One great honey legend is that it has been used by Cleopatra. She was famous in the ancient world for her astounding beauty, which claims to be a result of long hours of bathing in milk and honey. True or not, honey has been found to have beneficial effects on the skin and hair.
Honey for Beautiful Skin
It is known to keep skin healthy, supple and younger looking. Its antiseptic effects help treat skin problems such as dry skin, acne and even wounds.
As a natural cleanser, honey gently and effectively exfoliates the skin inside and out. When eaten, honey promotes better skin growth to replace old and damaged skin layer. When used for washing the skin, it gently removes dirt and kills any bacteria that cause skin problems. Both actions keep the skin soft and free of blemishes.
You can use honey as a face wash in a variety of ways. One way is to mix it with tomato to form a thick paste. The acidity of tomato helps in removing dead skin cells and in lightening dark and age spots. Apply the paste on the face for 15 minutes. After rinsing, the skin will immediately look brighter, with a healthy, fresh glow.
Collagen is a skin protein that provides strength and elasticity to the skin. Abundant collagen in the skin makes it supple, plumper and stronger against injuries and damage. All these promote a younger looking skin. Collagen also promotes faster wound healing and reduces the appearance of blemishes.
Manuka honey is one good honey variety for this purpose. Applying Manuka honey directly on scars every day will hasten scar fading.
Gentle and effective, honey is the best natural moisturizer for the skin. It promotes hydration to keep the skin from becoming dry. Honey has humectants properties. This is the ability to attract and absorb moisture. It is also able to keep it within the skin structure. This property makes honey a very good treatment for dry and itchy skin by locking in moisture.
It works great over dry skin patches on the hands and elbow. Rub pure honey on dry skin and leave it on for 30 minutes. It is also an effective treatment for dry and chapped lips.
Oily skin can also benefit from honey. The skin tends to increase its oil production when it becomes dry for over a period of time. By keeping skin moisturized, oil production is effectively controlled.
To use, apply pure and undiluted honey on the face and leave it on for 5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and notice an immediate improvement in the sheen and moisture.
The mild antimicrobial properties of honey help in healing and in preventing acne. According to TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) acne is caused by increased “heat” in the body. Honey works by restoring the balance of the yin and the yang (heat and cold) in the body.
Large open pores contribute to acne because they accumulate dirt, oil and bacteria. Honey works by absorbing all these impurities from deep within the pores. It is a mild but effective ingredient to unclog pores and prevent acne.
Honey is also useful as an emergency pimple-fighter. Dab a small amount of honey on a zit for 30 minutes or overnight. The anti-inflammatory effects help in visibly reducing pimples.
The anti-inflammatory properties of honey help in slowing down skin aging process. A spoonful a day produces skin anti-aging after a few weeks.
Aside from slowing down skin aging, honey is also effective in reducing wrinkles and fine lines. It works by boosting collagen formation. It also promotes better skin moisture that improves skin elasticity and suppleness.
The slight acidity of honey helps to improve skin complexion. Honey contains α-hydroxy acid, a mild type of gluconic acid. This
acid helps in brightening the complexion. It also helps to even out the skin tone. When placed directly on scars and age spots, honey can help lighten these blemishes.
Honey has soothing properties that can help heal sunburns and other types of skin burns faster. It also has sun protective properties that can protect the skin from sun damage.
Honey for the Hair
Honey is also useful as hair conditioner. Mix it with olive oil and apply to the hair after shampooing. Leave the honey mixture for 1 hour before rinsing thoroughly. Hair immediately becomes silky soft and shiny.
Natural humectants in honey make it a good addition to regular shampoo. It can be used for regular hair washing or as a treatment for damaged hair. It also gives hair intense moisture to obtain for stronger, shinier and healthier strands.
Honey can be used as a final rinse for the hair for a healthy shine. Combine a spoonful of honey to 4 cups warm water and rinse the hair with it.