What's in it
Honey has a sufficiently high sugar content to inhibit fermentation, making it suitable for long-term storage, but that's just the beginning of honey's plusses.
The specific composition of any batch of honey depends on the flowers available to the bees that produce it, but the main composition of honey is pretty much the same in all types:
- About 90-95% carbs: fructose, glucose, maltose, and sucrose
- Vitamins: including B6, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid
- Minerals: such as copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, calcium, phosphorous
- Many types of acids: including gluconic acid (a mild AHA), amino, and organic acids
- Enzymes: such as glucose oxidase (more on this in a minute)
Raw and Cold Processed is Richest in Actives
And Now They Know Why
From a historic perspective, it's only relatively recently that science has been able to explain and document honeys antisceptic and antibiotic properties. Manuka honey in particular has undergone thorough testing as a wound healing substance and has repeatedly come out with flying colors (links below).
Every Day, Honey
Honey is not only safe enough to be applied to the skin on a daily basis, it does the skin a world of good. When I tried a daily 2-minute honey mask for an extended period, I experienced nothing but benefits. Everyone I know who has tried it tells the same story.
To understand why honey is such an ideal ingredient for skincare, we need to take a closer look at one of its components – the enzyme listed above – glucose oxidase. With its naturally low pH level (average of 3.9), honey is forced to keeps its glucose oxidase 'at the ready' until the right conditions come along.
It is the glucose oxidase enzyme that causes the sugars in honey to catalyse (read: a chemical reaction happens) and thereby produce a substance that facilitates healing: none other than hydrogen peroxide.
But before any of this catalysation can happen, honey requires certain conditions:
- a certain amount of sodium
- a higher pH level
Enter human skin – all the right conditions! Our skin naturally contains every one of the elements needed to trigger off honey's healing magic.
And There's More
Besides helping speed up the healing process, honey has even more to offer. With its ability to penetrate the endocuticle region, honey helps to strengthen and moisturize hair.
The Honey Benefits For Skin and Hair Goodie List
Promotes new tissue growth and collagen production
Soothes and calms irritation
Softens and moisturizes skin
Moisturizes dry, damaged and brittle hair
Helps prevent split ends
Scavenges free radicals
LisaLise Products With Honey
Besides using 'straight up' raw honey as a mask and cleanser, I have been working with concentrated powdered honey in a new cream (there's an upcoming post soon). After 4 months of testing (and abstaining from my regular raw-honey-wash-2-minute-mask for the duration), I can say it has lived up to all of my suppliers claims.