What are your favorite weapons in your beauty arsenal? I would argue that raw honey is in my top 3 right now. I love any product that moisturizes, plumps, smooths, soothes, and fights aging. And that is exactly what my local honey does.
Food for your face is no new concept, in fact, the use of honey for your skin has been around longer than the smothering of avocado on your face. In this article, I’m going to go through the healing properties and benefits of honey and why you need it in your beauty bag. If you struggle with acne, wrinkles, dry, or irritated skin- look no further than this article.
The History Of Honey
Honey has been famous for a while now. For the last 2000 years, honey’s beneficial properties have been talked about through the lands: the ancient Greeks and Egyptians used honey to treat burns and wounds while Persian traditional medicine documented honey as a powerful treatment for inflammation and eczema (1). Ayurvedic medicine uses honey to treat burns, dermatitis, and other skin diseases while in Pakistan honey is used to treat pustules and ringworm.
Traditional medicine harnessed the power of honey for skin disorders, eye disorders, ulcers, gastrointestinal tract diseases, and coughs. And while that is all fantastic (no sarcasm intended) this article is about honey’s place in the beauty world.
Honey didn’t make its debut just recently into the beauty world though– Cleopatra bathed in honey and milk to keep her skin smooth and clear. Egyptian queen Nefertiti whose name literally translates to “the beauty has come” used honey regularly in her beauty regimen (1).
In this article, we’re going to dive deep into how to harness honey as your new favorite beauty tool. But first, we must be using the right kind.
Why Raw Honey?
Cleopatra and Nefertiti were not swearing by the bear-shaped bottle of honey that they purchased overseas. If we want to live and shine like the original honey goddesses, we must abide by the same rules: local and natural.
Commercial brand honeys are processed and pasteurized to the point where they don’t contain any trace of pollen. These “dead” kinds of honey lack powerful vitamins, enzymes, and antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties that make honey the magic that it is.
To reap all the beauty benefits of honey- buy RAW and buy LOCAL whenever possible. If you want to go all out and invest in the very best consider using Manuka Honey. Manuka honey comes from bees that feed on the manuka shrub in New Zealand and is known to have ridiculous therapeutic benefits. If manuka honey is not in your budget- raw and local honey will still work (2).
Do not use if you are allergic to pollen because raw honey means that it has not been treated to remove pollen. Purchasing raw honey will ensure that the healing properties have not been denatured.
Benefits of Raw Honey
Honey the Hydrator
If you have dry skin that needs some serious loving, honey can be your savior. Honey is a humectant which means that it can draw and lock in moisture (1,3). Obtaining insane moisture is as easy as applying honey to your face for 15 minutes and washing it off. Even after the honey is washed off, the natural emollients and humectants will still increase water content and reduce dryness. The results: super soft, super nourished, super hydrated skin.
Bonus: Honey’s enzymes work as a gentle exfoliant giving your skin that soft baby face feel and a radiant complexion.
Honey the Healer
If you struggle with acne, blemishes, psoriasis, dermatitis, rosacea, or other skin issues, turn to honey. Raw honey has natural antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties that work to kill bad bacteria and calm irritated skin. All of these healing properties fight dirty debris that can seep into pores and lead to breakouts.
Use honey as a natural cleanser to help clear dirt, kill bacteria, and balance pH. Because honey locks in moisture, it helps balance oil production meaning you can start breaking up with your longtime relationship with acne. Not only that- but it can reduce scarring and minimize healing time. So yeah, it might really be time to say goodbye (3,4).
Honey the Anti-Ager
I found this research the most exciting. Honey promotes collagen building making it a great weapon in your anti-aging arsenal (3).
Raw honey contains tons of antioxidants like polyphenols, flavonoids, and vitamins C and B that fight free radical damage caused by environmental toxins and UV light. Raw honey’s natural sugars consist of enzymes that improve skin cell function and turnover by removing dead cells and encouraging new cell growth (4).
This basically means that honey will prevent the early formation of fine lines, wrinkles, and saggy skin. I don’t know anyone that can’t get behind that.
Making an effective raw honey cleanser and exfoliator is as easy as adding a few drops of warm water to a quarter-sized amount of honey and applying directly on the skin in circular motions. This is a killer two-in-one treatment that you can use daily.
Raw Honey Masks
- 2 teaspoons of raw and local or manuka honey
- Pinch of cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon of turmeric
While any mask with honey will work wonders for acne (even just a plain honey mask) this mask can be used to treat red, acne prone skin
- 2 teaspoons of raw and local or manuka honey
- 1 teaspoon of full fat greek yogurt
- 1 drop of lavender essential oil
- 1 drop of tea tree essential oil
Step 1: Create an at home steam by boiling a pot of water and placing a towel over your head to allow the steam to open up your pores.
Step 2: Mix together ingredients well and apply a thin layer of mask to face and leave on for 15-20 minutes
Step 3: Gently rinse and massage mask off with cold water. Rub an ice-cube over skin to close pores.
Honey Hair Mask
Honey is the perfect all natural conditioner. Raw honey’s enzymes, vitamins, and minerals will work to hydrate and repair damaged hair. Plus, your hair will look silky smooth and totally bouncy.
Add distilled water to a ¼ cup of raw honey to a thin consistency that you can spread through damp hair. Let sit for 20 minutes and rinse with warm water. DO this up to 2 times a week.
Now that you have the complete guide to honey’s healing properties and DIY recipes, I want to hear from you! Do you already use honey in your beauty routine? If so, how has it helped you?!
- Dean, Sandra. “12 Remarkable Benefits Of Raw Honey For Skin.” Always Healthy Living, 28 Aug. 2018, alwayshealthyliving.com/benefits-raw-honey-skin/.
- McCauley, Briana. “Manuka Honey: Why It’s Great For Your Skin.” Mindbodygreen, Mindbodygreen, 6 Oct. 2017, www.mindbodygreen.com/0-16890/manuka-honey-why-its-great-for-your-skin.html.
- Shatzman, Celia. “9 Ways Honey Can Up Your Beauty Game.” Women’s Health, Women’s Health, 22 Aug. 2018, www.womenshealthmag.com/beauty/a19946109/beauty-uses-for-honey/.
- The Alternative Daily. “5 Ways To Use Raw Honey To Fight Wrinkles And Aging !” The Alternative Daily, The Alternative Daily, 21 Feb. 2018, www.thealternativedaily.com/raw-honey-skin-winkles/.