Beauty and The Beekeepers
Honey is an amazing natural beauty ingredient that dates back to ancient times. It is suitable for all skin types and is a natural antioxidant and antimicrobial ingredient. That is why you will see it featured today in so many commercial products and spa treatments.
I recently traveled to Northern California and was a guest presenter at The Marin Beekeepers Monthly meeting in San Anselmo. Beekeepers are amazing people as we all know and I was lucky to spend some time with some of the group's members as well as a few from The Mason Valley Beekeepers group in Nevada. We talked about bees, natural skin care, toured a beautiful meadery in Point Reyes, Heidrun Meadery and even went out on San Francisco Bay in a members boat for views of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, while toasting our day with more mead!
I taught two hands-on workshops where we made bath and body products using "products from the hive" as I think Honeybees are the best cosmetologists! If you are interested in creating some of the recipes and treatments I presented many of them can be found in my book "Natural Beauty from the Garden" (Ogden 2018) and also the Spring 2018 issue of Herb Quarterly Magazine "Beauty and the Bees"
Here are some of our workshop recipes. Feel free to share! You are bee-autiful!
Natural shampoos have a slightly different feel than commercial products with lots of foaming agents but don’t worry the effects are just as beautiful and pure honey will also help condition and cleanse your hair.
1/2 cup water or distilled water
1 /2 cup liquid castile soap
1-2 teaspoons raw honey
Pour all ingredients into a clean container. Shake gently to blend and let sit overnight. To use: Massage into damp hair and scalp and rinse well.
Yield: 8 ounces
Note: You may also substitute the water in this recipe with a favorite herbal tea.
Honey Oatmeal Cleanser
This is a gentle cleanser that all skin types can use in place of soap.
1 Tablespoon pure honey
2 Tablespoons ground oatmeal (simply place whole oats in a food processor)
1 /2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Mix together all ingredients and place in a clean container. To use: Massage into damp skin and rinse well.
Yield: 2 ounces
Honey Facial Toner
Honey has antibacterial properties and when used as a skin toner will help keep your skin fresh and clear. Green Tea also has antioxidant properties and is especially useful for troubled complexions in keeping the skin clear.
1 /2 cup strong green tea, cooled
1 /2 cup natural witch hazel astringent
1 teaspoon pure honey
Pour all ingredients into a clean container and shake gently to mix. To use: Apply to just washed skin with a clean cotton pad. Rinse if desired but not needed.
Yield: 8 ounces
Beeswax Healing Salve
Natural beeswax helps calm, comfort and protect the skin. This is a simple healing salve that can be used as a treatment for dry, rough skin or insect bites.
1 /4 cup grated beeswax
1 /2 cup cocoa butter or shea butter
1 /2 cup light natural oil such as sunflower or sesame oil
5-6 drops essential oil of lavender
5-6 drops essential oil of peppermint
In a heat resistant container or pan combine all of the ingredients except the essential oils. Heat gently until the mixture just begins to melt. Remove from the heat and stir well until all melted. Stir in the essential oils and pour into a clean container. To use: Spread a small amount into your skin.
Yield: 8 ounces
Honey Bath Bombs
Fizzing bath bombs and bath tablets are super simple to create and make a wonderful gift from your home and garden. Here is the basic recipe:
1 cup citric acid powder
1 cup baking soda
1 /2 cup cornstarch
1 /2 cup Epsom salts
1 /2 cup melted coconut oil
1 Tablespoon honey
Mix together all of the dry ingredients. Add the melted coconut oil and honey slowly and stir until you have a mixture that resembles wet sand. Pack into molds and let sit overnight. Make sure to keep your mixture dry as moisture will cause the ingredients to react and which is what you want to happen in the tub. To use: Drop in a warm bath and enjoy!
Note: You may add scented oils, natural colors, dried flowers and herbs to your basic mixture. Also try experimenting with different molds and shapes.
Lavender Bath Salts
Sometimes we can use a good relaxing bath soak and these salts are perfect for just that. They are soothing, calming and cleansing and also make the perfect gift for everyone on your list.
1 cup Epsom salt
1 /2 cup baking soda
1 /4 cup sea salt
1 /4 cup dried lavender
5-6 drops essential oil of lavender (optional)
Mix together all of the ingredients and pour into a clean container. To use: Pour a half a cup of salts into a warm bath and stir to dissolve. Note: You may also place the salts inside a muslin tea bag, which makes it easier to clean the tub of all the lavender bits.
Yield: 16 ounces