Why Honey Might Be The Best Thing For Your Skin
Golden, sticky, and made from the spit of Apis mellifera, honey is a substance like no other. I previously wrote about the health benefits of adding honey to your diet. Now, we will talk about the benefits of using honey topically, on the outside of your body.
The largest organ in the human body is our outer covering: our skin. By covering our vitals, skin is the main interaction we have with the environment around us. Life brings many challenges to this covering including cuts, burns, sunburn, aging and acne. It may be surprising to learn, but honey is a substance that can be applied topically to handle all of those ailments. It might not be accurate to call honey a cure-all, but it isn’t far from it.
There are four inherent factors in honey that combine to make it an incredible substance.
The first factor is that honey is a humectant, pulling moisture from the air and maintaining it close to the skin. Unlike a bath, which is dehydrating, honey injects moisture into your dermis, creating soft, elastic skin.
When treating openings in our skin like cuts and burns, the fact that honey is virtually sterile is very important. Unless left open to air and moisture for a long time (I mean very long), nothing is able to grow in, on or around honey. In fact, honey has been discovered in the tombs of Pharaohs, no different from the day it was put in. Contemplate that for a second — thousands of years with no change, and no bacterial growth. This means that when honey is applied, your skin is protected from infection.
Within the molecules of honey lies a very special enzyme called glucose oxidase. When combined with moisture, this enzyme produces hydrogen peroxide, which acts as a mild antiseptic. This slow reaction will cleanse the area of any existing bacteria, dirt, oil or grime while allowing it to breathe freely. Skin needs to take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide just like our lungs do. This gentle action effectively corrects dermatological imbalances leaving it renewed. Our skin is constantly replacing itself to effectively interact with our environment.
The final inherent aspect of honey is that it is an antioxidant. Tiny bioflavonoids act to eliminate free radicals from cells. The news is full of all sorts of superfoods and healthy choices. Well, honey is one of those. Eating it ingests the antioxidant properties, and applying it topically slathers your skin in a happy mixture.
The four major inherent properties of honey keep your skin clean, moisturized, free of bacteria and filled with beneficial antioxidants. These four properties combined promote healthy cellular growth through increased nutrient supply. Healthy growth creates healthy tissue.
There are two main ways to incorporate honey into your skin routine. The first is to use it for issues dealing with cuts, scrapes, burns, or any sort of opening in your skin. Very simply, cleanse the area, apply a dab (not too much, but don’t be stingy) and then wrap with clean gauze. That’s it. Change the bandage every twelve hours, or when it gets dirty.
The second method is for most other sorts of skin issues. After cleansing, apply a thin layer of honey over the affected area and allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes. Gently wash it off, and you are set to go. The methods are simple and direct, letting the honey do its work.
Use honey in the aforementioned ways for the following ten ailments:
1. Acne: Used as a gentle facial mask, the honey gently kills the bacteria forming acne and inputs moisture back into the face. If using for acne, discontinue harsher products.
2. Eczema: By cleaning off the dead skin and injecting moisture, eczema can often be cleared up after only a few treatments.
3. Cuts: Cover with honey and a bandage to help promote healthy tissue repair.
4. Burns: The most common complication of burns, infection, is effectively dealt with by covering in honey.
5. Scrapes: Honey keeps the wound clean and helps it heal quickly.
6. Blemishes: Many times, blemishes are the result of the skin lacking moisture in that area. Honey injects that moisture back in, banishing blemishes.
7. Aging/sun damage: Though a part of life, many wish to reverse the effects. The inherent antioxidant properties of honey combined with moisture retention makes honey the perfect serum.
8. Sunburn: Even the worst sunburn can be aided along by a thin coating of honey. This coating incorporates moisture back into the area, and enhances the healing nutrients being delivered.
9. Athlete’s foot/fungal infections: Stemming from bacteria growing rampant, honey pushes back the horde, clearing the skin with its inherent hydrogen peroxide effect.
10. Scars: Scars are areas of skin that healed imperfectly. Cover with honey to combine all four of its inherent properties to restore that skin to health.
If you are suffering from any of these issues, the answer might have been under your nose the whole time. Try it out and pass on what you learn. Remember, the best honey is local, raw and organic.
This article is part 2 of a 4 part series on honey. Check back for the next part talking what honey can do for things like colds, ulcers, and even cancer.
For more information, go to: http://www.health-benefits-of-honey.com/index.html
Bryan Aldeghi, CLSC, is a College Transition Coach with the Integrated Pathways Center for Personal Growth. The transition from high school into college and from college into the working world is a challenging time for students, parents and families. By working with the dynamic Integrated Pathways team, Bryan helps clients ease the journey, through enhanced communication, goal completion, and increased self-awareness. Other team members focus on managing stress through Yoga, Yoga Therapy, Massage, and Bodywork. A local beekeeper, Bryan is a graduate of Vassar College and is currently working on his Masters of Mental Health Counseling at Walden University. To learn more, contact Bryan directly at BAldeghi@IntegratedPathways.net or visit www.IntegratedPathways.net.