EXCLUSIVE: Shahnaz Husain on how THIS kitchen ingredient is beneficial for your skin

Honey is a common ingredient in most kitchens. This sweet syrup is known to be the perfect remedy for any skincare issue.
EXCLUSIVE: Shahnaz Husain on how THIS kitchen ingredient is beneficial to your skin EXCLUSIVE: Shahnaz Husain on how THIS kitchen ingredient is beneficial to your skin
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In your home and right there on the kitchen shelf is one of the most powerful natural moisturisers…..Honey!  
Honey attracts moisture to the skin from the atmosphere. In fact, it is one of the most versatile natural products. It contains several vitamins and minerals, like Vitamins B and C, calcium, iron, potassium, sodium, as well as amino acids and enzymes. As far as skin care is concerned, it has been used as a beauty aid for centuries. According to ancient records and texts, honey was applied on the skin to soothe and heal injuries and burns. It was also used to treat skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis.  Modern scientific research has revealed its various healing benefits in external applications, including its antibacterial and antiseptic properties. It has antioxidant properties too and helps to delay the visible signs of ageing on the skin if used regularly.

All these properties of honey make it an ideal natural cosmetic ingredient. For one thing, it suits all skin types. It draws moisture to the skin and even improves the skin’s natural ability to retain moisture. In other words, it helps to seal in moisture and thus hydrate the skin powerfully. It relieves dryness, even in extremely dry and dehydrated skins, making the skin soft and smooth. As it contains valuable vitamins, minerals and enzymes, it nourishes the skin when externally applied. It also tones and tightens the skin, giving it a fresh and radiant glow.

If you have dry skin, apply honey daily and wash it off with plain water after 20 minutes. You can also mix honey with a few drops of orange juice. Apply this on the face for 20 minutes and wash off with water.

For dry skin, you can also mix half a teaspoon honey, one teaspoon rose water and one teaspoon dried milk powder. Mix into a paste and apply on the face. Remove after 20 minutes with water.

Add one-quarter cup of honey to your bath water to relieve dryness and soften the skin on the body.

Honey suits both oily and combination skin too. For oily skin, mix honey with egg white and lemon juice. Apply on the skin daily, washing it off after 20 minutes with plain water. Egg white and lemon have a cleansing effect, reducing oiliness, while honey will soften the skin and nourish it. If you have a combination skin, apply honey by itself on the entire face, as it would suit both oily and dry areas.

Honey, with its antiseptic and healing properties can also be used on pimple-prone skins and even if there is a severe acne condition. In fact, people with acne often suffer from superficial dryness and flaking of the skin. Honey would be ideal. Mix one teaspoon honey with yoghurt (curd) and apply on the face. Wash it off after 15 minutes with plenty of water. It would relieve dryness and also soothe and nourish the skin. Both honey and yoghurt have a healing effect on acne.
Honey can be useful in face masks, for all skin types. Mix 2 teaspoons wheat bran (choker) with one teaspoon each oats, curd, honey and rose water. Or add egg white. Mix into a smooth paste that does not drip, Apply on the face, avoiding the lips and areas around eyes. Wash off when it is dry or after 20 minutes. This mask may be used twice a week to keep the skin soft, supple and youthful.

Today, honey is an important ingredient in the formulation of products for beauty care from moisturisers, skin tonics and masks, to hand creams, body lotions and hair conditioners. This most versatile beauty aid is actually within your easy reach. It provides a safety factor, which is a real advantage. It does not contain preservatives, artificial fragrances, colour or essences. In other words, it is natural, in every sense of the word. So make the most of it!

About the author: Shanaz Husain is the founder of Shahnaz Husain Cosmetics

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