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A Naturally Sweet Face: Why You Should Swap Your Facial Cleanser With Honey

A Naturally Sweet Face: Why You Should Swap Your Facial Cleanser With Honey

As the editor of a digital wellness magazine, I’ve had the opportunity to try – and review – a lot of different products and skincare routines. And I mean a lot. From experimenting with hardcore chemical peels in my pre-organic days, through to exploring shiny new natural skincare lines in more recent times, I’ve pretty much done it all. However, as with most good things, it turned out that what I was looking for (smooth, soft, pimple-free skin) was right in front of my eyes … and on the top shelf of my pantry: honey. Yep. Honey. 

Now, I don’t mean a pre-made and pre-packaged honey cleanser that you buy from a store, but rather whole, honest to goodness, straight-from-the-jar honey. The type of honey that you put on your toast. The type of honey you mix in with your raw treats. The type of honey that is practically radiating with delicious, skin-promoting goodness.

So, how can honey give you the skin of a goddess?

The health benefits of honey have been recorded as far back as 320 BC by Aristoxenus and between 384 – 322 BC by Aristotle. The ancient Romans, as well as Vedic and Islamic texts jumped on the bandwagon long ago and waxed lyrical about honey’s healing qualities.

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Here are some highlighted benefits of using honey as a skin cleanser.

1. Honey is a natural anti-bacterial.

According to Dr. Rowena Jenkins from the University of Wales Institute, “Manuka and other honeys have been known to have wound healing and anti-bacterial properties for some time.” Anti-bacterial pretty much means that it will kill any bacteria – like those that clog up your pores and cause pimples.

2. Honey is a natural healing agent. 

Did you notice the first half of Dr. Jenkins comment? Honey has known wound healing abilities. This means that any existing pimples or cuts you have may be healed and soothed by applying honey topically.

3. Honey can reduce inflammation. 

This goes hand-in-hand with its anti-bacterial and wound healing qualities, which in short means goodbye angry, red, and inflamed skin!

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4. Honey is super hydrating. 

Science hasn’t been able to back this up yet, but I know from my own personal experience that honey is a lot gentler than most typical cleansers, leaving my skin feeling decadently nourished.

5. Honey contains antioxidants. 

Antioxidants are the little guys who fight free radicals — which as cool as they sound, aren’t very good for you. Free radicals have been linked with inflammation and – wait for it – premature aging of the skin. In short, honey supports you in achieving soft, healthy, and younger-looking skin by sending in troops to fight those wrinkle bandits on your behalf.

6. Honey has a low pH. 

Studies from the University of Waikato reveal that most honey formulations fall between 3.2 and 4.5 on the pH scale, which is far too low for bacterial species such as E. coli, Salmonella, and Streptococcus to thrive. Our skin also prefers low pH and slightly acidic materials.

7. Honey is a potent acne fighter. 

Firstly, because it’s an anti-bacterial. Secondly, because it reduces inflammation. Thirdly, because it contains antioxidants. What a beautiful triple whammy!

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How does it work?

Just like your store-bought cleansing products, using honey as a facial cleanser is as easy as opening up the tub, scooping out about between a teaspoon to tablespoon of honey, and then massaging it gently into your skin. I recommend wetting your face and hands before scooping the honey out. As soon as you add water, honey ceases to be sticky.

Please note: honey doesn’t do the best job at removing make-up. So if you need to scrub off foundation or mascara then I recommend exploring some other pre-cleansing options like jojoba oil or argan oil.

What honey should you use?

The more natural, the better. Aim for something that’s unpasteurized, raw, organic, and unfiltered. A lot of honey is heat treated, which eliminates the good stuff like nutrients and enzymes.

#Protip: Try Manuka honey. This is what I used during my honey experiment (to great success). It’s pretty much the star of the honey market. It is more expensive though, so keep that in mind when you’re checking out your options.

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But wait, what’s the matter with your existing cleanser?

Good question. And honestly, I’m not sure … mainly because I don’t know what type of cleanser you use. But I won’t lie: there are a lot of good cleansers out there. I’m not totally anti-cleanser. In the same vein, there are a lot of cleansers that are too alkaline and chemical-based too.

If you’re looking for a more natural alternative – or if you’re simply keen to give something new a try – then why not try honey for a few days? At the very least, you’ll give your skin a break from your regular products. As a bonus, you’ll smell deliciously sweet all day long.

Featured photo credit: picjumbo.com_HNCK4959 via google.com.au

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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