I have seen many suggestions for different food products that you can use on your face. The one I hear about a lot is honey. I have been really skeptical about putting odd foods on my face, but my skin condition has had me at wit’s end. In a previous post I had stated I was going to try benzoyl peroxide, but in further research I decided to try honey first. For many people it has worked similarly to BP and they have been able to forgo their chemical routine with honey and other natural products. I was going to try manuka honey at first but for me the fact that it is three times the price of raw honey was a deal breaker for me. Manuka is decidedly superior, but whether or not it is necessary is still undecided. I think it would be something to look into for infections for sure.
Why is raw honey important?
Regular honey you can get at the grocery store is not regulated well and I’d be willing to bet none of it is pure. I have come across studies claiming most honey contains corn syrup, which you wouldn’t want on your face. It is diluted so it does not crystallize and stays easy to pour. Natural honey is rich and thick and full of nutrients. Processed honey is heat-treated and besides the additives, most of the nutrients are killed in the process. At best, it is like sugar. If you pay attention, you can tell the taste is off. For some reason I find grocery store honey tastes terrible in coffee, which is really weird. If you want to learn all the ins and outs of why processed honey is so terrible click here. Raw honey is the closest to the ways bees make it and contains traces of pollen and wax. Raw honey has the highest amount of bioactive compounds out of all varieties, such as peptide which is known to be anti-bacterial and possibly good for the immune system. The difference from manuka honey is that the amount of these are not tested in raw honey.
What is special about Manuka honey?
Some people claim that manuka is better regulated, but now that it has become such a popular product I would say that is untrue. As with any natural product, you must do your research, read labels and try to buy local if at all possible. Health-wise it is proposed that manuka contains higher amounts of the natural anti-bacterial compound methylglyoxal and it is known to stimulate healing, they even use it in hospitals. It is purified with ultraviolet light instead of heat to preserve the healing properties. The level of healing properties in each product is measured by a UMF rating – Unique Manuka Factor. A rating of 15 or more is said to be ideal and probably best if you are spending the dough anyways. Another unique thing about manuka is that it is harvested from the Leptospermum scoparium bush in New Zealand, which is related to the melaleuca shrub in Australia. Some honeys are defined by the name of the flower the bees pollinate from, such as Wildflower honey.
Health Benefits of Honey
There are so many things that honey is claimed to help with internally and externally. Before we turned to non-traditional medicinal methods, honey was used quite frequently to treat wounds. Being an anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial agent honey is great for sore throats, cuts, burns, boosting your immune system and overall health. Some studies have also shown that not all sugars are the same and that not all are carcinogenic. The flavonoids and phenolic compounds found in honey have inhibitory effects on tumours and cancer cells. Using honey as a face mask or cleanser should help draw out bacteria on the skin and help with acne and other skin conditions. It works similarly to an oil cleanse but has the added anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory agents.
What honey did I choose?
At my local store, they sell Board’s honey which is very close to me. This way I know it is from reputable bee keepers who aren’t out to dupe people. I chose the Buckwheat honey in the Sarrasin (not actual wheat) variety as I have read the darker the honey, the better it is for your skin. This stuff looks similar to Manuka, but is much cheaper and I like that it’s local. So far, I have only tried the mask (with organic turmeric added which is also anti-inflammatory but can be irritating) today and my skin feels very soft and it didn’t really dry it out. It also isn’t as painful and red. Before I applied it I did an oil cleanse. It seems to be a good choice because it is quite thick and sticky therefore it hardly spread and I didn’t to worry about it melting and dripping anywhere. I am going to try milk in it next time as well as lactic acid contains alpha hydroxy acid in a natural form, which I have also seen as an acne treatment. Most acne treatments are derived from natural things, so I think it will be good to try them first before turning to chemicals. I will try to post again about how my new acne routine is working. I really like the oil cleanse as you only need minimal if any moisturization after.