Raw honey is one of nature’s great nurturers. And considering the wide array of health benefits it provides, most people only view honey from a culinary perspective. Sure, it adds a sweet, delicious taste to baked goods. And sure, it makes a great natural alternative to conventional sugars. But the culinary applications of raw honey are just the tip of the iceberg.
While raw honey may be a relatively new blip on the alternative health radar, it’s inherent health properties have been valued by ancient civilizations for thousands of years. These cultures recognized the natural healing and antibacterial properties of honey. Historically people applied it to wounds and abrasions to avoid infection and speed recovery. More recently on the timescale, natural honey remedies for a sore throat or a stubborn cold have been passed down through the generations. These remedies may continue to play a part in the health of your own family today.
But while the health benefits of raw honey cannot be refuted, you probably had no idea that honey can make a powerful addition to your beauty routine. Considering how delicious honey is, you may be surprised to learn just how many wonders this natural sweetener can work for your hair, skin and nails. In much the same way that honey nurtures your insides, it’s health-giving benefits can also be applied to those areas of your body which others can actually see!
As research continues into the potential of raw honey, it’s beauty routine applications are rapidly expanding in scope. These include keeping your skin looking more supple and young, making your hair shinier and stronger, strengthening your nails and warding off unsightly skin conditions.
But the real beauty of raw honey is that it is entirely natural. This means that you get to enjoy all of its appearance-improving benefits, but without the nasty side effects of conventional toxic beauty products. Here are five ways you can use raw honey for a more natural beauty routine.
1. Soothe sunburns
Forget about conventional after-sun lotions and treatments — these contain a heady mix of toxins which degrade your skin. Raw honey provides a healthy alternative to these harmful treatments, helping to heal the skin without the side effects.
Try mixing together a tablespoon of raw honey with two tablespoons of pure aloe gel. Aloe vera plants are easy to grow and make a great natural beauty plant to have growing around. Just snap off a “leaf” and squeeze out the gel. Otherwise, head down to your local supermarket and buy a gel which only contains aloe vera… nothing else!
Apply the honey and aloe mixture gently to any sunburned area of your skin and leave it on for at least a few hours before rinsing off with cold water. For even better results, layer on a generous helping of your sunburn solution just before bed and put a towel down to contain the stickiness. When you wake in the morning, have a cool shower to wash off the mixture… and be amazed by how much your sunburn has healed overnight!
If it’s a particularly bad sunburn, keep reapplying as needed. The high concentrations of antioxidants in the honey and the hydrating effect of the aloe should help to prevent peeling. But next time, try to be a bit more cautious of the sun!
2. Reduce wrinkles and lines
Wrinkles are an unfortunate fact of life. No matter how many hundreds or thousands of dollars you spend on anti-aging products, they still get you in the end. You can, however, slow the ravages of time and support healthy skin at the same time… all with this cheap, natural beauty product.
Raw honey is dynamite against wrinkles and lines, both on your face and elsewhere. One way to use raw honey as a natural wrinkle treatment is to mix together a DIY facial cleanser. To do this, moisten your skin with a wet cloth, then scoop out some raw honey with your fingers and gently but firmly massage it into your face. Leave the honey on your face for five minutes, then rinse off. Easy as that! Do this at least once a day to start seeing results.
If you have a bit more time on your hands, why not make a raw honey face mask? First, ensure your face is clean and dry — the best time for this is after you wake up before you shower. Then, spread a thin, even layer of raw honey over your face or any area which is looking a bit tired. Leave the face mask on for 30 minutes, then gently rinse off with warm water.
3. Repair rashes
A large proportion of Americans suffer from skin disorders, particularly dry skin and rashes from eczema, psoriasis or rosacea. One of the best ways to naturally treat these disorders is to turn to your good friend, raw honey!
Whenever you have a skin flare-up, or when things are getting a bit dry and sore during a long winter, mix up a raw honey mask. Simply apply a small amount of honey to the affected area before bed, and gently rinse off with cool water in the morning. Remember to put a towel down to prevent making a mess of your sheets!
4. Cleanse your facial skin
Many people who suffer from acne or other skin disorders turn to conventional face wash products to “solve” their problems. Most of these conventional treatments merely dry the skin out further, exacerbating the problem. Raw honey is a great alternative, helping to cleanse the skin with its natural enzymes, while keeping things moist and providing vital nutrients at the same time.
If this sounds like you, mix together a teaspoon of raw honey with the juice of a whole fresh lemon. Add one to two teaspoons of warm filtered water to help soften the honey and make the mixture uniform. Make sure the water isn’t too hot though — if it is, it can destroy the beneficial bacteria and natural enzymes in the honey!
Leave the mixture in a warm place to keep it malleable. Use this each morning and night instead of your usual toxic face wash. The lemon will help to remove dead skin cells while preventing the growth of bacteria, while the honey will keep away acne and hydrate your skin.
5. Scare away scars
Raw honey makes a brilliant natural scar treatment. It actively hydrates your skin, promoting skin cell restoration and encouraging skin elasticity. It also provides a wide range of nutrients, helping it to heal any stubborn scars and leave your skin looking smoother and more supple.
To make a natural scar treatment formula, combine a teaspoon of raw honey with a teaspoon of coconut oil. If either the honey or coconut oil are hard to mix, try leaving them out in the sun or a warm place for 10 minutes to get them flowing easier. Once you’ve mixed the ingredients together, gently massage the solution onto any areas of scarring for at least a minute. Place a warm wet cloth over the area for five minutes to help the mixture penetrate your skin tissue more thoroughly, then rinse it off. Repeat daily for best results.
— Liivi Hess
The benefits of honey don’t end there! Here are 39 other ways that honey can improve your life, naturally.