While people mostly use honey to sweeten foods and beverages, it also has some therapeutic value for the skin.
Many products available over the counter, such as lip ointments, aftersun creams, and lotions, contain varying amounts of honey.
An increasing amount of evidence supports the use of honey as a remedy for many skin conditions. Keep reading to learn more about the research on the benefits of honey, as well as how to use it and the potential side effects.
The use of honey in skin care is not a new concept. However,
These benefits may include the following:
Microbial properties and wound healing
One of the most widely recognized properties of honey is its ability to help fight against skin infections. According to one
The same review states that Manuka honey from New Zealand helps with healing wounds. Several countries, including the United States, have approved honey in medications for healing wounds.
Honey also has anti-inflammatory properties that can aid with skin conditions such as acne or psoriasis. Learn more about using honey for acne here.
A 2017 study on the honey of the stingless bee found that the raw honey has a strong anti-inflammatory effect. Another
According to an older
Treatment of skin cancer
Some evidence suggests that honey can help treat skin cancer and other cancers. A
Another more recent
A person should talk to their doctor if they have, or suspect that they have, skin cancer. Only a doctor can diagnose the condition. They can also help create an effective treatment plan for the person.
People should not try to treat skin cancer with honey alone, as it is not a reliable treatment. However, they can talk to their doctor about using this remedy alongside medical treatments.
Honey has several potential uses on the skin, including:
- part of daily washing of the face
- help with eczema
- moisturizing effects
- help with healing small cuts or abrasions
- help skin look more youthful
A person should talk to their doctor before using honey for the treatment of skin conditions.
Before using honey on the skin, it is important to do a patch test first. A person should apply a tiny amount of honey to a small area of the skin and wait for at least 20 minutes. If the skin becomes irritated, they should not use the honey.
When using honey on the skin, a person can mix it with other ingredients to create a cream or ointment. Or, they can apply the honey directly to the area of skin that they wish to treat.
After cleaning the skin with soap and water, a person can apply the honey to the face or other areas of the skin. After leaving the honey on the skin for a few minutes, they can rinse it off.
Some people argue that raw honey is best for the skin, which a few small studies support. Raw honey contains pollen and bee propolis. According to a
Pasteurization removes both pollen and propolis from the honey. It may also reduce its antioxidant effects. Finally, processed honey may contain additives, such as added sugar or syrup.
People allergic to honey should not use honey on their skin. People with allergies to pollen or bees should also avoid applying honey topically.
For people without known allergies, it is still important to test a small part of the skin before applying honey to larger areas of the body.
A person should make sure to remove any honey or honey-based products from their skin before going to bed. If honey remains on the skin, it can create a mess or get dirty. Honey containing dirt could cause skin conditions to worsen.
Honey may offer several benefits for the skin. It has natural antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties that make it good for treating various skin conditions.
Before using honey to treat a skin condition, a person should talk to their doctor. When using honey, a person should always test their skin before applying a large amount over it.