It’s not just eating raw honey that’s good for the body. If you’re looking for a more natural beauty routine then raw honey is your friend. The Egyptians used it in many applications and of course, Queen Cleopatra bathed in milk and honey to keep her skin ultra-soft.
When Riath last met up with his beekeeper friend Mr Abdul Abziz in Abu Dhabi, he gave him this advice for keeping skin extra smooth with raw honey and propolis. It’s a natural treatment that the women in his family have used for generations:
How to make a raw honey and propolis face mask
Get some raw honey and a capsule of propolis*. Pierce the capsule and mix the propolis into the raw honey, apply in a thick layer over your face and leave for 25 mins. Rinse well with warm water, then press a cloth dampened with cold water all over the face. If you can’t get hold of propolis, raw honey on its own is very effective and helps to heal skin with acne. It makes the skin look and feel amazing.
How to cleanse your skin with raw honey
Use a head band or scarf to keep your hair out of the way. Put a small amount of raw honey (one or teaspoons) into the palm of your hand, smooth it over your face with slightly damp hands, massaging it in to stimulate the circulation. Leave the raw honey on your skin for about 1 minute then simply rinse off with warm water. You’ll see how good your skin feels.
A natural raw honey scrub
This is particularly good for skin prone to acne. Most commercial scrubs dry the skin out and cause irritation. Raw honey soothes and balances while the baking soda (the Egyptians called it natron) gently exfoliates. Mix 2 tablespoon of raw honey with 1 teaspoon of baking soda (baking powder in the UK) and let it stand for a few minutes. Spread over the face then rub gently with the fingertips paying particular attention to problem areas. Use a cloth dampened in warm water to remove the scrub.
Why raw honey is good for the skin
- Raw honey is rich in natural glycolic acids, the same things added to expensive face creams. They are reputed to have a healing effect on scars and minimise damage caused by sun exposure.
- It acts as a humectant so attracts moisture from the air and it permeates into the layers of the epidermis to hydrate the skin. The healing and moisturing effects combine for natural anti-aging treatments.
- Honey also has a slightly acidic pH, which helps it balance the skin, especially if you’ve been using commercial preparations which tend to be alkaline.
- There are anti-bacterial properties in raw honey which is proven to help heal burns and even wounds, so works well to banish blemishes.
How propolis treats the skin
*Propolis is a substance that bees make using their own saliva mixed with beeswax that they use to seal cracks in the hive. Like raw honey, it contains hundreds of health-promoting enzymes – also valued by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans for its healing properties. Propolis has antifungal properties such as flavonoids and caffeic acid derivatives which works on yeasts such as candida that cause skin problems.
Why raw honey is essential for skin care
Unless honey is described as ‘raw’ it will have been treated in a variety of ways which removes the amazing amount of natural health-promoting properties that the stuff straight from the hive contains. Most of the stuff on supermarkets shelves has been heat-treated, pasteurised or micro-filtered – do not be fooled by the term ‘natural’. Commercial beauty products with the addition of raw honey will not have the same impact either – the amount added is negligible. Only raw (untreated) honey contains all the enzymes, phytonutrients, anti-oxidants and healing compounds that provide so many natural benefits for the skin.