Honey isn’t only delicious and good for our insides; dabbing some honey on your skin can provide a host of benefits. Here are some benefits of honey on skin.
You might spread honey on your Mary’s Gone Crackers and drizzle it in your organic Greek yogurt, but have you ever considered smearing it all over your face? Believe it or not, honey ain’t just sweet for your food, but also for your skin.
The benefits of honey on skin are plentiful, so you should consider keeping a jar not only in your kitchen pantry, but on your bathroom vanity as well. Unfortunately, honey’s reputation as a healing agent was relegated to that of an old wives’ tale in the 20th century, after the discovery of penicillin heralded the widespread use of antibiotic drugs to combat infections.
Because it’s relatively cheap and can’t be patented, the benefits of honey on skin aren’t widely touted. But, indeed, honey is just as good for your outside as it is for your insides. It’s known to soothe and disinfect the skin, making it an unconventional moisturizer, antiseptic, and antibacterial solution.
Here are three healing benefits of honey on skin. Keep in mind that many of the beneficial properties of honey are lost in the pasteurization process, so you want to be sure to use raw honey. Pasteurized honey is akin to dead sugar; no point in using that!
3 Benefits Of Honey On Skin
1. Honey is Antibacterial
Clinical trials have shown that honey is an effective broad-spectrum antibacterial agent. It’s got so much oomph that it can even stop the “superbug” MRSA from growing. (MRSA is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a “staph” infection that is resistant to antibiotics and kills more people annually than AIDS).
According to the BBC, a man by the name of Sam Edwards from Wrexham, Wales credited honey with saving his leg! After being cut by a koi carp, he became infected with Mycobacterium marinum and developed a rare skin condition. After applying honey compresses for eight days, he found the bacteria had completely disappeared without his taking a single antibiotic.
If it can lick Mr. Edwards’ nasty bug, imagine what it can do to acne, which stems from inflamed sebaceous glands in the skin that can become infected by bacteria. It turns out honey also naturally absorbs excess oil, which helps prevent acne – and that means one of the benefits of honey on skin is you can use it in place of many chemical-laden over-the-counter acne creams and ointments.
Bacteria and germs simply won’t survive when covered in honey because of its highly acidic pH. In fact, microorganisms get trapped in honey’s sticky, acidic base and eventually die; the environment is too abrasive for their membranes. In other words, putting honey on bacteria is sort of like putting salt on a slug.
2. Honey Nourishes Your Largest Organ
While lotions are full of toxic ingredients like parabens and phthalates, raw honey is loaded with minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and natural enzymes that literally nourish your skin from the outside in. Honey also attracts and retains moisture.
3. Honey Is A Powerful Wound Healer
According to a review published in The Scientific World Journal, the benefits of honey on skin are well-established in the medical field, particularly for treating burns, ulcers, and other wounds.
The authors of the review conclude that honey is “a natural and safe wound healer” due to its many therapeutic properties, which include “stimulation of tissue growth, enhanced epithelialization, and minimized scar formation.”
Honey also contains an enzyme that produces hydrogen peroxide, a well-known disinfectant. A thin coating of honey can be applied to the skin to disinfect and heal minor skin wounds and chapped lips.
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The Easiest Way To Tap into the Benefits Of Honey On Skin: Create Honey Masks
To integrate honey into your skincare routine, try whipping up one of these raw, organic honey masks.
Mask 1: Back to Basics
For this basic honey mask, mix raw organic honey and baking soda with a spoon. Pat your face with warm water. Gently massage the mixture into your cheeks, chin, and forehead using circular motions. Allow it to sit for a moment, then rinse your face thoroughly with warm water.
Mask 2: Pore Minimization
All you need to shrink your pores is 1 teaspoon of raw honey and one organic, free-range or pastured egg. (It pays to know your egg carton labels.) Mix these two ingredients together in a small glass bowl, then apply to your face. After doing so, you’ll feel your skin tighten. Wash off the mask with warm water after 10 minutes or so.
Mask 3: For Oily Skin
This is a fun, fruity mask that’s great for oily, acne-prone skin. Mash ¼ cup and 1 tablespoon raw, organic honey. Strawberries are a natural source of salicylic acid, an active ingredient in most natural acne-prevention creams. Make sure the mixture is on the chunky side so it will stay on your face for about 10 minutes.
Mask 4: Refresh
This delicious, refreshing mask is made with cucumber, lemon, organic milk, honey, and oats! Mix together grated cucumber, ¼ cup lemon juice, and 5 teaspoons each of organic honey and milk. Add organic, gluten-free oats to create a thick paste and refrigerate for five to six hours. Then, apply this cooling mask to your face for 15-20 minutes for an instant glow.
Mask 5: Dry No More
To soothe and moisturize dry skin, mix honey, organic jojoba oil, and lemon juice. Apply to the skin and leave on for 10 minutes before washing off.
For more information on the benefits of honey on skin, visit this page on creating natural, honey-based skin ointments.
Here’s an infographic from Naturalon detailing even more benefits of honey on skin, hair, and nails:
Maryam Henein is an investigative journalist, professional researcher, and producer of the award-winning documentary Vanishing of the Bees.
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