We understand the value of avoiding harsh acids and chemicals that harm your skin more than they help and using organic products instead of when possible. In order to use these organic ingredients safely, however, you need to understand what they are, what they can be used for, and how to apply them to your skin.
Today we will be discussing how honey can be good for your skin.
What Is Honey?
Knowing the composition of honey can be useful for understanding why it can be good for your skin and whether it is the right choice for you.
Where Does Honey Come From?
Honey is produced by bees. The process starts with a type of bee called a forager.
Forager honey bees act as gatherers for their colonies. They leave their hives to gather nectar from flowers and plants like the manuka bush. Upon returning to the hive, the forager bee passes the nectar into the mouth of the worker bees. The worker bees then store it in the hive’s cells.
From there, bees in the hive will use their wings to fan the nectar and dehydrate it. The nectar officially becomes honey when the nectar’s moisture level is at 17%, and the hive interior is 95ºF.
What Is Honey Made Of?
Honey is a supersaturated solution. Its composition mainly consists of glucose and fructose. Its high sugar levels and low water content is what makes honey a viscous substance, meaning that it has a thick, sticky consistency that feels like something between a liquid and solid. While honey mostly consists of carbohydrates, unpasteurized, the fluid contains enzymes, minerals like zinc, potassium, and copper, vitamins like vitamin B, amino acids, organic acids, and pollen.
Uses Of Honey
Honey can be used to treat and support a variety of skin desires and disorders. Here are some of the ways that you can use honey to improve your skin.
Honey is often used to treat acne. Honey has antioxidant, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties, making it an effective option for treating and preventing minor wounds and pimples.
One of how it can help with acne-prone skin is by opening up your pores. Opening up the closed pores on your skin can contribute to the removal of blackheads, in turn improving both your skin’s appearance and health. Additionally, cleaning out pores can assist with preventing the development of any future blemishes.
Acne occurs when sebaceous glands, glands located on our bodies that secrete oil called sebum into the hair follicle to lubricate the skin, end up contributing to clogged follicles. Pores are not typically clogged solely by oil but with other substances like dead skin cells, bacteria, and dirt.
When bacterias feed on the substances clogging the follicles, they can multiply and lead to skin irritation or acne. By opening up the pores and cleaning them out, honey can directly prevent pimples from developing.
Some people even choose to use honey as a cleanser for its antifungal properties, meaning that it can fight fungal infections without damaging the body’s cells in hopes of preventing breakouts.
The honey’s smooth consistency makes this possible. The product does not typically contain granules, making it safe to apply directly to the skin for the removal of debris. To be used as an exfoliator, with the intent of ridding the skin of unwanted bacteria and dead skin cells, it will typically need to be combined with other natural ingredients like lemon juice.
Still, honey is effective as both an exfoliator and cleanser, particularly when it still contains its natural healthy bacteria to activate your immune system and help with redness, swelling, and the healing of blemishes.
These properties can help remove excess oil from the epidermis, balance natural bacteria on the surface, clear out blockages in the skin, and repair damage faster.
Dry Skin Conditions
Honey is also used for effectively treating skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Both eczema and psoriasis are conditions in which the skin develops dry, itchy patches. Raw honey can soothe these symptoms by acting as a natural hydrating moisturizer.
As previously noted above, it is the bacteria found in unpasteurized honey that will aid your immune system in treating swelling and redness.
Dry skin is typically defined as not having enough moisture to stay smooth and supple. For this reason, it is important to treat dryness with a product that can assist with restoring and maintaining moisture in the skin. Honey is one of these products.
The reason honey is so successful at acting as a moisturizer is because it is a natural humectant. A humectant is a substance used to reduce moisture loss by drawing moisture from the air into the skin, retaining it, and preserving it.
In addition to being a humectant, honey uses its antioxidant properties to heal the damage caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules known to damage skin cells in the process of replacing its missing electron, and by external pollutants.
This humectant, rich in antioxidants and known for taming redness, has proven to keep your skin looking and feeling soft, hydrated, and fresh even when afflicted with dryness.
Honey has been known to help brighten the skin, support treatment for discoloration, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Honey is able to help treat and prevent fine lines because it contains probiotics, antioxidants, nutrients, and enzymes. Together, these key features moisturize, nourish, and plump the skin without causing irritation. In particular, natural antioxidants do a good job controlling fine lines and increasing the skin’s elasticity.
By plumping the skin, and strengthening it in the process, honey can reduce visible signs of aging that include wrinkles. This keeps the skin looking youthful and prevents accelerated aging.
As previously mentioned, honey can be used for exfoliating purposes. People will often choose to do this to eliminate dead and damaged skin cells that make the skin look dull to brighten the skin and help treat age spots.
Similarly, others will use the honey as a spot treatment on scarring and discoloration to speed up the recovery process.
How To Use Honey For Your Skin
There are several different ways for you to incorporate honey into your skincare routine.
Perhaps the most convenient and most expensive is to purchase skin care products that already contain honey as an ingredient. There are a lot of different serums, gels, and masques on the market that highlight honey as being an active ingredient in their respective formulas.
If pre-made products are not for you, you have the option to purchase your own honey and use it as you wish. For example, you may choose to try and reap the benefits of honey through consumption.
Eating honey can help to boost the overall health of your skin. Since honey is high in antioxidants, implementing the product into your diet can slow down aging and help treat dry and dehydrated skin. Even just the consistent consumption of a spoonful of honey can benefit your health and complexion.
Honey can also be used topically for more direct treatment. Rather than eating honey, you can apply it straight onto your skin. If you choose to do this, it is important that you use raw honey if you wish to render the safest and most effective results.
Manuka honey is perhaps the most popular raw honey for improving one’s skin. Manuka honey is a monofloral honey produced from the nectar of manuka trees native to Australia and New Zealand.
If you would like to use your raw honey as a spot treatment, you can directly apply your raw honey on the areas of your skin that you would like to improve, such as your pimples or age spots.
Cleanse With Honey
To use it as a cleanser, take about half a teaspoon of your honey and apply a thin layer to your face. You can then massage the honey in circular motions just as you would any other cleanser. Remember, there will not be any suds as honey does not contain a foaming agent. Finally, you can wash the honey off with warm water.
Create A Moisturizing Mask
If you would like to use it as a moisturizer, it is common for honey to be applied to the skin as a moisturizing mask. To do so, you can apply the honey to your skin exactly as described above, except that you will let the raw honey sit for at least ten minutes before washing it off with warm water.
There is room for adjustments depending on your needs. For example, some people will use up to a spoonful of honey, double the resting time to twenty minutes instead of ten, and rinse with cool water. You should opt to do whatever works and feels best for your skin.
On the topic of masks, there are loads of honey face masks that you can make with honey and other ingredients already in your pantry that have the potential to greatly benefit your skin, such as ripe bananas or aloe vera gel.
For example, you can make a honey and oatmeal face mask. This honey mask is ideal for exfoliation. All you need is to combine equal parts honey and uncooked ground oatmeal before applying it to your face.
Once on your skin, let it sit for fifteen minutes before washing it off with warm water. This mask will soak up excess oil from your skin and remove dead skin cells, dirt, and oil from clogged pores.
In conclusion, there are lots of different benefits to using honey for your skin and several different methods for reaping them.
While honey is generally safe to use on all skin types, certain individuals may respond poorly to the application or consumption due to being allergic to components of honey that include pollen.
At MadeMan, we recommend starting slow and first using the product in moderation to ensure that your body reacts well.
Acne vulgaris: pathogenesis, treatment, and needs assessment | PubMed
Honey and Health: A Review of Recent Clinical Research | PubMed