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.
7. Softens Chapped Lips
Soft and supple lips add to your beauty, and honey is a great ingredient to prevent or treat dry and chapped lips.
The moisturizing ability of honey can help restore the lost moisture in your lips to prevent painful cracks. Plus, it will reduce the risk of infection from cracked lips.
- Using your finger, apply honey to your lips a few times a day, just like a lip balm.
- Also, make a lip scrub with sugar and honey in the ratio of 2:1. Mix the ingredients well and use it to gently scrub your lips for a couple of minutes. This will get rid of dead skin cells. Use this lip scrub once a week to enjoy flake-free lips.
In the meantime, avoid licking your lips as saliva dries out your lips. Also, do not forget to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.
8. Makes Hands Soft
Dry and rough hands are a very common problem that can be solved with honey. It contains humectant properties that help lock in moisture to keep your hands extra soft and smooth.
Plus, it helps fight free-radical damage to prevent aging signs from showing on your hands.
- Rub a little honey all over your hands and wait 10 to 15 minutes. Then, take your shower or bath. Once done, apply a mild moisturizer on your hands. Repeat daily to enjoy soft hands.
- Another option is to mix equal amounts of honey and glycerin. Apply it on your hands and allow it to dry on its own. Wash it off with lukewarm water. Do this once daily.
9. Treats Minor Burns
You can use honey to treat minor or first-degree burns that are marked by redness and affect only the outermost layer of the skin.
Due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, honey reduces swelling quickly, helps prevent infection and speeds up overall healing. It also reduces the chances of developing scars.
- Spread raw honey on a gauze bandage.
- Put it directly on the burned skin.
- Change the bandage 3 or 4 times a day.
- Repeat until the burn has healed.
10. Fights Dry or Damaged Hair
Honey contains vitamins and minerals that are good for your hair, and also acts as a humectant to retain moisture. Hence, it is effective for dealing with dry and damaged hair.
It can even soothe an itchy scalp and condition your hair so that it is smooth and soft again.
- Mix ½ cup of raw, organic honey and ¼ cup of extra-virgin olive oil in a bowl.
- Warm this mixture in the microwave for a few seconds.
- Apply it on your scalp and work it through to the ends of your hair.
- Allow it to sit for 10 to 20 minutes.
- Wash your hair with a mild shampoo.
- Repeat this treatment twice a week until you are satisfied with the result.