one of these amazing masks!
Optional: Before applying a mask, use the steam from a bowl of hot boiling water to open up the pores of your skin. After rinsing off the mask, wash your face with cold water to close the pores.
1. Honey and Lemon juice mask
This mask uses a combination of honey and lemon only. Squeeze out lemon juice from half a lemon and mix it with one tablespoon of organic honey. Mix well and apply over the face and neck. Avoid the area near your eyes. After 20 minutes, wash with warm water, then with cold water. Dry the face by patting with a soft towel.
2. Cucumber, turmeric and lemon juice
This mask is for people with oily skin. This mask helps in lightening dark spots and acne scars, as well as soothing sunburn. Peel a cucumber and slice off the ends. Cut the cucumber into small pieces and use a blender (or simply chop the cucumber very finely if a blender is not available) to make a pulpy mixture. Take a tablespoon of this mixture, a teaspoon of lemon juice and optionally, a pinch of organic turmeric powder. Mix the ingredients well and evenly apply over the face. Leave it on for 15 minutes and allow it to dry. Wash off with cold water. Use daily for a week for best results. For dry skin, add a teaspoon of glycerine to this mix.
3. Gram flour (chickpea powder) with turmeric, lemon juice and honey
This is a universal mask that can be applied to any skin type. Mix one tablespoon of gram flour (or oatmeal, if gram flour is not available) with a teaspoon of lemon juice and a pinch of organic turmeric powder. Make a paste by mixing these ingredients with water (or rose water, if available) and apply to the face. Wash off with cold water after it dries.
Regular application of this mask should help removing acne scars and dark spots from the face. Turmeric is nature’s answer to free radicals and a potent antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral remedy, properties that are invaluable for naturally remedying light bacterial or fungal infections (always see a doctor if you suspect a major bacterial or fungal infection!)
4. Chamomile, Almond oil, Oatmeal and Honey
Brew a pot of chamomile tea and allow it to cool down. Add this to ¼ cup of oatmeal, 2 drops of Almond oil, 2 tablespoons of honey, and make a paste out of it. First, cleanse the facial skin with warm water and then apply the paste to your damp skin. Allow the mask to dry for about 7 minutes before washing off with cold water. An excellent natural exfoliant, this mask helps remove dead cells and leaves your skin incredibly soft.
5. Green tea with honey
Green tea is full of antioxidants that combat the damages caused by free radicals and helps skin rejuvenation. Getting those antioxidants working on your face is an easy fix using just a few ingredients from your pantry. Take a tea bag, cut it open and mix with 2 tablespoons of organic honey. Apply this to the face and leave it for 15 minutes before washing off warm water. The mask removes dark spots on the skin, calms inflammations, prevents blackheads and helps give your face a radiant glow!
6. Banana, cinnamon and honey
This is a great mask to combat dry skin during the winter (or during the changing Fall weather!). Take half a banana and mash it into an even consistency. Then add 2 tbsp of organic honey and ½ tbsp of finely ground cinnamon powder. Mix to create a soft paste. Wash the face with warm water to cleanse, apply the paste with your fingers and allow it to dry for 20-30 minutes before rinsing off. Cinnamon not only opens up the pores on the skin for better penetration of the nutrients from the banana and honey, but also helps fight blemishes on the skin. Adding the banana soothes the dry skin while honey fights free radical damage and exerts antibacterial action.
7. Lemon and milk
Both lemon and milk contain alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) that promote dead cell removal. Combining these inexpensive, readily available ingredients has excellent skin brightening properties. Take 2 tbsp of whole milk (go with the whole milk only as it yields better results than skim milk) and add 2 tsp of lemon juice. Mix the ingredients and allow it to stand at room temperature for four hours. During this period, the milk will break down and form a fresh curd that may be applied to a clean face. Leave this mixture on the face for about 15 minutes and then wash off with cold water.
8. Avocado with honey
Avocados are super fruits that pack a punch: iron, potassium, calcium, sodium, copper, magnesium, and more! They also contains vitamins A, B, E and K. Avocados make for great mask ingredients, as they tend to moisturize the skin deeply. Avocados also protect the skin from solar radiation and help decrease inflammation caused by eczema, psoriasis and acne.
Cut up an avocado, and discard the pit. Scoop out the avocado into a bowl and mash it with your hands. Add 15 ml honey to this mashed avocado and mash until you get a paste like consistency. Apply this to the face in slow, circular, upward moving strokes and leave it for 15 minutes. Rinse with cold water. This mask can be made in bulk as it can be stored for up to 5 days in the fridge.