The use of honey in skincare is not a new concept. Anecdotal evidence is being verified, personal testimony, about the benefits of applying honey to the skin. These benefits may include the following:
MICROBIAL PROPERTIES AND WOUND HEALING
One of the most widely recognized properties of honey is its ability to help fight against skin infections. According to one review, many in vitro studies support the idea that honey has antimicrobial properties.
Honey also has anti-inflammatory properties that can aid with skin conditions such as acne or psoriasis.
According to older study honey can help with improving the skin’s appearance. The authors state that it can help stop wrinkles from forming, keep the skin looking young, and prevent infections on the skin that can accelerate aging.
TREATMENT OF SKIN CANCER
Evidence suggests that honey can help treat skin cancer and other cancers. A review article found several studies showing positive results of using honey on cancer cells. These studies mostly focused on honey’s ability to help slow the growth and reproduction of cancerous cells in the body.
Another more recent study also cites honey’s ability to help with cancer treatment. The study indicates that honey has antiproliferative, anticancer, and antimetastatic effects.
A person should talk to their doctor if they have, or suspect that they have, skin cancer. Only a doctor can diagnose the condition. They can also help create an effective treatment plan for the person.
People should not try to treat skin cancer with honey alone, as it is not a reliable treatment. However, they can talk to their doctor about using this remedy alongside medical treatments.
Honey has several potential uses on the skin, including:
- part of daily washing of the face
- help with eczema
- moisturizing effects
- help with healing small cuts or abrasions
- help skin look more youthful
A person should talk to their doctor before using honey for the treatment of skin conditions.
Before using honey on the skin, it is important to do a patch test first. A person should apply a tiny amount of honey to a small area of the skin and wait for at least 20 minutes. If the skin becomes irritated, they should not use the honey.
When using honey on the skin, a person can mix it with other ingredients to create a cream or ointment. Or, they can apply the honey directly to the area of skin that they wish to treat.
After cleaning the skin with soap and water, a person can apply the honey to the face or other areas of the skin. After leaving the honey on the skin for a few minutes, they can rinse it off.
Some people argue that raw honey is best for the skin, which a few small studies support. Raw honey contains pollen and bee propolis. According to a 2015 review, bee pollen has several helpful properties. For instance, it can have pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial effects.
In a 2017 review, researchers found that bee propolis may have anticancer and antifungal effects.
Pasteurization removes both pollen and propolis from the honey. It may also reduce its antioxidant effects. Finally, processed honey may contain additives, such as added sugar or syrup.
People allergic to honey should not use honey on their skin. Also, people with allergies to pollen or bees should also avoid applying honey topically.
For people without known allergies, it is still important to test a small part of the skin before applying honey to larger areas of the body.
A person should make sure to remove any honey or honey-based products from their skin before going to bed. If honey remains on the skin, it can create a mess or get dirty. Honey containing dirt could cause skin conditions to worsen.