Bees are having a moment, and we are here for it. From reports of bee pollen helping to increase bust size to recipes for at-home honey hair masks, there’s no doubt the beauty world is all abuzz with bee talk – and for good reason. This superfood ingredient – perfect for hydrating the skin and clearing up blemishes – might just be the missing piece in your skincare routine.
Several ancient civilizations used honey for hygienic and medicinal purposes, including the Romans, Egyptians, Mayans, and Greeks. Some common uses include wound care and digestive issues, but some cultures – most notably the Egyptians – also used honey for skincare. In fact, it’s rumored that Cleopatra herself loved to indulge in milk and honey baths for touchably soft skin. Thanks to honey’s long history of medicinal use and its nourishing and healing properties, using it for skin health seems like a natural transition.
Why Honey Is Liquid Gold
When you first start using honey-based products as part of your skincare routine, you might have mixed emotions. Chances are you’ll go back and forth between feeling like a luxurious Egyptian queen to catching sticky, Winnie the Pooh vibes. One thing is for sure, though: Once you see your glowy, fresh-faced results, you’ll understand what all the buzz is about. But first, let’s break down what makes honey so magical.
For starters, the process of making honey is fascinating. I’m sure we’ve all heard the classic “birds and bees” talk, but it’s worth recapping in order to appreciate just how special honey is. Honey starts off as flower nectar, which bees collect and store in their honey stomachs. While in the honey stomach, the nectar is broken down into simple sugars, and is then stored in honeycombs back at the hive. While there, the bees constantly fan the honeycombs with their wings. The motion of the flapping, along with the shape of the honeycomb, turns the simple sugar into the luscious, golden honey that we all know and love.
What’s remarkable about the honey-making process is that the bees do all of this intuitively and that the finished product is a nourishing superfood that promotes health for our whole body. Here are some of the benefits for our skin in particular:
Honey is rich in healthy bacteria, which activates your immune system and decreases inflammation. This is true throughout your body, but the effects are more targeted when applied topically to the face. This results in less redness and fewer blemishes. On that note, honey is generally safe for all skin types, including sensitive skin. However, if you’re severely allergic to bees or pollen, then it’s best to proceed with caution or avoid altogether.
Promotes Cellular Regeneration
Because it encourages cell regeneration, honey (especially manuka honey) is an excellent natural remedy for wound care and burns. In regards to facial care, honey is perfect for clearing up acne and treating sunburns, and is great for cracked or chapped lips.
Honey is rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants. All of these are beneficial for improving the overall health of your skin and give you a nourished and radiant appearance.
It’s Naturally Moisturizing
As a powerful humectant, honey draws moisture from the air into your skin when applied topically. This makes it perfect for dry skin, and it has a plumping effect, which makes for a more youthful appearance. To amp up the moisturizing experience, try using your honey product in the shower so it can draw moisture from the steamy environment.
11 Products with Honey
Ready to give your skin the queen bee treatment? You could keep it simple and apply honey to your face like a mask, either straight from the jar or mixed with water or tea. Leave it on for five minutes and wipe it off with a warm, moist washcloth to reveal naturally radiant skin.
If you’re looking for a more luxurious experience, try a product that’s enriched with honey. The ingredient is already taking center stage in the world of natural skincare, so there are plenty of products on the market to suit your skin’s needs. Here are a handful of our favorites: