Honey: The Magic Ingredient in the Personal Care Industry

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Honey is known as the world’s principal sweetener until sugar became widely available. However, this thick, golden liquid is so much more than a delicious supplement to food. As far back as Ancient Egypt, Honey was used in eye cosmetics and baths. To some, such uses of Honey might seem surprising. However, Honey and its extracts, like royal jelly, are high in antioxidants and nutrients, making them perfect for softening and smoothing your skin. 

In this article, we are taking a closer look at what exactly is Honey. What health benefits does it carry? What are the most popular Honey-based personal care products, and what properties make it such a remarkable, magical ingredient in the beauty industry? 

What is Honey?

Honey is a natural, delightful, and sticky substance that is created by bees. The chemical background of Honey is water and carbohydrates, containing traces of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, and, in particular, potassium. Honey also contains flavonoids and phenolic acids, which are known as antioxidants. It is made from flower nectar, combined with an enzyme secreted from the glands of the honey bees. Honey’s flavor, color, texture, and aroma, depends on the particular types of flowers from which the nectar was harvested.

Honey in Cosmetics

Ingredients that are originating from superfoods such as Honey, oatmeal, and fruits, are becoming increasingly popular. Since consumers are scared of chemicals, they are becoming more and more aware of the ingredients used in their beauty products. And the personal care industry is taking a note on this. The global herbal beauty products market will grow at a rate of 6.5% during the forecast period 2018 to 2023. So no wonder that now more than ever, Honey is increasingly used in the production of personal care products. Namely, in cosmetics, Honey is mainly utilized as an emollient (softens and soothes the skin), humectant (locks the moisture from escaping the skin), and moisturizing ingredient. However, it is not just the honey extract, that is widely used in cosmetics. The beauty industry also uses propolis, an active ingredient that is also produced by honey bees. This bee’s by-product has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which give the skin smoother, softer texture, and a calmed complexion.

In terms of end merchandise, Honey is present in skincare products for its moisturizing properties, but also to help reduce wrinkle formation. It can also be found in sunscreens to help smoothen the skin. Hydroxypropyltrimonium honey is particularly useful for hair and dry scalps since it can penetrate the hair structure profoundly and restore elasticity and flexibility.

Honey-based Products

Thanks to Honey’s remarkable, youth-boosting properties, Honey is used in the formulation of a wide range of beauty and personal care products. To name a few: 

Hand creams– Honey is often used in hand care creams since it softens, moisturizes, and protects dry hands. As an addition, it indulges the senses with the relaxing scent. Honey-based hand creams are especially popular for hand care in winter. 

Bath products– Honey is a humectant, which means it draws moisture to the skin and keeps it hydrated. This feature makes Honey the perfect ingredient for bath products and after bath lotions. 

Eye and facial makeup products– Honey’s humectant properties, combined with its antioxidant properties, make it a popular ingredient also in the production of eye and facial make up cosmetics. It is also extensively used in removing makeup lotions since it can help unclog pores while simultaneously delivering moisture to parched skin.

Hair products – Honey has both emollient and humectant attributes. Emollients smooth the hair follicles and add shine to lifeless hair, and humectants bond with water molecules, adding moisture to dry strands. By moisturizing and locking in shine, Honey helps in restoring the natural radiance of your hair.

Health Benefits of Honey

Although Honey is arguably one of the oldest cosmetic ingredients throughout human history, science is still discovering the wealth of health benefits it has to offer. Traditionally, due to its healing properties, Honey is used on wounds and burns. It can moisturize wounded tissue, help against microbial infections, and calm inflammation. It can induce tissue repair processes such as angiogenesis (the development of new blood cells), cause the production of tissue repair molecules, and more. Honey is also utilized in dermatological treatments such as acne, skin rashes, and contact dermatitis. Ultimately, Honey can boost skin radiance and depigment skin and hair. 

But which properties make Honey such a magical ingredient in the personal care industry? 

Honey is Antibacterial

The reaction of the natural sugars (found in the collected flower’s nectar) with the bees’ enzymes contribute to Honey’s acidic pH of around 3.9. Bacteria can not survive in this acidity, and the stickiness of Honey helps to destroy other unwelcome microorganisms on the skin. Due to these features, as mentioned before, the beauty industry uses Honey in the production of face creams, masks, and cleansing products suitable for treating acne-prone skin. Nevertheless, Honey is ideal for all skin types. 

And Moisturizing

Due to its hygroscopic properties, Honey draws and absorbs moisture from the air. That means that having Honey as an ingredient in skin and body care products will help to keep skin or hair moisturized. Honey is a common ingredient in hair care products, soap bars, liquid soaps, and cosmetic creams.

Honey is Healing and Anti-aging

Alongside its antimicrobial properties, Honey offers up a substantial serving of antioxidants that accelerate the healing of the skin. For this reason, many suffering from sensitivity or skin conditions such as eczema or rosacea see particular improvements when using Honey or honey-based skincare products. Moreover, these unique properties make it an ideal constituent in anti-wrinkle and anti-aging products. Free radicals are picked up from the natural environment, and they settle on the skin, causing skin cell deterioration. Due to the antioxidants, Honey can help skin cells repair and renew – the result is that skin appears firmer and brighter.

Final Thoughts

Honey has all sorts of beneficial properties beyond the “yummy.” It is an essential ingredient in the personal care sector, and this will only intensify as consumers become more and more aware of the ingredients in their cosmetics. The true extent of the health benefits of Honey, however, is still being discovered. Recent studies have looked into the advantages of using Honey for a variety of medicinal applications. And that can only contribute even more to the reason why Honey is so widely (and rightfully) used in personal care items.


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