10 Beauty Benefits and Uses for Honey
It’s natural, golden, and delicious on toast – but nowadays this super food is generating a lot of “buzz’’ as a beauty miracle-worker, and not just a tasty companion to peanut butter.
So what’s the big deal with honey?
Its benefits outside the kitchen all come from the fact that it has antibacterial and antifungal properties. This means that it’s good for your body’s health, inside and out. Honey is fat-free, cholesterol-free, sodium-free, and contains vitamins, antioxidants, and amino acids. Honey has been known for its anti-aging, and complexion-enhancing powers since the days of Ancient Egypt, where Cleopatra would lay on her throne while being slathered in honey by her servants. While all honey contains these properties, some strains are known to be more beneficial. Beauty experts say that raw or Manuka honey is the way to go, so head over to your local health food store (7-11 won’t cut it) and pick some up. When you get back, throw on your plushest bathrobe, and get ready to channel your inner Egyptian queen.
1. Honey to combat acne
As those of us who were not blessed with blemish-free skin have figured out, acne is a result of bacteria on the surface of our skin and in our pores. Take a breather from your Neutrogena or Clinique for a few weeks – and try replacing your normal face wash with honey. Apply generously, let sit on your skin for a minute or two, and then rinse with warm water. If you wear a full face of makeup, you can also use a natural oil like Jojoba or Almond oil to remove all the product before applying the raw honey. The combination of these ingredients will feel luxurious, and they won’t give you the tight, dry-feeling skin that harsh cleansers do.
2. Honey for anti-aging
Remember the aforementioned antioxidants? They can prevent wrinkles and generally slow the effects of aging on your skin. Use raw honey for anti-aging in the simplest way possible – just slather it on your face! Leave it on for a full episode of The Bachelor, drink a glass of Pinot, and then rinse with a warm facecloth. Your skin will feel supple and smooth, and you’ll feel one step closer to immortality.
3. Honey to improve your complexion
You’ve been creeping around on Bella Hadid’s Instagram for a few weeks, and you’re starting to feel like your skin is really lacking that sacrificed-a-baby-lamb-on-an-altar glow. Mix some honey with equal parts sugar and coconut oil, and gently use the mixture to exfoliate. One thing to note is that coconut oil can be comedogenic, so patch test your skin before applying. This mixture doesn’t have to be limited to just your face, either – make a full-body scrub, and then rinse with a nice hot bath.
4. Honey as a moisturizer
Winter is coming, guys, and we need all the moisture we can get. Honey as a moisturizer is all the rage right now, so your options are endless. If you don’t feel like a DIY, head over to your local Ulta or Sephora and take a quick browse. Mario Badescu, Burt’s Bees, and Kiehls all offer moisturizing products that feature honey – and no surprise, they all smell fantastic. If you don’t want to drop the cash, just mix some honey with two cups of milk and take a nice long bath. You have entered the land of milk and honey.
5. Honey as a hair mask
That’s right, raw honey knows no beauty limits. Not only can you apply it in a multitude of ways to your skin, you can also create a DIY hair mask to improve shine and strength. No, it won’t give you dreadlocks! Mix honey with virgin olive oil and apply from roots to tips. Wrap it up with a towel or saran wrap (or a shower cap if you’ve got your life together), and put on another episode of The Bachelor. Shower, rinse, and revel in your newfound shine.
6. Honey to improve skin conditions
Puffiness, Eczema, and Psoriasis (oh my!). In addition to honey’s already impressive resumé, let’s just go ahead and add ‘anti-inflammatory’. Honey has been said to improve skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, due to a combination of its anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Not only that, it will sooth under-eye circles or puffiness after a late night or an early morning.
7. Honey to help weight loss
While we all (sadly) know there is no miracle diet that can compete with a healthy calorie intake and daily exercise, there’s certainly no harm in giving your body a little extra help. It’s no secret that excessive sugar in a diet is bad. Replacing your white or brown sugar with honey is a great way to cut back on refined sugar altogether. Some experts also recommend drinking honey with lemon every morning to kick-start your metabolism and deliver an energy boost!
8. Honey to fade scars
Honey has been shown to improve the appearance of scars –and, if we’re not mistaken, this one also applies to (gasp!) stretch marks. There are a multitude of potential ingredients for this DIY remedy, so take your pick: turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon, and even kosher salt. We’d recommend a mix of these (whatever you have in the cupboard works). Who doesn’t want to smell like honey and cinnamon? Many of these ingredients boast skin-lightening properties, but honey also has an enzyme called glucose oxidase, which releases hydrogen peroxide. This will help to lighten the scar discoloration. Apply your mixture of choice to the affected area, rub, and repeat as often as necessary.
9. Honey as a hangover cure
According to research, the fructose found in honey can help your body to break down alcohol more quickly. Spread some honey on your toast, or add it to your tea – and maybe pop an aspirin for good measure. Okay, we’re a little skeptical about this one too as there are many alleged hangover cures floating around the Internet, but it’s worth a shot, and beats drinking a raw egg…
10. Honey for sunburn relief
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Honey’s anti-inflammatory properties will reduce redness and swelling caused by your sunburn. You can also mix with some aloe vera gel to soothe the discomfort. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen all day, everyday!
Do you know other uses and benefits of honey?