Find out what makes honey a great home remedy for acne and a natural treatment for your skin.


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Honey is the sweet spot for treating acne

Applying honey can kill bacteria without drying out your skin


Nowadays the use of honey to treat wounds or skin conditions such as acne may sound strange, but the fact is, honey has been used for these purposes for thousands of years. Moreover, even many hospitals were using it to dress wounds on into the 1900's, prior to antibiotics becoming widespread.


With the recent popularity of natural treatments, people are starting to rediscover the benefits of honey, particularly those for promoting clear skin.


What makes honey effective?


Honey has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. These benefits alone make it an ideal candidate for a natural acne treatment, but honey does one better. It's also a natural moisturizer. While most antibacterial creams will leave your skin dry and irritated, honey actually rejuvenates and protects your skin.


If you're eating honey and/or using it for a natural sweetener, it also helps that it contains a good mix of antioxidant vitamins and minerals, including most of the B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, zinc and more.


Be aware that the type of honey you use can make a difference in your results. Most brands found in stores are highly processed. The processed stuff is still good for you, but organic honey has considerably stronger antibacterial and antioxidant properties, as much of the nutrients are lost during the heating of processed honey. So if possible, get the raw, organic variety for your skin care needs (you can usually tell it by its darker color). Even better, consider Manuka honey if you don't mind spending a little more.


How to use honey


Honey has benefits whether used topically or internally, but the most popular methods for fighting acne involve topical use. This usually takes the form of a facial mask. The great thing about honey masks is that they're cheap and easy. It's usually just two tablespoons of honey and one more of something else. See? Easy. And the downside? Well, that would be the stickiness.


Some people recommend heating it first, although this is a bit of a tradeoff. Honey is easier to stir and spread when heated, but the heat denatures some of the nutrients, and it can make the mask a runny mess. I'd recommend skipping the microwave. Remember that you don't need to refrigerate honey. It's the one food that never spoils!


Here are a few popular combinations:


Honey & Olive Oil - Two great skin moisturizers in one. Olive oil is a natural cleanser that promotes a smooth, radiant complexion.


Honey & Lemon Juice - By combining these two, you get the exfoliation and toning benefits of lemon juice without the usual burning and drying.


Honey & Sugar - A very popular combination. Sugar gently promotes exfoliation and also gives the honey mask a bit more of a pasty consistency, which some find easier to work with.


These are just a small sample. There are tons of things that honey mixes well with (oatmeal, cinnamon, etc.). It's like the natural companion to every topical home acne remedy. The general rule is to massage the mask onto your skin and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before washing it off, rinse and repeat 3-4 times per week. Using a foundation brush to apply the mask can save you some stickiness.


Note that some people have allergic reactions to honey. This is to be expected, as there are literally hundreds of ingredients in it (scientists still don't know them all), so someone is bound to be allergic to a few of them. If your skin is left irritated after using a honey mask, this may not be the treatment for you.


If you're not using it topically, taking honey is as simple as eating a tablespoon every morning and night (might I suggest mixing it with a glass of water and apple cider vinegar?). Yes, it's got sugar, but compared to most processed sugars and sweeteners, honey has a healthy Glycemic Index (GI) - it is gradually absorbed into the blood stream for better digestion. Taking it internally is not likely to give you dramatic results, especially if you have moderate to severe acne, but many do notice an improvement in their skin.


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