The Beauty Science Series - Honey Part Two  

Posted by: Viki in , , ,

For many reasons there's a blush creeping up my cheeks while writing this post. You see, a few months ago I decided I would share all the knowledge I had gathered during the time in my life when I was desperately searching for information on the various (and sometimes downright hazardous) effects of cosmetic ingredients and also supplement my own personal experiences on each subject.
My first, and so far only post, was about the effects of honey (and in some part that of chamomile) on our hair, skin and general health. After that, I was greatly distracted by other, seemingly more important, and let's face it, definitely more exciting matters such as the prospect of ordering more makeup from Everyday Minerals and then later with the Hungary Month Series.
A few days ago, however, a lady from the US sent me a lovely e-mail inquiring about when I am planning to continue above mentioned post because she was curious about the hair lightening properties of honey. I was ashamed of myself for abandoning this topic and the series for so long, even though when I started I felt it my duty to share all I know with my precious readers.
Therefore, I'm hereby giving you part two of my experiences with honey. Enjoy!

Important notice: caution should be excercised when using honey on your skin. Those of us who are allergic to pollens or those who experience allergic reactions after eating honey might find that their skin cannot tolerate it either and breaks out in hives and rashes!

Sour Cherry Blossoms © Izar 2008
(You may use it as a desktop wallpaper if you like.)

In Part One, I told you about honey's many properties (and the scinece behind them), which were:

  1. hair and skin lightener (when it comes in contact with water a small amount of hydrogen-peroxide is produced)
  2. moisturizer (only in diluted form!)
  3. disinfectant
In Part Two, I shall endeavor to give your my first hand experiences, especially when it comes to its uses on our hair.
My reader was especially curious about how honey affects our hair and that's exactly what I wanted to know last spring when I decided that lighter locks would suit me better during the summer. I started researching and found a great article in which someone wrote about her experiences with honey as a natural hair lightener. It was where I first read about the previously mentioned chemical reaction and could even view some very convincing pictures taken before and after the procedure. Now, after almost a year, I cannot find the site anymore, but here's the original recipe that I tried and used successfully several times.

  1. 1 part honey
  2. 2 parts conditioner
  3. some clingfilm to wrap your head in with

Mix your honey with the conditioner, apply the mixture onto your freshly washed (and still damp) hair and wrap it up into some kind of plastic which will NOT let your scalp and hair dry for a good while. Leave this mixture on for as long as you can: the lady who wrote the article accidentally left it on for 8 hours (and there was a definite change in the shade of her hair afterwards) but you are allowed to wash it off sooner and repeat the process later. Actually, one treatment will probably not be enough: I certainly needed more than one as the process described above will not miraculously turn your hair many shades lighter.

You shouldn't expect instant change though: the best you can hope for is perhaps a shade lighter hair after one treatment. I could best compare the result to when you first spend some time under the sun in the spring after months of confinement and in the afternoon (or evening) you look into the mirror and happily discover that your hair has become lighter and shinier. Minus the shiny part, of course, as this is still hydrogen-peroxide, just is smaller quantities and this is why you should take extra care to deep condition your hair afterwards. See my post on a particularly good home made olive oil conditioner.

After several applications, my hair did actually become lighter: when I met my best friend after many weeks of being away from each other she remarked at how my hair was much lighter than she had remembered. There is, however, a price to pay for everything in life and I too had to admit to myself that no matter how much I had tried to moisturize my hair it was still frizzier and coarser than before. All through spring I was sporting my several shades lighter hair and then I had it cut short (because I didn't want to suffer from my insane amount of hair in 42 °C degrees): the difference was noticeable to the touch.

So much about honey's hair lightening properties then. Other things you could use are:
  1. lemon (Put lemon juice on your hair for an hour or so and enhance its effects by sitting out into the sun.)
  2. the sun (Bathing your hair in the sun will lighten it, especially if you wash your hair before it and dry it like that. It will regain its natural shape and color which is why I can usually be found on the terrace of our summer cottage in the spring. :-)
  3. cinnamon (I haven't tried this method yet but it should be interesting, especially if you want to acquire a slight copper tint. I would advise you to add some honey to the mix just to be sure.)

