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5 Beauty Benefits of Raw Honey—and Healthy Bees

From pore decongestion to all-over exfoliation, raw honey is the skincare superpower you never knew you needed.

raw honey beauty benefits
Written by
Lindsey Anderson
Raw honey is a cornerstone of the
natural beauty
realm. Rich and luxurious, honey's sugary, golden decadence isn’t just sweet—it works wonders for your skin. It’s also a natural creation of
, an insect that helps define the world as we know it today. 
Healthy bees are essential to a healthy planet—they help to pollinate
90% of the world’s crops
. If you want to put a number on that effort, it amounts to somewhere around $34 billion in hard work. Aside from fertilizing our world’s crops and flowers, bees create honey by converting nectar into a store of food for slower seasons, the
overflow of which
is harvested by humans for food, and yes, beauty. 

What Exactly Is Raw Honey?

Unlike most honey that you find on store shelves, raw honey comes straight from the honeycomb. Minus filtration and processing, raw honey is unpasteurized, boasts a cloudy makeup, and can contain broken-down bodies of bees, beeswax, pollen, and more.
Along with boosting honeybee populations, raw honey processes itself, saving water and emissions by relying on the hard work of our favorite buzzing insects. Raw honey can be produced in manageable quantities from your own backyard and provides an opportunity to support area farmers and beekeepers—a quick Google search is sure to reveal a wealth of raw honey resources near you.
To ensure you're getting the good stuff, try to go as local as possible. If you're grabbing your honey at the store, make sure that
the label says
"100% raw" or "unpasteurized," as buzzwords (bee pun!) like "organic" don't necessarily mean raw. Also, as noted above, the honey should appear more opaque.

Raw Honey and Skincare

Replete with bee pollen's anti-inflammatory properties, raw honey is an eco-friendly solution to just about all your skincare concerns. Use it as a spot treatment, a cleanser, or a
face mask
, and watch all your imperfections fade away.
From pore decongestion to all-over exfoliation, honey is the skincare superpower you never knew you needed, but always knew you had. Simply smear it on your skin and indulge yourself in an oh-so-sweet, sticky mess of excess and luxury, made by nature, just for you.

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Be sure to check any labels before dabbing honey on your face, prioritizing Manuka or raw honey for cosmetic use, as any added sugars or chemicals may clog pores and irritate your skin.
Read on for five beauty benefits of raw honey crafted by a population of healthy bees and see for yourself what all the buzz is about.

5 Beauty Benefits of Raw Honey

raw honey beauty benefits

1. Cleanses Pores

Say hello to your new pore-perfecting cleanser. Honey's antibacterial properties make it an acne-fighting superhero, instantly decongesting pores and freeing them of dirt, oil, and grime. Just mix your raw honey with a touch of water and cleanse away, bidding a sweet farewell to the bacteria polluting your skin.

2. Treats Breakouts

Honey's anti-inflammatory properties are ideal for calming active breakouts. Simply apply it as a spot treatment to inflamed areas for an instant calming effect. Honey simultaneously aids in the healing of broken-out skin while calming inflammation and enhancing your complexion. 

3. Moisturizes

Raw honey is a natural humectant, meaning it draws moisture into the skin. For optimum moisture, apply honey as—or mixed into—a hydrating face mask, leaving the skin youthful, supple, and glowing. (This sweet and sumptuous mask comes in especially handy during winter’s colder, dryer months.)

4. Lightens Dark Spots and Scars

Honey contains
traces of hydrogen peroxide
produced through enzymatic activity. Hydrogen peroxide is a natural lightening agent that can aid in the quieting of dark spots and acne scars over time. Apply to your dark spots in the evening and let the honey work its magic while you sleep.

5. Exfoliates

Raw honey is a
natural exfoliant
, making it the perfect remedy for dull and dry skin. Massaging honey into damp or dry skin will give you just the right amount of
sans the irritation that comes with too-rough tools.
If you're looking for a more potent exfoliant, mix your raw honey with a small amount of raw sugar. The added texture and roughness of the sugar grains will give you the added exfoliation of a DIY scrub—just be sure to apply it gently and sparingly to maintain your natural moisture barrier.