DIY Beauty: cinnamon & nutmeg acne mask

This mask consisting of grounded cinnamon, nutmeg and honey is great for acne flare ups. In fact, it is probably one of the best DIY masks I’ve tried in terms of results as just after three days of using the mixture, I noticed my acne calmed down tremendously and the red marks were a lot lightened. The only drawback is, this is extremely messy to use as there were lots of dripping!

Nutmeg is anti-inflammatory
I’ve tried using nutmeg with success as an ingredient to erase acne scars but I’ve only used it as a spot treatment and never the entire face. Nutmeg has anti-inflammatory properties and was used since ancient times for a variety of skin diseases including ringworms and eczema. Add it with honey which has antiseptic benefits and the concoction is supposed to help erase acne marks over time. It is also supposed to help lighten skin tone. However, based on my experience, the results were not immediate and you need to be patient.

Cinnamon is a natural exfoliant
But it’s a different story with the cinnamon added. Cinnamon has been used for thousands of years as an  antiseptic, astringent, antifungal and anti-viral aid, among its many other uses.  Additionally, cinnamon is an exfoliant and can stimulate the pores, thus helping other ingredients to work on the skin as well.

Easy recipe
This recipe is very straightforward. Just mix one teaspoon of grounded cinnamon, one teaspoon of grounded nutmeg and one teaspoon of honey together into a thick paste. Apply on your face for half an hour and then rinse off with warm water. Moisturize as per normal afterwards. I usually apply emu oil on the acne to speed up healing.

Option of using with lemon
The original version of this recipe is to add lemon to fade the spots but because my skin cannot tolerate the sting from the lemon juice, I left this ingredient out. In addition, lemon can cause photosensitivity. As for the honey, I used normal honey and it worked well to control the acne breakout and reduce the red marks.

Frequency of use
I used the mask a few days in a row before stopping for a day or two. If you have acne flare ups, doing so will help to calm down the acne, dry them up or at least flatten the bumps. Once the acne has calmed down, cut down to two or three times a week at most. The mask will help to lighten the marks but don’t expect miracles in the short term. It will lighten up with continuous application though.

Word of caution
While this is a great home remedy for acne, but this DIY mask is not for everyone.  I wouldn’t recommend you to use this if you have sensitive skin as some of the ingredients maybe too strong for such skin type. Another point to note is despite what is recommended, please DO NOT rub or scrub with this mask as the ingredients will hurt your skin! Do not also exfoliate your skin during the period you’re using this mask as this has some exfoliation properties and you don’t want to aggravate your skin condition. Finally, be prepared for the dripping with some paper or cloth towels!


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  1. says

    You’re right that this mask is not for everyone! I have used a DIY mask (oatmeal, honey, egg whites, and yogurt + cinnamon). just one teaspoon of cinnamon burned my face, so maybe I have sensitive skin?

    • sesame says

      Yeah…the cinnamon can irritate sensitive skin. That’s why I had to stop after 3 days although there was no irritation for me. But just in case…

      • says

        I have never had acne till now I am 61 years old I try to keep a good diet bought out the supermarket and some have worked temporarily. Woke up this morning with a deep one! It looked like a boil! washed, exfoliated got it out, but left a gaping hole on my face! will try your method and see if this works thanks

  2. says

    I use the exact same method! It worked real well for my skin, but I only use it if i have stubborn scars. Usually I just use cinnamon and honey together. To avoid the dripping, I use less honey. Nice post!

    • sesame says

      You’re right…the more honey you use, the more it drips. But if the honey is too little, I find the mixture too strong for my skin too.

  3. Jo says

    i tried this diy mask long ago but it seems not to be working on me. :-(

    maybe i should give it another try again and apply it every day and see if it works.

    by the way,i think body shop tea oil mask helps to lighten up the acne marks..whenever i apply it at night, the next morning,my face is very bright..however at the end of the day,the marks return. arrghh..:-(

  4. pf1123 says

    Sesame, any luck in finding out the root cause of your acne?

    I have some clogged pores recently…but I have no patience to do these DIY stuff. I might go after the Cellnique Pro Sebum Gel which I often see faves online.

    • sesame says

      Mine should be due to what I eat and hormonal imbalance. Since weaning off prunes, I have lesser breakouts. Now, it’s just one or two small ones and the old scars. If it comes back, then I need to think about my makeup.

