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It's all the buzz.
Here's some hive mentality we can all get on board with. "I have long been fascinated with honey's magical restorative properties," says Kim Snyder, Los Angeles-based celebrity nutritionist and author of The Beauty Detox Diet. "Honey has wonderful natural antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, making it valuable for treating burns and skin conditions, among many other things." No wonder honey has been a star ingredient in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, and the Romans even used it to heal wounds. Today, scientific studies have found that honey can combat around 60 species of bacteria, some species of fungi, and even viruses. Translation: Bye, bye acne.
Aside from its mind-blowing, multifaceted benefits, honey is one of the simplest ingredients you can plug into your beauty routine at home. Here, five sweet tricks that give you clear, glowing skin and gorgeous hair.
"Honey has antioxidants, plus anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial benefits, making it great for wound healing, like a sunburn," says New York dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe. If you overindulged in the sunshine (where was that SPF, girl?!), try Dr. Bowe's trick: "Honey can be a little too sticky to go straight on, so I mix it with a bland fragrance-free lotion." Mix the ratio that feels best to you—lean in on the honey—and apply every few hours until the redness starts to go down.
When an angry, unsightly spot sets up shop on your gorgeous face, don't run for the toothpaste—honey is not only your best at-home blemish treatment in a pinch, it can even work better than the over-the-counter chemical interventions. "Honey's antibacterial properties mean it can act as a spot treatment, but it's also a humectant, so it doesn't dry out skin either," says Dr. Bowe. Dab a little on the offender, let it sit overnight, and you should wake up with a calmer, flatter bump well on its way to clearing completely.
The mother of all hive extracts is known as "royal jelly," and while it can be found in super luxurious (read: $$$) skincare products, it can also do wonders for damaged hair—without making a dent in your wallet. Our recommendation: Start with Garnier Whole Blends Honey Treasures Repairing Shampoo, which also features extracts from the three treasures of the beehive, including honey-derived antioxidant known as "propolis," and finish with Garnier Whole Blends Honey Treasures Repairing Mask. To help the treatment do its magic, make sure to squeeze all the water out of your hair before generously applying the mask, focusing on the length and ends, then let it sit for a full three minutes before rinsing.
This trick went viral among beauty bloggers for a reason: All the skin-soothing and blemish-squelching powers make honey an ideal face wash all on its own. After removing makeup, just scoop or squeeze a dollop onto your fingertips and massage the honey into your skin. We know, it totally sounds sticky, but the big surprise is just how easily it washes away with warm water. For an extra boost, leave it on for five minutes before rinsing, suggests Dr. Bowe. Your skin will feel insanely smooth, soft, and clean.
"In addition to being a great sweetener, raw honey is known to have many beneficial qualities for your digestive and immune system," explains Snyder. "And while processed sugar is pure glucose, honey is naturally a blend of glucose and fructose, which is much better for maintaining healthy blood sugar ranges." What does that mean? You'd be wise to swap the usual sugar packet in your tea or coffee with a squeeze of the gold stuff. But, Snyder warns, it's not a free-for-all. "Honey has more calories gram-for-gram than processed sugar—but it's also sweeter, which means you need less." Buzz-buzz, win-win.