Hibiscus For Skin: 4 Benefits, How To Use, And Side Effects

Tea, lip balm, scrub, moisturizer, and more ways to use this flower for your skin.

Medically reviewed by Dr. CP ThajudheenDr. CP Thajudheen, MD
By Arshiya SyedaArshiya Syeda  • 

Hibiscus is not just an ornamental plant. You can use hibiscus for skin care and to treat various skin issues. In traditional Indian medicine, it has been widely used to treat various diseases (1). The hibiscus plant possesses antifertility, antimicrobial, antiulcer, antigenotoxic, antioxidant, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory properties and may prevent liver damage (1). Since the hibiscus is also rich in essential minerals, proteins, vitamins, acids, fats, and flavonoids, it plays an important role in skin care (2).

If you wish to integrate this beneficial ingredient into your daily skin care routine, we can guide you. This article lists the benefits of hibiscus and how to use it to keep your skin healthy and youthful.

Other names of hibiscus include roselle, hibiscus sabdariffa, rose mallow, and shoe flower.

Top 4 Benefits Of Hibiscus For Glowing Skin

1. Acts As A Natural Antioxidant

Hibiscus extract acts as a natural antioxidant. It can maintain collagen production and decrease melanin synthesis that happens due to overexposure to UVB radiation (3). In simpler words, it can delay the signs of aging otherwise caused due to exposure to UV rays and excess pollution.

2. May Aid In Wound Healing

Hibiscus may enhance the skin’s healing potential by accelerating the wound healing process. It also stimulates skin regeneration and hydration. It achieves this by promoting the spread of keratinocytes (the major cell type of the epidermis) (4).

3. May Help Tighten The Skin

Hibiscus may help tighten the skin

Image: Shutterstock

The antioxidant- and vitamin C-rich hibiscus may boost healthy collagen production levels and make the skin firmer. This property can help those with hyperpigmentation. Hibiscus is also rich in a compound called myricetin that may slow down collagen degradation (5). Some believe that hibiscus may be a natural alternative to Botox treatment. You can apply a mixture of hibiscus powder and avocado oil to your skin to restore skin elasticity and reverse the signs of premature aging.

4. May Ease Skin Inflammation

Hibiscus contains antioxidants called anthocyanins that lend the flower its pinkish-red hue. They also are responsible for its anti-inflammatory properties (6). They may help reduce oxidative stress and associated skin inflammation.

These are the few important benefits of hibiscus for skin care. However, more research is needed to understand if the flower has any other skin benefits.

Did You Know?
Hibiscus was declared Malaysia’s national flower in the year 1960.

How can you use hibiscus for better skin health? We have listed below a few important DIY recipes that can help.

How Do You Use Hibiscus For Skin Lightening?

DIY Recipe 1: Hibiscus For Acne

Hibiscus for acne

Image: Shutterstock

This hibiscus face mask helps treat acne and tones your skin. It also may help cleanse and exfoliate your skin. However, skip the lemon juice if you have sensitive skin.


  • Hibiscus powder – 2 teaspoons
  • Aloe vera gel or yogurt – 1 tablespoon (you may also take ½ a tablespoon of each)
  • Lemon juice – 1 teaspoon


Step 1: Mix the aloe vera gel or yogurt with the hibiscus powder.
Step 2: Add a few drops of lemon juice (if you do not have sensitive skin).
Step 3: Mix to form a thick paste.
Step 4: Apply to your face and neck and leave it on for about 30 minutes.

You can apply this face mask every day for a month to reduce acne and rejuvenate your skin from within.

DIY Recipe 2: Hibiscus For Moisturizing Your Skin


  • Dried hibiscus petal powder made from 20 to 30 petals
  • Olive or almond oil – 2 tablespoons
  • Few pieces of saffron strands
  • Aloe vera gel – 1 tablespoon
  • Muslin cloth


Step 1: Add the olive or almond oil to the dried hibiscus petals
Step 2: Grind the mixture.
Step 3: Place the mixture in the microwave for about 2 to 3 minutes.
Step 4: Transfer the mixture to a piece of muslin cloth and squeeze the oil into a small bowl.
Step 5: Add a few strands of saffron and aloe vera gel to the oil and mix well till you get a smooth paste. Your DIY hibiscus moisturizer is ready.

DIY Recipe 3: Hibiscus Water For Your Skin

Hibiscus water for glowing skin

Image: Shutterstock

Hibiscus water can exfoliate your skin, draw out toxins and excess oils, and smoothen skin.


  • Hibiscus flower powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Multani mitti (Fuller’s earth) – 1 teaspoon
  • Rosewater – 1 ½ tablespoons


Step 1: Mix the fuller’s earth, rose water, and hibiscus powder to create a thick paste.
Step 2: Apply the paste all over the face.
Step 3: Let it sit for about 20 minutes before you wipe it off with a damp cotton ball.

