For thousands of years, honey has been touted for its medicinal purposes and used to cleanse and soften skin. Its antiseptic and moisturizing qualities make honey a natural facial treatment. Honey is safe to use on all skin types; however, in the rare case that it irritates the skin, this may be due to an allergy and it should not be used. Raw honey should be used for facial treatments because pasteurization and heating disrupts many of its healing properties.
Cleanse and Treat Acne
Raw honey contains anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that can help heal even more serious skin wounds. According to Dr. Robert Frykberg, Chief of Podiatry at the Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Phoenix, wound care products made with honey have successfully treated diabetic ulcers on the skin.
Honey reacts mildly with water to form small amounts of hydrogen peroxide, which is a mild antiseptic. This helps repair damaged skin faster and destroys acne-causing bacteria on the skin. To cleanse with honey, wet the face and massage a small amount of honey onto the skin, focusing on oily and problem areas. Wait a few minutes before rinsing with warm water.
Exfoliate and Renew
Exfoliate and renew the skin with a just a teaspoon of honey. Honey contains small amounts of natural gluconic acid and other alpha-hydroxy acids. These mild acids help to remove dead skin cells and stimulate circulation for a more radiant and glowing complexion. They also decrease oily skin, tone the pores and reduce wrinkles and blemishes. Simply massage honey into skin, let it sit for a few minutes and wash off with warm water. For acne-prone skin, mix a teaspoon of honey with half a teaspoon of cinnamon and use as a face cleanser and scrub. The cinnamon adds anti-bacterial power to this natural facial treatment.
The natural sugars in honey make it a humectant, which means it attracts and retains water. Honey also contains amino acids that moisturize the skin. Use a honey mask to balance dry skin or oily skin and maintain skin's natural moisture. Apply one to two teaspoons to the face and neck and wash off with warm water after 15 to 30 minutes for an easy facial treatment. Honey can also treat eczema and itchy or inflamed skin patches.
Raw honey contains numerous antioxidants that can reverse damage caused by free radicals, toxins, aging, pollution and sun exposure. Raw honey also contains pollen and propolis, the glue bees use to make honeycombs. Both the propolis and pollen contain large amounts of antioxidants, enzymes and vitamins. These nutrients help to reduce lines, wrinkles, sunspots and blemishes by promoting new tissue growth. Using raw honey as a cleanser, exfoliator or facial mask will give skin a stimulating antioxidant treatment.