Honey is a popular natural sweeter, but its uses go far beyond its fantastic flavour. In fact, it’s been used for medicinal and beauty purposes for thousands of years. If you’re looking for a product that can deliver powerful, almost miraculous, results for your skin, raw honey may be it.
Why Raw Honey?
Raw honey is brimming with nutrients, antioxidants, and other healing compounds that skin thrives on. However, most honey found in stores isn’t raw, it’s been heated or pasteurized. While well-intentioned, the pasteurization process destroys many of the natural healing properties of this truly amazing substance. So if you want to maximize your honey’s ability to renew and rejuvenate your skin, it’s best to go raw.
How to Use Raw Honey
While raw honey has almost countless benefits for your skin, it’s particularly helpful to those who suffer from razor burn, dryness, and acne. Here’s why:
Nicks and Razor Burn
Shaving is a chore, but the little nicks and burns your razor may leave behind can ruin your day. To treat them, try a bit of raw honey. Why honey? Well, honey forms a virtually impermeable barrier over a wound, sealing out potentially harmful bacteria. It also draws moisture from the area and, in the process, releases a small amount of hydrogen peroxide, disinfecting cuts and scrapes naturally. Couple that with honey’s anti-inflammatory properties and your irritated skin will feel better in no time. Simply apply the honey, leave for 5-10 minutes, and rinse thoroughly with cool water.
Dry, Itchy Skin
Honey is a natural humectant, meaning it attracts and absorbs moisture from the environment. When applied to the skin, honey not only introduces moisture, it will actually help draw moisture from your skin’s deeper layers to the surface. This dual-effect hydration is the perfect antidote to dry skin. In fact, one study found that applying a honey cream to the skin was more effective than traditional zinc oxide ointments in reducing itch and irritation.
To use, try combing honey with other organic foods found in your home or local supermarket to make a deep moisturizing cream or face mask. On the other hand, if you already have a commercial product you enjoy, consider adding a bit of honey to it before each application. Honey can also be added to a bath for a luxurious, skin-boosting soak. Just put two heaping tablespoons of honey in a cup of warm water, blend, and pour into your bathwater.
Honey is also a powerful acne fighter, offering a natural alternative to medical-grade retinoids, which can have serious side effects. What makes honey so effective? First, honey’s antiseptic properties help destroy unwelcome microbes and bacteria that can cause break outs. Plus, honey contains Vitamin B5, which slows the production of oil (sebum) by the skin’s sebaceous glands. Excess sebum can clog pores, leading to blemishes.
Honey can be used as a spot treatment or as a full coverage anti-acne mask. Simply apply using a cotton ball, let sit for 30 minutes, and wash of with warm water.