For centuries, people have recognized the therapeutic and medicinal benefits of honey. From the ancient Egyptians to modern divas, honey’s anti-microbial and moisturizing properties have been helping us put our best face forward.
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The Miracle of Honey
Honey fights bacteria with a multitude of weapons including acidity, hydrogen peroxide, and polyphenols. The high sugar content robs bacteria of the water they need to survive. All of these compounds make honey a natural choice for gently and naturally cleansing your skin without the harsh drying chemicals of over the counter products. Make it a consistent part of your skin care regimen and you may end up as fabled as Cleopatra.
Honey and Lemon
Lemon’s sharp acidity is great for removing dead cells and controlling oily areas. When mixed with honey, the duo can knock out blackheads, calm inflamed skin and reduce break outs. Method: mix the juice of half a lemon with one tablespoon of honey. Spread it over your face (avoid your eyes) and let it sit for at least fifteen minutes. (Lemon juice can be powerful stuff. Take it off early if the stinging gets to be too much.)
Exfoliating Honey and Salt Scrub
The salt in this recipe will help draw out oils and bacteria while the honey replenishes your skin with moisture. Method: Mix one tablespoon of salt with one tablespoon of honey. Spread a thin layer over your face and massage gently to help the mix penetrate your pores. Leave on for twenty minutes and flush with warm water. Follow with an apple cider vinegar toner to close the pores. If you want to enhance your beauty further, check out this course on how to apply makeup like a pro.
Honey and Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is not only anti-microbial, it’s also an anti-fungal with an intoxicating fresh scent. Method: Add two to three drops of tea tree oil to a tablespoon of honey for a cooling, calming mask. Leave on for twenty minutes.
The Land of Milk and Honey Mask
Milk baths have been one of the best kept beauty secrets for generations. The lactic acid in milk helps dissolve patches of dead skin. For your face, we recommend using probiotic yogurt because it has a better consistency for a mask. Method: mix equal parts yogurt and honey and leave on thirty to forty minutes. To nourish your body from the inside out, check out this course on Food as Medicine.
Sunburn Relief Mask
When combined with aloe vera gel or juice, honey can bring speedy relief for a tan gone bad. Method: mix equal parts honey and aloe and let rest for thirty to sixty minutes. Learn a comprehensive roster of beauty and massage treatments here.
Moisturizing Honey Mask
There’s nothing wrong with using plain honey straight out of the jar to tone down a break out and pamper your skin. Many folks report vast improvements in their skin with consistent use—as in everyday for two weeks or longer. Method: Simply apply a slim layer of honey to almost dry skin and let it sit on your face for at least thirty minutes and up to an hour. If you want to learn the ins and out of professional beauty treatments, train yourself to work like a pro .
All honey naturally contains a plentiful mix of B vitamins and trace minerals, but most beauty mavens report that raw honey does a better job of reducing inflammation and moisturizing than plain honey off the shelf. Raw honey should have more natural enzymes than processed honey and those enzymes should do the best job of balancing your skin.
There are a number of other food products that can be used to benefit your skin.
- Fruits: kiwi and pineapple are both full of enzymes, vitamin C and natural acids. Blend the fruit to a pulp or just wipe a slice over your face and feel the burn. Slather on some avocado for a rich, green, healing mask.
- Cereals: Oatmeal is known as a calming skin softener. A simple paste of flour and water will dry to draw out impurities.
- Oils: Olive and coconut oils are both renowned beauty tonics. Ingest them by the teaspoon or add a couple drops to any of the mask recipes to enhance the moisturizing properties.
- Veggies: Don’t stop at cucumbers on the puffy eyes. For a bad breakout, bust out the garlic and onions. Dab some crushed garlic on a major zit to let it’s anti-fungal, anti-bacterial magic do it’s work.
At the end of the day, we all want to put our best face forward and there’s no better way to do that that with an affordable, natural, gentle honey face mask. Anytime you can skip the toxic chemicals that are in beauty products on the shelves, you’re doing your body a favor. Stick to the remedies that Cleopatra swore by. Humble old honey is now being used in the battle against antibiotic resistance. If scientists swear by it, shouldn’t you? Any way you look at it, the science of looking good starts with the basics. If you want to know more than the average joe, become your own beauty genius with Marie Claire’s beauty genius course, because the world is waiting to see the best of you.