Hibiscus flower

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I’ve had a love affair with hibiscus ever since I first started dabbling in DIY skincare. It was one of the first plants I experimented with and is still one of my favorites today. While I use it in soapmaking, hibiscus is also perfect for DIY face masks and is especially beneficial for mature or aging skin.

Each time I use a facial mask, my skin seems happy. That makes me wonder why I waited so long between masking sessions! Anyway, most estheticians say it’s safe to use a mask once or twice a week; more often than that and you risk over-exfoliating your skin.

Today I’m excited to share three facial mask recipes using amazing hibiscus and raw honey — along with a choice of clay or oats, depending on your skin type.

First, let’s talk more about hibiscus. Most of us know it as a fragrant tropical plant with gorgeous large flowers. Delving deeper, we learn it has a ton of skin-loving properties. Some even call it the Botox of the plant world!

Skin-Loving Properties of Hibiscus
  • Hibiscus is rich in Vitamin C, which supports collagen production
  • It also slows down collagen loss
  • Prevents elastin breakdown (which minimizes loose, sagging skin)
  • Has antioxidants that reduce stress from free radicals (slows down aging of skin)
  • Malic acid and Citric acid in hibiscus gently exfoliates and brightens skin.
You’ll Need Hibiscus Powder + Raw Honey for All of These Masks

I purchase dried hibiscus from a local herb store and then grind it into a fine powder using a small coffee grinder — one reserved for skincare only. You can go this route or you can buy the powder already made, with two options being [Mountain Rose Herbs] or Amazon]. Keep in mind that hibiscus is ruby red and might stain — so take care to protect any light-colored countertops or face cloths when using it.

Dried hibiscus and Bentonite clay
I start with dried hibiscus and grind it into a powder.
Why Raw Honey is Essential

In DIY skincare, raw unprocessed honey is much preferred over processed honey. You’ll probably find both at your local grocery store — just be sure to read the labels carefully. I try to buy raw local honey from area beekeepers since it’s made from flowers pollinated in my area.

Raw honey is better for your skin because processed honey is heated to the point where most of its skin-healing properties are lost. We want to keep all the benefits of honey, including:

  • It’s naturally moisturizing, without adding oil.
  • Honey increases circulation, adding a healthy glow.
  • It has anti-microbial properties
  • Honey is packed with antioxidants, which help protect, repair and prevent skin damage.
Now that we’ve talked ingredients, let’s get to mask making!
1.) Hibiscus Clay Mask for Normal to Oily Skin

You’ll need three ingredients in equal amounts to make this clay mask that is best for normal to oily skin. Because of the Bentonite clay, this mask is not recommended if you have dry or sensitive skin. Bentonite is a high-absorbing clay that is not as gentle as some other clays. You may be able to find it at a local herb store or you can buy it at Target or at Plant Therapy.

  • Bentonite clay, 1 tsp.
  • Hibiscus powder, 1 tsp.
  • Raw unprocessed honey, 1 tsp.
  • Tiny amount of warm water as needed to make a smooth paste.
    [See tips below on how to mix, apply and store the mask.]
2.) Hibiscus Clay Mask for Dry or Sensitive Skin

This mask uses Kaolin, a gentle clay that shouldn’t cause any extra drying. You may be able to find Kaolin at a local herb or health store or you can buy it here.

Kaolin clay comes in many different colors — which all work the same. I prefer the white for masks, only because it’s easier to clean up. This is a lightweight, silky clay with a long shelf-life that has many uses in DIY skincare, so go ahead and stock up.

  • Kaolin clay, 1 tsp.
  • Hibiscus powder, 1 tsp.
  • Raw unprocessed honey, 1 tsp.
  • Tiny amount of warm water as needed to make a smooth paste.
    [See tips below on how to mix, apply and store the mask.]
3.) Hibiscus Mask With Oats for All Skin Types

In this mask, we’re substituting colloidal oats or rolled oats for the clay. Oats are easy to find and have a long history in skincare — has anyone bathed in oatmeal to relieve itching?? Anyway, as a quick primer, oats contain saponins, which are natural cleansers that help remove oil and dirt.

