Honey has become an integral part of our lives for many years, for centuries old. From cooking to treating various infections, honey has been a magic potion in our lives as a beauty product. Dating back to Ancient Egyptian times, honey was commended for its healing capabilities, and even the beautiful Cleopatra allegedly used honey masks very frequently. As natural skincare has become more popular and many people experience different skin concerns, honey has become a vital ingredient for skincare routines.
What is Honey?
Honey is a natural ingredient that tastes sweet and is formed from the nectar of the flowers. The formation of honey begins with bees collecting the nectar from different flowers, which break down into simple sugars and then storing them in honeycombs. According to research, honey has a high moisture content, so bees fan the comb with their wings to keep the honey dry. The honey bees naturally make honey for their colony because of its food for strength. Honey is loaded with nutrients essential for the skin, viz; Honey has B Vitamins, zinc, calcium, potassium, and iron.
Properties of Honey:
Honey, a natural sweet substance, is known for combating colds and hydrating hair and has some fantastic benefits when applied to the skin. Here are listed a few of them.
- Antibacterial: The antibacterial property of honey works against acne-causing bacteria and prevents its outburst. It helps keep your skin clean and pimple free.
- Anti-Inflammatory: Honey is a wonder ingredient to reduce swelling and redness of the pimples as it functions for its anti-inflammatory property.
- Exfoliator: This property of honey makes the skin smooth and shiny. Honey is said to remove dead cells from the skin, responsible for the pores clogs and make your skin look dull. The antimicrobial properties of raw honey work naturally in healing acne scars, lessening blemishes and keeping the skin wrinkle-free and supple.
- Anti-ageing: Packed with antioxidants, honey combats free radical damage to delay skin aging. Additionally, honey boosts the production of collagen.
- Anti-septic: Honey is an antiseptic that provides infection and wound protection. It is also used to treat burn victims.
- Moisturiser: Honey acts as a skin moisturiser, heals broken lips, and keeps the lips hydrated naturally during winter.
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Which Honey to Choose?
There is a wide variety of honey available in the market these days, each possessing its characteristic flavour, colour, and taste. At least 300 types of honey exist today, and each one boasts a unique set of health and nutritional benefits. Different types of honey are characterised by flower source, temperature, geographical location, rainfall, etc.
Broadly, honey can be characterised as Raw and Processed. The natural and purest form of honey is Raw Honey, which is heated and made in a factory resulting in the loss of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients the Processed Honey.
The darker the honey, the high its antioxidants, so unpasteurised raw honey is recommended. But there are many varieties out there, so sticking with organic honey is the thumb rule. Research says that the top choices are Manuka, Kanuka, Buckwheat, and Thyme Honey.
Benefits of Honey for Skin:
1. Honey for Acne Scars:
Honey works as an antiseptic agent against acne and prevents pimples. One enzyme in honey contains hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), which is a powerful antibacterial agent and aids in vanishing scars or dark marks. Moreover, the high sugar in honey wards off ant bacteria, and thus honey can prevent acne if applied regularly to the skin. Usage of Raw Honey gives you the best results because it will be extracted without pasteurisation.
2. Honey for Oily Skin:
Oily skin is the result of overactive sebaceous glands present in the body. Sebum is a waxy thing that works as a natural moisture barrier on your skin. But, the overproduction of sebum can lead to oily skin. It is a natural humectant. Honey absorbs moisture from the atmosphere and locks it into the skin’s surface, thus keeping the skin moisturised and well-hydrated. Honey, in turn, prevents the over-production of sebum and controls the skin’s oiliness.
3. Honey for Dry Skin:
Dry skin always lacks moisture, making the skin itchy and coarse. The enzymes in honey act as natural humectants that hydrate your skin naturally. These properties help in reducing the dryness of the skin. Raw honey’s soothing and moisturising effect makes the skin glowing, radiant, and soft. Apply 1-2 tablespoons of raw honey to your face and massage it in circular motions. Leave it for 15-20 minutes, and rinse thoroughly with water.