      How about you? Have you determine what’s the cause for yours?

      DIY remedies do take time so I haven’t used them as frequently as I like. However, my scars are taking forever so I want to try this recipe and good thing it’s working.

        • sesame says

          About 3 to 4 weeks…depends on your skin type. I know some people use this daily and saw results in 2 weeks too. Use it as a spot treatment though…not on your entire face.

      • says

        sesame-have you since tried DIY foundations or powders? I just ordered some clays and powders and was wondering a good recommendation on on a base for thick coverage. Suggestions?

  5. kiwi says

    ooh. something for me to experiment again to control my eczema. I wonder if I can just use the nutmeg by itself with honey though…

    • sesame says

      I don’t think this can help eczema. In fact, it might aggravate ot. You might want to try just the honey.

    • Nevine says

      I have eczema I tried the honey and cinnamon in equal parts but no nutmeg it worked well for the frist few day but I realized that I had a terrible reaction later on as all the red splochies became dark and wont go away and my face has been burnt by the cinnamon. Initially I used too much cinnamon but I think that I may need to use it every other day I say this because I use it on my back and the light areas have become darker but my chest, breasts, neck and face have dark splotches much darker than my dark skin tone. I also drink the honey and cinnamon as a weight loss tea before bed and half an hour before breakfast. The fact is Cinnamon and honey is good for many things and has helped with my asthma so I know I only have a skin reaction. What other DIY could I use because of my eczema even Avenno bath soaps are too much for my skin at times.

      • sesame says

        Cinnamon is rather strong and not suitable for sensitive skin. Have you tried mungbean? It works for blemishes but again, I have had ladies reacting to it. You may like to read my post here:

  6. pf1123 says

    I think its milk which started it first. I was eating cereal for breakfast and sometimes odd time snack during the day.

    Then the weather didn’t help. Think the humidity is rather low at the moment. And my face is dry (little bit of flakiness), which cause more sebum production.

    Currently, I have switched to more moisturising skincare, AHA & BHA facial wash, purifying mud mask, and peeling gel.

    My skin got better. At least no new patches of clogged pores. Hoping it will continue to improve.

    • sesame says

      Seems like diet is a big trigger. I noticed these days I have to be very careful with what I eat. It never was the case.

      Btw, milk like salt, has iodine so probably that triggered the acne.

  7. pf1123 says

    Yes. The body is just going downhill. Hahaha…aging process…

    I think I need to start conditioning myself mentally to accept this and age gracefully.

    My beautician ask me if I set aside a sum every year for skincare. (Obviously, trying to fleece more money off me!)

    I told her, my objective is just no huge problems (actually just acne – coz it hurts – I have learnt to live with my pigmentation) at the moment. I don’t care if there is a wrinkle or whatever. Just that it does not inconvienence my life, its ok. Cannot really be perfect…but within reasonable means, I will try to work on it.

    • sesame says

      Haha…your beautician sure knows how to sell…But yeah, I do spend more on beauty products than on fashion as a whole. In fact, I can go through long spells without buying a fashion item.

  8. pf1123 says

    Yes…I have learnt to be thick skinned and tell them straight that I don’t have money, so don’t sell to me. Thats the fastest way to shut them up.

    Oh btw, I saw a shop in Raffles Place which sells Japanese designed rootote. Designs are at

    I didn’t check out what is the exact price but I saw quite a medium big (non-canvas) waterproof material kind of tote for S$47 or S$57. Not too far off from the 3,000 yen price I saw online.

    • sesame says

      I usually get my Rootote from this stationary shop at Funan (2nd level) or I order online. I find those at the other shops a bit costlier. I’m looking forward to getting the Rootote pouch though!

    • sesame says

      I have four that are waterproof material. The most expensive I paid was $23 if I recall correctly and it’s plain metallic.

    • sesame says

      The selection at Funan is not so good these days. You might want to look at my entry to check out other sources. The online one isn’t too bad.

  9. says

    I’m trying this out! But seriously I think I’m a lost cause. Nothing has helped for the past…. 2 years now?

    I posted last time about hydroquinone 7%, and yes, I found out after a couple months I should stop. But really, it didn’t do anything. Or maybe it did and I just kept getting new acne, then it scars. My face has been darker waaay before I started using the hydroquinone, so it has not made me darker.

