I have long been fascinated by bees. When I opened my first spa I drove out to a beekeepers farm and gathered various forms from the artistry and hard work of several hives. Honey is such a gift for a variety of reasons. Organic, reasonably priced honey can be easily purchased and put to work on your skin, wounds and body. Read on to discover just how amazing honey and bee made derivatives can be.
No other insect has served the needs of man like the honey bee. For centuries, beekeepers have raised honey bees, harvesting the sweet honey they produce and relying on them to pollinate crops. Honey bees pollinate an estimated one-third of all the food crops we consume.
A honey bee colony can contain up to 60,000 bees at its peak.
It takes a lot of bees to get all the work done. Nurse bees care for the young, while the queen’s attendant workers bathe and feed her. Guard bees stand watch at the door. Construction workers build the beeswax foundation in which the queen lays eggs and the workers store honey. Undertakers carry the dead from the hive. Foragers must bring back enough pollen and nectar to feed the entire community.
A single honey bee worker produces about 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.
For honey bees, there’s power in numbers. From spring to fall, the worker bees must produce about 60 lbs. of honey to sustain the entire colony during the winter. It takes tens of thousands of workers to get the job done.
Give a bit of thought to tapping into your window sill garden or backyard garden to harvest herbs and fresh ingredients to mix in with classic honey combinations intended for personal care.
Practical Applications for Honey
Hair Mask: During the summer months, our strands take a brutal beating with exposure to harmful UV rays, chlorine, salt water and humidity. A honey-based hair treatment like this one will add shine to lackluster locks and condition split ends.
Facial Scrub: Do you have sensitive skin? Why not create a scrub for your skin, for the season just for you? Try whipping up a face mask with honey, brown sugar, olive oil and lemon juice. Sugar is a natural humectant. The mild abrasiveness of sugar melts as it touches your warm skin. Lemon juice tones and refines your pores and honey literally binds it all together while nourishing your skin. Mild but abrasive enough to slough away dead skin cells to reveal a smoother and more vibrant complexion.
Hair Removal: Many skincare brands are looking back to ancient times and formulating honey-based at-home wax kits. But you can put on your own chemist gloves by mixing honey and lemon juice into a sugaring wax that’s safe to use on your face, legs and bikini line. Test first for temperature and your skin’s sensitivity to the mixture.
Scars: Honey is a must for any camping kit for wound care but also honey is a good all-around staple to keep near your personal care supply. Speed up the process of healing by smoothing raw honey on a closed wound or scar before bed and covering with a breathable gauze or light bandage. In the morning, remove the cover-up and gently cleanse.
Acne: Honey’s anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties draw out impurities from the skin, thus targeting breakouts, reducing redness and calming inflammation. Try mixing honey with an egg white and some bulk clay found at your organic care or natural foods store. They honey heals and moisturizes while the egg white and clay naturally dry and draw out impurities. Masquing once a week is highly advised to keep the skin looking fresh and taut.
Benefits of Honey
Moisturizer: As a natural humectant, honey is isn’t just hydrating, it is long lasting and stays put during treatments. Add a few tablespoons to some whipped or melted Shea butter to create a moisturizer that can be used from head to toe. Throw in some sea salt, sugar or sesame seeds to create the ideal scrub.
Bath Treatment: Cleopatra – has long been known for her astonishing beauty as well as her leadership prowess. She was also rumored to take luxurious baths in milk and honey. Lactic acids in dairy products like sour cream, buttermilk, yoghurt or soft cheese breaks down dry, flaky skin enzymatically.
Chapped Lips: Using the residual matter from honey along with Shea butter or coconut butter a lip balm made from your favorite essential oil, such as lemon or lime, is easily contained in a small pot that can be kept in your purse or desk drawer for easy use. Slather it onto elbows, gardener’s hands and feet while you’re at it. Check with your community’s natural apothecary to see which essential oils are edible.
Sunburn: One of the best beauty secrets our grandmothers passed down to us is soothing sunburns with honey. While we take every precaution to avoid this summer skincare mistake, our limbs instantly feel better after dabbing on a little honey. Add honey to aloe from a plant or packaged source. Keep the concoction in your refrigerator for burns, sun burn or sand burn from the beach.