Honey is a sweet nutrient that is produced and stored by bees and other insects when they collect nectar from plants. The honey we refer to normally is honey made by honey bees. It has an amber color and gives cakes and cookies a moistness and rich flavor. And, it also provides many benefits as a chemical-free skincare product.
The fructose and glucose is what makes honey taste sweet. Honey also contains several amino acids, minerals, vitamins, and enzymes. It contains more naturally-occurring antioxidants (substances that reduce the harmful effects of free radicals) than almost any other botanically/naturally derived source.
Honey has been used for medicinal purposes throughout history. It was used by the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, Greeks, and Romans for wound-healing, stomach disorders, and colds. The great Greek physician Hippocrates explicitly prescribed honey for wound healing, coughs, and sore throats, eye infections, topical antiseptic therapy. This is because honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also a potent humectant, meaning it retains moisture to the skin.
Honey also has a long history in beauty. Women in the Emperor’s Court used a mix of honey and ground orange seeds to keep their skin fresh and blemish-free in Ming Dynasty China. Better known historical figures like Cleopatra (ca. 69 BC – 30 BC) used honey in her daily beauty routine to preserve the smoothness and firmness of her skin. She was known to add honey to her milk baths. Then there is Nefertiti (1370 BC), the wife of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten. Nefertiti regularly used honey in her beauty regime and her name means “the beauty has come”.
9 Benefits Of Honey For Skin
- As mentioned above, honey is a natural humectant. It draws water molecules to your skin and so keeps it well-hydrated.
- It moisturizes the skin without making it oily or clogging the pores. This makes it perfect for oily and acne-prone skin.
- With its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it aids in treating acne and acne marks.
- Its soothing effects on the skin makes it an ideal ingredient for face masks that calm irritations and enhance the skin’s healing process.
- Honey is a very gentle exfoliator. The organic acid in honey like gluconic acid accelerates sloughing off dead skin cells just like a physical scrub but without mechanical rubbing. So helps in improving the dull, patchy look of your skin.
- Its purifying effects on the skin cleanses the pores so that it noticeably reduces their appearance. It helps prevent the formation of acne, pimples, and blackheads.
- Honey contains many antioxidants. It protects your skin from free radicals, slows down the aging process, prevents wrinkles and fine lines.
- It is suitable for all skin types.
- Regular use of a DIY honey face mask can give you bright, dewy, spotless, plump and supple skin.
You can simply apply some pure and raw honey to your skin. Or even better use it to make natural organic face masks and scrubs.
DIY Honey Mask
Honey was always used as a skincare ingredient. Make sure the honey you use for your masks and scrubs is not processed, heated and/or pasteurized. This treatment negates many of the honey’s natural properties. Here are a few ways to look for raw honey.
- Put a drop of honey on your thumb. If it stays intact, it is pure. However, if it spreads or spills, it is not pure.
- Put a spoon of honey in a glass of water. Raw honey settles down at the bottom and slowly dissolves on stirring. Processed honey will start to dissolve the moment it is put in water. Raw honey will crystallize when stored. Processed honey remains like transparent syrup no matter how long you store it.
- Raw honey looks milkier and has fine textured crystals. You can see the flecks made of pollens, honeycomb bits, and broken bee wing fragments. Processed honey is smooth like transparent syrup.
Basic Raw Honey Mask
Spread a layer of raw honey over your face, neck and chest area with your fingers or use the back of a spoon. Let the honey work its magic for at least 15 minutes for optimal results. You can enjoy your little home spa session by relaxing during that time or take the opportunity to give yourself a rejuvenating face massage. Use the same method as when you give yourself a steam massage. After a few minutes, the honey will become very tacky as you work with it. Rinse it off with a soft, hot, and wet muslin cloth. Raw honey can also be used as a lip mask to repair chapped lips, following the same method.
If you want to have more effects, consider adding more ingredients to your DIY honey masks for extra properties and more oomph. Here are some ingredients to consider and there are many more.
- Turmeric for inflammation and acne
- Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and is therefore recommended for acne
- Lemon juice helps lighten dark spots, scars, and exfoliation
- Coconut oil, bio yoghurt or avocado is added moisture and can improve uneven skin texture and tone
- Baking soda is beneficial with acne, blackheads, pigmentation and clogged pores
- Oats enhances the exfoliation
- Nutmeg for impurities and dead skin cells
Let us know in the comments below about your honey masks recipes.