    I don’t know what will help me. Surgical remove my face off??

    • sesame says

      You have to first determine what’s causing your acne. It sounds like it’s more internal – like hormonal imbalance or perhaps a diet trigger. Rather than trying to second guess, maybe a doctor can confirm that.

      Hydroquinone is not something I’ve heard being recommended for acne marks though but I guess the principle behind that is to lighten them.

  10. says

    I suppose I will have to go to another doctor, since the last one I went to was the one who prescribed me hydroquinone, among a bunch of other things that didn’t help. Well, let’s see if it’s any different in Austria

    • sesame says

      Yes, a second opinion will be better. Not all doctors are equal in their diagnosis and some may not even prescribe suitable treatments.

  11. Jin-Ah says

    Ohhh thank you~~
    I tried using cinnamon before, but accidentally put 1 TABLESPOON of Cinnamon and let me tell you, the experience was very, very painful.
    So I was hesitant to try this, but I decided to take the plunge and I just wanted to say THANK YOU! It works really well and my face isn’t as oil and the acne definitely faded a little! Will continue to use thank you so much for posting this~!

    • sesame says

      I’m glad it worked for you…cinnamon can be too strong for certain skin type so gotta be careful. Good thing it’s helping you.

  12. Karla says

    I tried this mask and I use it regualry on my skin because my skin is not sensitive. I can feel the mask working and it feels amazing on my skin. I use it 5 times a week max, but sometimes I only use it 4 times a week it all depends. Well I still use it and it’s faded a lot of my acne scars on my cheek which is amazing. I’ve shared this mask with my friends/family and they agree with me. If you have acne-prone skin I suggest using this. Xoxo

  13. Viv. A. says

    Hi Sesame!
    Hope you don’t mind that I comment in this post since it’s from last year, and I’m quite new in this blog, but I wanted to tell you that I’ve been using this recipe for 2 weeks now (every 2-3 times a week) and let me tell you it works really good.
    I used the recipe with and without lemon, and I like it more with lemon since my skin can deal with it (I dont feel so much sting). This recipe not only have been fading my red marks, it has also helped control the breakouts.
    I’ve used in the entire face just once a week, and the other times as a spot treatment.
    Do you think it would be ok to use it in the neck skin? I have sometime breakouts there, but my neck skin is a little more senstive that my face skin.

    I know it takes time to completely desappear all the marks and have an even skin tone, but so far so good, becuase It has give better results than other cremes and masks.
    I will check out all the DIY recipes you have posted!

    • sesame says

      Glad the recipe works well for you. I’m surprised it works for your entire face cos I’m hesitant using it on the whole face. The skin on the neck is thinner so I suggest you try using spot treatment first. If it’s okay, then you expand the usage.

      • Viv. A. says

        Yes, it did work in my entire fice, even in my cheeks where the skin is less oily. I guess the honey provides enough moisture so I didn’t feel the skin dry afterwards. I will give it a try in my neck as a spot treatmente first, becuase I dont get breakouts often there, just sometimes in that time of the month, but they are usually stubborn headless pimples sometimes very hard to fight.
        After your breakouts calmed down, did you still use it twice a week ? Do you think it can help preventing flare ups?

        • sesame says

          I didn’t really use it after my acne subsided but yes, it will help prevent flare ups cos it has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.

  14. diksha jain says

    for how long i have to use this mask…? actually i have very sensitive skin …so please tell me should i have to use this mask daily or i have to use it 2-3 days a week…???

    • sesame says

      If you have sensitive skin, then it’s best to proceed slowly by using this as a spot treatment. You can use daily until the marks are lightened. Once you’ve established your skin is okay with this, you can enlarge the area you use. When your skin is healed, you no longer need to use this daily.

  15. Kelsey says

    This Burned my face REALLY bad and I followed the recipe EXACTLY. I really don’t recomend this… It hurt REALLY REALLY BAD!

    • Sesame says

      Yes, I did mention that this is not suitable for everyone. I hope you just tried applying to a spot and not the entire face.

  16. says

    I really want to try this mask but have a few questions that I hope you ladies can help me with :) I have rosashia and want to know if the cinnamon would bother that? Also, my battle isn’t with acne (mine cleared up awhile back) but with the acne scars/pitts/holes.. I wanted to know if any of you have used a DIY Facial for pitts/hole and had successful results that you could recommend? I am currently using ProActive to keep the acne from coming back, but it has yet to help with the scars/holes.. If anyone has ANY recommendation (using home products) I would greatly appriciate it!