Honey can also be used to lighten our complexion, especially when we wish to make freckles, age spots (a.k.a. liver spots or sun spots) or scars less noticeable. I would recommend using it in conjunction with lactic acid which is also a great weapon when battling above mentioned beauty enemies. Lactic acid can be bought in drugstores in its purest form or can be found in our kitchens in the form of milk, yoghurt, cream, sour cream and kefir. You can easily whip up a complexion lightening mask of any of these dairy products by adding honey and some thickening agent like flour or oat bran (another wonderful stuff for your skin). After several uses of this mask you should see freckles, spots and scars fading and your skin being moisturized and radiant.

Honey's disinfectant qualities
are put to use by people all the time: because of the hydrogen-peroxide that forms when honey comes in contact with water, using honey to disinfect small cuts and wounds is the next best thing in cases when you don't have any proper disinfectant nearby. You just need to apply honey onto the cut in a thin layer without even adding water as the moisture content of your skin (or blood in worse cases) will be enough to start the chemical reaction.

If you have a sore throat, why not just drink a cup of tea with honey and lemon? That should get rid of the bacteria in your throat in no time which is why I'm assidiously drinking barrels of the stuff as I was struck down by some evil combination of the common cold and my usual allergy a few days ago.

It even occurred to me that you could use undiluted (!) honey as a dressing over particularly stubborn cases of acne. Its antibacterial qualities will help disinfect the area over the offending zit and because it's undiluted it will also dry the area like nobody's business and draw out the acne. (See Part One to find out why!)

Whew! That's about all I wanted to tell you I guess, and now it's your turn to call our attention to any methods or uses of honey I did not mention here. What do you use honey for? Let us know!  

This entry was posted on Friday, April 18, 2008 and is filed under , , , . You can leave a response and follow any responses to this entry through the Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) .

12 megjegyzés

Ahhh...honey! How I love honey! I love it in my tea and in my salad dressing, but I'm afraid that I've tried hydrogen peroxide in my hair in my teens and that resulted in horrible orange hair! I know that the Finnish slather honey on their skin during a sauna session. This is very informative and I might try it to dry up spots!

I also try to use more natural products, and like you said, it isn't always possible or necessary good for you. It seems that since 'natural' is getting more popular though that the governments are starting to realize that they have to start regulating. We'll see where this all goes! I'm glad that the wet method for applying minerals worked out for you :) I'm quite happy with it as well.

have a great weekend and big hug,

Well, the amount of HP produced by honey does not compare to other hair lightening products (even those are extremely harsh compared to using honey) so perhaps you wouldn't have this problem with it.

Oh I completely forgot to mention its use as salad dressing! But now I remember another great use: Chinese cuisine pours honey over banana fritters. Two words: simply delicious! :-)

To be honest, I'm sceptical about government regulations: here in Hungary the government was (or is still) planning to regulate the use of herbs and food supplements. Their first act of genious was to limit the availability of vitamin C. Now, you can only buy pure crystallised vitamin C if your doctor gives you a prescription for it. Now that's a problem because in crystallised form vitamin C used to cost next to nothing and you could trust it because it was only sold in pharmacies. Now, you can still get a hold of high doses of vC, but for ridiculous amounts of money.

I think that before governments start interfering with these things they should first become well-informed about both scientific aspects and the needs of the general public. I mean, come on: some doctors and scientists still say that an amount of 60 miligramms of vitamic C is perfectly enough for a grown-up for a day...

I do agree that companies should meet certain criteria before being allowed to claim any of their products "organic" but who's going to devise those criteria? I'm not sure I trust those people completely.

