Spend an hour digging through the skincare threads of Reddit, and you’ll discover three things: 1. Pretty much everyone has some sort of acne, 2. St. Ives scrub is universally detested, and 3. Tumeric and honey masks are life.
And though, yes, DIY skincare recipes are as dime-a-dozen as that cliché is, this mask is one that keeps popping up over and over again on Reddit, receiving praises like, “Wow. My skin is clear, the redness has almost all gone, and there's no dryness. Outstanding,” and comments like, “I can never stop singing the praises of raw honey and turmeric masks. Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, reduces redness, ultra-hydrating … Definitely my HG.”
But how? Why? What is this voodoo? As it turns out, there’s no magic here, but instead some good ol’-fashioned home remedies that have been used for centuries in western medicine. “Honey has natural anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, making it an excellent at-home treatment for fungal infections, psoriasis, dry skin, and even burns,” says dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
“Turmeric, on the other hand, is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that has been evaluated in treating acne, brightening dark spots on the skin, and treating fine lines and wrinkles,” he says. So the combination of the two, as you could guess, would be somewhat explosive. “It’s an ideal type of treatment for anyone, but especially if you’re dealing with acne, since it can calm inflammation, kill microorgansims on the skin, and fade dark spots,” adds Zeichner.
As for the mask itself, the how-to is ridiculously simple: Mix half a teaspoon of generic turmeric with a tablespoon of generic honey (and that’s a guesstimation—there’s no real recipe, as long as you use enough honey to cover your face, and mix in a moderate about of turmeric), layer it evenly over your clean, dry skin, keep it on for anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, then rinse it off. As a note of caution, turmeric will temporarily stain the hell out of your face if you’re pale—as in overnight staining, not days-long staining—unless you mix in a few drops of milk or yogurt to the mask act as a barrier, or remove the mask with a simple cleansing oil.
You won’t notice immediate, magical results overnight, but if you use it consistently (as in a few nights a week), you’ll likely start to see some brightening, smoothing, and calming effects after a few weeks. Of course, if you’ve never slathered honey or turmeric on your face, make sure to patch test, first, but dabbing a bit on your neck, just beneath your ear, leaving it on for 20 mins, and waiting for 24 hours to see if you have a reaction. After that? Go wild. And take a lot of pictures, too, please—we wanna see those Insta faces.