4. Honey for Glowing Skin:
Honey is said to be a natural humectant that helps retain moisture on the face. This moisture retention capability helps to give a glow to the skin. The enzymes in honey will allow it to flow smoothly into the skin while conditioning and softening it from deep inside. Honey gives the best results for glowing skin when used as a mask. Some of them are
- Lemon and Honey Mask.
- Honey with Banana Face Mask.
- Honey with Rosewater.
- Honey with Curd.
- Honey with Besan.
- Milk and Honey.
5. Honey for Dark Spots and Dark Circles:
There has been no evidence of using honey to lighten dark spots. But since honey has exfoliating properties, using it on your face can eliminate dead skin cells that make your skin look dull. This can reveal brighter skin.
Honey comes with anti-inflammatory properties that work as a natural bleach. It reduces pigmentation. Honey is soft and soothing, working effectively in the sensitive under-eye zone. Honey includes antioxidants that fight free radicals, creating dark circles and under-eye wrinkles.
6. Honey for Wrinkles and Anti-aging:
Aging is inevitable, but our desire to maintain a youthful-looking appearance has made us dig into the world of natural anti-ageing miracles. One such product is honey, which can give us younger-looking, plump, and beautiful skin.
Free radicals, which occur as a part of our normal metabolic process, are the main culprits for skin aging. They can also occur due to sun damage or exposure to pollution. These free radicals destroy the collagen level in the skin, which provides the primary structural support for our skin. When the collagen level decreases, our skin becomes saggy and causes aging signs, such as wrinkles and lines. This skin damage can be prevented with the help of antioxidants.
7. Honey for Rosacea:
Rosacea is a skin condition where the skin turns red, usually on the nose and cheeks. It is particularly visible in fair-skin-toned persons and becomes more common with age. Honey, especially raw honey, helps in treating rosacea. Honey helps skin retain moisture, which fights rosacea. In a study, a kanuka honey type was shown to be very effective against rosacea. Applying a small amount of kanuka honey to the affected part daily can ease rosacea.
8. Honey for Skin Rash:
Eczema or dermatitis is an itching condition that causes a skin rash. The study says that Manuka honey could help treat this condition. Natural food can soothe skin rashes when rubbed on the skin as it contains antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiseptic properties. In particular, manuka honey was found to help the immune system and reduce the activity of some bacteria. Manuka honey is very effective in treating atopic dermatitis skin damage based on clinical and cellular studies.
9. Honey for Fungal Acne:
Fungal acne is caused by the overgrowth of yeast (i.e., fungi), whereas bacteria and clogged pores trigger regular acne. A yeast overload causes inflammation in the hair follicles and leads to itchy, uniform red bumps. Because of its anti-inflammatory property, Honey treats fungal acne to a moderate extent. Also, honey has potent antimicrobial properties. You can apply raw honey to the affected area and leave it on as a mask for 3 hours every other day.
10. Honey for Pores:
Skin pores are like tiny pits on the face that appear like an orange peel, usually unattractive. These pores make a face look dull and aged. Oily skin people face this problem very often. The antioxidants present in honey will help your skin look healthy and young. Honey acts as a natural astringent and tightens those large open pores, especially those visible around the nose.
11. Honey for Skin Whitening:
There is no instant way to skin whiten. Although many products/ingredients are claimed to be instant skin whitening, it takes time to get glowing skin. Honey is an excellent ingredient that improves the skin tone making it bright and flawless. Due to its antibacterial properties, Honey fade-out post-acne scars, hyperpigmentation, and dark spots. This makes the skin glow. Hence honey for skin whitening should instead be used for clear skin.
Honey is a valuable natural substance with several diverse usages. Honey is an effective medicine, a safe home remedy, a cosmetic, and a nutrient usable by people. The more often you incorporate honey into your beauty routine, the higher the chance you will see the results.