The 21st Century Herbalist

Raw Honey: Sticky, Delicious and Great for your face

It’s the last week of One Ingredient…One Great Fix Month and as promised in last week’s post about milk, this week is all about honey!  I don’t know who it was that first thought to smear this sticky, golden goo all over themselves, but I’m sure glad they did.  Honey is incredibly beneficial to your skin and easy to use.  You’ll want to make sure you’re using raw honey because the high heat used during the pasteurization process can destroy some of the naturally occurring compounds that make honey so great for your skin.

Honey as a Cleanser

Honey is a gentle, all-natural cleanser that won’t dry out your skin like soaps can.  To use it, keep a bottle of honey in the shower and mix a small amount of it with a little warm water and massage it onto your face, neck and chest.  The mild exfoliating alpha hydroxy acids in honey remove dead skin cells while encouraging collagen production, which as we all know, helps make your skin look smoother and feel more supple.

Honey also contains antioxidants, the compounds that help reduce and eliminate free radicals on your skin.  The sugar in honey makes it a natural humectant, so it pulls moisture from the air and hydrates your skin, while the amino acids in the honey help your skin retain that moisture level.  Because all of these beneficial compounds are in their natural state and in small enough quantities to be effective but not intrusive, honey is even safe for sensitive skin.

I have found that honey will remove light layers of makeup, but it is not strong enough to remove heavy foundations or eye makeup.  For that you’ll want to use a makeup remover or wash with a mild cleanser.  Then follow with a honey rinse like the one above, to make sure your skin maintains a healthy moisture level.  The amino acids in honey can also help restore proper pH levels to your skin after cleansing with soap.

Honey as a Mask

All of the great benefits you can get from using honey as a cleanser can also be gained by using it as a mask.  To use honey as a mask, mix a small amount of honey with warm water and apply a thin layer to your face.  Relax for 10-15 minutes and allow the honey to penetrate your skin and work its magic.  You can also mix the honey with additional calming ingredients like those found in my Calming Oatmeal Facial.

As you can see, raw honey is another great ingredient that can be used by itself to improve the look and feel of your skin, or you can combine it with other ingredients to raise its potency even higher.

I hope you enjoyed One Ingredient…One Great Fix Month!  Next month starts a series all about how to properly care for the delicate skin on your face.  So while you’re waiting for that, why not give honey a try?  Enjoy!

Next Week: DIY Skin Care Month (Face) – Step 1: Cleanse

image via: Disney

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