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.
Looks tasty, doesn't it? Your skin thinks so, too!
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.
Honey's Benefits to the Skin
When it comes to skin care, however, honey really shines. 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 environmental stressors, while its natural properties can help those with sensitive skin. It's also great for oily skin, helping to keep pores clean and reducing oiliness.
In addition to all this, honey also contains gluconic acid, a mild alpha hydroxy acid that gently exfoliates and gives a brighter look to the tone of your skin. Regular use can help to reduce the appearance of age spots.
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 bit of irritation. Just try it and you'll see what we 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.