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Since before the days of Cleopatra, people have used honey as part of a luxurious beauty routine. Some ancient historians believe that humans have used honey for food and medicinal purposes for over 10,000 years. According to some experts, honey has antioxidant, soothing, and moisturizing properties that can be beneficial to the skin when applied topically. Taking a long slow soak in a honey bath can be a wonderful way to add a bit of spa lifestyle to a daily bathing routine.
A honey bath is created by adding honey, often combined with other natural or manufactured products, to bathwater. There are dozens of recipes for homemade honey bath mixtures, as well as many cosmetic and skincare companies that offer pre-made bath additions with an emphasis on honey. Homemade products may be a good choice for anyone with sensitive skin or allergies, as the maker can control exactly what ingredients go into the mix.
One common type of honey product is a milk and honey bath. This can be easily made by combining powdered milk or regular milk with honey and adding to bathwater. Using powdered milk, this type of bathing mixture can also be placed in decorative jars and given as gifts. Milk and honey baths are an ancient tradition meant to create deep moisture for the skin.
Honey can be combined with many ingredients to make a bath mixture. Add lavender flowers for a soothing scent and deliciously flower bath. Try combining honey with an unscented, mild liquid soap and vanilla extract to make a thick foaming bubble bath. Create a super-moisturizing version by mixing with almond or olive oil.
In addition to providing mild anti-bacterial support, honey baths may be useful in the treatment of burns or sunburns. Some studies have shown that mild burns treated with honey will fade faster, and hurt less. When scorched by a hot plate or reddened by too much sun exposure, consider a lukewarm soak in honey to soothe the pain and soften the skin.
Honey can also be used to make other bath and body products, such as scrubs or facial masques. For an invigorating yet softening scrub, combine honey with table salt and a little olive oil. Rub over the skin in small circles during a shower, allowing the salt to exfoliate while the honey and oil moisturizes. The antibacterial properties of honey make it a possible ingredient in facial treatments for congested skin. To make a honey mask, use only honey or mix with oil and an egg yolk, then apply to the face for 15-30 minutes. For a full-on honey spa experience, take a honey bath while allowing the mask to sink in, then rinse off with an exhilarating honey scrub.