Putting raw honey on my face has been the single best thing I have ever done for my complexion. For years, I have struggled on and off with light acne, and always seem to get hormonal blemishes. I’ve seen a dermatologist, and have tried any and all OTC acne medications. I stumbled upon the idea of using raw honey as a face-mask from a friend when I asked what her secret was to her newly glowing skin. Next thing I know, I’m at the Farmer’s Market in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica buying raw honey to lather on my face! And my life (and complexion) have never been the same since!
After doing tons of research, I’ve come to learn this natural food is the bees’ knees! Why? Because it is packed with good stuff for you whether you use it internally or externally – making it the perfect multi-purpose travel companion!
In this article, you will learn:
- Why raw honey is so good for your skin
- Other uses of raw honey
- Raw honey vs processed honey
- Top brands of raw honey for face masks
- How to apply a raw honey mask
Let’s get started…
Why are raw honey masks good for your skin?
It’s naturally antimicrobial
When you mix it with water (to wash off of your skin), the honey releases antiseptic hydrogen peroxide, which helps to heal acne and stop bacterial growth without damaging body tissue. This means cleaner pores which translates to LESS blemishes!
Regulates the natural pH of the skin
Raw honey has a natural pH level of 4.5, which helps skin stay within 4.5-5.5 (healthy zone). This in turn will help combat irritants such as pollution and bacteria that it’s exposed to daily. The slight acidity of honey promotes tissue healing and regeneration of the skin.
Soothes fine lines and wrinkles
The high antioxidant content in honey eliminates free radicals in the skin which are the culprit for wrinkles, age spots and blemishes. It also contains gluconic acid, a mild alpha hydroxy acid that brightens the complexion, evens skin tone and lightens scars and age spots.
It’s an organic moisturizer
The sugars in raw honey act as a humectant and emollient; increasing water content and reducing dryness of the skin even after washing it off. No need for additional moisturizer unless you feel so inclined!
Raw honey is anti-inflammatory
Raw honey will soothe redness and reduce inflammation of your skin whether from acne or injury.
What else is raw honey good for?
Treats seasonal allergies
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, pick up some raw honey from your local farmer’s market. By exposing yourself to the local pollen, you are less likely to suffer from the allergen’s in the air.
Helps stabilize blood pressure and balance blood sugar levels
If you’re experiencing low blood sugar, a tablespoon of honey will get you back to balance.
Soothes sore throats and coughs from the common cold
Not only does the consistency provide relief, the antibacterial properties go to work internally to help you recover faster.
So why is raw honey better?
Raw Honey vs. Processed Honey – which honey to buy?
Unpasteurized – which simply means it hasn’t been treated by heat or processed in any way. In it’s most raw state, honey is an alkaline-forming food that contains pollen, which has natural enzymes, vitamins and powerful antioxidants. Once treated by heat, all these beneficial nutrients are destroyed.
Pasteurized – meaning it’s been treated by heat and processed so that all the enzymes and good probiotics have been destroyed. The pollen has been completely removed to extend the shelf life and at the same time taking away all of its beneficial properties. Sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup is a main ingredient.
Top types/brands of raw honey for face masks
Not all honey is created equal. The quality of honey you buy is based on the main type of flower or plant that the bees pollinate.
Manuka – generally considered the best for honey masks. Also the most expensive. This raw honey comes from bees that feed on the manuka bush in New Zealand. It’s recognized that manuka honey has the most healing benefits because it contains a naturally present property not found in any other honey in the world. But not all manuka honey is the same, so a rating system was developed to tell you how much healing benefits are contained within each jar. UMF, or, Unique Manuka Factor, is a rating system to help consumers understand what grade of manuka they are purchasing. The UMF ranges between 5-16+. To be considered potent enough to be therapeutic (and for face masks), manuka needs a rating of at least 10.
Buckwheat – it is said, the darker the honey the better. Buckwheat honey is known for its rich, dark color and its sweet, rich flavor and aftertaste reminiscent of molasses. Darker honey contains more antioxidants, which will work wonders on your skin (whether it be for a face mask or healing a wound). Monofloral honey, or honey that is made from just one flower or plant, has better chances of having a higher amount of vitamins, minerals and antibacterial properties because it’s not mixed with any other types of honey that may have varying degrees of each. Get this at your local farmers market for best results.
One of my favorite brands to eat and put on my face: Geddes Farms (try the Buckwheat & Blueberry)
*NoMoreDirtyLooks.com shares their top brands for honey masks
How to apply a raw honey mask
You can start improving your skin today in 4 easy steps!
1) Cleanse your face and pat it dry
2) Apply a thin layer of raw honey all over your face and let it sit for 3-15 minutes. (I have also left on for close to an hour)
3) Rinse clean with warm water
4) Pat dry
Recipes for raw honey masks
I recommend starting with just raw honey and if it’s working well for you stick with it! However, if you want to try out a more potent mask check out our favorites…
- Raw honey with turmeric: good for calming inflammation from blemishes.
- Raw honey with lemon juice: lemon is a light exfoliator
- Raw honey with cinnamon: bacteria fighting mask. Cinnamon is also an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal anti-viral agent, in addition to being a light exfoliant.
*Elizabeth from Living the Nourished Life shares her favorite honey mask recipes
Why honey is the perfect travel companion
For centuries, people have used honey for healing, medicinal, nutritional and cosmetic purposes. It can be used for healing wounds, treating scars and even soothing sunburn!
- Raw honey can be found all over the world at local farmer’s market. When purchasing from the local market, you are supporting the local economy and farmers
- A little goes a LONG ways, so even a very small jar will last for a while (takes up less space than face wash)
- It’s extremely affordable
- Besides honey masks, you can also help heal small wounds with honey
Save the bees!
Bees are in danger. Did you know it is said bees are responsible for 1 in every 3 bites of food in the United States? Without bees, we would no longer have access to tons of fruits, vegetables, nuts and berries. The consequence of a dying bee population is an enormous threat to human survival.
Learn how you can help save the bees!
Do you have a favorite honey to eat or lather on your skin?