A recent review of medical research
documents honeys effectiveness as an antimicrobial agent.
Antimicrobial agents inhibit the growth of certain bacteria.
According to Janice Cox, author of Natural Beauty at Home, "Honeys
antimicrobial properties make it useful for the treatment of
minor acne flare-ups. Also, unlike some acne treatments, honey
doesnt dry the skin." Honey is antimicrobial for many
reasons, including its high sugar content, which limits the amount
of water available to bacteria for growth; its relatively high
acidity (low pH); and its low protein content, which deprives
bacteria of nitrogen needed for growth. The presence in honey
of hydrogen peroxide, and the antioxidants honey contains, also
inhibit bacterial growth.
Honeys prospects in skin
care are looking even sweeter; research is currently underway
to develop a process using honey to create alpha hydroxy acids
(AHAs). AHAs are an important ingredient in many skin creams
and moisturizers because they help exfoliate the skin. Exfoliation
increases the renewal of the skin cells and gives skin a younger,
more vibrant look. Exfoliation can also cause skin irritation,
so honeys natural moisturizing ability makes it a perfect
fit for AHA products.
Soothing Skin Clarifier (for minor acne flare-ups)
Mix 1/2 cup warm water with
1/4 teaspoon salt. Using a cotton ball, apply directly to blemish.
Maintain pressure with cotton ball for several minutes, to soften
blemish. Using a cotton swab, dab honey on blemish; leave on
10 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.
Firming Facial Mask
Whisk together 1 tablespoon
honey, 1 egg white, 1 teaspoon glycerin (available at drug and
beauty stores) and enough flour to form a paste. Smooth over
face and throat. Leave on 10 minutes. Wash off with warm water.
Mix 1/2 cup honey with 1/4 cup
olive oil. (Use 2 tablespoons oil for normal to oily hair.) Using
a small amount at a time, work mixture through hair until coated.
Cover hair with a shower cap; leave on 30 minutes. Remove shower
cap; shampoo well and rinse. Dry as normal.