Need a new routine to keep your skin hydrated this winter? I don't know about you, but here in Ontario things have been pretty cold lately. In the past week the temperature has been hovering around -27°C in the mornings.
Needless to say, I am (as always) grateful to have essential oil diffusers adding a little bit of moisture to the air in every room of our home! This kind of cold weather is tough on the skin - dry patches, cracked and dry lips, and eczema/ psoriasis may be at an all time high.
This week I was reading about the amazing health benefits of using honey in your beauty routine, and I decided to give it a try. Honey might seem like a funny choice for your next natural beauty endeavour, but when you think the natural properties of honey, it really makes a lot of sense. I have been using honey + 2 drops of lemon essential oil as a hydrating face mask before bed, and here's what I noticed:
- smooth skin
- well hydrated
- redness / inflammation was reduced
Why Is Honey So Good for Your Skin?
Honey is hygroscopic - meaning it readily absorbs moisture from the air and retains moisture. Of course, honey is also well known for it's antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. This makes it a perfect choice for acne prone skin. It is gentle on all skin types, and works as both a cleanser and exfoliator when applied as a mask.
Raw honey contains powerful antioxidants that can help repair damaged tissue and heal wounds and scars. It is therefore a great choice for reducing inflammation and soothing eczema as well.
Use High Quality Raw Honey
Be sure to use high quality raw (unpasteurized) honey, or Manuka honey. In recent years, the high demand for this expensive product has prompted some companies to sell fake honey! In fact - 76% of honey sold in stores is not produced by bees - it is fake or impure! Some of it is completely artificial, and is made from sugars, corn syrup and artificial colouring.
The easiest way to avoid purchasing artificial honey is to buy from your local health food store, farmers market, or directly from a local bee keeper. Some will even sell honey with the propolis and royal jelly mixed in - this is a real treat with extra powerful health benefits. Manuka honey is another amazing choice, as it is a powerful antibacterial agent. Medical grade manuka honey even shows promising evidence as an effective antibacterial agains drug resistant bacteria.
The reason honey is so anti-bacterial and anti-fungal is of course thanks to the bees. Nectar is naturally very high in water content, and bees are responsible for removing the water from the nectar by flapping their wings to dry out the nectar. They also contribute enzymes from their stomach, which break down the nectar into gluconic acid and hydrogen peroxide. So honey actually contains hydrogen peroxide - and this is one reason why it is so effective at working against bacteria, fungus, viruses, and more!
“While it’s drawing water out of the wound, which is how it might get infected, it’s letting off this very minute amount of hydrogen peroxide. The amount of hydrogen peroxide comes off of honey is exactly what we need–it’s so small and so minute that it actually promotes healing.” Read more
I know, it sounds super sticky and maybe a little bit inconvenient... but the benefits far outweigh the sticky-ness! Read more about the science behind honey's eternal shelf life here.
How to Use Raw Honey In your Skincare Routine
- For Acne Prone Skin:
Mix 2 tablespoon raw honey with 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (or 2 drops of pure lemon essential oil). Apply as a mask to your face and let sit for 30 minutes while you relax. Wash off with a warm cloth.
- For Dry Skin: Mix 1 tablespoon coconut oil with 1 tablespoon raw honey and 2-3 drops pure lavender essential oil. Apply to your face or affected area and let sit for 30 minutes. Wash off with a warm cloth.
- Eczema Relief:
Mix 2 tablespoon honey with 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder. Apply to affected area and let sit for 30 minutes, wash with a warm cloth.
- Brightening mask: Mix 2 tablespoon honey with 1 teaspoon turmeric powder + 1-2 drops of orange essential oil. Apply as a mask to your face and let sit for 30 minutes while you relax. Wash off with a warm cloth.
More Self-Care = Less Stress = Better Immune System!
It is so important to make time for self-care during these cold winter months. More self-care = less stress, which in turn means better immunity and less chance of getting sick. I like to take a warm magnesium bath in the evening with a cup of herbal tea, some relaxing spa music, and essential oils diffusing. Put on a honey face mask, read a book, and embrace the coziness of the cold weather!