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I Love You Honey!

March 10, 2009

Honey is an  excellent ingredients to look out for both in pre-made cosmetic products and for your own cosmetic cooking! There are a few things that you should know however, before getting stuck in….

For Face Masks  and Washes

The everyday honey that you find on supermarket shelves is fine for skin use.  This honey is very cost effective and has usually been Gamma Irradiated to make it sterile.  While the honey still retains its anti bacterial properties the irradiation makes sure the honey is not contaminated with other microorganisms. This is good news for you and the bee population.

Honey is great for healing skin blemishes and can help with improving general skin condition.

For Medicinal Use and on the spot assistance

Honey has been used for its anti bacterial properties for thousands of years. Today a number of clinical trials have showed Honey to be beneficial in healing skin wounds such as ulcers and minor burns.  Although all honeys tested worked to help clean up the wounds the best performer was Manuka Honey from New Zealand. In the medical world sterile dressings impregnated with honey were applied to leg ulcers and burn wounds. The great results have been attributed to the fact that honey has a pH between 3.5-4, it also releases hydrogen peroxide very slowly and gently to the wound area.  The peroxide is so mild that it doesn’t irritate the skin but it is strong enough to be able to kill bacteria and help in the skins healing process. Manuka Honey has an additional benefit called the Unique Manuka Factor which is a term that is used for the additional antibacterial properties attributed to the Manuka variety.

Manuka Honey is pretty expensive and can be hard to get so it is probably best to leave this to the medical profession or use it sparingly as part of your natural medical chest. In cases of emergency try dabbing some on a pimple or boil….

Organic Honey

It is very difficult to get organic honey as the honey has to come from Bees that have not been foraging on non-organic land! It is impossible to tie bees to a tether so you usually only find organic honey coming from remote places. Kangaroo Island off the south coast of Australia has a very successful organic honey facility as do several farms in New Zealand. To be able to classify honey as organic it also should not be heated to more than 45C . Sometimes honey is heated as part of the sterilisation process as honey can contain spores  of yeast, mould and bacteria that can cause botulism. However, the most effective method of sterilising honey is by gamma irradiation.

How should I buy my honey?

Honey should be protected from sunlight just like your essential oils. Therefore if you are splashing out on some manuka honey make sure it comes in a dark glass or plastic container. For everyday honey the clear jar or pot should be fine, just don’t store it in direct sunlight!

Which Off the Shelf Products Contain Honey?

Honey has an INCI name (the format for listing ingredients) MEL. So where you see Mel, it means honey! There are many brands using honey in their formulations. Here are a few:

Apivita Shampoos and conditioners which you can buy by following the link.

L’Occitane Shea Ultra Moisturizing Cream

Burt Bee’s Essential Body Kit

And More! The humble Bee provides the beauty lover with much more than just honey. Propolis, Royal Jelly and Honey Extracts all have excellent skin benefits. We will talk about those later. For now enjoy your day sweetened by a little honey.

INTERESTING REFERENCES

Manuka Honey

The Use of Honey for Wound Management

Leg Ulcer Treatment – InterNurse.com

Gamma Radiation of Honey

5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 11, 2009 10:40 am

    It should just be noted that not all manuka honey is the same, and only some of it contains the ‘Unique Manuka Factor’ mentioned. There is an industry trademark – UMF® – that represents the tested honey. (this is not specific to a particular brand, but all those brands who meet the specified minimum standards).

    Apart from the honey dressings, it is also possible to get tubes of sterilised manuka honey, that you can then apply and use your own dressing over top – this can be cheaper than the ready made dressings.

  2. RealizeBeautyEd permalink
    March 11, 2009 2:22 pm

    Thanks for making that clear NZ Honey Shop! You are correct in saying that honey has to meet a specific standard to be labeled with the UMF trademark.
    It is also good to know that the sterilised manuka honey is also available for general use.
    Thanks

  3. March 18, 2009 3:06 am

    a useful blog 🙂
    thanks for info 😡

  4. April 7, 2009 1:36 pm

    Great post. Manuka Honey is an amazing natural resource.

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