Honey as a skincare or treatment formulation has been used since the earliest civilizations. Ancient Egyptians used honey for it’s antimicrobial properties and wound healing. They’d coat a wound with honey then bandage the wound. Not only does honey have antimicrobial properties, it’s also been shown to promote the bodies own wound healing.
Honey in skincare works as a humectant and emollient that can soothe and condition skin and hair. Humectants help retain or preserve moisture and emollients soothe and soften the skin. The use of honey in skincare has been supported with those who have skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis as well. Honey is an animal by-product so it will not fit within some vegetarian’s and vegan lifestyles but for those who do not live that lifestyle honey can serve as an excellent skin conditioner.
For those who have suffered severe burns and rashes due to an accident, medical grade honey has been use to aide in the healing process. In diabetic rats, wound healing was greatly aided by the application of a honey infused treatment cream. Diabetic wounds can be particularly hard to heal.
A review of the application and use of honey in skincare concluded it’s future use would be greatly beneficial for many with skin irritation, sensitive skin, dry skin, atopic skin, and even those with oily and acne prone skin.
The amount of honey present in skincare can vary greatly between products but is generally found between 1% and 10% with 70% being the highest and is found in over the counter and prescription formulations.
Honey is found in everything from hair oil, lotions, shampoos, conditions, toner, sheet masks and everything else in between. Because of it’s humectant properties it will help dry skin become rehydrated over a period of time. It won’t be an overnight process but after a week of continual use is needed before really evaluating its effectiveness. I can’t figure out how shampoos that include honey will help hair retain and build moisture in the long run but conditioners and hair treatments absolutely. In hair oil, a luster is seen that I don’t see in all my hair oils.
Homemade honey infused treatments are fairly easy to make. I’ve made my own body oil with almond oil, honey, avocado oil, and lanolin. I could make a balm out of it by mixing shea butter, mango butter, or cocoa butter with it as well and giving them a good mix with a stand mixer. If making your own at home treatment remember to add some tocopherol (Vitamin E) to act as a natural preservative. You can use the Vitamin E capsules as well. Just burst open a few and add it to your oil. DONT ADD FISH OIL. Its a good source of fatty acids your skin and hair will love but the smell is horrible. We add the oil to our dog’s food during the winter and can attest to how bad it smells. Vitamin E also a good vitamin to add for general skin health.
If making your own hair oil, again this is also easy. Make sure to use hair oils appropriate for your hair’s needs. If you have oily hair use thinner oils like Abyssinian oil and almond oil. If you have curly, course or very porous hair (like mine) look to argan oil or macadamia nut oil. Coconut oil and even almond oil are fairly universal. Baobab oil, Apricot Oil, kukui oil, and safflower oil are also worth considering in any hair or body oil treatment. kukui oil especially has a high content of oleic and linoleic acids. Create an oil concoction and then add 1 part honey to 9 parts oil mix and you now have your honey infused oil.
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