Put Honey On It
If there is only one thing I can share with you to improve your healthy brick road it’s this: honey for skin care. Yes, in that photo to the left you can see there is a jar of honey in my shower. That’s where it lives. It’s a raw “gently filtered” honey, but any true honey will do – watch out, there’s a lot of fake honeys out there (yes, seriously).
My favorite thing to use it for is the painful cystic acne zits that can sit under the skin for days without coming to a head. Honey starts to clear them up within about 2-4 hours. You read that correctly: 2 to 4 hours! Not 24 hours. By 24 hours it should be significantly improved if not almost gone. Some of those painful face mountains take multiple attempts with honey to get a result, but most (90% of mine) will clear up almost instantly, or at least start clearing up so they are less painful.
I’ve struggled with acne since high school and I think I’ve pretty much tried it all – this face wash, that soap, toothpaste, homemade masks, yes – ProActive, a very expensive skin care regiment from a dermatologist, antibiotics back before I knew better, and so on – creams, toners, you name it. It would be nice to not get pimples in the first place, but once you have one, this is an excellent go-to spot treatment. Catch the zit early enough and you might be able to prevent it from fully forming!
What you do:
- Put honey on the zit.
- Let it sit 1 minute.
- Rinse it off with water.
- Repeat every 4 hours if needed.
Here is an example using one of my own zits with before and after pics. (You know I really support this if I’m putting a zit pic on the internet just to help you out!)
Why does honey work for acne?
Honey is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and in other words, anti-acne. It contains a beneficial enzyme (glucose oxidase) that produces hydrogen peroxide to fight bacteria, but honey also promotes healing in a way that plain antibacterials do not. One reason honey may work so well topically for acne is its high folate content. One study found that folate (when taken with creatine, but still) significally speeds up the regeneration of skin. Honey also contains vitamin C, which is often used for acne treatments and skin healing because it stimulates collage and helps treat hyperpigmentation.
Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine, Honey and Health: A Review of Recent Clinical Research
Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine, Vitamin C in dermatology
Things honey can be used for:
- cystic acne
- razor burn
- bug bites
Do not use honey on:
- Fungal infections like ringworm or yeast – they eat sugar
- Skin cancer
- Don’t go overboard. Honey also contains sugar and that can cause you to break out. If you, for example, try rubbing it all over your face and leaving it on for 30 minutes – you may heal some zits but end up with a couple others. So as an all-over acne mask, keep it short – one to two minutes is all you need to get the beneficial effects. Yes, cover your whole face if you have acne spots all over – I have – but only for a minute or two.
- If you have allergies, you may want to stick with clover honey. If you use wildflower honey like I do, you could end up with an allergic reaction. This happened to me one time, but that was one spoonful of honey out of however many spoonfuls in the four different honey containers I’ve used for skin care over the recent years. Lucky for me, that spoonful wasn’t used on my face, but that’s just something to keep in mind. Even having had it happen, I still choose wildflower honey, but I just want to be sure you have all the information.
I have also successfully used honey to prevent/lessen scars. Shortly after I started using honey for skin care I got three cat claw scratches on my stomach and thought – ‘let me try honey on two of the scratches and see if it works better than the one without’. Don’t make my mistake. IT WORKS BETTER. I have the one claw scar to prove it. (You’ve already seen pics of my zit, that’s enough for today.) 🙂
What about blackheads?
I don’t really get blackheads much, so I can’t give you any tried-and-true advice in this area. According to Medical News Today, blackheads are non-inflammatory and not caused by bacteria, which are the two main reasons that honey is thought to work so well (source: European Food Research and Technology). But for one minute of testing time it’s certainly worth a shot since it does work so well for other skin problems. If you have blackheads and want to try it, please let me know how it goes in the comment section below! I will update this area if someone gives input that can help.
Yes, really. You can actually buy bandages that have honey already on them like these made by CVS. The honey used for those bandages is a much stronger type of honey called manuka honey. It is made from bees that sourced their pollen from a manuka plant, which is native to Australia. This honey is so strong there has even been a rating system created to designate just how strong each one is. The rating system is known as UMF (Unique Manuka Factor). The more UMF, the stronger it is. You can read more about the UMF on the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association website. I’ve never tried manuka honey for acne or anything else; just regular honey is good enough for my purposes.
My favorite honey is the one pictured above – Ambrosia Honey Co. Raw and Gently Filtered Honey. I buy it at Walmart (in Florida) for about $5.
Honey for Pets
Obviously, your dog or cat probably doesn’t have acne. If they had a cut or other skin problem though and you wondered about using honey on it, here’s what you need to know. Honey can be used on dogs and cats, but only use plain clover honey on them. There are many flowers that are poisionous to dogs and especially cats, so using wildflower honey could be very dangerous for them. Also, because of their fur it’s important to wet the area before putting on the honey, otherwise the sticky honey will pull their hair. (You may want to do the same for yourself if needed.) A damp cloth can be used to rinse.
What strange ideas have you tried in the persuit of acne-free skin?
Leave a comment below.