DIY Recipe 4: Hibiscus Scrub For Skin

Hibiscus scrub for glowing skin

Image: IStock

As mentioned earlier, hibiscus can act as a natural exfoliator. Try this softening and hydrating scrub to remove dead skin cells and prevent acne breakouts.


  • Sugar granules – 1 teaspoon
  • Honey – 1 teaspoon
  • Hibiscus powder – 1 teaspoon


Step 1: Mix the granular sugar, honey, and hibiscus powder.
Step 2: Gently apply the scrub to damp skin while you are in the shower.
Step 3: Massage in circular motions for about 5 minutes and rinse with cool water.

DIY Recipe 5: Hibiscus Lip Balm

The hibiscus lip balm can remove the dead skin cells and make your lips look plump and pink.


  • Hibiscus flower – 6 to 8 petals
  • Coconut oil – 1 teaspoon


Step 1: Crush the 6 to 8 petals of the hibiscus flower to get a fine powder.
Step 2: Add a teaspoon of coconut oil to it.
Step 3: Apply the mixture to your lips as and when required.

DIY Recipe 6: Hibiscus Tea

Hibiscus tea for glowing skin

Image: Shutterstock

Nothing enriches your mind and body as a hibiscus tea after a long day. Taking the tea may also promote skin health from within.


  • Dried hibiscus flowers – ½ a cup
  • Water – 8 cups
  • Honey – ¼ cup
  • Fresh lime juice – 3 tablespoons


Step 1: Add the dried hibiscus flowers and water to a large pot and bring to a boil.
Step 2: Once the water starts boiling, switch off the flame and cover the vessel.
Note: You can add other herbs of your choice – including basil, lemongrass, lemon zest, mint, etc.
Step 3: Let the tea steep for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Step 4: Mix in the honey and lime juice until they dissolve completely.
Step 5: Strain the tea.
Step 6: Consume it warm or chilled.

Including hibiscus in your skin care routine is quite simple. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that it may also cause side effects. Be wary about them before using the flower.

Side Effects Of Hibiscus

  • Hibiscus tea is considered safe when taken orally up to 720 mL daily for about 6 weeks.
  • Exceeding the prescribed amount may cause stomach upset, gas, and constipation.
  • Do not consume hibiscus tea if you are pregnant or are breastfeeding. Its safety in this regard is not known.
  • Consuming hibiscus may affect your blood sugar levels. Hence, avoid its intake at least two weeks before and after surgery.
  • Hibiscus may also cause skin allergies in some. Conduct a patch test to check for any allergies.

In A Nutshell

4 Important Benefits Of Hibiscus For Your Skin

Being more than just a collection of beautiful crimson petals, hibiscus has many other properties that can benefit you. These pretty flowers hold a solution to many of your skin problems like premature aging, hyperpigmentation, and tanning, among others. Take a look at the following infographic to learn how this flower can boost your skin health.

4 important benefits of hibiscus for your skin (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

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Download Infographic in PDF version

Hibiscus is often used as a remedy to treat several diseases. It benefits your overall health, especially your skin and hair. Using hibiscus for skin care helps minimize the signs of aging, provides natural exfoliation, soothes your skin, and improves skin glow. You can use hibiscus as tea, lip balm, mask, toner, body scrubs, or moisturizers.

However, consuming an excess amount of hibiscus extract may cause side effects. Always perform a patch test if you are using it on your skin for the first time. Consult a doctor if you have doubts regarding consuming hibiscus.

Key Takeaways

  • Hibiscus helps delay the signs of aging, promotes wound healing, improves skin elasticity, and reduces skin inflammation.
  • You can make DIY hibiscus masks to cleanse and exfoliate your skin. It tones your skin and helps heal acne.
  • You can also apply hibiscus lip balms to make your lips soft and supple.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is hibiscus good for dark circles?

According to a study, hibiscus functions as a natural antioxidant capable of maintaining collagen formation and decreasing melanin syntheses. As a result, it can help minimize dark circles, wrinkles, and puffiness. Dab a small quantity onto the fingertips and carefully apply in an outward motion (7).

Does hibiscus powder stain skin?

Hibiscus powder produces a lovely rose-colored, pigment-rich mask without staining the skin. It will, however, stain your clothes and towels. As a result, wear stain-resistant clothing and use stain-resistant towels.


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  2. Hibiscus sabdariffa Linn: An Overview
  3. Reversing UVB-induced photoaging with Hibiscus sabdariffa calyx aqueous extract
  4. Hibiscus syriacus Extract from an Established Cell Culture Stimulates Skin Wound Healing
  5. Antioxidant and Anti-aging Assays of Hibiscus sabdariffa Extract and Its Compounds
  6. ”Anthocyanins” “Vibrant Color Pigments” and Their Role in Skin Cancer Prevention
  7. Reversing UVB-induced photoaging with Hibiscus sabdariffa calyx aqueous extract
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