    • Sesame says

      Cinnamon might aggravate your skin condition because it’s pretty strong stuff. Suggest you try spot treatment first. As for pitted ones, I think you have to use some treatment oils or vitamin C to help.

  17. Vanessa says

    I just tried this as a spot treatment for a pimple on my chin that I stupidly popped. It became a big red bump but after using the honey, cinnamon and nutmeg.. the pimple quickly dried and flattened! Thanks for this post, I’ll definitely continue to use it for a few more days :). Quick question, does this mask work to clear pores? My nose gets clogged easily and I want to prevent annoying blackheads from appearing!

    • Sesame says

      So glad it worked for your pimple! As for blackheads, no, it doesn’t do that. You’ll need to use some scrub. Try this recipe using tomato & baking soda:

  18. kaithlin93 says

    hey sesame, do u know how to get rid of colourless bumps on the face? i think its called as oil clogs….hate them n it will always become pimple :(n my cheek is infested with those colourless bumps n pimple have been coming out one after thx alot….ive been taking care of my skin using oatmeal as facial cleanser n taking lotsa water, fruits n veg…bt im still having breakout…my mom will tease me saying “why is ur ” so called ” organic skin regime not working with all the effort u put” …i feel sad cos i believe using organic stuff will work

    • Sesame says

      When you said breakout, where is it and how is it like. Is it just pimples (then it’s usually cos of products) or is it cystic acne (most probably hormonal or due to digestive system). Oil clogs are difficult to get rid of. I’ll scare you with my tactics – I scratch the small ones off.

      • kaithlin93 says

        its on my left cheek…i read at one of ur post that it might be due to digestive system…im just soo depress that i used to have very clear glowy skin n noww:(..might be the product ive been using..its either the jorubi aloe vera gel or the body shop sunscreen or the neutrogena dry touch or hazeline snow….i do sometime scratch the lil bumps n its like white dot thingy…

        • Sesame says

          If it’s cystic (deep ones), then it’s likely internal and could be due to digestive issues. A good digestive system is one that clears out waste daily. I found taking probiotics helped me tremendously.

          • kaithlin93 says

            hmm…mayb shld start drinking yakult…tks alot…loves ur fast and very helpful feedback(:

          • Sesame says

            You’re welcome. Yakult’s probiotics might be very limited. I take Kordel’s supplement which is around $23 and it should last about a month or more. You can check out the product in my post here:

  19. Dora says

    Thats a wonderful idea andI already tried it twice. My now way more calm skin can actually take it yay!
    But I am a bit confused… at one line in one of the nutmeg-articled you talked like you used it more than once a day.. can I do that? Because on the internet articles which also conclude cinammon suggest to only use it 2-3 times a week (probably because of the huge amount of spices).

    What would you say?

    Lots of love
    Dora =)

    • Sesame says

      Yes, I used it a few times a day at that point when I was desperate. It worked for me but I’ll say use this with caution cos some skin types can’t take this sort of dosage. So you got to check your own skin. Using every day helped rid the scars much faster for me.

  20. naya says

    hi… ive tried this face mask in 4 days.i do love how smooth my skin is after wash it away. but it seems like i got more zits, on my second day i got pimples on my forehead. the next day i got more pimples on my left and right cheeks. so i decide to stop using it now. do you have any idea how this could happen?

  21. Karen says

    Thank you! I have had this spot on my face for weeks and it wouldn’t go away. I used this mask one time and it worked. I am so happy to have found this.

  22. Hazel says

    Hi Sesame,

    I have to truly thank you for this amazing blog and post on acne clearing masks. I have started using cinnamon, nutmeg and honey mask and va va woom I can already see my skin improving. I feel happy already and reason is you :)

  23. Karen says

    If my face is stinging after 15 minutes of having this mask on. Is 15 minutes long enough to see results?

    • Sesame says

      Possibly…no harm giving it a try. But I suggest you give this one a try instead:

  24. says

    I have just tried this Honey Cinnamon Mask and I am thrilled to share it with my followers. I have has already a great response to the mask after one use. I will continue to use the mask and follow up. Thank you for sharing such a great way to get great glowing skin!
    – Jesyka @ Port Rachel & Co.

