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Natural Beauty from the Apiary




 

  An Apiary is a place where beehives are kept.  This can vary from place to place and can be as simple as a small hive box in your garden to hundreds of boxes inside a commercial orchard.  Beekeeping has been done since ancient times and throughout history there are records of bees and honey as part of our everyday life.  Today beekeeping and “saving the bees” has become a passion for a growing number of people.  It is hard to not look at a flower, tree or food source that is not touched by the hardworking honeybee.  Many of the foods we eat would just not be possible without their help in pollinating.  When it comes to skin and hair care bee-based ingredients also play an important role.

   Ingredients such as honey and beeswax are unique in their natural state.  We have yet to create a synthetic version of these two natural ingredients that can compare to what the honeybees can produce.  Honey is a staple in many homes and enjoyed in cooking and skin care.  Beeswax too is a household staple, and you can find it in household cleaners, candles and cosmetic products around the home. 

  You don’t have to become a beekeeper to support or “save the bees.”  You can enjoy bee-based products and support your local growers and bee enthusiasts by purchasing from local growers and keepers.  You can also plant some bee friendly herbs and flowers in your yard as honeybees can fly almost five miles from their hives and will happily find your plants.  They will also thank you by pollinating and making your yard look even more beautiful.  Some easy bee friendly plants to include are lavender, sage, mint, oregano, calendula, rosemary and blackberry.  For more local favorites check with your favorite nursery as many growers are now featuring plants that promote pollinators such as honeybees and butterflies.

  For healthy skin and hair, it is important to keep it clean and protected.  Bee products such as Honey and Beeswax do this.  They are high in vitamin and mineral content and also powerful antimicrobials, which mean they prevent the growth of harmful bacteria on our skin.  This is also why there have been whole lines of commercial skin and hair care products featuring honey and bee-based products on store shelves today.   Here are some recipes for you to enjoy and try at home. 

 

Honey Cleanser

Honey is often used in place of soap as a mild and gentle cleanser for your skin and hair.  It is gentle enough for all skin types and has antibacterial properties.  Using local raw honey is best but, in this recipe, any pure honey will work.

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon pure honey

2 Tablespoons finely ground oatmeal or oat flour

1 /2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Directions:

Mix together all ingredients in a small bowl and spoon into a clean container.  To use:  Massage into damp skin and rinse well.

Yield: 1 ounce

 

Anti-aging Facial Mask

This is an excellent anti-aging mask full of natural antioxidants that will help cleanse and soften your skin. The darker the color of your honey means the more antioxidants it contains and the better for your complexion.

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon raw honey

Directions:

Smooth the raw honey over clean face and neck and let sit for 10 minutes. Rinse well with warm water and pat your skin dry. Follow up with your favorite moisturizer or natural oil.

Yield: .5 ounces

 

Egyptian Honey Mask

Honey has been a key ingredient used for health and well being since ancient times. Beehives and evidence of beekeeping activities have been found when excavating Egyptian tombs. Honey was used to treat and heal the skin. This recipe is inspired by ancient practices of soothing and cleansing the skin using natural clay and honey.

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon white kaolin clay

1 Tablespoon raw honey

1 Tablespoon pure or distilled water

Directions:

Mix together all ingredients until you have a smooth paste. To use:  Spread on clean face and neck and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse well with warm water and pat your skin dry.

Yield: .75 ounces

 

Honeybee Bath

Honey is such a versatile natural ingredient and can be used head to toe. It is especially soothing to dry skin when used in the bath. It is a natural humectant, which means it has the ability to attract and retain moisture. This bath recipe can be used by all skin types even those with sensitive skin. It is not at all sticky and will make your skin feel soft and silky.

Ingredients:

1 cup water

1 /2 cup honey

1 /2 cup mild liquid soap such as castile

Directions:

Mix together all the ingredients and pour into a clean container. To use:  Gently shake to remix and pour 1 /4 cup into the bath under the running water. Bathe for 15 to 20 minutes. You may also add a few drops of your favorite essential oil for a bit of aromatherapy.