Due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, oats can also help improve dry skin and remove dead skin cells. They are considered gentle and suitable for all skin types. You can find colloidal oats here — or keep reading for substitutions.

  • Hibiscus powder, 1 tsp.
  • Raw unprocessed honey, 1 tsp.
  • Colloidal oats, 1 tsp.
  • Tiny amount of warm water as needed to get a smooth paste.
    [Read below for tips on how to mix, apply and store the mask.]

What is colloidal oatmeal / And can you use rolled oats or oat flour instead?
Colloidal oatmeal is a refined oat flour, made from whole oats (including the bran). It’s the best option in DIY skincare because it’s more easily absorbed into your skin. Despite what you might see on the internet, you can’t make colloidal oats at home.

Rolled Oats: You can substitute rolled oats in this recipe, being sure to grind them as best you can to get a fine powder. It won’t have the full benefits of colloidal oats, but will still work in this recipe — though it might be a bit lumpy.

Oat Flour: If you substitute oat flour in this mask, you’ll be getting a gentle exfoliant only. Because oat flour doesn’t have bran, you won’t get the full skin benefits of oats.

If you’re curious, you can read a whole lot more about colloidal oats and other forms of oats in skincare on LisaLise’s blog.

Directions for Making and Using the Masks

1.) Mix the dry ingredients well in a small bowl and then add the honey and stir well. Next add a tiny amount of warm water, if needed to create a smooth paste. Start with 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. water.

2.) Start with a clean, moist face and secure your hair out of the way. Using a soft makeup brush or your hands, apply the mask evenly over your face — avoiding your eye area.

3.) Leave the mask on your face about 7 to 10 minutes. Don’t allow excess drying or itching to occur.

4.) If using the oat mask, you can gently massage it on your face for extra exfoliating action before washing it off. Gentle is key! Remove all masks with a face cloth rinsed with very warm to hot water.

Note: You can store the dry ingredients for future use in a tightly sealed jar in a cool, dry place. Since there’s no preservative added here, you can’t safely store the mask once it’s mixed with water and honey.

What to Expect for Results

Everyone’s skin is different — so all I can do is share my own results with you. If you decide to give this a try — I’d love to hear what you think. Because I have mature, normal to oily skin — I safely used all three masks and all performed well for me.

Immediately after using the masks, my skin was pink and glowing and I noticed much less blotchiness. I have some rosacea — so seeing even-toned skin (even in the short-term) is nice. Hibiscus actually helps with hyper-pigmentation or acne scarring. Plus, these masks left my skin feeling softer, smoother and brighter. One thing I noticed over other DIY masks I’ve tried is that the results seemed to last longer. My love affair with hibiscus continues!

Now it’s your turn. Will you try a Hibiscus + Honey mask? If you do, let us know your results. Be sure to tag me on Instagram (@honest_and_simple) if you make one of these masks. I love to hear about DIY skincare adventures!

I am not a licensed nutritionist, medical professional or cosmetics expert. The information provided on Honest + Simple is for general informational purposes only. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food + Drug Administration and are not intended to treat, prevent or cure any disease. Before making decisions about your health or other concerns, please consult a qualified professional and do not rely on this website for medical advice.

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  1. This is a great review of the basics. I’ve been using an eye cream around my eyes for several years now and find it very helpful. My biggest trouble spot for dryness is my hands. Any special tips would be so appreciated.

    1. Thanks for your comment and suggestion, Carolann. I’d love to hear which eye cream has worked well for you (if you’re willing to share!). Dry hands are a big issue for a lot of people. I may explore writing something about that soon. As a quick tip — have you tried shea butter? It’s easy to find and simple to use, although it takes a few minutes to absorb into skin. Thanks for stopping by!

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