Sweet Science: The Chemistry of Honey in Skin Care

Honey in Skin Care

Since I am hoping to talk about more food science in the future, I was thinking honey would be the perfect path to get there. Not only is it a yummy, sweet food, but it’s also great for skin care! 🙂 I am seeing it pop up more and more in products carried at Bath and Body Works, Lush, and Korean Beauty. I began to wonder what the hype was all about and did some research. It turns out that there are many benefits to using honey in your skin care routine! Let’s take a look at a few of them:

It is antibacterial
Because honey contains such a small amount of water, it is able to dehydrate bacteria. This can be a big help when dealing with pimples or acne. It also contains acids and hydrogen peroxide, which help keep small wounds clean as well as deter bacterial growth.

It contains many antioxidants
Antioxidants help to reduce the negative effects of free radicals that we encounter each day. Honey is known to have among the highest amounts of antioxidants in any naturally derived source. This also makes in great in fighting wrinkles and fine lines.

It can pull moisture from the air
The low water content of honey makes it great at pulling moisture from the air. This means that it can continually help to pull moisture to your skin and keep it hydrated and happy.

It has been tested through time
Honey has been used as a beauty product throughout history. It was beneficial  and easy to keep around because it is a natural preservative. It was used in the embalming process, as a healing medicine, and to keep skin clear and blemish free by many different civilizations. Our old friend Cleopatra, who we discussed in an previous post about milk baths, was known to add honey to these baths to help keep her skin flawless.

If you are looking to add some products with honey into your skin care routine, here some great ones for you to try out! (affiliate links)

SCUBEE is one of my all time favorite products from Lush. It leaves me feeling so soft, smooth and hydrated after each use!

COCOSHEA HONEY from Bath and Body Works is also a wonderful body scrub that gently cleanses to leave skin feeling nourished and pampered.

PETER THOMAS ROTH WATER DRENCH HYALURONIC CLOUD SERUM is one that uses both hyaluronic acid and honey to leave your skin feeling smooth, and hydrated. It’s great for these cold and dry winter days.

SKINFOOD BLACK SUGAR HONEY MASK is a K Beauty must have! It is a great exfoliant and will leave you feeling squeaky clean and rejuvenated!

COSRX HONEY CERAMIDE FULL MOISTURE CREAM is another holy grail product for me. At an affordable price, it is great for all types and is sure to keep your skin well hydrated all day long.

There are many other options available out there, like the ones listed on this blog site by Jessica Padykula and plenty of DIY recipes as well, like the ones described here by Jillee.

I hope this exploration of honey products was a sweet trip and one that you found useful! I look forward to hearing your comments about your favorite ways to use honey!

Until next time, keep a scientific eye on the world and a happy thought in your head!

❤ Julie




  1. I’d be interested to see you go a little more in depth into specific types of honey. I often see specifically Manuka Honey listed as wound care specific (in both human and equine medical care) and I wonder what it is about -that- honey that makes it so much better than your run of the mill clover honey you can grab at the grocery store!


  2. I’d be interested in a more in-depth actual scientific approach. (Not being mean or snobby, please don’t take it the wrong way, this is coming from an actual chemist and biologist) It just seems a little vague, and doesn’t breakdown much. I feel like I’ve read all this before from some beauty brands on Sephora’s website. For example, if honey is rich in antioxidants, which ones, and how do they contribute to minimizing the appearance of wrinkles or aiding the skin? And then, follow up with studies that support this, and studies that also don’t support it, so that ultimately it’s up to the viewer/reader to formulate their own opinions.


  3. I don’t know if they have Burt’s Bees products on the west coast but I was first steered towards them by my French Horn professor for lip care as their product doesn’t contain menthol. They also have a line of beauty type products and a cough drop which feels more soothing than your typical menthol based cough drops. I also heard once that eating honey can aid in lessening allergy symptoms. Is there any truth to that?


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