If you’ve been following recent advances in skin care, you know that honey isn’t just for biscuits anymore. We’ve always known that it was a great natural sweetener with natural antioxidants, but now we now that applied topically, it can help moisturize and nourish the skin—even provide anti-aging benefits.
A Little Bit About the Ingredient Itself
A sweet, sugary solution made by bees, honey is made up of fructose, glucose, water, oil, and special enzymes. Raw honey, in particular, which isn’t filtered, strained, or heated above natural hive temperatures, is particularly rich in B vitamins, vitamin C, and minerals like magnesium, potassium, and calcium. It also contains proteins, fats, amino acids, and bioflavonoids.
As opposed to regular sugar, honey’s combination of glucose and fructose delivers immediate as well as long-term energy—making it a better sweetener for diabetic patients. In addition to being a natural energy-booster, honey has been found in research to improve symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections in children and teens. Scientists have also found that Manuka honey is great at killing the antibiotic-resistant bacterium Staph aureus.
Honey also seems to contain friendly bacteria, similar to yogurt, which may explain why many people use it to aid digestion and ease stomach discomforts.
Benefits to the Skin
When it comes to skin care, however, honey really shines. It has a long reputation for being a great wound healer, with natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. A study appearing in Cochrane Reviews, for example, found that when it comes to burns, honey is a great treatment choice, as it reduces healing time more than conventional gauze and film dressings. It also helps prevent infection because of its antimicrobial properties.
Honey’s natural ingredients make it a great addition to your beauty routine. Because of its ability to hold onto water, it makes a potent moisturizer, as it hydrates without creating an oily feel. Antioxidants protect the skin from free radical damage that can accelerate aging, while its natural healing properties can help those with rosacea and eczema to enjoy healthier skin. Because of its antibacterial properties, it’s great for acne-prone skin, helping to keep pores clean and reducing the chance of breakouts.
In addition to all this, honey also contains gluconic acid, a mild alpha hydroxy acid that gently exfoliates and provides a brighter tone to skin. Regular use can help to fade the appearance of age spots and areas of hyperpigmentation.
Honey in Skin Masks
Honey is especially beneficial in skin masks that you leave on your face for 10–20 minutes. As you sit back and relax, the natural components go to work cleaning out pores, hydrating your skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines, imparting protective antioxidants, and delivering nutrients way down deep—all without a smidge of irritation. Just try it and you’ll see what I mean. Start with my Ayurvedic Facial Scrub, then apply the Coconut Honey Mask, and see if you don’t feel about ten years younger.
Do you use skin care with honey? What benefits have you noticed?
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Photo courtesy LauraZimmerman via Flickr.com.
Sources”Honey,” The World’s Healthiest Foods, http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=96.
Adam Voiland, “5 Health Benefits from Bees, And 5 That Call for Caution,” U.S. News, October 8, 2008, http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/articles/2008/10/08/5-health-benefits-from-bees-and-5-that-call-for-caution.
Wiley-Blackwell (2008, October 7). Honey Helps To Heal Wounds, Review Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2012, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2008/10/081007192524.htm.
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