Honey’s often thought of as a healthier sweetener, but you might be surprised to learn that this ingredient has tons of skin and hair benefits, too. Made by the alchemy of bees collecting nectar, pollen, and resins from flowers, honey can help moisturize, fight aging, and fight bacteria. Plus, it’s loaded with nutrients, antioxidants, and healing compounds. Next time you’re browsing the grocery store shelves, look for raw honey, which hasn’t been heat-treated or pasteurized; it contains more active phytonutrient antioxidants and enzymes for enhanced benefits. Here are a few ways to put the ingredient to use (sometimes with the help of some other natural ingredients).
1. Moisturizing Mask
Honey is a natural humectant, meaning it draws moisture from the air into the skin and ensures it’s retained it in the layers where it’s needed most for penetrating, long-lasting hydration.
2. Pore Cleanser
The enzymes in raw honey clarify skin and keep pores clear and clean. Plus, the antibacterial properties of honey and jojoba or coconut oil also prevent bacterial buildup that can lead to skin imbalances and breakouts.
3. Gentle Exfoliator
Honey is loaded with antioxidants, enzymes, and other nutrients that nourish, cleanse, and hydrate skin. Baking soda, meanwhile, is a gentle natural exfoliator that removes dead skin cells, allowing new cells to emerge for a radiant complexion.
4. Scar Fader
Honey is said to lighten skin, and its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial compounds help to decrease the appearances of scars and increase healing and tissue regeneration. The hydrating properties of honey and coconut oil or olive oil will also help revive skin cells, while regular, gentle massaging will increase circulation to aid skin recovery and cell turnover.
5. Acne Treatment
Honey contains antibacterial and antifungal properties that thwart bacteria that can lead to breakouts. Its anti-inflammatory properties will calm redness and irritation.
6. Bath Soak
Honey’s not just hydrating; its antioxidants will repair skin and protect it against oxidative and environmental damage.
7. Cuticle Moisturizer
Raw honey is loaded with nutrients and enzymes to nourish and heal skin, and it’s a natural humectant, meaning it draws moisture into the skin. Coconut oil conditions and protects, while the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar softens hard skin and balances pH for healthy growth.
8. Hair Conditioner
The enzymes and nutrients in raw honey give dull hair shine without weighing it down. Coconut oil penetrates the hair shaft to condition and smooth the cuticle and give your strands the luster you crave.
9. Shampoo Booster
The humectant properties of honey help regulate and retain moisture in hair, plus honey is said to strengthen hair follicles for healthy growth.
10. Hair Highlighter
The enzyme glucose oxidase in honey slowly releases hydrogen peroxide, an ingredient known to lighten hair color.
11. Sunburn Treatment
Honey restores hydration to the deepest layers of sun-exposed skin—and both honey and aloe vera contain powerful anti-inflammatories to calm burned skin and aid recovery.