Unless we’re talking about a certain American reality TV child star whose name rhymes with “cuckoo”, most talk about honey is sweet. A popular natural remedy, it’s been harvested for nutritional, medicinal and cosmetic purposes as far back as ancient Egypt (cue Cleopatra and her milk and honey baths). Now, one of the most major millennial skincare concerns is putting the beauty buzz back into the golden-hued, sugary substance: sensitive skin.
A recent international survey by The Body Shop found out that one in three women believe that they have it. According to The Telegraph, another study by French beauty brand La Roche-Posay found that 60 per cent of women say that the condition ails them.
Whether or not such perceptions are true, the fact is that the likes of increased environmental pollution and modern stresses can cause skin to act up. While there’s no concrete dermatological definition, sensitive skin refers to a whole host of skin reactions: allergies like rosacea and eczema, a low tolerance to skincare products, even a tendency to flush red.
Naturally, honey – with its gentle yet effective healing properties – has become regarded as an elixir of sorts. Studies have shown that raw honey is rich in antibacterial and probiotic properties – great for fighting blemishes. It also contains natural enzymes that help refine and even out texture, while its natural sugars act as humectants that boost moisture levels (read: that milk and honey complexion can also be yours).
Furthermore, honey’s packed with antioxidants, amino acids, and vitamins like vitamin C and niacin. This supposedly means it is able to fight free radical damage and environmental aggressors, while stimulating collagen production, making it an effective anti-ageing ingredient.
Says Su-Mae Chia, co-founder of Singapore beauty label Bskin, which specialises in honey-laced skincare products: “Honey’s bacteria-fighting properties can help those with sensitive skin, which is prone to infection as it can become dry and broken… Because of its healing and moisturising properties, it essentially gives sensitive skin an extra layer of protection.”
Here, our pick of the latest – and most dependable – honey-infused skincare to try.
1. Kiehl’s Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream, $95
A moisturiser containing New Zealand manuka honey, which is said to boast the highest levels of polyphenols and antioxidants. Its reported benefits: It protects against oxidative stresses, boosts collagen production, and repairs and maintains moisture levels for a youthful complexion.
2. Tata Harper Honey Blossom Mask, US$69 (S$96.90)
In addition to Vermont-harvested raw honey, a mix of pomegranate enzymes, pink clay and willow bark extract hydrate, soften and smooth for glowing, blemish-free skin.
3. Sephora Honey Lip Scrub, $9
Honey + sugar crystals = a gentle exfoliator for smoother puckers.
4. Blithe Patting Water Pack – Energy Yellow Citrus & Honey, $54
A quick and easy pick-me-up for dull complexions, its blend of citrus extracts, honey and lactic acid instantly softens and brightens skin.
5. Bskin V Line Intense PAF Concentrate, $158
A serum meant to protect against free radical damage, and leave skin firm and radiant over time, thanks to the brand’s signature B20 (or B-complex water – a blend of Jeju spring water, and natural extracts of honey, royal jelly, bee pollen and bee propolis) and vitamin C.
6. The Body Shop Almond Milk & Honey Soothing & Restoring Body Lotion, $19.90
The soothing properties of Ethiopian honey and almond oil from Spain moisturise and comfort for silky smooth skin.
Model Photo Elvina Farkas/Anue Management
This story first appeared in Female’s June 2017 issue