By Holly Litchfield
Honey is such a gift. It can soothe a sore throat, cleanse wounds, and tastes great in tea and on toast! But bet you didn’t know it’s also a really useful beauty product?
Women as far back as Cleopatra knew honey could help promote a healthy complexion. It’s a natural humectant, meaning it can bind water to the skin, plumping it up and making it look firmer and younger. This quality also helps dry skin of all kinds and causes, but honey’s anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties mean it’s also great for acne sufferers.
Some vegans may protest that honey is not vegan-friendly because bees may be killed as ‘collateral damage’ when honey is harvested, and because taking their honey is a form of theft. But the other side of the argument is that using honey actually encourages more farmers to care for bee colonies, which are in more need now than ever thanks to colony collapse disease. There’s also the argument that vegans kill loads of insects whenever they eat plants, as all plants, even organic ones, are sprayed with some form of pesticide when being grown.
The Vegan Bros explain why they believe honey IS vegan, below, but ultimately, if you are vegan, whether or not to use honey based products is your decision to make, of course.
If you choose to you use honey, it will bring amazing benefits to your skin. You can apply it directly: just massage a teaspoon on your face, let it sit for 10 minutes and rinse off with water or lemon or grapefruit juice for some added vitamin C.
Honey’s also packed with antioxidants, which delay signs of ageing and stem the effects of free radicals. Why not make a mask at home with half a banana and a teaspoon of honey? Mash it up and apply to the face, wait 15 minutes and rinse off as above. You’ll feel your skin tightening almost instantly! For best results, use organic honey, as additives or pesticides (from the plants the bees visit) can affect the efficiency of the product.
No time to mix your own ingredients? Never fear–we’ve selected 10 totally sweet honey based beauty products for you to try!
This certified organic concoction consisting of Raw Honey, White Halloysite Clay and a sensual selection of pure plant oils is a dreamy, effective cleansing silk. Gently removing any impurities, this uniquely ‘pudding-like’ union of natural ingredients works to reveal a more balanced and thoroughly hydrated complexion.
A deeply nourishing night cream containing Rose Oil and Manuka Honey that works to rejuvenate and restore damaged skin cells. The combination of renowned anti-bacterial and healing ingredients helps to plump the skin refining visible lines and wrinkles. Sound like something you want to slather? Willow Organic Beauty stock a range of exciting Honey infused products.
Targeting damaged, colour-treated and even permed hair, John Masters have formulated an effective conditioning treatment containing the same acids found in young hair. Extracts from the Hibiscus flower, organic honey and a generous other 14 natural plant extracts and oils bring life and fullness back to your hair, hydrating and generally improving the health of your scalp. Lasting effects include stronger, softer hair that’s smooth to touch with a natural shine.
Want to try a whole bunch of honey based products? This sample kit is a great place to start! Combining the very best ingredients from British bee hives with botanicals, this selection of everyday essentials is suitable for all skin types and ages. Cleanse away grime and makeup with their award-winning Cream Cleanser then nourish and protect hands and lips with wonderful creams, butters and balms.
Lightly fragrant and rich in age-preventing anti-oxidants, this honey-based polish doubles up as a deep exfoliating treatment and a hydrating facial mask. Designed to stimulate circulation and act as a skin plumper, this polish is suited to all skin types and its reasonable price makes it suitable for all budgets, too!
Consisting of mainly Manuka Honey, the Bee Honey Kissed lip balm heals chapped or split lips with the medicinal properties found in honey. Infused with Grape seed oil and Shea butter as well, the long lasting balm soothes and softens lips also preventing dryness. Queen Bee boasts handmade and certified organic ingredients, making it a firm favourite with eco-beauty lovers.
Himalayan pink salt and organic sugars are the polishing and exfoliating components in this organic detoxifying body scrub. It carries refreshing, fragrant notes of raw honey, green tea and essential oils that work together to restore your skin’s natural radiance. Scrub away impurities and give your skin the moisturising treatment it deserves thanks to a generous helping of virgin coconut oil that is also present in the product.
There are loads of great honey-based products in the Therapi Honey Skincare line, but if you want to go for something a bit different that smells simply divine, you can’t go wrong with their restoring rosewater and honey facial toner. Here, botanical extracts from plump rose petals deliver a burst of moisture to tone and revitalise the skin, leaving your skin clean and refreshed without dryness.
This bee-utifully (heh heh!) scented Limited Edition Hand Cream was so popular with Neal’s Yard customers, the brand has not only made it a permanent product in their shops, but they’ve added a whole range of honey-based products, including a balm, body lotion and hand wash. These products are so gentle, they can be used on little kids and are even suitable for those with eczema or psoriasis. Best of all? Neal’s Yard will donate £10k per year to projects that help save the bees!
Heralded as ‘Nature’s Alternative to Botox’, this unique product has been specially created using natural and organic ingredients, working in synergy for an instant anti-ageing effect. Manuka Honey and Shea Butter help soothe and heal skin whilst the magic Bee Venom ingredient works to control the facial muscles for immediate lifting, tightening and firming.
Apply it twice a week and leave on the skin for 20 minutes before cleansing off– your skin will look and feel instantly younger and smoother.
100% pure and 95% organic, this anti-aging serum deeply penetrates to help promote collagen production and cellular renewal for more supple skin and a beautiful healthy glow. Its honey content makes it highly absorbable, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, and it also supports natural collagen production, brightens and minimize fine lines for more youthful looking skin while helping to defend against environmental aggressors and free radical damage.
In addition to honey, the serum contains five rich plant-based oils that can help relieve chronic dry skin condition such as dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema—and it can calm acne, too.
Got sensitive skin? Soap can really dry it out, as I’m sure you know, but this gentle cleanser, packed with honey and beeswax, was made to soothe. Simple, nourishing, smells lovely, and a 100g bar goes a long way!
Just the name of this product sounds comforting! This SLS and paraben free bath honey won’t foam up with bubbles, but it will scent your bath and leave your skin feeling softer and smoother. This subtle floral fragrance blends top notes of fresh rose petals on a heart of lavender, and a base of Amber, Frankincense and (artificial) Musk.
Yep, you can get honey-infused makeup, too! This creamy formula is suitable for all skin types, and minimises the appearance of skin imperfections and dark circles around the eyes by helping even out skintone. Manuka Honey nourishes, whilst Manuka Oil acts as an antimicrobial skin protector.
AEOS’s gentle and mild luxury cleansing wash contains not only honey, but a blend of organic and biodynamic essential oils, plant extracts and the energies of gems and crystals that helps to relax the skin for easier absorption of the plant extracts. Conditioning and hydrating oils from neroli, lemon and honey gently refresh your complexion.
Main image: Wikicommons