Raw honey has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. In fact, honey pots have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs - with honey that has not spoiled! Before antibiotics were introduced in the 1930s, honey was used for many different ailments. Honey is now seeing a resurgence of topical use - both for its antiseptic properties as well as a natural skin care product.
Follow these easy steps to have sweet and easy beauty treatments!
- Always use raw honey. Many of the healing properties found in honey are destroyed by intense heat or pasteurization. Therefore, you'll have to pass up most commercial honeys and buy unheated or raw honey. Look in health food or organic food stores.
- Use honey as a mild antiseptic. When raw honey is mixed with water, it produces hydrogen peroxide. This is due to one of the enzymes found in raw honey. Hydrogen peroxide is a mild antiseptic and can be used on cuts and abrasions.
- Promote new tissue growth with honey. Before pasteurization, honey contains bee pollen, propolis, and other components that stimulate the growth of new skin.
- Exfoliate with honey. Honey contains mild alpha hydroxy acids, such as gluconic acid. These acids are very safe to use on skin and can loosen bonds between the dead skin cells, making it easier to shed this dead layer. These acids are also able to increase elasticity, balance out oily skin, stimulate collagen production, and minimize lines and wrinkles, thus making you look younger.
- Help your skin to hold moisture in. Honey contains amino acids, which help the skin retain its essential moisture. In addition, the sugar content in honey makes it an excellent humectant. So, apply a honey mask each day for moisturizing!
- Reduce free radicals with honey. Because of its many antioxidants, honey scavenges for free radicals. Honey can reverse damage done to your skin by these free radicals, and does not dry out your skin, like many soaps do.
Now that you understand the sweet nature of honey, go buy a jar of it: Honey can be a regular part of your skin care regimen. Remember, buy the raw, unpasteurized honey... and don't forget to thank the bees!