If you keep bees on your homestead, you’re already reaping the benefits of increased pollination of your fruits and vegetables, which should increase your yields and keep you lush with produce during the growing season. You’re also surely harvesting honey to use as a natural sweetener in everything from baked goods to your morning coffee.
Photo by Sonja Langford.
Using local sugar cuts way down on your carbon footprint because you don’t need to ship imported cane sugar long distances to enjoy a sweet treat. Honey requires little to no processing, making it an incredibly green crop to enjoy on your homestead. It doesn’t get more local than your own backyard!
The liquid gold from your beehive can also provide you with free, healthful additions to your skin-care routine. Cutting out harsh commercial cleansers and soaps can reduce your chemical consumption as well as your carbon footprint, and thanks to your busy bees you already have everything you need for glowing skin.
The Benefits of Raw Honey for Your Skin
Honey has been used for thousands of years as a natural health and beauty aid, though it’s only recently that scientists have started examining its properties in a systematic way. Honey has antibacterial properties that can inhibit the growth of some 60 strains of harmful bacteria, and it is also a great antioxidant and humectant.
The delicate chemical composition of honey can be ruined by excessive heat, so raw honey is the best choice to benefit your skin. You can use honey straight out of the hive for your cosmetic preparations, and it’s a great way to use your least favorite seasonal batch. For example, if you prefer the light honey of early spring, use that for cooking and save the darker, autumnal honey for cosmetics.
Raw Honey as a Gentle Cleanser
It couldn’t be easier to use raw honey to wash your face. You don’t need to go through any complicated soap-making tutorials. Simply put some honey in a small squeeze bottle. That’s it!
Then use the following steps:
• Wet your face
• Squeeze a dime-sized amount of honey into your hand
• Gently wash your face as you would with any liquid cleaner
You’ll be surprised by how easily it rinses off, leaving behind soft skin. Honey’s antibacterial properties are great for keeping acne breakouts at bay and it draws moisture to your skin to keep it moisturized. It’s a great solution for sensitive skin because there’s no soap or harsh chemicals to cause irritation.
If you like your facial cleanser a bit thinner in consistency, try adding one part rose water to five parts honey. This will make your cleanser a little more pourable and slightly more astringent — and it will smell delightful!
Raw Honey as a Scrub
If you’ve tried to store raw honey for more than a few months, you know that it starts to crystalize over time. While this might be a drawback for cooking, grainy, crystalized honey makes an ideal face scrub to slough off rough, dry skin.
Try storing your crystalized honey in a small jelly jar with a reusable plastic lid. When you’re ready to scrub, wet your skin, then scoop out some honey with your fingertips and massage it into your skin. The sugar grains will provide gentle exfoliation before eventually melting away as you rinse with warm water.
Raw Honey as a Lip Balm
If your lips crack in the dryness of winter, raw honey can help heal them. Instead of using a commercial, petroleum-based lip balm, all you need is a dab of honey on your fingertip. The temptation will be strong to lick it off, but leaving it on forms a protective barrier that encourages healing and draws moisture. It may sting a bit, but rest assured that you’re feeling the antibacterial properties at work.
Even if you don’t yet keep your own bees, seeking out a local honey producer for raw honey will let you make your cosmetic routine greener and healthier. Give these easy honey cosmetics a try, and you’ll enjoy glowing skin without the chemicals in no time!
Ali Lawrence is a tea-sipping writer who focuses on healthy and sustainable living via her family blog Homey Improvements. She was born and raised in Alaska and dabbles in PR, Pilates, and is a princess for hire for kid’s parties. Find her on Twitter @DIYfolks.