The first mentions of the medicinal properties of honey were found in ancient Egyptian papyri about 5 thousand years ago. The myths of Ancient Greece explained the immortality of the gods by the fact that they ate ragweed, one of the components of which was honey. In this article, we will give you a complete guide about honey benefits for the skin.
Man, of course, has not yet been able to acquire immortality, but honey has many valuable properties, and most of them have been scientifically proven. So, we have collected for you all the reliable facts about “sweet amber” and other beekeeping products.
The chemical composition of honey
Strictly speaking, honey almost entirely consists of fast carbohydrates – 38% fructose, 31% glucose, 1% sucrose, and 9% other organic sugars (maltose, melanocytosis, etc.). Before humans learned how to make sugar from beets and sugarcane, honey was almost the only natural sweetener. However, in addition to sugars, honey contains other substances: folic acid (vitamin B9), carotene (vitamin A provitamin), vitamins B1, B2, B6, E, K, ascorbic acid, amino acids (alanine, arginine, aspartic and glutamic acids, leucine, lysine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, threonine, in some varieties also methionine, tryptophan, and proline) and enzymes catalase, amylase, diastase, phosphatase.
The fact that honey may not spoil for years, and sometimes for decades, scientists explain by two factors. Firstly, even though fresh honey is a liquid form, there is very little moisture, and bacteria cannot multiply. Secondly, its pH value (pH) ranges from 3 to 4.5. That is, honey is an acidic environment that kills pathogens. Only linden honey (4.5–7) has a close to neutral pH.
The honey benefits skin
1. General benefit
- As a fast energy drink. Because it is a natural mixture of sugars, honey can urgently saturate the body and get a quick boost of vivacity. One-third of honey consists of glucose – the most accessible and universal energy source for all living things, including humans. Another third consists of fructose, recognized as a relatively “safe” analog of regular sugar.
- A cup of tea with honey after physical labor or exercise can give strength, warmth and improve well-being.
- As a cough remedy. We have known since childhood that honey can help cope with colds and respiratory diseases. However, the scientific rationale for such treatment did not appear until the beginning of the 21st century. Dutch scientists have found that bees’ immune system produces a defensin-1 protein, which effectively suppresses the disease-causing bacteria. Laboratory experiments have shown that defensin destroys various staphylococci and other microorganisms, making honey a natural antibiotic. All this, unfortunately, applies only to bacterial infections: honey is powerless against viruses.
- General tonic. Although the concentration of vitamins in honey is not too high (no more than 1% of the daily value), they are very diverse and catalyze each other’s action. Honey is an antioxidant. Honey contains phenolic acids and flavonoids that effectively fight free radicals. If you regularly consume high-quality honey, you can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and improve the eyes and skin condition.
2. Honey benefits for skin: For men
It is believed that honey with crushed ginseng root is most beneficial for men’s health. In folk medicine, such a product is attributed to the properties of an aphrodisiac.
3. Honey benefits for skin: For women
The honey benefits for honey skin for women’s health are due to the same antibacterial qualities.
4. Honey benefits for skin: For kids
For children under 1-year-old honey is contraindicated for several reasons: firstly, it is a potent allergen, and secondly, the intestinal flora of newborns is not able to suppress the botulinum bacterium that causes botulism – severe toxin poisoning (it is believed that a small number of microorganisms can enter into flower nectar and then into honey). But the body of children over one year old, adolescents, and adults easily cope with dangerous bacteria.
In the absence of allergies, honey benefits. Like in adults, it strengthens the immune system, helps to cope with bacterial infections, and improves the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, a cup of warm milk with honey soothes the nervous system and makes it easier to go to bed in the evening.
5. During pregnancy and breastfeeding
Honey is helpful for pregnant women: it helps to improve the condition in case of toxicosis. For example, if a woman has severe nausea and cannot eat, honey benefits for skin quickly saturate and give energy.
Amylase, a digestive enzyme, breaks down complex carbohydrates, making food faster and easier to digest. In addition, the use of honey during lactation helps to fill the lack of vitamins and minerals and soothes the mother’s nervous system.
6. Honey benefits for skin: Slimming honey
Healthy lifestyle adherents often suggest switching to honey instead of sugar, citing the fact that it is more suitable for dietary nutrition. Unfortunately, this is just a myth: the calorie content of different types of honey is up to 310 kcal (the calorie content of ordinary refined sugar is 387 kcal, brown cane sugar is 390 kcal).
However, because honey stimulates metabolic processes, it is still healthier than sugar. So, the best time for him is the first half of the day. If you eat the required amount (for losing weight, no more than 50 grams per day) during breakfast.
The glycemic index of honey depends on the variety, place, time of collection, and other factors. The lowest index is in acacia (32) and eucalyptus (35–53), the highest in sunflower (up to 85). The GI of ordinary refined sugar is 70, so people with diabetes and people who monitor blood sugar levels should focus on acacia honey.
Honey benefits for skin: Anti-wrinkle face mask
The benefits of honey masks
Honey, as a cosmetic product, has been used for a long time. When there were no cosmetics other than natural substances, women used honey benefits for skin for external and internal rejuvenation.
