Honey, so sweet for your skin!

Our environment is facing air, soil and water pollution. Potentially toxic substances (on the short or long run) are numerous, and many are still being studied. Challenged by toxin overload, our body must work harder during the daily elimination phase. The liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs and skin are the main organs responsible for the cleansing of our bodies.

Our skin is our most voluminous organ. Its different layers take care of many important functions, namely the one of elimination and protection. The skin is very thin and vulnerable. It ages prematurely and rapidly when we clean it constantly with irritating products (our society seems to be promoting absolute hygiene and cleanliness without considering friendly bacteria ecosystems), when we expose it to harmful sun-rays, wind, tobacco smoke, car fumes, whilst feeding ourselves poorly (by eating processed and junk foods, not drinking enough water, drinking too much alcohol – the state of our gut bacteria is of utmost importance for the skin and beyond) and when our sleep is of poor quality or insufficient.

Moreover, from 35 years old, the production of collagen and elastin slows down, showing fine lines and wrinkles. I like this sentence: « If you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin ». It explains why more people now look for home-made cosmetics using oat flakes, raw sugar, sea salt, organic honey, avocado, yogurt and coconut oil, to name but a few. We all understand now that we also absorb toxic substances via our skin. Honey is one of Nature’s precious gifts to us. Honey too is a fragile resource, as bees are facing extinction because of pesticides, herbicides and other human practices. It is therefore a gift that we should use with due respect by choosing brands of raw, organic honey, packaged by the beekeeper himself and who is caring for the environment.

Let’s go back to history. The word « honey » has been used since the 10th century. Human consumption of honey is older though, as the bee appeared on Earth about 80 million years ago. Long before they could make tools, our ancestors harvested honey from tree trunks, under rocks or in small holes in the ground. Used by Egyptians 4000 years ago to clean wounds and abscesses, honey has an acidic pH which stops the development of unwanted micro organisms. Raw dark honey has excellent anti-bacterial properties and is ideal for oily skins and acne: it cleanses and purifies pores. It is often used to help tissue repair and scarring.

Raw organic honey brings us vitamins, trace minerals and minerals: iron, B-vitamins, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, copper, manganese, zinc. Our skin needs the B-vitamins, calcium; zinc helps in tissue repair. Honey is great for cleansing the skin without irritating it. How can we use it in home-made skin care essentials? I am a fan of everything home-made: I know what . ingredients are there, and I produce less waste by buying less packaged products. Here are a few of my simple yet favourite recipes:

Nourishing and hydrating mask for tired and irritated skins

Mix one tablespoon of pink clay with raw honey to obtain a creamy texture. You can add one teaspoon of organic plain yogurt. If your skin is very dry, add a few drops of cold-pressed olive oil or mix in a piece of fresh avocado. Mix well. Apply on the face, décolleté and neck. Leave for 10 minutes (take this time to lie down and breathe deeply and relax!). Rinse well with cold water.

Gentle honey scrub for face & neck

Mix one tablespoon of raw oat flakes or raw sugar with enough raw organic honey to obtain a soft paste. For an acne skin, add one drop of tea tree essential oil. For an irritated or sensitive skin, add 2 drops of camomile essential oil or rosehip essential oil. Rub softly and slowly on the skin in small circles for 2 to 3 minutes, avoiding the eye area. Rinse well with cold water.

Slimming Body Scrub

Don’t throw away your coffee grounds anymore! If not in your compost, keep it in your fridge for your home-made slimming scrubs. It is particularly recommended on cellulite. Mix a few tablespoons of coffee grounds with 1 part grape seed oil for 1-part of raw organic honey. If you are looking for a stronger scrub, add a few tablespoons of raw sugar. Apply on wet skin (after cleaning with organic soap in the shower) and rub in smaller and larger circles for a few minutes, until your skin turns light pink (this indicates that blood circulation is being stimulated). Rinse well with cold water.

Diane Desmarais | Author