Honey: Nature’s own moisturiser
Moisture is skin’s basic requirement. It keeps the skin soft, healthy and youthful. The skin loses moisture to the environment when the humidity is low. Exposure to the sun, over a period of time, also lowers the skin’s ability to retain moisture. Even chlorinated depletes moisture and causes dryness. The texture can become rough and vulnerable to early ageing signs. Oily skins can be short of moisture during dry season.
On the kitchen shelf of your home is one of the most powerful natural moisturisers: honey! Actually, honey is a humectant and attracts moisture to the skin from the atmosphere. In fact, it is one of the most versatile natural products. The anti-oxidant properties increase in importance in skin care, in terms of delaying the formation of visible ageing signs on the skin.
All these properties make honey an ideal natural cosmetic ingredient. For one thing, it suits all skin types. Being a natural humectant, it draws moisture to the skin and even improves the skin’s natural ability to retain moisture. It relieves dryness, even in extremely dry and dehydrated skins, making the skin soft and smooth. As it contains valuable vitamins, minerals and enzymes, it nourishes the skin when externally applied. It also stimulates, tones and tightens the skin, giving it a fresh and radiant glow.
If you have dry skin, apply honey daily and wash it off with plain water after 20 minutes. You can also mix honey with a few drops of orange juice. Apply this on the face for 20 minutes and wash off with water.
For dry skin, you can also mix half a teaspoon honey, one teaspoon rose water and one teaspoon dried milk powder. Mix into a paste and apply on the face. Remove after 20 minutes with water.
Add one-quarter cup of honey to your bath water to relieve dryness and soften the skin on the body.
Honey suits both oily and combination skin. For oily skin, mix honey with egg white and apply on the skin daily, washing it off after 20 minutes with plain water. Egg white has a cleansing effect, reducing oiliness, while honey will soften the skin and nourish it. If you have a combination skin, apply honey by itself on the entire face, as it would suit both oily and dry areas.
Honey can also be used on pimple-prone skins and even if there is a severe acne condition. In fact, people with acne often suffer from superficial dryness and flaking of the skin. Honey would be ideal. Mix one teaspoon honey with yoghurt and apply on the face. Wash it off after 20 minutes. It would relieve dryness and also soothe and nourish the skin. Both honey and yoghurt have a healing effect on acne.
Honey can be useful in face masks, for all skin types. Mix wheat bran (choker) or oatmeal with honey. Rose water can be also be added. Mix into a smooth paste and apply on the face. Wash off when it is dry or after 20 minutes. This mask may be used two or three times a week to keep the skin soft, supple and youthful.
Today, honey is an important ingredient in the formulation of products for beauty care from moisturisers, skin-toners and masks, to hand creams, body lotions and hair conditioners. This most versatile beauty aid is actually within easy reach in your home, on your kitchen shelf. It provides a safety factor, which is a decided advantage. It does not contain preservatives, artificial fragrances, colour or essences. In other words, it is totally natural, in every sense of the word. So make the most of it.