Lately the beauty industry has been abuzz with honey. Thanks to its superior antibacterial, probiotic and healing properties, the benefits of this sugary substance go beyond sweetening up your afternoon tea. While it has been used as a natural remedy for centuries, cosmetic formulators and naturopaths are whipping up concoctions meant to be slathered and lathered. Made in the process of bees collecting nectar, pollen, and resins from flowers, honey is chockfull of nutrients, antioxidants and enzymes that can help smooth skin, boost radiance, reduce the appearance of pores and zap zits. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of honey, plus how to incorporate it into your regimen without making a ginormous mess.
Honey is a natural humectant, meaning it attracts moisture into the skin and retains it deep within the layers for long-lasting hydration.
Try: I Pekar Moisturizer ($78 in the shop)
Fight off free radicals
Raw honey is rich in flavonoids and antioxidants that help protect skin against environmental stress from UV light, heat and pollution. One study from Brazil found that supplementation with manuka honey reduced the level of DNA damage from oxidative stress in middle-age rats.
Try: Ao Skincare Fortify Day Treatment ($89.95 in the shop)
Honey contains antibacterial and antifungal properties that are very effective against certain types of bacteria. While more research is needed to know if it prevents the specific bacteria responsible for acne, it is a plausible theory — and the results people see speak for themselves. In addition, its anti-inflammatory properties will help calm associated swelling and redness.
Try: applying a dab of raw — key word — honey to affected areas; rinse after 10 to 15 minutes.
Unclog your pores
Don’t be fooled into thinking honey will pull out dirt like a magnet just because it is sticky. However, it is clarifying in the sense that it helps open up pores, making them easier to rid of gunk.
Try: ExPürtise Effective Anti-Aging Ultra Purifying Cleanser ($36 in the shop)
Honey contains enzymes and small amounts of gluconic acid (an AHA) that gently aid in removing dead cells and brightening the complexion. Plus, its hydrating properties give skin a beautiful, dewy appearance.
Try: Board & Batten Begin Again Micro Facial Buff Masque ($42 in the shop)
Honey is published widely in medical literature for its use on wounds and burns. It creates a barrier on skin while its powerful anti-inflammatory properties help ease irritation.
Try: a bath soak. Mix two generous spoonfuls of raw honey with one cup hot water until dissolved. Pour in a tub of warm water, sink in and relax.
Soften rough spots
Because it is a natural humectant, helping skin to retain moisture, and acts an occlusive, balm-like barrier, honey is the bee’s knees for dry spots like the feet, elbows and cuticles.
Try: ASDM Beverly Hills Porcelain Doll Lotion ($25)
Applied to the lips, it can relieve chapped skin, soften the look of lines and add a bit of plumpness.
Try: Slap on a thick layer of raw honey for 15 minutes, then rinse.
The enzymes and nutrients in raw honey add moisture and shine to strands without weighing them down. Many people claim it also helps nix flakiness; however, according to the Mayo Clinic, there is limited evidence to support the use of honey in the treatment of dandruff.
Try: Beauty and the Bees Real Beer Tasmanian Conditioner ($23.75 in the shop)