Whether you associate it with Winnie the Pooh, beehives, hot drinks when you're sick, or its sticky consistency, honey is a multi-tasking, sweet substance commonly used for a wide variety of purposes. The most common type of honey is made by bees that collect nectar from flowers. The bees then regurgitate the nectar in their hives, storing it in wax honeycombs within the hive to serve as a food source. Honey is stored within hives to ensure available food during cold weather months or other instances when sources of fresh food may be scarce. Most of these hives are kept by humans for the purpose of cultivating honey. These manmade beehives are designed to stimulate production of honey beyond what the hive needs to survive.
Most honey-producing hives consist of three types of bees: one female queen bee, male drone bees, and thousands of female worker bees. These bees can range in numbers depending on the season and on how developed the hive is. Worker bees are responsible for most of the honey creation, collecting nectar from nearby flowers and plants and depositing it in the hive. Male drone bees fertilize new queens to help sustain the hive for the future or to create new hives.
Once a hive is established and honey has been produced, it is collected from the hive by a professional beekeeper who use smoke to make the bees passive and then remove the honeycomb from the hive to extract the honey. Once the honey has been extracted, it needs to be filtered before it is ready for consumption or use.
Honey is often used as a flavoring agent or as a substitute for other sweeteners in foods. It can usually replace granulated sugar in cooking, baking, and mixing beverages. The taste of honey can vary based on the region and flower source of the nectar used to produce it. There are also various grades of honey that provide different tastes, benefits, and clarity. Honey is often believed to be a good sweetener for people with diabetes, heart disease, or weight problems as it is lower in calories and does not impact blood sugar levels in the same way that other processed sugars might.
For centuries, honey has been used for medicinal purposes. It has antimicrobial, antioxidant, and soothing properties and has been used to treat throat, stomach, and eye conditions along with various other ailments. Honey can help to reduce throat irritation and is still used to soothe sore throats. Honey has also been shown to help wounds and burns heal more quickly. By nourishing the skin and stimulating blood flow to the affected area, skin regenerates and heals at an expedited rate while benefiting from honey's antioxidant protection.
Due to its various healing, moisturizing, and protective properties, honey has become a popular ingredient in skincare products. Many moisturizers include honey to help to purify skin and protect it from future environmental damage. Honey helps the skin to absorb moisture from the atmosphere and to maintain a healthy moisture balance. Further, honey has proven antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, allowing it to purify skin and improve the overall health of your complexion. Honey's restorative properties help to heal and rejuvenate damaged skin, leaving it smoother and more radiant. Treatment with skincare products that contain honey will promote soft and healthy-looking skin that is naturally equipped to fight potential damage from the sun or from other environmental factors.
In part due to its antimicrobial and purifying qualities, honey has also been shown to be a successful ingredient to address blemishes. It can be applied directly as a spot treatment or facial mask, but is also included as an ingredient in many skincare products targeted at treating acne. Honey helps by absorbing impurities that are found in the pores and by reducing irritation and acne-causing bacteria. These products harness honey's natural acne-fighting properties and combine them with other powerful ingredients to provide a well-rounded treatment for skin.
Honey's multi-purpose nature makes it an ideal ingredient in many products. It is present in moisturizers, facial cleansers, hair care products, baby care products, sunscreen, scrubs, lotions, hand washes, lip balm, and more. Incorporating honey into your skincare regimen can improve the overall health of your skin and provide your complexion with natural benefits.