honey vs aloe vera for face - bowl and spoon displaying both ingredients, plus fresh aloe stalks

When it comes to natural skincare ingredients, it’s hard to beat the combination of honey and aloe vera gel. Even though these ingredients have some similarities – for example, they’re both humectants – they also have different actions on the skin. So, in this article we’re going to take a closer look at the use of honey vs aloe vera for face, looking specifically at:

  • the benefits and properties of honey and aloe
  • how to include honey and aloe in your skincare routine.
  • some face mask recipes that you can make with these natural ingredients.

Note: this post contains some affiliate links and I earn a commission (at no additional cost to you) if you use them to make a purchase.


honey vs aloe vera benefits - aloe stalks and honey in a bowl
Soothes inflamed skin
Boosts collagen and elastin production
Boosts production of hyaluronic acid
Improves acne
Improves acne scars
Humectant and hydrates the skin
Exfoliating properties
Improves hyperpigmentation

Benefits of Honey for Skin

  • Diverse nutritional profile: honey contains water, natural sugars, inhibine (an antibiotic), vitamins (including C, B2, B3 and B5), proteins, all the major minerals (such as zinc and magnesium) as well as trace minerals proteins (1, 2). Do keep in mind that while honey does have many nutrients, the levels of each individual nutrient is not as high as in many other plants/foods.
  • Antioxidant: antioxidants like polyphenols and flavonoids are present in honey. However, the quantities of these skin-loving compounds vary depending on the batch of honey. This is because different regions have different plants and therefore, the honey from the bees will reflect the biodiversity of that geographical area (source).
  • Soothes inflamed skin: honey has anti-inflammatory properties that make it a popular natural remedy for inflammatory skin conditions like acne, eczema and psoriasis.
  • May support skin renewal: research indicates that honey can speed up wound healing (source). This benefit suggests that honey may have compounds that support cell turnover.
  • Hydrates the skin: not only does honey contain water but it also has humectant properties (i.e. it draws moisture to the skin) (source).
  • Antibacterial: honey is a gentle antibacterial that can keep the skin clean (some people use it as a face wash) and improve acne breakouts.

Aloe Vera Benefits for Skin (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

  • Rich in nutrients: aloe has a surprisingly diverse mix of nutrients – 75, according to some sources – that includes vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fatty acids.
  • Improves hyperpigmentation: aloesin is a compound in aloe that has been shown to improve UV-induced discoloration. In addition, aloe contains vitamins A (in the form of beta-carotene) and C, both of which are frequently used for hyperpigmentation. And if that wasn’t enough, topical application of aloe triggers the release of metallothionein, a protein that protects the skin from UV damage.
  • Hydrates and moisturizes: not only does aloe vera have a very high water content, but it also has mucopolysaccharides. These mucopolysaccharides are sugar molecules that have humectant properties.
  • Natural exfoliant: aloe contains 8 enzymes that act as exfoliants, thus helping to give the skin a healthier and smoother appearance. 
  • Supports collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid levels: aloe stimulates cells known as fibroblasts which are in charge of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid production. 
  • Supports the health of mature/aging skin: aloe’s ability to stimulate collagen, combined with its moisturizing and exfoliating properties makes it beneficial for mature skin. In addition, aloe also contains amino acids that soften the skin, further helping to improve the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Natural remedy for acne and acne scars: aloe contains salicylic acid, which is a go-to ingredient for acne (source). This, combined with exfoliating enzymes, vitamin A, vitamin C and various antioxidants, makes aloe an excellent home remedy for acne and scarring. In addition, aloe contains natural pain relievers that may ease the pain from cystic acne and antibacterial compounds that may combat acne-causing bacteria.
  • Speeds up skin regeneration: some studies show that aloe can speed up re-epithelialization, which  is the process of regenerating the skin’s outer layer. Furthermore, burn patients who are treated with aloe have been shown to recover faster than those who are treated with the antibiotic cream, silver sulfadiazine.


how to use honey and aloe vera gel on face - woman with honey on her face

Best Ways to Use Honey On Skin

1. Make a honey face mask: this works best with room temperature (warm room!) honey that is fluid.

  • Using a makeup brush or your fingers, apply a thin layer raw honey onto damp skin. Do not attempt this with dry skin; damp skin is best because it makes it easier for the honey to spread.
  • Leave the honey on for up to 20 minutes.
  • Rinse off with warm water.

2. Use honey as a spot treatment for pimples: dab a small amount of raw honey onto pimples and allow it to dry. Let it sit overnight and wash it off the next morning. (yes, it will feel a little sticky!).

