A spoonful of honey: Beneficial beauty secrets of honey

A spoonful of honey: Beneficial beauty secrets of honey

By mixing honey together with simple household ingredients such as milk, sugar and salt, you can make yourself an endless supply of inexpensive, luxurious natural beauty treatments.

By mixing honey together with simple household ingredients such as milk, sugar and salt, you can make yourself an endless supply of inexpensive, luxurious natural beauty treatments.

by Rachel Holland — 

The answer to natural beauty is just a squeeze away — a squeeze from a honey bear, that is! Throughout the centuries, legendary beauties have used honey as part of their hair and skincare regimens. Cleopatra was famous for her milk and honey baths; Poppea, wife of Roman Emperor Nero, used a honey and milk lotion on her face to keep her looking youthful.

By the time mass production of cosmetics began in the late 1800s, honey was a popular ingredient. Today, in response to consumer demand for more natural formulations, manufacturers are increasingly using honey in skin moisturizers, facial masks, hair conditioners and shower gels.

Recent scientific research also is beginning to recognize the beneficial effects honey has on our skin and hair, something organic beauty producers have known for years.

Armed with a basic knowledge of these beneficial qualities, not only can you achieve the healthy glow of nature’s golden gift, but you can also save yourself a great deal of money. By mixing honey together with simple household ingredients such as milk, sugar and salt, you can make yourself an endless supply of inexpensive, luxurious natural beauty treatments.

 

What the experts say about honey

Angelica Fematt-Davidson, a clinical esthetician and owner of www.code-skin.com, a botanical skincare company, explains: “Honey is truly unique. This wonderful substance has such a broad chemical composition of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, that it is appropriate for all skin types. It is soothing and healing for sensitive skin, hydrating and nourishing for combination skin and antibacterial for oily, acne-prone skin. Because of the high content of antioxidants, it has the ability to protect the skin from free radicals and promote tissue regeneration, rejuvenation and healing. This all-in-one skin gem is truly a gift from nature.”

Preliminary studies by Hoffman-La Roche recently revealed that honey has significant antioxidant properties that protect the skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays. Honey also is a natural antiseptic and, as such, can help regenerate damaged skin. According to Janice Cox, author of Natural Beauty at Home (Henry Holt), “Honey’s antimicrobial properties make it useful for the treatment of minor acne flare-ups. Also, unlike some acne treatments, honey doesn’t dry the skin.”

 

Honey-based treatments to try at home

Honey also is an excellent exfoliator; used regularly, it can scrub away dead skin cells to give the skin a fresher, rejuvenated look. “It’s the natural live enzymes in honey that work as a gentle exfoliator on the skin,” explains Sandra Thebaud, who has used honey in her organic skincare products for seven years (www.BotanysDesire.com). “To create your own invigorating body scrub, simply mix half a cup of raw honey with half a cup of raw sugar or salt. This will leave your body feeling like you just spent a week at a spa!” explains Sandra. “The honey dissolves very easily in water and therefore will not leave a sticky, messy residue on the skin,” she adds.

Another way to make your own honey scrub is to mix one tablespoon of honey with two tablespoons of finely ground almonds. Add half a teaspoon of lemon juice and rub gently onto your face before rinsing with warm water. This leaves your skin tingling with freshness!

Try moisturizing your face and neck Cleopatra-style, by mixing two tablespoons of honey with two teaspoons of milk, and smooth over your face and throat. Leave on for 10 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.

Swirl four tablespoons of honey in your warm bath water for a relaxing, fragrant bath, then step in and descend into a warm, silky escape.

Laura DuPriest, author of the best-selling Natural Beauty (Prima Publishing), uses honey as a nightly cleanser, recommending it as particularly ideal for removing eye makeup. Mix one part honey with two parts plain yogurt. She mixes up large batches and freezes the extra for thawing later.

Protect and soften lips with a honey and cranberry lip-gloss. Mix together one tablespoon of sweet almond oil, 10 fresh cranberries, one teaspoon of honey and a drop of Vitamin E oil and bring to a boil. Stir well and gently crush the berries. Cool the mixture, and then strain through a fine sieve to remove the fruit pieces. Pour into a glass jar.

Last but not least, honey’s moisturizing properties also make it a terrific hair conditioner. Honey mixed with raw avocado and a teaspoon of jojoba or coconut oil, then left on the hair for half an hour, works wonders for hair that is dry and damaged.

Honey is also fantastic for adding shine to the hair. Stir a teaspoon of honey into a cup of warm water and add a squeeze of lemon. After shampooing, pour the mixture through the hair. No need to rinse out — just dry your hair as normal.

Why buy expensive beauty products when you can easily make them yourself? With common household ingredients like milk, sugar and salt, you can turn honey into an inexpensive, all-natural cleanser or conditioner. Try some of these easy-to-make ideas for natural homemade beauty treats!

 

Rachael Holland is a writer and residential natural beauty expert for a wide variety of holistic magazines worldwide. www.RachelHolland.net.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 24, Number 2, April/May 2005.

 

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