Next time a buzzing bee is annoying you, you might want to thank him instead for making a divine all-in-one natural ingredient for your skin, hair and body. Honey, royal jelly, propolis, bee venom and beeswax (all byproducts of bees) are major players in the beauty world for their scientifically proven, nature-made benefits.
If you're not sure exactly what royal jelly and propolis are -- let us help. Royal jelly is a milky secretion produced by worker honeybees, and propolis, often call 'bee glue,' is made from a mix of bee saliva and beeswax that, bluntly, resembles white snot. These bee byproducts tout anti-aging, antioxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, soothing benefits for skin, scalp and hair.
"Honey is naturally antibacterial and has been used for centuries on acne and wounds to prevent infection and expedite healing," explains Dr. Bruce Robinson, a New York City Dermatologist, Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Lenox Hill Hospital and spokesperson for the American Academy of Dermatology. "It clarifies the skin and opens up pores making them easy to unclog -- its 'sticky' properties adhere to whiteheads and blackheads to help dislodge them." Robinson says honey is also a natural antioxidant, so it not only prevents environmental damage such as ozone and other oxidative stress, it's great for anti-aging.
Natural sugars acting as humectants give honey its anti-aging power-punch, drawing moisture from the deeper layers of the skin to the top layer as well as hydrating skin from the top down. "Honey produces hydrogen peroxide which is antibacterial, and also creates a chemical environment that's toxic to bacteria by robbing them of needed water,' explains New York dermatologist Dr. Neal Schultz, host of DermTV.com and creator of BeautyRx by Dr. Schultz. This is why honey gives skin a gorgeous glow.
Click ahead for 19 delicious ways to add honey to your beauty routine.
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Shiseido WASO Quick Gentle Cleanser, $28
We can't get enough of Shiseido's heavenly honey and royal jelly facial cleanser that feels and looks like you're literally washing your face with liquid golden honey (minus the stickiness). Delicately citrus scented, it foams without water and glides over skin to remove impurities and deeply hydrate. Unlike cleansers that require a couple of pumps to cleanse the entire face, a little Shiseido WASO Quick Gentle Cleanser goes a long way and leaves your face feeling smooth and nourished. It also imparts a seriously fresh-faced honey glow.
These cashmere-soft cloths made with organic honey and a blend of citrus essential oils sourced from the Middle East cleanse and dissolve impurities, keeping your skin's moisture barrier balanced. They're also 100 percent bleach-free and biodegradable -- so you can wipe, clean and oil your face, then go outside, plant them, water the soil, and watch them disappear in 60 days.
OY-L's addictively lush exfoliating mask scrub uses the healing and restorative power of Manuka Honey -- high-grade honey from the manuka trees of New Zealand. Blended together with exfoliating agents, oils including abysinica, rosehip and frankincense, plus fragrances found in nature, this zero chemical honey face mask leaves your skin smooth and feeling golden.
Found: your must-have daily burst of honey hydration. Honey Drop Lightweight Moisturizer from Farmacy -- a farm-to-skin line -- is the latest addition to its Honey Collection. Creamy and light, this moisturizer combines triple hyaluronic acid complex, cupuacu shea butter beads, and Farmacy's trademark Echinacea GreenEnvy Honey -- a combination of honey propolis and amino-acid rich royal jelly. The result? It's the bee's knees of propolis-based moisturizers, gliding on for a supremely silky smooth and weightless finish.