Let’s Talk About Beauty, Honey!

The background: As a beauty-hungry teenager with (of course) no money, I stumbled upon a book from my mum’s library, which very quickly became my first beauty bible. This was the “Vogue’s Body and Beauty Bible” from 1977. I did a bit research and realized the natural ingredients had for DIY beauty rituals as well. It then struck me just how essential natural beauty ingredients are before introducing any sort of product or treatment into your regime. This week we’re looking at honey…

Today, natural beauty ingredients are slowly but surely regaining their popularity. Not only because many of us are seeing the economical benefits – but because we’ve become more conscious about products we choose to expose our bodies’ to. In my last natural beauty ingredients post, I revealed the incredible beauty benefits lemon juice has and now I’ve decided to venture into something a little sweeter. As I mentioned in the article, one thing that seems to compliment lemon juice all too well is honey. I’d like to say that my desire to reach for the glass jar of golden goo has faded with age. But alas, I still can’t have a cup of tea or even a DIY face mask, without it. Luckily, it’s proven to have a number beauty benefits.

Why should honey be part of your beauty regime?

Raw honey is renowned for its anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. (1) Yes you heard me – this sticky substance that mainly consists of sugars, predominantly fructose, and water also contains several vitamins and minerals including Vitamin B complex and Vitamin C, calcium, iron and magnesium; and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Honey is also packed with amino acids, antibiotic-rich inhibine (type of protein), antioxidants, flavonoids and so many more vital constituents for wellness. (2) Given that environmental factors such as pollution (3) and sun exposure (4) are the main causes for premature skin and body aging – it’s no surprise that honey is a go-to beauty ingredients for protection, moisture and nourishment.

Here are my top three favourite DIY beauty treatments filled with honey that I highly recommend:

1. Raw honey facial mask

It’s really as simple as lathering about 2 tablespoons of raw honey onto your face and leaving it for about 20 minutes to replenish some skin moisture. However, you can spruce things up a bit by adding 3 drops of essential lavender oil to balance your skin type or 2 tablespoons of uncooked oatmeal to give it a gentle exfoliating treatment. Whichever mask you go for, just remember to keep it on for 20 minutes to get the best result.

2. Raw honey and apple cider vinegar hair mask

Did I forget to mention that honey is a natural humectant as well? So basically it attracts moisture as well – making it perfect to treat dry, damaged hair. Start by mixing 1/4 cup of raw honey with 10 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar well. Then apply it to your damp hair, as you would apply shampoo. Let it sit for 15 minutes and then jump in the shower to rinse it out.

3. Raw honey and aloe sunburn treatment

If you’ve spend a bit too much time in the sun this summer, you may want to give this treatment a go to give your skin the chance to recover. Combine 1 part honey with 2 parts aloe vera gel well and spread it onto all your sunburnt skin for at least 30 minutes. How much honey and aloe you use will greatly depend on how much skin needs to be treated – so just ensure you remember the ratio 1:2.

What can honey do for your health?

It’s all very well and find lathering sticky stuff on your body for aesthetic purposes. But when that sticky stuff is honey – and it tastes so good – you’ll be relieved to know it’s packed with health benefits. So don’t be scared to put a teaspoon in your tea.

1. Aids weight management

Honey is packed with natural sugars that provide an easily absorbed supply of energy in the form of glycogen, making it a rather suited pre and post workout snack. Studies have also proven that honey can help stabilise your blood sugar levels (5) and even supress the activity of your hunger hormones. (6)

2. Boosts your immune system

Please tell me if it’s any surprise to you that a substance packed with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antibiotic-rich inhibine (type of protein), antioxidants and various other phytonutrients wouldn’t be a darn good immune booster? (7) In fact, honey contains some of the exact same antioxidants found in red wine, polyphenols, which are also known to decrease your chances of developing lifestyle diseases such as heart disease and cancer. (8)

3. Counter pollen allergies

Ah, spring is in the air and our gardens are filled with colourful flowers and leaves once again. Beautiful, no? Unfortunately most of us don’t get a chance enjoy the view given our eyes are swollen and itchy from the hay fever. Luckily, having raw honey regularly during this time can help you get over your allergies must faster. Studies prove that because raw, unprocessed honey often contains bits of pollen, it helps your body desensitize from the allergen over time. (9)

So, what have we learnt? Smother it on your skin or drop it in your tea – there’s really no harm from using a little honey to boost your health and beauty regime. Have a beautiful day everyone.