Honey is a fantastic food to consume internally, and although it does contain a large amount of sugar, it is not refined like the sugar found in processed foods. And, due to the many vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial properties found in honey, the sugar is used and absorbed differently in the body, especially when consumed in small amounts.
However, even if you don’t use honey in your food as a sweetener, you may want to consider buying it anyway. Raw honey is amazing for the skin due to its antibacterial and anti-aging abilities. It also acts as a natural cleanser and skin lubricant, and aids in moisturizing the skin.
Let’s look at how honey benefits the skin:
- Reduces redness and fights inflammation associated with skin irritations.
- Contains antifungal and antibacterial properties that fight debris on the skin, which can settle into pores and lead to breakouts.
- Acts as a natural cleanser to sweep out dirt and keep the skin clear without drying it out.
- Moisturizes the skin to protect pH levels and necessary oils.
- Its natural polysaccharides (sugars) contain enzymes that boost skin cell function.
- Helps skin turnover by removing dead skin cells and promoting new cell growth.
- Fights specific types of bacteria that lead to acne and pimples.
The key to obtaining the most benefits from honey as a beauty aid is to purchase 100-percent organic raw honey. You’ll want to avoid buying highly processed honey that’s not raw or organic because the more it is heated and processed, the less nutrients it contains, and the less you’ll benefit. Non-organic honey is also a likely source of chemicals and pesticides you don’t want to be applying to your skin (the largest organ you have).
How to use honey as a beauty aid
Raw honey is simple to use and easy to find in health food stores or online. Let’s look at some of the easiest and most common ways to use it on your skin:
Basic face mask
At night or in the morning, wash your face with pure water as normal (no cleansers). Apply the raw honey as a mask on your skin. By not using cleansers and using this as a mask, honey can remove bacteria without the need for harsh products while also moisturizing the skin. Leave it on your face for at least 20 minutes, and then rinse well since it is sticky. (Ladies, pin your hair back so it doesn’t get stuck in the honey!)
Let’s say you have a simple, and you have a big meeting, a night out, a date, or you just want to get rid of it fast. Dab a little raw honey on the pimple, just like you would a regular acne cream. When you get up in the morning, the redness will be gone (or greatly reduced depending on the severity), and the pimple should be almost completely gone. Repeat this nightly until the pimple disappears.
Rash cream or mask
Many people suffer with dry skin and rashes, especially in cases of eczema and rosacea. Raw honey can be used to treat rashes when you are having a flare-up. Rashes in the winter can also be medicated with raw honey; just apply a little on the affected area before bed. If it is an especially large area, use it as a mask instead and remove after one hour.
For those who have dry skin and acne related to dry skin, or bouts of both, raw honey can be a lifesaver. If this is the case, you’ll want to use a homemade face cleanser with raw honey. Mix one teaspoon of raw honey with the juice of one lemon and two teaspoons of water. (Blend this if your honey is thick or mix with a spoon if your honey is thin). Wash your face with this instead of chemical cleaners, which can cause dryness and make acne worse. The lemon will eat away at dead skin cells while also killing bacteria, and the honey will aid in further removing acne but also prevent dryness and deliver vitamins to the skin to aid in healing.
You can also use honey in a recipe for an anti-aging mask. There are many recipes and endless combinations using whole foods, but here’s one that’s simple, affordable and very effective: Mix two tablespoons of raw honey with a quarter of a ripe avocado, one teaspoon of dry oats and two teaspoons of lemon juice. This mixture contains antibacterial properties, acids that cleanse and aid in cell turnover, vitamin E, antioxidants, antifungal properties, B vitamins, and it will help soak up bacteria that can lead to acne and aging. Apply this a few times a week and see results in around a month (less lines, smoother skin, less breakouts).
Be sure to store your raw honey in a cool cabinet, preferably in a dark pantry. Avoid refrigerating it since it will harden, which will make it more difficult to spread on the skin. Try to use honey within the first year you purchase it to obtain the most benefits. However, it will not go bad when stored well and can be kept for many years.
Try these other ways to use honey: 39 Ways to Use Honey and Why It’s Good for You. Let us know how you use honey in your skincare routine.
Heather McClees is a professional health journalist and Certified Holistic Nutritionist from South Carolina.She received her B.S. Degree in Nutrition Science and Dietetics, and is most passionate about helping others discover the gift of of holistic health, showing others how to create healthy recipes based on their favorite foods, physical fitness and yoga, and creative writing.