Not to ruin your summer fun (as if the looming first day of school hasn't already LOL), but all that sun, saltwater, humidity, and chlorine can be really damaging to your skin and hair. Never fear, honey is here! Honey is rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, probiotics, amino acids, and enzymes that protect, soften, and nourish skin and hair. Honey also has natural antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties to help cleanse and sooth skin, hair, and scalp.
Allll the Benefits
Honey is a highly effective but gentle cleanser and moisturizer. When honey comes in contact with the body's high pH and sodium levels, the glucose oxidase in honey is activated and it begins to break down the glucose, releasing the antiseptic hydrogen peroxide. Furthermore, the natural antibacterial and probiotic properties of honey remove impurities without stripping hair and skin of its natural oils.
The alpha-hydroxy acids in honey remove dull, dead skin and reveal the new skin cells underneath. This gentle exfoliation lessens the appearance of skin imperfections and leaves the skin smooth and even in tone. It also is helpful in keeping the scalp healthy and the hair follicles clear, encouraging healthy hair growth.
Honey also is a natural humectant and emollient. Humectants bond with water molecules to increase the water content of your skin and hair, while emollients build a protective layer that prevents moisture from escaping. Together they deeply moisturize the skin as well as soften and smooth the hair from roots to ends.
Oxidative stress damages collagen, inhibits skin’s natural repair process, and causes inflammation. Honey is full of antioxidants that supply essential nutrients to the tissues that support skin elasticity and hair strength. Honey's anti-inflammatory properties encourage the skin’s natural rejuvenation process, giving you a more youthful glow.
HONEY TREATMENTS FOR HAIR
(You may need to mix more or less depending on your hair length.)
Hydrating Hair Mask
This mask will work best on naturally frizzy, curly, kinky, damaged, or color-treated hair, which tends to be more porous. Porous hair shafts can’t hold onto natural moisture, causing the hair to become dry, brittle, and frizzy.
Olive oil smooths and coats the hair shaft, which fights frizz. Olive oil also contains anti-inflammatory properties that promote scalp health and prevent dandruff. Extra virgin oil also contains high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E, which penetrate the hair shaft and rebalance the hair’s ability to hold moisture, leaving is shiny and free of frizz.
1/2 cup raw honey
1/4 cup olive oil
In a small bowl, mix together the honey and olive oil. Heat in the microwave for a few seconds. You want the mixture to be warm, NOT HOT. Apply to dry hair from scalp to ends and leave on for 10-20 minutes. Rinse well and shampoo to remove remaining mask.
Clarifying Hair Mask
The lactic acid in yogurt acts as a cleanser for your scalp, clearing away dead skin cells. Yogurt also contains proteins that nourish and strengthen hair, making it less prone to damage and split ends. The calcium will give hair a little volume boost too.
The lipid structure of coconut oil is similar to that found in the scalp's natural oils so it's able to penetrate the hair more effectively than other oils. Plus, it's full of nutrients that enhance hair's lubrication, leaving it shiny and smooth.
2 tablespoons plain whole milk yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoons raw honey
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Apply to dry hair. Massage into scalp and work through to ends. Leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse well and shampoo to remove remaining mask.
Softening Hair Mask
Banana soothes an itchy scalp and moisturizes hair as well. Bananas are rich in potassium, natural oils, carbohydrates and vitamins, which help soften the hair and protect the hair's natural elasticity, preventing split ends and breakage. Potassium also has a volumizing effect on hair.
1/2 cup raw honey
2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup olive oil
Puree all ingredients. Apply to dry hair from scalp to ends. Cover with shower cap or plastic bag and leave on for at least 10 minutes. Rinse well and shampoo to remove remaining mask.
HONEY TREATMENTS FOR FACE
The fats in the avocado and yogurt deeply moisturize the skin. Yogurt also contains lactic acid, which smooths your skin, refines pores, and stimulates collagen production.
The chlorophyll in avocados can help reduce inflammation, while vitamin E softens skin.
1 teaspoon mashed avocado
1 teaspoon plain whole milk yogurt
1 teaspoon raw honey
Mix ingredients in a small bowl. Use a cosmetics brush or your fingers to spread a thick layer of the mixture all over your face. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
Aloe is well known for its skin-soothing benefits. It contains the compounds acemannan that suppress inflammation, polysaccharides that encourage skin repair and formation of new skin cells, and the pain reliever carboxypeptidase.
Besides having serious antibacterial and antiseptic properties, aloe vera gel contains salicylic acid, which is an exfoliant that helps to unclog pores acts as an exfoliator, helping to gently slough off dead skin cells.
Because aloe vera gel is high in water, it helps to hydrate the skin and lock moisture, smoothing and softening your skin.
Aloe vera straight from the plant is the absolute best, but if you don't have an aloe plant, some grocery stores sell cut aloe leaves. You can also find natural organic aloe vera gel in most health food stores.
2 teaspoons raw honey
1 teaspoon aloe vera gel
Mix the aloe and honey together in a small bowl and apply a thick layer all over your face. Leave it on for about 10-20 minutes. Rinse with warm water.
The citric acid in lemons is a natural alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), which is a fancy way to say it's an exfoliant that sloughs off dead skin cells without scrubbing. AHAs promote encourage the skin to create new skin cells by removing the old dead ones. The result is a brighter, more even complexion. AHAs also help unclog pores. That, combined with their strong antibacterial properties, make lemons great for treating acne.
Lemons are packed with vitamin C, a natural brightening ingredient and powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals and boosts collagen production.
2 teaspoons raw honey
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Combine the lemon juice and honey and apply the mixture to your face in a thick layer. Allow it to sit for 20-30 minutes.