Honey is also a humectant, so it helps retain moisture on the skin in much the same way as glycerin.
Cleopatra is said to have ruled Egypt with an iron fist. Apparently, it was also a smooth fist, since she was one of the more famous people in history to use honey for its skin-enhancing properties. In fact, Cleopatra’s legendary milk and honey baths are just one of many historical examples of people using honey to pamper their complexions. While Cleopatra didn’t know why honey softened her skin, new research suggests the queen of the Nile was definitely onto something.
Manufacturers have used honey in everything from hand lotions and moisturizers to bar soapsand bubble baths.
First, honey is a humectant, which means it attracts and retains moisture. One reason they use honey is for its wholesome, all-natural image; more and more consumers are demanding cosmetics and personal care products made from natural ingredients. In the case of honey, however, image is just the beginning.
This makes honey a natural fit in a variety of moisturizing products including cleaners, creams, shampoos and conditioners. Honey also acts as an anti-irritant, making it suitable for sensitive skin and baby care products.
Honey’s prospects in skincare are looking even sweeter; research is currently underway to develop a process using honey to create alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). AHAs are an important ingredient in many skin creams and moisturizers because they help exfoliate the skin. Increased exfoliation, or renewal of the skin cells, can give skin a younger, more vibrant look.