Although the natural healing properties of honey have been used in skincare for centuries, there’s still a lot of buzz around honey bees in the beauty industry. Here are some ways you can use the versatile insect’s beautifying power.
Out on a limb
It’s said Cleopatra would soak in a bath of milk and honey, such was the beautiful afterglow these ingredients gave her. The lactic-acid content in the milk would have smoothed her skin, while the honey’s ability to attract and lock in moisture would have left the queen’s limbs soft and hydrated.
Because of honey’s nourishing effects, it’s no surprise it can help to prevent dryness, tangles and breakage. You could try mixing a little honey and olive oil with your regular shampoo to boost softness and shine, but there are also products that use both honey and royal jelly, a worker-bee secretion that is full of vitamins and minerals.
Honey has been heralded for its healing powers for thousands of years. Today, the super-antibacterial nature of manuka honey in particular is sought after for its anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory qualities, as well as its ability to repair skin. It’s a natural, go-to ingredient for treating acne and pimples, and research suggests some manuka honey contains active compounds that may help slow the signs of ageing.
Another by-product of our clever, winged friends is beeswax. Found in the hive of honey bees, its knack for forming a breathable film on the surface of the skin offers prtotection from environmental factors, such as wind and water, as well as helping to limit moisture loss. That’s why it’s a popular ingredient in lip products.
Ever since the Duchess of Cambridge was revealed to be a fan of bee-venom facials, this substance has gained cult status (though it’s not recommended for people who are allergic to bee stings). Now stings are collected, purified and used in anti-ageing skincare, from serums, to face masks and even makeup. The venom is said to encourage cell regeneration and boost collagen formation, and has even been hyped as nature’s answer to Botox, thanks to its tightening effect. Some people report a tingling sensation on applying the more potent venom products, such as serums.