It’s not often that I extoll the virtues of an animal product. I make vegan choices whenever I can in my products and at home. I use candelilla wax instead of beeswax in my lip balms, and I use coconut milk instead of goats milk in soaps and moisturizers.
I might need a moment.
(eyelids fluttering …)
K, I’m back.
Since this is a skin-care company, let’s start with the amazing things honey does for your skin. Keep in mind, all these benefits are derived from RAW, UNFILTERED honey. As soon as honey is cooked (or pasturized, or filtered), it loses these wonderful qualities and becomes another delish sweetener.
- It’s antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antimicrobial, so it can zap acne-causing bacteria, along with other nasties on your face that lead to breakouts.
- It’s a humectant, which means it attracts moisture from the air to your skin.
- Since it’s essentially bee barf, honey is chocked full of nutrients. It has B6, antioxidants, calcium, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, amino acids, zinc, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and a host of other beneficial minerals and vitamins. [i] When applied to your skin, these nutrients get absorbed by your body and help your skin in innumerable ways. It’s like giving your skin vitamins.
- It has healing properties, so for those of us with acne scarring, breakouts, eczema, rosacea, or other skin ailment, honey can actually make your skin grow back better. (That’s a thing.).
In addition to that, honey is used to treat wounds (remember those anti-bacterial and healing properties?). It serves as a probiotic for your gut. It can ameliorate indigestion, soothe coughs, and lower cholesterol.[ii]
Another cool thing it can do is help maintain glucose levels in athletes (or anyone who, you know, moves around). Though it is a sweetener and does contain calories (about 65 per tablespoon), our bodies react differently to honey than they do to other sweeteners. It doesn’t cause our blood sugar to spike like sugar does, and can help our bodies “recover” from exertion quicker and in a more healthy way.[iii]
It really is irreplaceable. I use it in my luxury honey facial exfoliator, in my honey shea butter mask, in serums, even raw every so often because it is just so good. Honey truly may be Mother Nature’s best invention.
I’ll address the types of honey, what to look for when buying honey, and the environmental and social issues around honey in an upcoming entry.
Have you ever used honey for skin care? What do you think?