Ah, honey: a thing of beauty. The same stuff that works wonders on your taste buds can also be wonderful for your face and skin. Honey’s so versatile, it’s practically got your whole beauty routine covered on its own. To prove it, here’s a step-by-step guide for working raw and unfiltered local honey into your regular beauty regime.
Step 1: Face Mask
How it works: Apply a thin layer of honey all over your face and leave it on for up to 20 minutes, then rinse thoroughly and rub the remainder off. (Or check out our Honey Face Mask recipe.)
Why it works: Honey is a natural humectant, which means it absorbs water from the air, as well as an emollient. When you give honey time to do its thing, it‘ll gradually add moisture to your skin, leaving it soft and with just the right amount of shine. Even a little bit goes a long way. Just ask Kourtney Kardashian.
Step 2: Exfoliant
How it works: Rub a small amount of honey between your fingers to warm it up, then rub it onto your face in small, circular motions. Leave it on for five minutes or so before massaging it off with a wet towel.
Why it works: Raw and unfiltered honey crystallizes, while your standard store-bought stuff won’t. Crystallization is normal and a sign that your honey is pure – not a sign that it’s gone bad. These tiny granules are just a teeny bit abrasive, making them perfect for scrubbing your face and removing dead skin cells without using any harsh chemicals.
Step 3: Acne Spot Treatment
How it works: Cover the breakout with a thick dab of raw honey, then rinse it off after 10 to 15 minutes.
Why it works: Honey has a small amount of naturally occurring hydrogen peroxide, which is a potent antibacterial agent for treating wounds large and small. Acne is about as small as wounds get, and honey is up to the challenge. And remember that moisturizing magic we mentioned above? Honey also maintains your skin’s pH balance so that it doesn’t overproduce oil.
Step 4: Bath Soak
How it works: Start at the sink, dissolving two tablespoons of raw honey into one cup of very hot water. Pour the mixture into a tub of warm water and soak. You may want to add more, up to a total of one cup of honey.
Why it works: You’ll have to take Cleopatra’s––or perhaps Roman Empress Poppea’s––word for it. A warm bath with honey will moisten your skin better than water alone thanks to honey’s naturally hydrating properties, leaving your skin soft and smooth.
Step 5: Cuticle Moisturizer
How it works: Rub raw honey into each cuticle, leave it on for 10 minutes, then rinse it off.
Why it works: It’s common for cuticles to be drier than most other areas of your skin, leading to hangnails and uncomfortable peeling. Honey’s ability to pull in water from the surrounding air can help hydrate your fingernails for the long haul.
Step 6: Eye Cream
How it works: Wash your face. Rub honey gently around your eyes. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing off with water.
Why it works: By transferring moisture from the air, honey can plump up thin layers of skin like the eyelids, helping to hide dark circles and fine wrinkles.
Whether first thing in the morning or just before bed, your skin can be so much sweeter with just a little taste of raw and unfiltered local honey. Maybe there’s some truth to that old saying after all: beauty is in the eye of the bee-holder.