Honey! Nature’s natural sweet treat. And face wash, too?
Beauty experts and scientists agree this natural substance is full of antibiotics and probiotics that are not only beneficial in your diet but also great for your skin.
For some of you, this may seem like a foreign concept, however, dating back to the earliest centuries people have been using honey for medicinal purposes on many levels. Most notably for skin health. Honey is loaded with nutrients, antioxidants and other healing compounds. Thus, it is said to help moisturize, fight to age and fight bacteria [on the skin].
Need Some Convincing?
Let us begin with your current routine… Most daily facial cleansers have ingredients that you should probably be avoiding. It is well known that cosmetic industries use plenty of chemicals in their products. While some could be beneficial, others are definitely not. Aside from the harmful effects of these chemicals, many of them are not even doing anything for your appearance. You might take further note that foaming cleansers and soaps frequently strip the skin of protective oils, furthermore causing the skin to overproduce oil.
Kind of makes you not really want to wash your face at all…
Now, are You Beginning to Take Notes?
There are really several reasons why you should consider using honey and honey related recipes in lieu of your current cleanser. Here we will discuss the benefits of honey and why it is such an effective natural beauty treatment for the ever so sensitive skin on your face.
It is stated that the best benefit of honey in terms of skincare comes from Raw, Unfiltered blends. This means that the honey is in its purest form. Consider that when you are trying to use a natural product, any processing means it has been altered in some way. If you want fresh green beans, you’re not going to buy them in a can.
Needless to say, when buying your honey, for consumption or for your skin, you should be looking for the best of the best. Likely, it’s even cheaper than your average cleanser. Take into account that ‘Organic’ or ‘All Natural’ labels don’t mean a thing unless there is also notation stating that the honey is ‘Raw’ or ‘Unpasteurized’.
There are many different varieties of honey according to their flower source.
The Manuka Bush is indigenous to New Zealand and produces the flowers for Manuka Honey. This bush is also referred to as the Tea Tree, but don’t get confused with the related plant from which tea tree oil is obtained.
Among the research available, this particular honey seems to have the most antibiotic properties and a strong pH balance, thus promoting itself as an active acne remedy.
According to WebMD, researchers in one study ‘observed that honey impregnated wound dressings have gained increasing acceptance in hospitals and clinics worldwide’. It was also noted in this study that it was unclear how the honey actually worked. After further investigation into the ability of three different types of honey to quench the production of free radicals, it was concluded in a statement that ‘manuka honey was the most effective’.
Another report boasts the anti-bacterial properties in Manuka Honey as the most potent, with comparison to its counterparts.
Beyond the Manuka Honey, however, look for darker honey. In general, darker is better.
The benefits of washing your face with honey and honey recipes are obvious and apparent. Due to the probiotic properties and antibacterial agents found naturally in honey, it can effectively reduce existing acne breakouts, as well as prevent new acne from forming.
Try it as a Moisturizing Mask
Honey is a natural humectant. A humectant is defined as retaining or preserving moisture. In this case, it is a natural substance used to reduce the loss of moisture.
Due to this naturally occurring substance found in honey, it is also an excellent product to use as a moisturizing facial mask. The skin should be cleansed before using this mask and should also be dry. A single teaspoon of honey is spread on the face and then left on for around 20 minutes. In order to add moisture to the skin’s layers, the honey will start to attract moisture from the surrounding air. This results in hydration that lasts and also provides deeper moisturizing penetration to the skin.
Apart from being an excellent source of moisture, honey can also cleanse the face and clean out clogged pores. The enzymes found in raw honey is responsible for opening pores and ridding any substances that have built up within the pores. A single tablespoon of honey is mixed together with either jojoba oil or coconut oil, then spread over the face. The mixture should be gently massaged into the skin with a circular motion. The area around the eyes should be avoided while the mixture is massaged into the skin. Finally, the mixture should be rinsed off with warm water.
