We often use honey as a natural sweetener for our tea, pancakes, salads and smoothies. Eating honey is beneficial for our health as it can boost energy, regulate blood sugar, beat insomnia, aid weight loss and improve digestion, to name a few.
Along with its many health benefits, honey is great for beauty purposes as well. Packed with a powerful punch of antiseptic, antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and humectant properties, honey can improve your skin and hair in many ways.
Whether you’re looking for an inexpensive and easy fix for tanning, dry hair, acne or dandruff, raw honey is an excellent natural solution for many day-to-day beauty woes.
Here are the 10 amazing benefits of honey for hair and skin.
1. Fades Scars
Scars of any size or form are ugly to look at. If the scar is on a visible body part, many people will look for ways to get rid of it as quickly as possible. While scars are hard to treat, you can use honey to lighten them and minimize their appearance.
Honey increases healing and tissue regeneration and helps revive skin cells. All these factors work together to fade scars.
- Mix equal amounts of honey and extra-virgin coconut or olive oil.
- Massage the mixture over the scarred area using a circular motion for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Put a warm washcloth over the area, and leave it in place until it cools.
- Wipe the area clean with a cotton ball.
- Repeat twice daily.
2. Treats Psoriasis
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that affects the skin cells. It causes redness, blisters, itching and even lesions. Although honey cannot treat this disease, it can soothe the skin, reduce inflammation and protect damaged skin from becoming infected.
It will also help relieve the dryness, patching and peeling away of the skin.
A 2003 study published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine reports that topical application of a natural honey, beeswax and olive oil mixture of equal amounts is useful in the management of psoriasis vulgaris as well as dermatitis.
- Put 1 teaspoon each of honey, olive oil and beeswax in a microwave-safe bowl.
- Warm the mixture in the microwave until the beeswax melts.
- Stir the mixture and allow it to cool down.
- Apply it on the affected area as a lotion a few times a day.
In the meantime, avoid scratching and picking at the lesions.
3. Heals Minor Cuts and Wounds
Honey is also used to treat minor cuts and wounds because it’s an effective germ killer. It helps draw fluid away from the affected area to speed up the healing time. It even prevents the growth of microorganisms and reduces the risk of infection.
A 2013 study published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews notes that honey is effective as a topical treatment for acute wounds. However, it is not that effective for treating chronic wounds, such as skin ulcers and infected surgical wounds.
For treating minor cuts and wounds, use high-quality Manuka honey only.
- Spread a thick layer of Manuka honey on the affected area.
- Put a bandage over it for a couple of hours.
- Remove the bandage and clean the area with a moist cloth.
- Repeat again as needed.
4. Combats Acne
Acne occurs due to excessive oil secretion and trapped dust mixed with oil in the skin pores that creates a thriving ground for bacteria.
As honey is a natural antibiotic and anti-inflammatory agent, it can reduce acne symptoms and prevent infection.
It also keeps your skin moisturized and glowing, due to the excellent nutrients present in it.
- Apply raw honey on your acne and the skin around it. Leave it on for 30 minutes, then rinse it off with lukewarm water. Repeat 2 or 3 times a day.
- Alternatively, thoroughly mix 1 tablespoon of honey and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder. Apply it on the acne-affected area. Allow it to sit for 15 minutes, then wash it off well with warm water. Repeat once or twice a day.
5. Delays Skin Aging
Being a good source of antioxidants, honey protects your skin from cell damage due to free radicals. Free radicals accelerate the aging process and may contribute to wrinkles, fine lines, crow’s-feet and even sagging skin.
It also keeps the skin well-hydrated, one of the secrets behind glowing and youthful skin.
- Thoroughly mix equal amounts of raw honey and fresh lemon juice. Apply it on your face and neck area. Allow it to dry on its own, then rinse it off with lukewarm water. Use this anti-aging skin treatment once or twice a week.
- Alternatively, thoroughly mix 2 tablespoons each of raw honey and avocado pulp. Using your fingers, spread this mask over your face and neck. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes, then rinse it off with lukewarm water. Use this face mask once a week.
6. Stops Hair Loss
Those who are worried about hair loss can try honey to prevent baldness. It has antioxidant as well as germicidal and fungicidal properties that reduce hair loss and stimulate hair growth.
It can also control dandruff, one of the reasons behind hair loss.
- Mix together 1 tablespoon each of honey and onion juice. Massage your scalp and hair roots with this mixture. Wait 30 minutes, then shampoo your hair as usual. Use this remedy twice a week.
- Alternatively, prepare a hair mask with equal amounts of honey and yogurt. Apply it on your wet hair. Wait 30 to 40 minutes, then shampoo your hair. Use this hair loss treatment 2 or 3 times a week.