Honey face masks for wrinkles were a popular cosmetic product 3 thousand years ago, in the ancient states of Egypt and Mesopotamia. Interestingly, if you completely replace sugar with honey on the menu, you can postpone old age and prolong youth. Who said that 50 you can not look 25?
How honey works against wrinkles on the face
The action of the honey mask against wrinkles is due to its composition.
It is a natural elixir of youth and health, which contains:
- Vitamins (these are natural antioxidants).
- Enzymes and phytoncides are natural antibiotics.
The beneficial properties of honey for the skin. The ability to rejuvenate and heal is manifested in the following:
- Honey activates metabolism and provides skin cells with vitamin and mineral nutrition.
- Cleans from decay products.
- Stimulates subcutaneous blood flow.
- Leaves a film on the surface of the skin that retains moisture (moisturizing effect).
- The foil after honey does not impede skin breathing. Loss of moisture is the leading cause of aging.
Rules for the use of honey masks
How to use a bee product to combat wrinkles?
Several essential rules must be followed during medical treatment:
- Honey is one of the possible allergens.
- An anti-wrinkle face mask made of honey benefits for skin has a complex composition (except for honey, which contains other components).
- Honey for the face against wrinkles should not be overheated. You can slightly warm it up in a water bath, but you cannot wholly overheat it.
So, there is only one way to keep natural honey liquid – to leave it in the combs. Bees do not eat crystallized product; in combs, it will remain liquid until spring.
Honey benefits for skin: How to apply a honey mask on your face?
We list the sequence of applying a cosmetic product:
- Steam your face – over the steam of an inhaler or in a hot bath (to open the pores).
- Apply the composition of the honey face mask for wrinkles.
- Hold for 30 minutes.
- Wash off with warm and cold water (it tightens the pores).
Anti-wrinkle honey mask
The first anti-wrinkle honey mask is just liquid honey. Next, you can do a honey massage (it is easy to pat your cheeks and forehead, smeared with honey with your fingers). In this case, honey will act as a scrub and cleanse the top layer of the skin. If you try very hard, you can lighten a tan that is too strong.
The next version of the mask with honey for wrinkles is a tonic for daily care. Store this tonic in the refrigerator. So, daily use of the toner maintains a healthy complexion and prevents wrinkles and skin aging.
Anti-wrinkle masks with honey and other ingredients
Other valuable components are added to honey benefits for skin face masks for wrinkles – aloe juice, onions, egg yolk or white, cinnamon.
Honey and egg white
Honey mask with egg white – composition for normal non-problem skin. It is necessary to beat the protein, add 1 teaspoon of flour (preferably coarse grinding) and 1 tablespoon of honey. Flour provides a thick, creamy mass.
Honey benefits for skin: Honey for oily/dry skin
Anti-wrinkle honey is an excellent component of nutrition and recovery. It is a universal basis for the care of any skin – dry, oily, problematic. A honey anti-wrinkle mask provides nourishment to dry skin if you add vegetable oil to the composition. The classic nourishing cream uses olive oil, but burdock, castor, linseed are also suitable.
For oily skin, add lemon juice (freshly squeezed, 1 tablespoon) to honey. It tightens pores, reduces the secretion of the sebaceous glands, reduces redness, and gives the skin a healthier complexion.
Honey in medicine
1. Application in official medicine
Since ancient times, honey has been used for better healing of wounds and burns. In modern official medicine, its functions have not changed. In 2015, a clinical study was conducted, during which doctors treated burns, wounds. And chronic ulcers with honey and traditional antiseptics.
In official medicine and veterinary medicine, honey from the New Zealand manuka shrub (fine-seeded broomstick) is used for wound healing. It contains the aldehyde methylglyoxal, which has potent antimicrobial properties, approximately 100 times higher than that found in conventional honey. Methylglyoxal is formed directly in the combs after dehydration of the dihydroxyacetone substance contained. In the nectar of the manuka bush flowers. Studies have shown the effectiveness of using manuka honey against Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli.
2. Application in traditional medicine
In folk medicine, it is customary to use honey both as a mono-drug and in combination with other products. The most popular folk remedy for ARVI and colds is black radish juice with honey. The radish contains vitamins C, E, K, B, PP, minerals, and essential oils. When combined with honey, it helps fight bacterial infections and improves overall health. Ginger tea with lemon and honey has the same effect.
Herbalists often offer Ivan tea (fireweed) with honey as a mild sedative. However, unlike ordinary teas, which contain caffeine that stimulates the nervous system, fireweed is suitable for pregnant and lactating women, as well as for children. We wrote in more detail about the properties of this plant in our article.
Our expert – tester Natalya Prokhorenko offers her recipe for Ivan tea with honey and pine cones. Healers suggest making honey compresses for patients with sciatica and rheumatism.
3. The use of honey in cosmetology
It is not known who and when first used honey as a cosmetic product. However, there is a legend that Queen Cleopatra took baths made of milk, honey, and olive oil. And the most famous physician of antiquity, Hippocrates, wrote in his writings about the honey benefits for the skin of human health.