What are the honey beauty benefits? We explore and get the answers.
Oh, honey. This sweet, gooey skin care ingredient gets a lot of love from the beauty community at large—both natural beauty enthusiasts and science diehards—but just how legit is this golden nectar of the gods? We hit up a dermatologist for the DL on whether honey can truly cure skincare ailments such as dehydration and acne. Turns out, there are a few misconceptions to be aware of, but also some truth to the information that’s already out there.
Using raw honey as a skin care ingredient:
We’ll get straight to the point: honey is the crème de le crème of natural skincare ingredients, and you should integrate it into your skin care regimen like, yesterday.
“Honey is an excellent, natural hydrator for the skin that still allows it to breathe, which is why honey is so good for regeneration and skin healing,” says Elizabeth Tanzi. She’s the founder and director of Capital Laser & Skin Care and the associate clinical professor of the Department of Dermatology at the George Washington University Medical Center. “[Honey] acts as a moisturizer and anti-inflammatory ingredient to soothe the skin, and it also has natural antibiotic properties to reduce bacterial growth,” says Tanzi.
So we know that honey is undeniably good for your skin, but is it actually effective to smear the stuff directly onto your skin? Don’t toss out your moisturizers and acne treatments just yet! The bottom line, according to Tanzi, is that honey is not a solitary cure-all for skin ailments, including acne, and that you’re better off using it in conjunction with other ingredients.
“There are many good, well-tested topical treatments out there. There’s no reason to use honey right from the jar because it hasn’t been tested for effectiveness and safety,” she explains. Regarding acne, she adds, “Treatment for acne usually involves several different types of topical treatments, and sometimes oral, to address all the contributors to acne.”
In short: Yes, it’s good for your skin, but no, it’s not going to solve all your problems. Going jar to face isn’t going to hurt you, but you can make your skin care regimen more efficient by utilizing other ingredients that have been tested and proven effective.
A DIY with honey:
This news may come as a relief, as slathering the sticky stuff straight onto your skin isn’t exactly the most enjoyable experience. Even DIY skincare recipes cut honey with other ingredients that further nourish the skin and make it a bit more manageable!
Speaking of, Tanzi has a great DIY recipe to try:
“Make your own moisturizing mask with two tablespoons whole milk plain yogurt, one tablespoon honey (raw, if possible) and two tablespoons of plain cooked oatmeal,” she says. “Mix it all in a blender until smooth. Apply to your skin and leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse.”
Yogurt will reduce fine lines and tighten pores, honey will combat acne and hydrate, and oatmeal will soothe and reduce inflammation. Make sure you’re using the purest honey you can find—ideally straight from the beekeeper—and bonus points if it’s made locally.
Tanzi also offers this pro tip: “If you are going to use honey, mix small amounts with a standard, over-the-counter anti-acne mask to increase hydration of the product.”
Products with honey as a skin care ingredient:
You can get the best of both worlds with professional skin care products that are formulated with honey along with other ingredients.
For example, we’re big fans of the Skinfood Royal Honey Essential Queen’s Cream, a cream that’s loaded with natural honey extracts and sodium hyaluronate. It’ll calm inflamed skin, give you a boost of moisture, and tell acne to skidaddle. Another favorite is Manefit’s Beauty Planner Honey Sheet Mask Set, a five-piece moisturizing and calming set that is ideal for dry, sensitive, and acne-prone skin. Lastly, we want to highlight the Skinfood Royal Honey Propolis Essence, a seriously potent product formulated with 50% black bee propolis extract, 20% royal jelly extract, and 10% royal black honey extract. Two or three drops will instantly boost and hydrate tired, dry skin.