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A Sweet Escape: Bees, Honey and Skin Care

By: Michele Steinert
Posted: April 1, 2014, from the April 2014 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Manuka honey is used to treat burns and helps with the healing of the skin by providing a protective antibacterial environment. Studies have shown Manuka honey to be quite effective in the area of wound-management, and research continues at the Waikato Honey Research Unit at the University of Waikato in New Zealand.

Not all honey is alike. The plants, trees, flowers and time of year the honey bees gather nectar and pollen determine the nutrients of the honey. If you were to visit a local honey store, you would see all of the different varietals of honey. Often beside the label, the different varieties can be distinguished by the color of the honey. Manuka honey and Tualang honey are currently the most studied varieties. Tualang honey is being studied as an anti-cancer agent. As the benefits of honey continue to be explored, it is certain that more of the therapeutic benefits of additional varietals will also come to light.

Honey and spa treatments

Honey is an excellent ingredient to use for a facial. It is humectant, drawing moisture from the air to the skin. Due to its chemical structure, it also can be a wonderful, light nonfriction-based exfoliant for clients with sensitive skin. It can treat blemishes and other skin conditions because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. (See Honey Facial Treatment Options.)

Along with topical benefits, a tablespoon of honey before bed can help regulate sleep. Studies have shown if body systems are able to regulate and regenerate, you are in better health by not contributing to metabolic stress.

When possible, choose raw honey instead of commercial honey. If clients are allergic to bee stings, it is not advisable to use items produced by bees. In addition, remember that bees go to various plants, flowers and trees in order to gather pollen and nectar. If the client has severe environmental allergies, this may also cause a problem. Honey shouldn’t be used on open wounds, and children under one year of age should not consume honey. As with any product, discontinue use if a reaction occurs. If irritation persists, advise clients to see their physician.

A beautiful environment