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What Does a Coffee and Honey Mask Do?

Written by Phil

A coffee enthusiast and traveler, Phil primarily spends his days thinking and writing about coffee. He also writes for where he explores ideas of culture, psychology, and travel, and occasionally dabbles in horror.

It’s become more and more popular to use coffee for skincare, particularly on your face. If you haven’t already jumped on the coffee and honey skincare train, you may be wondering what do coffee and honey do to help your face?

They both have properties that seem to help with healing, acne, scarring, discoloration, and dark circles. It’s unclear if they complement each other, but the mix makes for a very easy mask.

Where can you buy them? 

Frankly, you could probably find a pre-made mask that makes it very slightly easier, but it’s so simple, and you probably already have the ingredients.

My advice: don’t buy it, just make sure you have raw honey and coffee grounds. It’s important to make sure the honey is unpasteurized because the bacteria in the honey appears to have their own special properties.

If you feel like spending a little more for even greater benefits, splurge on Manuka honey.

How do you make them?

  • 1-2 tbsp coffee grounds
  • 2-4 tbsp honey (organic, unpasteurized, 100% pure)

Combine coffee and honey in a small cup and stir thoroughly. Let sit for 5 minutes to allow the coffee to infuse into the honey.

Spread on your skin and treat as you would any other exfoliating mask.

Allow the mask to sit for 10-60 minutes. 10-15 should be sufficient. 

Use your hands to gently scrub on your face and lips. Use a rag and warm water to remove the mask.

For dark circles under your eyes, just dab – do not rub. The skin is more sensitive and will still benefit from the treatment purely from application and time.

Protip: use dry, finely ground coffee. I tried using spent grounds that were not thoroughly drained, and the consistency was off. As well, I added olive oil to help with the consistency, but that just made it harder to stick to my skin. I recommend against it.

Do the grounds have to be fresh, or can they be used?

You might believe that the benefit of coffee is in the caffeine content and that using spent coffee grounds would make the mask less effective. Not so!

According to various sources, spent coffee grounds still have a considerable amount of caffeine. As well, there are still other antioxidants and other beneficial compounds in the grounds that allow them to still be useful.

So, no need to waste fresh coffee! Make yourself a cup, let the grounds cool, and you can wear a coffee mask while enjoying the brew, too!

What a great way to spend a quiet weekend morning!

Benefits of Coffee on Skin

It’s reported that it does the following to help benefit your skin:

  • Tightens skin
  • Smooths skin
  • Cellulite
  • Calming effects
  • Anti-aging
  • Reduced inflammation (thanks to chlorogenic acid)
  • Acne treatment
  • Dark circles (under eyes)
  • Sunburns (though not this specific mask)

Oddly, it’s believed that topically applied caffeine can have a calming effect, thanks to the antioxidants.

Adding coffee to a mask makes it much better for exfoliation, and you can even choose the level of coarseness that suits your skin’s sensitivity. 

Benefits of Honey on Skin

Honey has been a near-magical product that has been used for various ailments since antiquity. Its combination of enzymes, plant matter, and living bacteria come together to allow it to be useful in hundreds of different ways, one of which is skincare. Some believe it can even help with scarring and acne.

It’s reported that the following benefits can be found from applying honey to your skin:

  • Moisturizes
  • Removes dark spots / evens skin tone
  • Clearing acne (Manuka honey, specifically; raw honey also appears to help, as does cinnamon)
  • Healing scars
  • Eczema (raw honey)
  • Psoriasis
  • Candida overgrowth (gut bacteria)
  • Improved healing
  • Natural exfoliation (raw honey)

In practice, it seems like honey can be used as a spot treatment, such as when a pimple starts to form, or a full mask. It apparently only needs a few minutes, but 10-15 would probably maximize benefit.

To gain maximum benefits, you’d want to use raw honey – unpasteurized honey has beneficial bacteria. 

The reason they recommend pregnant women and children avoid it is because the bacteria can contain toxins that are harmful to a fetus or baby, but is largely safe for adults.

However, it is this very bacteria that can help with skincare. If you pasteurize it, much of the benefits of honey are blunted. It is then rendered an inert, thick syrup, which may still have some benefits, but likely far fewer.


If you have allergies surrounding pollen, bee-related products, or celery, it’s best to avoid them. Why celery? I’m unsure, but it was thrown in there, so I’d rather everyone play it safe.

If you’re uncertain about how it will affect you, it’s always wise to test it on a small area of sensitive skin that is minimally visible, such as the inside of your wrists.

Why combine them?

While other substances are also recommended for coffee masks, such as cinnamon and olive oil, you could make your own concoction.

I merely am suggesting a very inexpensive, easy-to-make version with minimal fuss.

You could, theoretically, just use coffee grounds and water, but water or oil might run down your face, and coffee has a tendency to stain or discolor.

Honey, however, has a number of positive benefits all its own and is thick enough that it will spread nice and thick, allowing it to sit on your skin indefinitely. If you find it is too thick, you could always try adding a few drops of oil or water.

Tl;DR: Honey is a good medium to allow the coffee grounds to be suspended, and it could help with the diffusion of compounds into the honey. As well, honey has many of its own skincare benefits that will also help with a number of common issues.


It appears that you can make an effective, affordable mask that helps with a number of skin issues, ranging from uneven tone, anti-aging, moisturizing, exfoliating, and a bunch of other benefits. You simply need some coffee grounds (new or used), raw honey, and time!

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