Yield: 16 ounces, enough for 8 baths

 

Beeswax Lip Balm

Beeswax is the wax is made from bees and used when they make the walls of their honeycombs. No synthetic product having all its properties has yet to be developed. When used in making lip balms it helps condition and protect your lips. This is a recipe for a basic lip balm. You can experiment with different oils in place of the coconut oil.

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon beeswax

1 teaspoon coconut oil

1 teaspoon cocoa butter

Directions:

Place all the ingredients in a heat resistant container and gently heat on the stovetop or in the microwave. Stir well until mixed and pour into a small container or empty lip balm tube. Let cool completely until solid. To use: Spread on your lips.

Yield: .5 ounce

 

Lavender Lip Balm

Lavender and Bees are a perfect match. Honeybees love to forage and feast on lavenders pretty purple flowers. Lavender honey is produced by bees living near and around lavender fields and is a treat if you can find it.  Lavender and honey are also well suited for skin care as they are both soothing and antiseptic.  This lip balm recipe contains essential oil of lavender and is perfect for treating dry, chapped lips keeping them soft and smooth.

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons almond oil

1 teaspoon beeswax

1 /4 teaspoon raw honey

2-3 drops essential oil of lavender

Directions:

Place the oil and beeswax in a heat resistant container and gently heat on the stovetop or in the microwave until the wax begins to melt.  Remove from heat and add the honey and essential oil of lavender and continue to stir until well mixed.  Pour the warm mixture into a small container or empty lip balm tube.  Let cool completely until solid.  To use:  Spread on your lips.

Yield: .5 ounce

 

Beeswax Hand Cream

Pure beeswax has a protective and moisturizing effect when used in making creams and lotions.  It forms a protective barrier on your skin but also allows your skin to breathe.  This makes it idea for use as a hand cream especially useful for hard working hands to keep them soft and conditioned. 

Ingredients:

1 cup light natural oil such as almond, olive or light sesame oil

1 /2 cup coconut oil

1 /4 cup grated beeswax

1 /2 teaspoon vitamin E oil

Directions:

In a heat resistant container combine all of the ingredients and heat gently until the oils and wax begin to melt.  Remove from heat source and stir well until all ingredients are melted and well mixed.  Pour into a clean container and let cool completely.  To use:  Massage a small amount into your skin.

Yield: 8 ounces

 

Sunny Day Healing Salve

After a day spent outdoors your skin may need a bit more TLC.  Using a good sunscreen and protecting your skin when in the sun is a natural beauty basic rule but sunburns do happen and if you find yourself with one this healing salve can help soothe some of the discomfort.  Natural beeswax along with soothing Aloe Vera gel helps calm and comfort your skin.

Ingredients:

1/ 4 cup grated beeswax

1 /2 cup cocoa butter or shea butter

1 /2 cup light sesame oil

1 /2 cup aloe vera gel

5-6 drops essential oil of lavender

5-6 drops essential oil of peppermint

Directions:

In a heat resistant container or pan combine all of the ingredients and heat gently until the mixture begins to melt.  Remove from heat source and stir well until all ingredients are mixed.  Spoon into a clean container and let cool completely.  To use:  Gently spread over your skin and allow to soak into your skin to calm and cool your sunburn.

Yield: 8 ounces

 

Note:  This healing salve also works well for soothing dry skin and treating insect bites.

 

Honey Conditioning Hair Pack

Honey can do great things for your hair that is dry damaged and mistreated.  It helps restore color, moisture, body and shine.  It may also lighten your hair slightly if used over time so dark-haired individuals may want to do a patch test first or skip this treatment.  

Ingredients:

1 /2 cup raw honey

Directions:

After shampooing your hair massage, the honey into your hair and leave on for 15 to 20 minutes.  You may want to cover your hair with a plastic shower cap or cotton towel.  Rinse well with warm water and condition your hair as you normally would do. 

Yield: 4 ounces

 

 

For more recipes and ideas check out my book Natural Beauty from the Garden.



 

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