RAW HONEY AND SKINCARE
As far back as the Ancient Egyptians, honey was hailed a skin-healing ingredient, and Cleopatra supposedly mixed honey and milk to make face masks. Now, as more and more people look to include natural ingredients in their skincare routine, honey is having a resurgence.
Honey, particularly raw, organic honey, provides many benefits as a chemical-free skin care product. The chemical makeup of raw honey gives the substance properties that can speed healing and prevent infection. In addition, the smooth, thick texture also keeps moisture close to the skin, which can help your complexion become supple and glowing.
Moisturizes and Tones Skin
Honey can be used as part of a dry skin regimen because its composition attracts moisture and keeps it locked inside. Using a honey-based facial mask proves beneficial to areas of skin that tend to become dry or itchy because it lends moisture to these areas. People with oily skin can also benefit from honey; the sweetener helps skin retain moisture and elasticity without drying it out, as some conventional facial washes may do.
Honey’s superpower is its antimicrobial properties. A side-effect of its slightly acidic, antimicrobial properties is that it never goes off or grows mould. This is as a result of the enzymes contained within honey that release the natural acne-bacteria-blasters: flavonoids, hydrogen peroxide and phenolic acid, which make it a brilliant toner!
Protects Against Skin Damage
Honey is a natural antioxidant, which proves beneficial when taken internally, but it also provides protective benefits when used topically on the skin. Antioxidants can protect internal organs from a type of damage called oxidative stress, which can lead to better overall health in some cases. The Skin Care Resource Center reports that current research has determined the effectiveness of honey as a natural form of suncreen, to protect the skin from sun damage such as premature wrinkling, a condition that in some people can lead to skin cancer.
Brilliant for sensitive skin conditions
Raw honey also contains a hefty serving of antioxidants that accelerate healing of the skin. Good quality raw honey supports skin’s natural immunity, reinforces the skin barrier, and helps protect skin from damage and environmental factors. Sufferers with sensitive skin conditions such as eczema or rosacea have seen significant improvement when using raw honey in their skincare routine.
Promotes Wound Healing
On the medical side of skin care, honey as a wound dressing can help promote healing and prevent infection due to its natural antimicrobial properties. According to the New Zealand Dermatological Society, the chemical makeup of honey, largely sugars, has what is described as "high osmolality." High osmolality when referring to honey means that the sugars interact with water in such a way that microorganisms cannot develop. In addition to the osmolality of honey, when the sweetener comes into contact with wound exudates--fluids that weep from sores or ulcers--hydrogen peroxide is produced. The creation of the hydrogen peroxide can provide antibacterial benefits to ulcerated areas, which speeds healing.
The easiest way to start using honey is with a mask or a face scrub. See some of our favourite skincare recipes here