8 Ways to Use Honey to Pamper Your Skin and Hair

Honey in a glass vase flows down from a wooden spoon.

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Legend has it that honey was Cleopatra’s preferred weapon in her beauty arsenal, and now science is catching up to what many women have known for years. Honey, especially raw or unpasteurized, is a fabulously versatile and all-natural ingredient to use on skin. It’s full of antioxidants, which are good for wrinkles and aging skin. It is antibacterial, which helps with acne treatments and prevention. It clarifies skin by opening up and unclogging pores. It’s also a great moisturizer that soothes irritation and blemishes, and it leaves a lovely afterglow. Try the following recipes for an effective, at-home spa treatment.

1. Moisturizing honey masks

Honey dipped into a glass jar on a dark surface.

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Make sure your hair is pulled back from your face before starting one of these recipes. Your face will feel clean and soft afterwards.

1) Scoop a generous spoonful of honey into your hand and spread all over your face. Rub it into your skin and let sit for 5-30 minutes. Rinse with warm water.
2) Combine 1 tbsp buttermilk, 1 tsp honey, and 1 egg yolk. Apply to clean skin and let sit 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water.

2. Honey facial cleanser

Hands holding honey in a glass with a flower.

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Honey is good at dissolving makeup residue, especially when mixed with a gentle oil. Combine honey and jojoba OR coconut oil to create an easily spreadable texture. Rub it into your skin, avoiding eye area, to loosen makeup and unclog pores. Rinse with warm water.

3. Honey almond body scrub

Ground almonds and honey mixed together in bowls to make a face mask.

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This scrub is finger-licking good. The texture from the ground almonds exfoliates the skin, while both the almonds and honey moisturize. Combine 2 tsp. ground almonds and 2 tsp. honey to form a paste. Rub into your face with a circular motion. Rinse with warm water. You could easily increase the quantities to treat your whole body.

4. Honey skin lotion

Lemon and honey mixed in a bowl on a wood surface.

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If you’re feeling that dry winter skin coming on, mix a spoonful of honey with a teaspoon of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice (a natural skin brightener). Apply this lotion to dry areas and let sit for 20 minutes. Wipe off with a warm washcloth.

5. Lemon-honey facial treatment

Honey being smeared on a slice of lemon for skin treatment.

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This is a fun one that’s a bit different. I found it on a DIY natural beauty blog. Lemons are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. They also contain alpha hydroxy acids that exfoliate. Cut a lemon in half and remove the seeds. Add 1 tsp honey to one of the lemon halves. Rub the cut side all over your face. Let it sit 5 minutes, then rinse with warm water.

6. Honey hair shine-boosting rinse

Wood spoon dipping in a glass jar full of honey with dried flowers.

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There are two options. 1) Combine a spoonful of honey with a quart of warm water. Rinse through hair after shampooing. Let it condition for an hour, then rinse. 2) Mix 1-1/2 tsp honey with 5 cups warm water. Rinse through hair and leave on. Dry and style as usual.

7. Cleopatra’s milk-and-honey bath soak

Milk and honey in glass bowls ready to pour in a bath.

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Combine 1⁄4 cup honey with 2 cups milk and a few drops of essential oil. Add to a hot bath, sit back, and relax.

8. Honey exfoliant

Woman holding a spoon being dipped in honey in a wood bowl.

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Use this scrub once a week to soften and clarify your skin. Mix 2 parts honey with 1 part baking soda and rub into your face. This is also good for a full body scrub.

View Article Sources
  1. Burlando, Bruno, and Laura Cornara. Honey in Dermatology and Skin Care: a Review. J Cosmet Dermatol, vol. 12, 2013, pp. 306-313., doi:10.1111/jocd.12058

  2. Semprini, Alex., et al. “Randomised Controlled Trial of Topical Kanuka Honey for the Treatment of Acne.” BMJ Open, vol. 6, 2016, doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009448

  3. Lemon, Raw.” US Department of Agriculture FoodData Central.

  4. Babilas, Philipp, et al. “Cosmetic and Dermatologic Use of Alpha Hydroxy Acids: AHA in Dermatology.” JDDG: Journal der Deutschen Dermatologischen Gesellschaft, vol. 10, 2012, pp. 488-491., doi:10.1111/j.1610-0387.2012.07939.x