4 Ways to Care for Your Skin with Honey

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Honey is one of those magical gifts from nature that is good for us in so many ways. Honey is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-viral, and helps protect from infection. It is also incredibly nourishing for the skin.

Washing our face with soaps, even those labeled as “natural” or “gentle” can disrupt the skin’s natural pH balance and interfere with healthy sebum (oil) production. And they often have alcohol, preservatives, emulsifiers, and chemical ingredients that can mess with facial skin in unpleasant ways. But honey, oh glorious honey, is healing for all skin types.

Honey has humectant properties, which means it draws moisture to the skin and increases its elasticity, resiliency, and ability to retain moisture. Honey kills detrimental skin bacteria and reduces inflammation. All of this translates to soft, radiant, younger-looking facial skin.

It is important to use raw, organic honey that has never been heated. Raw honey contains beneficial enzymes and anti-bacterial properties, which are lost when honey is heated. Be aware that “raw” honey is sometimes still heated in the extraction and emulsification process, so get a kind that is also labeled “unheated” if you can. And organic honey is better for the bees, the environment, and our skins.

There are a few different ways to work with honey, depending on your skin type:

Dry Skin

Dry skin benefits from having extra time with the honey to absorb all the goods.

  • Dampen your face with warm water.
  • Massage a fingerful (1/2 teaspoon) of raw honey into your face. For a special treat, add a little melted cacao butter (cocoa butter).
  • Let sit for 10 -30 minutes (though even just a minute or two is great if that is all the time you have)
  • Rinse well with lukewarm water.
  • Pat dry – never rub your face with a towel.
  • Pat a couple drops of diluted apple-cider vinegar or alcohol-free witch hazel onto your skin.
  • Follow with a light moisturizer.

Oily/Acne-prone Skin

The anti-bacterial properties of raw honey are great for clearing up blemishes without stripping the natural oils – stripping the skin’s oils with a harsh cleanser actually makes the oil glands step up production to compensate, which means more breakouts.

If you have a breakout/blemish, apply a dab of honey before you go to bed and let it sit over night, then wash with honey in the morning.

  • Dampen your face with warm water.
  • Massage a fingerful (1/2 teaspoon) of raw honey into your face.
  • Rinse well with lukewarm water.
  • Pat dry gently with a clean towel.
  • Pat a couple drops of diluted apple-cider vinegar or alcohol-free witch hazel onto your skin.
  • Follow with an organic, oil-based moisturizer or a little jojoba, almond, rosehip, or carrot seed oil. (Yes, oil for oily skin – keeps the glands from thinking there is an oil deficit and they have to go into overtime)

Normal/Combination Skin

Normal and combination skin will follow the same recipe as above, just paying more care to your different areas. If you have a blemish, dab it with honey and let it sit overnight. If you have a dry patch, apply a little melted cacao butter, extra virgin olive oil, jojoba oil, or almond oil to that section.

  • Dampen your face with warm water.
  • Massage a fingerful (1/2 teaspoon) of raw honey into your face.
  • Rinse well with lukewarm water.
  • Pat dry gently.
  • Pat a couple drops of diluted apple-cider vinegar or alcohol-free witch hazel onto your skin.
  • Follow with an organic moisturizer.

Aging/Sensitive Skin

The anti-oxidants in honey help it slow down the visible signs of aging. It also is gentle enough for sensitive skin, rosacea, and eczema.

  • Dampen your face with warm water.
  • Massage a fingerful (1/2 teaspoon) of raw honey into your face.
  • Let sit for 1 – 10 minutes.
  • Rinse well with lukewarm water.
  • Pat dry very gently.
  • Pat a couple drops of diluted apple-cider vinegar or alcohol-free witch hazel onto your skin.
  • Follow with a light moisturizer.

Note that all of these recipes are only effective if you do not wear makeup. If you do wear makeup, you will need to add a little baking soda to the honey to remove your makeup. Do not use baking soda on your eyes. Instead, use a little cold-pressed oil, such extra virgin olive, castor, almond, or avocado oil, to remove eye makeup.

After washing with baking soda it is especially important to tone your skin by patting on a few drops of diluted apple cider vinegar to restore the skin’s pH.

Honey is a gift from nature that supports our health in so many ways. Naturally anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-viral, and humectant, raw honey is a fabulous and affordable choice for soft, supple, radiant skin.

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