  25. Erin says

    I tried this recipe for the first tim 2day & I thought it was really thick! Are u supposed 2 heat up the honey so its not so rough 2 spread over my face? Otherwise my face is very smooth and soft!

    • Sesame says

      Hmmm…no, there’s no need to heat up the honey. But it is supposed to be thick enough not to drip all over. Can you use a different type of honey?

  26. zee says

    I was hesitant for a moment to try this out but I did. I have bad breakout on the whole forehead and jawline and blame it on hormonal. And just recently its itching alot. I tried this mask but didn’t add in the nutmeg. Would nutmeg perhaps soothe the itch? Also would t3 be too much for the skin if we apply right after using this mask?

  27. Something says

    We almost never have nutmeg in our house, will it work just as well if I just put in Honey and Cinnamon? :-)

  28. FloridaMo says

    I used to wash my face with a simple soap – OMG please dont do this! My dermatologist recommended the organic Citrus Clear products – I used their face wash and the Citrus Clear Pore Mask. Usually my face feels tight when I use a mask, and its tough to be scraping the product off. Not with Citrus Clear. My face felt soft & moisturized.

    I went to bed right after and slept for about 4 hours. I went to the restroom and was amazed at how my face looked in the mirror. Prior to use of the mask, I noticed a red lump that clearly wanted to cause trouble.

    There was no trace of it now. I’m serious.
    Also, there was a blemish on my cheek that reduced so no one could notice it! I was so happy!

  29. says

    Hi! So I was wondering if the nutmeg can be left out of the recipe? I tried it once and I found that the nutmeg kind of irritated my skin a little bit. Just being curious thanks love the recipe :)
    Val last post is: What’s Hot

  30. says

    Hi! I tried the mask once before and found that the nutmeg component slightly irritated my skin. Would it still work the same without the nutmeg?
    Val last post is: What’s Hot

  31. Lily says

    Hello. I used this mask on tuesday 11/4/14 and it burned my skin. I used 2-3 tablespoons honey and 1 table spoon of cinnamon and nutmeg, each. After about 5 minutes my skin was burning so i washed it off with cold water. My face was swollen and bright red for about 2 hours. After 2 day i have dry and scaly patches on my skin. Its horrible. Ive been using aloe vera gel to help. I just started the aloe today so i am not sure if it will help or is helping. Im scared that this mask caused permanent damage…. Do you think this is something i should be concerned about? The next day the redness way gone but skin felt dry. Please help!! :(

    • Sesame says

      Please continue to use the aloe vera to soothe the skin. Do you have some shea butter? That is moisturizing and healing too.

  32. artyny says

    I have tried dozens of masks over the years, and I have spent a small fortune. Each one promised the world. Some were good, but most did NOT help my acne. I tried this one you recommended, but the Citrus Clear Extracting Mask is a miracle for my sensitive, acne-prone skin. I have the beginnings of wrinkles, especially around my eyes. My pores are so huge that I am sure you can seem them from the Space Shuttle.
    This Citrus Clear mask has worked wonders on evening out my skin tone. I find myself petting my face afterwards because it is so smooth, too!

    Even on my sensitive skin, I haven’t had any major irritation.


  1. […] Cinnamon & nutmeg acne mask This is my favorite and I’ve actually improvised further by adding tumeric powder. It’s effective and works quite quickly to calm down and reduce acne marks. At one stage, I was using it every day. However, I’ll say this is strong and does not suit all skin types. Both cinnamon and nutmeg can burn the skin and hence, not suitable for those with sensitive skin. But I did have some ladies reporting skin irritation due to the mungbean. […]

  2. […] Honey cleansing method — I have a small container of raw honey with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg near my bathroom sink. While it might look like I’m getting ready to bake something or trying to cure a middle-of-the-night sweet tooth, this mixture makes a great face wash, mask or spot treatment. I simply pick up a dab of the honey with my finger tips, spread it over my face – adding a few drops of water to make it easier to apply – and massage it around for a few minutes, just like you would do with soap. I leave in on for anywhere from 5-10 minutes, then use a warm wet cloth to remove it. Raw honey (not regular clover honey, which is pasteurized and often mixed with other ingredients like corn syrup) has amazing antibacterial properties and leaves the skin soft and moisturized, while cinnamon and nutmeg have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, respectively. For more info, click here or here. […]

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