The use of organic honey for medicinal and cosmetic applications can be traced back for thousands of years. In fact, the first recorded evidence of gathering and using honey was found in a cave painting in Spain. The image of a woman gathering wild honey is estimated to be between 7,000 and 15,000 years old. Although the painting does not depict the use of the honey, it is known that the Ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians used honey for both medicinal and cosmetic purposes.
Historical Use of Honey for Skin Care
- Emperor Nero’s second wife, Poppaea Sabina, is thought to have washed her face up to seven times a day with a solution of milk and honey to keep her skin glowing and youthful.
- Nefertiti, known for her beauty, is reported to have used honey on her skin to keep it soft and youthful.
- Queen Anne is reported to have used oil and honey to keep her hair soft and manageable.
- Egyptians used honey in the embalming process to keep the skin supple.
- According to Traditional and Modern Uses of Natural Honey in Human Diseases, a medical brief published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), the ancients used honey to heal wounds and fight infection.
- In Ayurvedic medicine, honey has been used to treat skin disorders, wounds and burns for thousands of years and continues today.
- The Greeks used honey for the treatment and prevention of scars.
Is there any evidence that honey is good for the skin and hair?
Yes. Several studies have confirmed that honey has antibacterial properties that can fight off 60 species of bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, says the report in NCBI. Honey also reduces inflammation and stimulates tissue regeneration. Cosmetically, honey works to maintain moisture in the hair and skin as it is also a humectant that draws in moisture and prevents your skin from drying out.
How do you use honey for the skin and hair?
Honey is typically combined with other softening or lubricating agents to create lotions and salves to treat the skin. It may be included in shower gels, soaps, shampoos and body lotions. Honey may also be mixed with oils for topical application. According to the Mayo Clinic, honey may also be effective for controlling dandruff, itching and several skin infections or irritations, but scientific evidence for these uses are unclear. Further studies are needed to confirm its effectiveness.
What should you look for in a product with honey for skin and hair care?
Honey is a natural product produced by bees. It should be combined with other natural or organic products for the best results. Avoid products with chemical additives or other synthetic ingredients. Look for the terms “all natural” or “organic” on the label.
The next time you want to treat yourself like a queen, nix commercial skin care products and opt for an all-natural product that contains natural honey. It may not turn you into Nefertiti, but it may leave you feeling like royalty.