We all love a good pampering session with our friends, but you don’t have to spend a fortune on sheet masks. The best skincare comes from nature as Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz recently demonstrated by using honey. We take a closer look at this all natural wonder.
No wonder Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz have the most beautiful complexions at the ages of 43 and 45 respectively – they are fans of a honey face mask. The pair recently had the ultimate girls’ night in, slapping delicious face masks on one another before a good old dance.
While they were having fun they were really giving their skin a treat too as honey is a fabulous natural skin elixir and one of the oldest skincare products to keep skin looking young and clear. Honey is not only anti-bacterial, to help your skin immediately deal with spots and blemishes and keep it clean, but it’s also packed with antioxidants so you can expect to keep your glow in the future too.
Look out for raw honey, which hasn’t been heat-treated or pasteurised; as it contains more active phytonutrient antioxidants and enzymes so is more effective.
Honey for blemishes
Because of honey’s overwhelming antibacterial properties, breakouts can be cleared up and soothed with honey in a way which doesn’t strip the skin like many over-the-counter creams and washes can. Sometimes stripping and drying the skin can actually make a break out of spots worse.
If you have a pimple then simply dab on a thin layer of honey and let it sink into the skin. Ideally leave this on overnight and wash off in the morning. Your skin will feel soothed rather than stripped which can immediately help any redness reduce.
The enzymes in raw honey clarify skin and keep pores clear and clean so it’s also a good choice of cleanser for spot prone or sensitive skin. Try combing it with a little coconut oil which also has fabulous antibacterial properties. Simply mix one tablespoon raw honey with two tablespoons coconut oil. Use on dry skin and massage in before rinsing with warm water.
Honey to heal wounds
The healing action of honey is so great that the NHS is now using it on skin wounds and infections where antibiotics aren’t effective any more. This is because as well as keeping the area clean with its antibacterial properties, honey is also anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and increases tissue regeneration. It has active compounds which help heel and fight bacteria while unlike antibiotics it’s not been found to create a resistance, no matter how often you need to use it.
Combine with an equal amounts of honey and olive oil or coconut oil to make a lotion and apply to wounds. You are less likely to succumb to an infection or have any scarring using honey. And if you have a scar which you would like to lighten then application of neat honey on the area can help.
Honey for dry skin
Honey is a natural humectant which means it draws moisture from the air into the skin and ensures it’s retained it in the layers where it’s needed. This penetrating, long-lasting hydration can really make a difference to dry skin, especially if it’s also sensitive and tends to react to chemicals. As well as soothing and hydrating, honey also contains an organic acid accelerates shedding dead skin cells just like a scrub but without rubbing. So you will get a brighter more even texture without damaging new skin. This also makes it a fabulous face mask, as Drew and Cameron know! You can simply use a teaspoon of raw honey on clean, dry skin, and let sit for 15-20 minutes before rinsing. Or combine with half a mashed avocado for a really soothing and nourishing mask. If you would like to make a face or body scrub from honey simply mix with ground oats and a little coconut oil to make paste which is easy to apply in circular motions to the skin. Any patches will be eliminated and you will glow afterwards!
Honey to soothe sunburn
The moisturising properties of honey make it a great way to rapidly hydrate sunburn skin as well as soothing it with the caring honey enzymes. Sometimes chemicals on sun damaged skin can irritate so instead mix one part raw honey with two parts pure aloe vera gel and apply to sunburned skin. You can also use honey in a cool bath to really take the heat out of burnt skin, and ensure it’s clean too and protected from bacteria while damaged.