How To Use Honey in Your Daily and Weekly Skin and Hair Treatment with DIY – Part I
Simply, Dr. Isidor Apothecary is traditional apothecary and perfumery for our modern times and 21st century lifestyle. Our motto is “Age gracefully and wisely with 100% natural skin care formulas as our ancestors”. We believe that natural skin care products can do that for you, keep your skin homeostasis and skin physiology in balance and to provide your facial, hand/body skin and hair with proper everyday care.
Here, we would like to share with you some important facts and literature data regarding honey and its beauty secrets as well as how to use honey in your daily and weekly skin and hair treatment with DIY tips and formulas from the cosmetic scientific literature.
Cleopatra is said to have ruled Egypt with an iron fist. Apparently, it was also a smooth fist, since she was one of the more famous people in history to use honey for its skin-enhancing properties. In fact, Cleopatra’s legendary milk and honey baths are just one of many historical examples of people using honey to pamper their complexions. Cleopatra of Egypt regularly took honey and milk baths to maintain her youthful appearance. While Cleopatra didn’t know why honey softened her skin, new research suggests the queen of the Nile was definitely onto something. However, Cleopatra was not only one who utilized honey as a beauty remedy. Madame du Barry, the last mistress of Louis XV used honey as a form of facial mask. Queen Anne of England used a honey and oil concoction to keep her long hair lustrous, thick and shiny. Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, used her own secret recipe for a honey water to keep her hair beautiful. Chinese women have a tradition of using a blend of honey and ground orange seeds to keep their skin blemish-free (Needham AW., 2008).
Firstly, honey is a potent humectant, which means it attracts and retains moisture. This makes honey a natural fit in a variety of moisturizing products including cleaners, creams, shampoos and conditioners. Honey also acts as an anti-irritant, making it suitable for sensitive skin and baby care products. Honey’s prospects in skincare are looking even sweeter; research is currently underway to develop a process using honey to create alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). AHAs are an important ingredient in many skin creams and moisturizers because they help exfoliate the skin. Increased exfoliation, or renewal of the skin cells, can give skin a younger, more vibrant look (Needham AW., 2008).
Honey is a bee-derived, supersaturated solution composed mainly of fructose and glucose, and containing proteins and amino acids, vitamins, enzymes, minerals, and other minor components. Historical records of honey skin uses date back to the earliest civilizations, showing that honey has been frequently used as a binder or vehicle, but also for its therapeutic virtues. Antimicrobial properties are pivotal in dermatological applications, owing to enzymatic H2 O2 release or the presence of active components, like methylglyoxal in manuka, while medical-grade honey is also available.
Honey is particularly suitable as a dressing for wounds and burns and has also been included in treatments against pityriasis, tinea, seborrhea, dandruff, diaper dermatitis,
psoriasis, hemorrhoids, and anal fissure. In cosmetic formulations, it exerts emollient, humectant, soothing, and hair conditioning effects, keeps the skin juvenile and retards wrinkle formation, regulates pH and prevents pathogen infections. Honey-based cosmetic products include lip ointments, cleansing milks, hydrating creams, after sun, tonic lotions, shampoos, and conditioners. The used amounts range between 1 and 10%, but concentrations up to 70% can be reached by mixing with oils, gel, and emulsifiers, or polymer entrapment. Intermediate-moisture, dried, and chemically modified honeys are also used. Mechanisms of action on skin cells are deeply conditioned by the botanical sources and include antioxidant activity, the induction of cytokines and matrix metalloproteinase expression, as well as epithelial-mesenchymal transition in wounded epidermis (Burlando B., Cornara L., 2013).
Bee’s honey is one of the most valued and appreciated natural substances known to mankind since ancient times. There are many types of bee’s honey mentioned in Ayurveda. Their effects differ and “Makshika” is considered medicinally the best. According to modern scientific view, the best bee’s honey is made by Apis mellifera (Family: Apidae). Highly popular in cosmetic treatment, bee’s honey is used in preparing facial washes, skin moisturizers, hair conditioners and in treatment of pimples. Bee’s honey could be considered as one of the finest products of nature that has a wide range of beneficial uses (Ediriweera E.R., Premarathna N.Y., 2012).
What does honey contain?