Okay, I'll stop ranting now, sorry... :-)))

Have a wonderful weekend,

Hi Izar!!!!!
I've been missing you dear.
Well, another great post with lots of information.

So how things are going in your job, great I suppose, but leaving you with less time, no?

Hope you're better from your cold, it's just a pain...

I'm also in love with the green and purple combo, I think that's a great match, but unfortunatly those outfits that you talk are purple and gray, maybe the photo doesn't show it well.
But you feel free to include in your posts what you wish from my blog.

Lots of love

Hugs, have a nice weekend.

Glad you liked it!

My job and this cold (from which I'm recovering slowly, thank goodness) have left me with virtually no time for myself. It's a bit maddening to imagine that from now on it'll always be like this... I sometime catch myself daydreaming about summer vacation and what I'll do then. And this in April!

Ooops, oh my god, now that's embarassing... But to me it really did look green and to be quite honest it still does. Oh well, maybe it's my monitor's settings or something.

Have a great week!

Lots of love,

Very interesting blog, a lot of informations. Congratulation!
Happy to discover, that the women from all over the world became very interested in using trully natural Skincare, Toiletries and Cosmetics products!
I'm sure, the ladies from our time don't want anymore to be only beautiful!
They want to be healthy too!
So Good Luck To All Of Us!
Lovely greetings from dessert

Oh I love that banana dish too! yummy!

I'm also skeptical whenever things start to involve profits and power. I'm guessing that what happened with vit C, where you live probably has to do with the fact that vit C at a certain high potency has been patented by a few companies such as skincenticals and cellex-c. Since cosmetics companies sell crystallised as well as liquid vit C for a lot of money, they probably don't like the fact that they were sold so cheaply in Hungary.

Have you heard that the power vitamin lately is vit D? It's amazing how much the government is recommending us to take these days!

Yeah, completely agree with you here. Whenever again it involves profit or losing money, people get quite twisted. EU is supposed to be 'ahead' on regulating natural products and soon the US is saying that they'll follow. I really came out of those meetings at the convention with more questions and confusion than before I went in. I guess that's a good thing :)

Oh and I should stop ranting now too lol! I think we both can go on and on about this hehe....

You know you come to mind every time I use my Weleda seabuckthorn oil? That was if I remember right, was how I discovered your blog!

Take care deary,

Hi Izar! How are you? Just wanted to personally thank you for your kind words during this time, it really meant the world to me. It's always sad when a pet or person passes...and time does heal all wounds.

So thank you lovely lady!


I guess it irked both cosmetic companies and manufacturers of dietary supplements. I mean, there's an ex-doctor here in Hungary who's now a fervent advocate of mega-dose vitamins and minerals, and sells his own line of such products for ridiculously high prices. I can imagine he must have been pretty pissed off to see vitamin C being offered at pharmacies for such a low price...
Kinda sad really...

You know, the same is true here: every time I stumble upon my little 10 ml vial of Weleda's Seabuckthorn Oil in my beauty bag, I think about you and how you love it. ^_^ (Not to say I don't, of course: I'm still head over heels in love with its sweet, fresh scent and how it makes my skin baby soft!)


Don't mention it dear; this is what friends are for. I know what it feels like to lose a pet but I also know that after a while your bunny's memory will be a sweet one and not tainted by grief and sadness.

Hello Anca!

Thank you for your kind words, I truly appreciate them.

I too am looking forward to a time when women are more conscious about the products they use and force the cosmetic industry to see the error in its ways and offer them only natural and healthy products. Until then, I guess the best we can do is educate ourselves and our fellow product users and dodge the poisonous stuff. :-)

Come back soon!


The trick like: 1 part honey, 2 parts conditioner...
works for me too.
great article.


I'm glad to hear that and thanks. :-)

Hi Izar!
How are you dear?
Hope everything is ok with you and beloved ones.
I'll be in touch, many things have happen during this time.
I miss you darling.
Lots of hugs

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