Remember the humectant… Because honey is gentle on the skin, it is said to be good for skin problems such as rosacea and eczema. Take note that these particular skin diseases are relative to the overproduction of cells which, when exposed to air, cause uncomfortable skin symptoms. Honey will draw the moisture in, promoting clearer skin.
Otherwise, there is a very simple and effective way to reduce inflammation and speed up healing of pimples and cysts – use Raw Honey!
After cleansing, apply a small amount of honey to completely cover the blemish. Cover it with a band-aid to allow the honey to remain in contact with the skin. It is stated that your best results will come from leaving it on over-night. Try at least thirty minutes for optimal benefit. After removing the band-aid, wash with warm water and a clean washcloth.
Use it as an exfoliant, for your face or anywhere on your beautiful skin…
Honey can also be combined with baking soda to make an effective exfoliator, as reported by Women’s Health Magazine. The enzymes and antioxidants found in honey, together with the exfoliating benefits of baking powder, provides an effective method for removing dead cells on the skin. This leads to a more radiant complexion and allows new cells to form on the skin.
To make the mix, take two tablespoons of honey with one tablespoon of baking soda. Apply as a mixture to your wet face. Rinse well.
Concerned about Your Skin Type?
As many of us know that it can be hard to find a DIY face mask that fights acne yet is not drying to the skin. Honey is said to fight bacteria while helping the skin to retain its moisture.
Try the following recipes for your next rendezvous with the bathroom mirror:
- 1 tsp. Cinnamon
- 1 tsp. Nutmeg
- 2 tbsp. Honey
- ½ tsp. Lemon juice
It’s really easy to make this mask. Simply use a mixing bowl to combine the ingredients. Apply to the face and leave the mask on for a couple of minutes. There’s really no time limit on how long you may keep the mask on. The honey content will help provide the skin with moisture, while the cinnamon’s antiseptic agents will help fight against blemishes. This will also result in improved blood flow to the surface of the skin. Lemon and nutmeg provide an exfoliating effect on the skit but does not irritate sensitive skin.
Another easy mask geared more toward the oily skin is a simple recipe:
- ½ cup of oatmeal
- ½ cup of milk
- 1 tablespoon of honey
Don’t forget to cook the oatmeal first! Stir in the milk and honey and apply as a mask that should be worn for at least thirty minutes.
If you can’t handle the sticky stuff and you’re going to revert back to the clinical remedies be sure to stay away from the following ingredients:
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Jody Levine at Mount Sinai Hospital reports that sodium lauryl sulfate is commonly added to products such as face wash – it’s the ingredient that causes the liquid to foam. She goes on to explain that this ingredient causes a problem in skincare as it strips natural oils from the skin. These natural oils are essential for the protection of the skin.
Dr. Levine explains that fragrances added to facial cleansers usually dries the skin out and often cause irritation on the skin’s surface. Instead of using product with added fragrance, use a product that’s scented through fruits, plant extracts or essential oils.
Oils can be added to facial care products in order to promote hydration. In reality, oil does provide moisture to the skin, but can also lead to breakouts by clogging the pores. Dr. Levine recommends only using an oil-based cleanser if you have skin that is severely dry.
Parabens are known to mimic estrogen, which leads to the conclusion that the ingredient may increase the risk of developing breast cancer. While studies are yet to prove this fact to be true, Dr. Levine explains that parabens often also lead to irritation and sensitivity.
A large number of facial skincare products tend to use alcohol as a base ingredient. They claim that alcohol assists the process of vitamin C and retinol penetrating the skin. While this is true, Dr. Levine explains that this is only accomplished due to the fact that the natural barrier of the skin is broken down by the alcohol content.
All changes in your skincare should be discussed with your dermatologist or primary physician (at least). These remedies are not meant to cure acne or other skin conditions, but merely offer an alternative that could offer amazing benefits if you’ve tried everything else already.