3. Use honey as a gentle face wash: if you find that soap irritates your skin, honey can be a great natural substitute. If you have any doubts about this, remember that honey is naturally antibacterial and such will clean your face (but if you’re a makeup wearer, you’ll need to use a makeup remover first).

Here’s how to use honey as a face cleanser:

  • wet your face.
  • place ½ tsp of room temperature honey into the palm of your hand. (NOTE: the honey should be fluid. If necessary, place it in a hot water bath to make it more fluid).
  • Massage the honey onto your face for about 30 seconds.
  • Rinse with warm water.

Best Ways to Use Aloe Vera On Skin

There are three main forms of aloe that you can add into your skincare routine:

  • fresh aloe.
  • aloe vera powder.
  • aloe jelly.

Fresh aloe is definitely the best choice, followed by aloe vera powder (just make sure it contains only aloe; no additives/preservatives). As for aloe vera jelly, it’s the least optimal choice because it always contains additives (such as fragrance, thickeners, other herbs) and preservatives.

Which one you choose to use it ultimately down to your personal preference.

Now, here are some ways to incorporate aloe into your skincare routine.

  • Rub fresh aloe on your face: Scoop out the gel from a fresh plant and rub a thin layer onto clean skin. You can either rinse it off after a few minutes or you can apply a moisturizer, serum or carrier oil on top. 
  • Mix aloe with essential oils: if you’re using fresh aloe, be sure to use an emulsifier (since aloe is mostly water, essential oils won’t properly dissolve in it). Otherwise, use an aloe vera jelly (they all contain some kind of emulsifier already). Here’s an unscented aloe jelly that you can use for this.
  • Combine aloe with your favorite carrier oils: just like with essential oils, you will need an emulsifier or an aloe vera jelly in order to properly blend fresh aloe with carrier oils.


1. Recipe with fresh aloe gel

how to make a turmeric honey and aloe vera face mask with fresh gel

1/2 Tbsp fresh aloe vera gel

1 Tbsp raw honey

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 tsp kaolin clay (optional)


1. Scoop out the gel from an aloe leaf.

2. Place the gel in a blender and blend on high until it reaches a liquid consistency.

3.. In a bowl, combine 1/2 Tbsp of the liquid gel with all the other ingredients.

4. Whisk everything until well combined. It will have a thin, runny consistency!

5. Using a makeup brush, apply a thin layer onto clean skin (make sure to avoid the delicate eye area).

6. Leave the mask on for 15 – 20 minutes.

7. Rinse off with warm water.

2. Recipe with aloe powder

turmeric and honey mask with aloe vera powder


1 Tbsp raw honey

1/2 tsp filtered water

1 tsp colloidal oatmeal

1/2 tsp aloe vera powder – here’s the one I use

1/4 tsp turmeric powder


1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Whisk together until well combined and smooth.

2. Using a makeup brush, apply the mask onto clean skin.

3. Leave the mask on for 15 – 20 minutes.

4. Rinse off with warm water.


how to make a honey lemon and aloe mask

Although there are many DIY recipes that use fresh lemon, lemon essential oil can actually be a better option. But why?

Well, one of the issues with fresh lemon is that it is very acidic. So, using it directly on your face can damage your skin barrier and contribute to all sorts of irritation.

In addition, lemon juice contains mainly citric acid, which is a very harsh alpha hydroxy acid that is best kept away from the skin.

So, based on the above, lemon essential oil is a better option for the skin. But keep this following in mind:

  • just like with fresh lemons, lemon oil can still make you more sensitive to the sun.
  • essential oils don’t dissolve well in water-based solutions. So, for this mask use either a store-bought aloe jelly that already has emulsifiers or buy a separate emulsifier to blend with fresh aloe (follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the emulsifier).


1/2 Tbsp aloe vera jelly (or fresh aloe plus emulsifier)

1 Tbsp raw honey

1 drop of lemon essential oil


1. Follow steps 1 and 2 from the previous recipe.

2. Combine 1/2 Tbsp of the gel with the other ingredients. The final mask will have a thin, runny consistency.

3. Using a makeup brush, apply a thin layer onto clean skin (make sure to avoid the delicate eye area).

4. Leave the mask on for 15 – 20 minutes.

5. Rinse off with warm water.


Can I apply honey and aloe vera on face overnight?

If your skin needs added hydration, you can apply aloe vera and/or honey overnight. Just keep in mind that the honey doesn’t dry up completely, so your face will feel a little sticky to the touch.


Aloe vera and honey are two ingredients that can address a significant number of everyday skincare. The trick to getting the most out of these ingredients to experiment and find a method of use that works for you.

I hope this article has given you some ideas for how to add honey and aloe into your beauty regimen.

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