Well Gal

Honey: A Sweet Beauty Aid

Honey's natural antimicrobial, moisturizing, and humectant properties make it a great addition to DIY acne-fighting facial washes, nourishing facial masks, moisturizing milk-honey baths, and more as part of your beauty care routine.

Honey’s natural antimicrobial, moisturizing, and humectant properties make it a great addition to DIY acne-fighting facial washes, nourishing facial masks, moisturizing milk-honey baths, and more as part of your beauty care routine. Photo © Karen Peltier

As I watched a dozen or so bees buzz around the borage flowers in my herb garden, I was reminded of how vital bees are to our environment, our health, and of course, our beauty. After all, they’re responsible for creating Mother Nature’s sweetest remedy – honey. Which I’ve got to say is one of my all-time favorite ingredients to add to natural home remedies and beauty treatments.

Used throughout history for cosmetic treatments, honey is still a powerful and practical beauty aid due to its humectant properties (the ability to draw and retain moisture to the skin) and its amazing ability to heal the skin. Scientific studies have shown it to be useful in treating abrasions, wounds, and burns since it accelerates healing and reduces pain, inflammation, infection, and even scarring. So, you can imagine how great it must be for everyday use, right?

Honey is often used in many popular skin products, such as body butters, skin creams, and baths. For example, you’ll find it in Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Soy Milk & Honey Whipped Body Butter and Scottish Fine Soaps Honey B Bath Nectar.  Also, some of the top spas are well-known for incorporating honey into their spa treatments. For example, the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa has a luxurious “Milk and Honey Nourishing Body Treatment” that will set you back about $135 and the Waldorf Astoria Orlando Spa has a treatment featuring local honey in its “Honey Calendula Body Buff” treatment, which currently costs $165.

But instead of laying out some serious cash on commercial beauty products or spa treatments containing honey, why not try some at-home treatments? Costing just pennies to make, these DIY honey beauty treatments are one sweet deal.

Acne Facial Wash

Sick of those harsh and drying store-bought acne treatments containing ingredients like benzoyl peroxide? Then honey may be just the natural alternative you’re looking for. Honey’s potent antimicrobial properties help clear acne and its humectant properties help retain vital moisture. Plus, it helps alleviate red, irritated skin by reducing inflammation. To use it, apply a small dab of honey to acne prone areas, rub it in with warm water, and rinse well. Tip: Try a good quality raw honey for the best results. Manuka honey has lots of studies on its benefits, so it’s one of my favorites.

Honey Facial Masks

Want super nourished and hydrated skin? Then add honey to freshly made facial masks or try dried honey, available as a powder from cooking stores, for dry mask blends that you wish to store long-term and moisten when ready to use. One of my favorite honey facial mask recipes is simply a blend of honey, yogurt, and colloidal oatmeal (which can be store bought or simply made by grinding oatmeal in a coffee grinder). Give it a try and I promise, your skin will feel renewed!

Honey Milk Bath

With wonderful cleansing and moisturizing properties, honey makes one indulgent bath. To a warm running bath, add in a mixture of 1/3 cup of honey and one cup of cream or two cups of whole organic milk, which will help cleanse, moisturize, and gently exfoliate your skin. As you soak in the tub, you might just feel as regal as Cleopatra once did — for honey baths were one of her favorites.

Honey Sugar Body Scrub

For super smooth skin, try this luxurious, but simple body scrub. Mix honey with Turbinado sugar and an organic oil (e.g., almond oil, sunflower oil) for an indulgent, fresh body scrub that will exfoliate, cleanse and moisturize your skin as well as stimulate your circulatory and lymphatic systems. By the way, it also makes a nice foot treatment, followed by a soak in an epsom salt foot bath.

© Karen Peltier and Well Gal, 2012 – 2015.
Photo © Karen Peltier 2012 – 2015. All rights reserved.

Note: This post was updated on July 2, 2015.

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