Honey, the natural amber-colored sweetener that lends a moistness and rich flavor to cakes and cookies, provides many benefits as a chemical-free skin care product. Honey's benefits for skin care work in a few different ways. The chemical makeup of honey gives the substance properties that can speed healing and prevent infection. The smooth, thick texture also keeps moisture close to the skin, which can help your complexion become supple and glowing.
Honey can be used as part of a dry skin regimen because its composition is described as s humectant. A humectant is an item or substance that attracts moisture and keeps in locked inside. Using a honey-based facial mask proves beneficial to areas of skin that tend to become dry or itchy because it lends moisture to these areas. People have oily skin can benefit from honey as well; the sweetener can help your skin retain moisture and elasticity without drying it out, as some conventional facial washes may do.
Protects Against Damage
Honey is a natural antioxidant, which proves beneficial when taken internally, but it also provides protective benefits when used topically on the skin. Antioxidants can protect internal organs from a type of damage called oxidative stress, which can lead to better overall health in some cases. The Skin Care Resource Center reports that current research has determined the effectiveness of honey as a natural form of suncreen, to protect the skin from sun damage such as premature wrinkling, a condition that in some people can lead to skin cancer.
Promotes Wound Healing
On the medical side of skin care, honey as a wound dressing can help promote healing and prevent infection due to its natural antimicrobial properties. According to the New Zealand Dermatological Society, the chemical makeup of honey, largely sugars, has what is described as "high osmolality." High osmolality when referring to honey means that the sugars interact with water in such a way that microorganisms cannot develop. In addition to the osmolality of honey, when the sweetener comes in contact with wound exudates--fluids that weep from sores or ulcers--hydrogen peroxide is produced. The creation of the hydrogen peroxide can provide antibacterial benefits to ulcerated areas, which speeds healing.