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WTF is… Honey? 2.0


Honey . What’s not to love about it? We use it in food, drink, and alcohol. Honey even has a cult status in the DIY skincare community for it’s historical use as a preservative and an almost miraculous heal-all. While we recommend you comb through the facts yourself, we here at The Raw Spa will give you just a tiny scoop!

Good old fashioned honey! Image via beesproducts.eu
Good old fashioned honey! Image via beesproducts.eu

Let’s start with the basics. Honey is a thick substance created from nectar, mainly by honey bees of the genus Apis.1,2 The honey bees collect nectar from various flora, convert it into honey through a method of partial digestion, and store it in a wax matrix (the honey comb) as a food source.2 Speaking of food source, honey is NOT especially nutritious all by itself. In fact honey is mainly devoid of essential nutrients, and contains only trace amounts of protein, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals.1,3 It’s mainly composed of sugars, fructose and glucose.3

Honey: Put a lot on you, not so much in you. Image via www.modachicago.com
Honey: Put a lot on you, not so much in you. Image via http://www.modachicago.com

Now just because it’s not all that great for you inside does not mean it’s bad for you outside. It does contain ferulic acid and gluconic acid.4,5 Ferulic acid is a wonderful anti-oxidant and helps to moisturize skin6, while glucolic acid – a type of PHA – helps to soften and smooth the complexion.7 So it does have skin soothing, anarchist fighting – sorry, totally meant free radicals. What was I thinking?! – free radical fighting properties. The general “rule of thumb” with honey and antioxidants is that the darker the honey, the higher the concentration of antioxidants!3 As an added bonus, honey also acts a a humectant, which is fancy-speak for saying that honey helps to draw moisture into the skin, as well as having softening properties.5

This guy knows what we're talking about. Image via sfglobe.com and Blake Little
This guy knows what we’re talking about. Image via sfglobe.com and Blake Little

So while it’s no Philosopher’s Stone, it is pretty awesome stuff… and it is incredibly delicious! Did we mention that?

Here at The Raw Spa, we use a local honey from our friends over at Swarmbustin’ Honey in Chester County, PA. More specifically, we use their fall wild flower honey. Dark as chocolate and super aromatic, we think it’s the bees’ knees (sorry, couldn’t help it)! You can find it swirled into our Cleopatra Salt Bar, Gelly Baby, Marshmallow Cream and lotion, as well as in the Oasis Body Butter, Green Nile Body Balm, and Egyptian Cucumber Quench Cream.

Wondering where we got our information from? Behold our list of references!

  1. Wikipedia; Honey. (Online) Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey. (Accessed on 11 February, 2019)
  2. Wikipedia; Honey Bee. (Online) Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey_bee. (Accessed on 11 February, 2019)
  3. Loveridge, J. The Chemistry of Bees. University of Bristol, UK. (Online) Available from: http://www.chm.bris.ac.uk/webprojects2001/loveridge/index-page3.html. (Accessed on February 12, 2019)
  4. Wahdan HA. Causes of the anitmicrobial activity of honey. Infection.
    1998 Jan-Feb;26(1):26-31.
  5. Mato I, Huidobro JF, Sanchez MP, et al. Enzymatic Determination of Total d-Gluconic Acid in Honey. J Agric Food Chem. 1997, 45(9), pp 3550–3553.
  6. The Derm Review; Ferulic Acid. (Online) Available from: https://thedermreview.com/ferulic-acid/. (Accessed 12 February, 2019)
  7. AccessScience Editors. (2017). Hydroxy acids in skin care products. In AccessScience. McGraw-Hill Education. (Online) Available from:
    https://doi.org/10.1036/1097-8542.BR0901172. (Accessed 12 February, 2019)
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