5 Honey Treatments for Great Skin and Hair

Honey from a glass jar slowly pouring into a glass bowl.

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If, like mine, your pantry is full of various jars of honey you’ve scooped up this summer at farmers markets and vegetable stands, you may be wondering what to do with all that sticky sweet stuff.

Of course, there’s always cooking, baking and using it in tea, but why not put it to work for your skin? Home skincare recipes that include honey have been a staple since we followed teen magazines — and for good reason. Honey is regarded as antibacterial, full of antioxidants and good for acne, defying aging, opening pores and softening skin.

Before using honey on your skin, make sure you’re not allergic by testing a bit on the inside of your wrist to gauge any reaction.

Raw honey, which has the most healing properties, seems the best bet. Often found at farmers markets, this opaque honey is thick and unfiltered, with bits of floating matter. But try any good natural or organic honey.

Here are just a few honey beauty treatments to get you going.

A woman applying honey on her face.

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Mask to ban pimples

If your acne is bacterial rather than hormonal or you suffer the occasional pimple (who doesn’t?), a honey mask might be a good idea. Combine a spoonful of manuka or raw honey with a little water or damp hands and smear it all over your face, making sure to coat any acne-prone areas or pimples. Leave on for 30 minutes to an hour and wash off with warm water and your regular cleanser. Skin will be glowing and smooth. This antibacterial treatment will dry up pimples.

Firming mask to cleanse and tone

Whisk together 1 tablespoon honey, 1 egg white, 1 teaspoon glycerin (available at drug and beauty supply stores) and enough flour to form a paste. Apply the spackle over your face and neck. Leave on for 15 minutes, then wash fully with warm water. Skin will feel taut, firm and toned.

Hair conditioner

A glass bowl of honey with hair brush and exfoliation tools.

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You might think putting honey in your hair would result in a sticky mess, but this luxe treatment works well to condition and soften. Mix 1/2 cup honey with 1/4 cup olive oil (about 2 tablespoons oil for normal to oily hair). Apply to hair, working the mixture through as you would a thick hair mask. Cover your hair with a shower cap and leave on about 30 minutes. Remove the shower cap. Wash hair in the shower and rinse well. Hair will feel silky smooth and soft.

Honey-coconut body wrap

2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon raw honey
2 drops vanilla, peppermint or lemon essential oil

A glass bowl of honey with oils in glass in a spa environment.

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In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients. The consistency should be a soft solid. Prepare 2 large bath towels by dampening them under very hot running water in an empty tub. Get in the tub and rub the honey mix over your entire body, then recline and cover yourself with hot towels. Sit for 15 minutes or until towels cool, then rinse off under running shower and pat dry. Skin will be left smooth and silky.

Honey-lemon- lavender face scrub

Juice from 1/2 lemon

1 tablespoon raw honey

1/4 cup sea salt

2 teaspoons dried lavender

5-10 drops lavender essential oil

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl to combine. Store in a glass jar with a twist top. Massage a heaping scoop of scrub onto the face and rub gently in circular motions. Rinse well with a warm wash cloth and finish with a splash of cold water. Store leftovers in the jar and use for up to a week. Scrub provides gentle exfoliation, cleansing and a refreshing and relaxed feel, especially at bedtime.