Honey and Skin: what are the effects on your skin?

Honey is not only a delicious sweetener, but it also has numerous benefits for the skin. Historically, honey has been known all over the world for its healing properties, with its therapeutic application dating back to 2000 BC. For example, the ancient Greeks and Egyptians used it to treat skin wounds and burns by applying it directly to the skin. Due to its many positive properties, it has been used in skin care routines for centuries. In this blog we will discuss the different types of honey and which skin problems it can help with.

Types of honey

There are several types of honey available, each with their own unique properties and skin benefits. Here are some popular types of honey:

Lavender Honey
  1. Manuka: It is produced by bees that feed on the nectar of the New Zealand manuka tree. It is known for its powerful antibacterial properties due to the presence of a natural component called methylglyoxal (MGO). This unique composition makes it an effective choice for treating acne and skin infections. Manuka can fight bacteria on the skin and help reduce inflammation and redness, making it a valuable addition to skin care products that target the treatment of problematic skin conditions.
  2. Acacia: Has as a mild and sweet taste. Acacia honey is known for its moisturizing and moisturizing properties for the skin. It is rich in nutrients and beneficial ingredients, such as vitamins, phenols, flavonoids and fatty acids and is rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C and flavonoids. These antioxidants can protect the skin from harmful free radicals and help reduce the signs of aging. In addition, acacia honey has moisturizing properties, so it can help the skin retain moisture.
  3. Lavender: It is produced by bees that feed on the nectar of lavender flowers. Lavender honey has been shown to have antifungal properties against pathogenic yeasts, including Candida albicans, Candida krusei and Cryptococcus neoformans, which can cause skin infections. A laboratory study has shown that lavender honey has an inhibiting effect on the growth and spread of these harmful yeasts. This makes it a potentially valuable natural treatment option for people dealing with fungal infections on the skin, such as candida infections.
  4. Tualang: Comes from the Tualang tree in Malaysia, where bees hang their honeycombs from the high branches of these trees. This unique environment gives it a specific composition and healing properties. Tualang honey is known for its potential to protect the skin against immunomodulatory and photocarcinogenic effects of sunlight exposure. This allows it to play a protective role against the harmful effects of UV radiation. Plus, it also has antioxidant properties, which can help fight free radicals and promote healthy skin. It can be used in skin care products that focus on protecting and supporting the skin against external stressors and harmful influences.

Benefits for the Skin

  1. Antimicrobial activity: Honey derived from various sources has potent antimicrobial activity against various microbes relevant to the skin. For example, Manuka honey has been shown to inhibit the growth of dermatophytes, fungi that can cause skin infections.
  2. Moisturizes the skin: It is a humectant and attracts and retains moisture, allowing it to deeply hydrate the skin. This makes it a great choice for people with dry skin. More about dry skin
  3. Wound healing: When applied topically, can aid in wound healing. It can act as a barrier to moisture, prevent dressings from sticking to the skin, and provide nutrients and chemicals that promote wound healing. Applied (medical grade) directly to wounds or used in dressings have been shown to improve healing and reduce infection.
  4. Photocarcinogenic effects: It is suggested that Tualang honey may protect the skin from the immune-modulating and photocarcinogenic effects of sunlight exposure.
  5. Exfoliates and brightens the skin: It contains natural enzymes that can gently remove dead skin cells, leaving the skin looking fresher and more radiant. It can also help reduce hyperpigmentation and even out skin tone.

On the other hand

While it has many benefits for the skin, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider:

  1. Allergic reactions: Some people may be allergic to honey or bee products. It is important to perform a patch test before applying honey directly to the skin to avoid possible allergic reactions.
  2. Stickiness: Honey can be sticky and can be difficult to remove from the skin. This can be uncomfortable, especially when applied to large areas of the body.
  3. Possible contaminants: Honey may contain contaminants such as pollen, beeswax or other particles. It is important to choose good quality honey and check for any impurities before applying it to the skin.
  4. Honey and skin diseases: valued for centuries for its various benefits for the skin, it is also widely used for conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne. Several studies focusing specifically on eczema, psoriasis and acne in combination with honey found that it did not add significant value in treating these conditions.

Everyone reacts differently to ingredients, so it is important to listen to the needs of your own skin and observe any reactions.

Use for your skin

To take advantage of its skin benefits, you can use it in a variety of ways:

  1. Face mask: Mix a tablespoon of honey with a tablespoon of yogurt or oatmeal and apply to your face. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes and then rinse with warm water. This mask will hydrate and soothe your skin.
  2. Scrub: Mix honey with fine sugar or ground coffee to make a natural scrub. Gently massage it into your skin and rinse off with warm water. This will remove dead skin cells and give your skin a healthy glow.

It is always wise to buy organic form. Organic honey is produced by bees that collect nectar from flowers that are free of pesticides and chemicals. In addition, its production promotes sustainable agricultural practices and biodiversity conservation, contributing to a healthier ecosystem. So, besides enjoying the delicious taste and numerous health benefits, and choosing organic honey also contributes to a better planet!

While you are here

Arbutin is a common and much-discussed ingredient in the skincare world. It is known for its potential to brighten skin and reduce hyperpigmentation. In the blog we take a closer look at the various variants of arbutin, the production methods and their specific effects on the skin. We will also discuss the benefits and potential harms of using arbutin and compare its safety with another compound, namely hydroquinone. Want to know more about Arbutin

Picture of Dr. Francis Wu

Dr. Francis Wu

Dr. Francis Wu, een vooraanstaande dermatoloog, is de drijvende kracht achter Iconic Elements. Hij heeft sinds 2004 zijn expertise ingezet om een veilige en effectieve huidverzorgingslijn te creëren, geschikt voor zowel gezonde huid als huidproblemen. Iconic Elements, opgericht in 2016, is de eerste brede skincare lijn in Nederland ontwikkeld door een dermatoloog. Als medisch specialist streeft Dr. Wu naar het bevorderen van het welzijn van mensen door hoogwaardige en effectieve huidverzorgingsproducten te bieden. De proefdiervrije en vegan producten vermijden schadelijke chemicaliën en bevatten natuurlijke ingrediënten.
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