Honey is a mixture of carbohydrates, proteins, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other compounds. It contains a number of enzymes, including invertase, glucose oxidase, catalase, and acid phosphorylase. Honey also contains eighteen free amino acids, the most abundant of which is proline. It contains trace amounts of the vitamins B2, B4, B5, B6, B11 and vitamin C. Minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, selenium, chromium and manganese are also found in honey. The main group of antioxidants in honey are the flavonoids, of which, pinocembrin is unique to honey and bee propolis. Naturally darker honey has greater antioxidant properties. Acetic, butanoic, formic, citric, succinic, lactic, malic, pyroglutamic, gluconic acids, and a number of aromatic acids are found in honey. Bee’s honey is free of cholesterol (Ediriweera E.R., Premarathna N.Y., 2012).
Cosmetic uses of bee’s honey
Honey and beeswax are used in the beauty industry as a skin moisturizer, softener and to heal the skin tissue. Some cosmetic applications of bee’s honey are given below (Ediriweera E.R., Premarathna N.Y., 2012) –
Face wash: Mix a small quantity of lemon juice into 5 ml of bee’s honey and apply on face before washing. This is used as a home remedy.
Facial cleansing scrub: Mix 5 gr. of almond seed powder into 5 ml of bee’s honey, scrub softly and then wash.
Facial to improve smoothness: A tablespoon of honey whisked together with white of an egg, 1 teaspoon of glycerin and 1/4 cup of flour makes an excellent firming mask. Just smooth on the face, leave on 15 min, and rinse off with warm water.
Facial to improve softness: Mix one or two tablespoons of honey with one-third cup finely ground oatmeal. Add a teaspoonful of rose water. Clean face thoroughly. Spread facial mixture evenly over face. Relax for 10 min to 1.5 h. Remove with a soft washcloth and warm water. Rinse with cold water.
Facial moisturizing pack: Mix 2 tablespoons of honey with 2 teaspoons of whole milk. Apply over the face and keep for 15 min. Rinse off with warm water, and then with cold water
Pimples: Apply bee’s honey on pimples.
Cracked lips: Apply bee’s honey on cracked lips.
Lotion for dry patches of skin: Mix 5 ml of bee’s honey, 5 ml of olive oil and 2.5 ml of lemon juice. Apply on skin and wash after 15 min.
Hair lustre: Mix 5 ml of bee’s honey into 4 cups of warm water. Use as a hair rinse.
Conditioner: Mix 10 ml of olive oil into 5ml of bee’s honey and apply on hair. Wash after 15 min.
Dr. Isidor Apothecary recommendation!
It would be beneficial for your facial skin to do facial treatment with the raw honey weekly; I prefer the raw honey, it is absolutely the best option; it sounds messy but it worth every your effort. Honey makes an excellent facial treatment remedy, it is marvelous cosmetic aid for the skin, it brings blood to the surface, removes impurities and softens the skin, it is a natural humectant (it attracts moisture, honey both moisturizes and cleanses the skin); well I know it sounds pretty messy for doing, but simply it worth!
Probably you are wondering what is the best time for that kind of facial treatment. I would say, late afternoon hours or evening hours. It has been reported that skin blood flow has a pattern characterized by low morning rates, with the highest rates in the afternoon and a second peak in the late evening just before sleep. Sleep is associated with decreased heat production and increased heat loss, the latter resulting from an increase in skin blood flow and skin temperature. In fact, changes in perfusion and peripheral skin temperature may be functionally linked to sleep onset. Skin temperature typically reflects cutaneous blood flow, with the lowest temperatures occurring in early morning and highest in the early evening.
One more useful tip! What type of honey would be probably the best option for your facial and hand/body treatment? I would say the dark color honey (so called the “forest honey”) and raw honey. It is a full of antioxidant, antimicrobial and antiaging properties.
If you still have some questions please do not hesitate to contact us via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Isidor Apothecary has in its offer specially formulated raw honey for the facial skin treatment. It is a special formula of raw dark honey infused with several herbs and botanicals to enhance antimicrobial, antiaging, and antioxidant properties and to keep your skin acid mantle at the proper slightly acidic level pH 5.5 – 6.
Before you close this blog, please go back and read one more time what does honey contain. Isn’t it amazing? Bee’s honey is one of the most valued and appreciated natural substances known to mankind since ancient times.
- Needham A.W. Health benefits of honey. 2008. Available from: http://www.bees-online.com/HealthBenefitsOfHoney.htm
- Burlando B., Cornara L., Honey in dermatology and skin care: a review. J. Cosmet. Dermatol. 2013 Dec; 12 (4) :306.
- Ediriweera E.R., Premarathna N.Y., Medicinal and cosmetic uses of Bee’s Honey – A review. Ayu. (An International Quarterly Journal of Research in Ayurveda) 2012 Apr; 33 (2):178-82.