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The beauty benefits of honey, your skin's new savior

Jessica Padykula is a freelance writer and editor in Toronto, Canada covering a wide range of  topics for several online lifestyle publications. She is a regular contributor for SheKnows, covering travel, style, relationships, health and...

How to use honey in your skin care routine to look and feel like a million bucks

It's all kinds of trendy to make homemade face masks with recipes from Pinterest — and if you're a fan of the homemade beauty treatment, you may have been onto something all along. Honey is a naturally nourishing sweetener when eaten as a food, with several big beauty benefits when it is applied topically to the skin.

We asked natural beauty expert Kim Wallace, founder of kimberlyloc.com, for her insight into the beauty benefits of honey and how to use it on your skin. “Raw honey is incredible for your skin thanks to its antibacterial properties and hefty serving of skin-saving antioxidants,” she tells us. “Whether you're looking for an inexpensive DIY solution or a powerful skin treatment, raw honey can help you regain your glow.”

How to use honey in your skin care routine to look and feel like a million bucks
Image: Becci Burkhart/SheKnows

Wallace shares four of the main skin-saving properties of honey.

  • Acne: Honey is naturally antibacterial, so it's great for acne treatment and prevention.
  • Aging: Full of antioxidants, it is great for slowing down aging.
  • Complexion boost: It is extremely moisturizing and soothing, so it helps create a glow.
  • Pores: Honey is clarifying because it opens up pores making them easy to unclog.

More: How to treat dry skin with honey

1. DIY honey mask

Wallace tells us that one of the easiest things you can do with raw honey is layer it on as a mask. “Raw honey can help unclog pores while simultaneously delivering moisture to parched skin,” she says.

Apply a thin layer of raw honey to slightly damp skin using a circular motion. Leave the honey for at least 30 minutes and then gently rinse it off with warm water. “You'll find that it easily washes away, leaving you with soft, radiant skin.”

2. Honey spot treatment

Try zapping pesky zits with honey. “If you're suffering from a breakout, reach for a swab of honey instead of an overly drying over-the-counter pimple cream,” Wallace advises. “Applied ever so lightly, you can sleep with a dab of honey on your face and awaken to less-stressed skin.” Swirl a small amount of honey onto a cotton swab and dab onto your blemish. If you want a little extra boost, Wallace suggests mixing the honey with tea tree oil and lavender oil for additional natural cleansing.

3. Honey cleanser

Though it's not meant for removing delicate eye makeup, honey still makes a good cleanser. “It is amazing at dissolving other makeup, especially when mixed with your favorite natural plant oil and spices,” Wallace tells us. She suggests creating a mixture of honey and oil (try coconut oil or jojoba oil) to form a balmy texture that is slippery enough to slide across your face. “Add in a dash of cinnamon, turmeric or nutmeg for an aromatic treat. Massage the concoction over your face, loosening up heavy makeup and moisturizing your skin at the same time.”

More: Make a banana honey face mask

4. DIY honey exfoliator

You can exfoliate your skin once or twice a week with a gentle scrub made with two parts honey and one part Arm & Hammer Baking Soda. “Baking soda offers light exfoliation while the honey soothes and smooths the skin,” explains Wallace. “Don't be shy about using this recipe from head to toe — your arms, legs and feet will also benefit from this simple yet effective concoction.”

5. Honey bath

Once you start dealing with dry winter skin, turn to honey to soothe. “As the seasons change, your skin can go into overdrive trying to rebalance itself to the conditions. Warm baths with soothing ingredients can keep your skin in check,” affirms Wallace. “Add two cups of honey to a running bath to create body-smoothing bliss. Soak for 15 minutes and then add a cup of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda for your final 15 minutes to help rid your body of dead skin cells without irritation.”

More: Beekeeper reveals why honey is good for your hair

Originally published Sept. 2013. Updated Aug. 2016.

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