The Difference Between Raw Honey & Regular Honey
When it comes to whipping up some of our favorite do-it-yourself skin care recipes—like, our soothing cucumber face mask—one ingredient we always turn to is honey. That’s because honey acts as a natural humectant, attracting and locking in moisture on the skin, which can leave it feeling—and looking—hydrated and well-nourished. However, not all honey is created equal—especially when it comes to skin care.
You may notice that many of these homemade skin care recipes specify the use of raw honey versus regular honey. This is because those cute bear-shaped bottles of honey that hibernate in our kitchen cabinets—the ones with the thick, sweet, gooey formula that we use to sweeten our tea and drizzle over our breakfast parfaits— are manufactured differently than raw honey. “Raw honey is a term that tends to be applied to honey that hasn’t been heated or pasteurized,” says The Body Shop’s Beauty Botantist and Skincare.com consultant, Jennifer Hirsch. “Just as with plant oils, heat is the enemy of the proteins and enzymes in honey. So, to benefit from the maximum activity of honey, you want to be using a cold extracted, cold filtered, unblended honey.”
Raw honey is the pure, unpasteurized version of honey that can have an abundance of skin- benefiting properties. We already know that honey is a natural humectant with ultra-hydrating properties that can leave the skin feeling soft, smooth, and supple. But, that’s not all this superfood can do. Rich in antioxidants, raw honey can help protect the skin from environmental aggressors and promote a youthful-looking complexion.
So, the next time you are mixing up a DIY face mask or sugar scrub that doesn’t specify what type of honey to use in the recipe, you should always reach for raw!
For those who prefer to use a product formulated with the natural humectant, rather than your own, Hirsch recommends The Body Shop’s Ethiopian Honey Deep Nourishing Mask. Formulated with the brand’s Community Trade honey from Ethiopia, marula oil from Namibia and olive oil from Italy, this nature-inspired face mask can hydrate, nourish, and replenish moisture in the skin, leaving it with a soft— read: supple— texture. For more on The Body Shop’s Ethiopian Honey Deep Nourishing Mask, check out our full review, here.