Quid sirenes cantare sint solitae? Translated from Latin, what did the sirens sing? According to Suetonius, this question the emperor Tiberius delighted to ask the wise men of his time. But the truth is that even Tiberius didn't know the answer. All that was known was a small clue inserted in Homer's Odyssey in the chapter dedicated to the adventure of Ulysses with the sirens, whose song was the sweet voice of ... honey. Just like that, honey, since ancient times, was considered something divine and fascinating, the gods ate honey, with honey Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty, prepared masks for her silky skin and honey was always a source of wisdom and poetry. Over the centuries, the importance of honey has certainly not diminished, on the contrary, honey has also become a real remedy for health and a powerful beauty cosmetic thanks to solid scientific basis. So, let's see what honey can do for our beauty and some ideas on how to prepare simple and beneficial cosmetics at home, to pamper ourselves, close our eyes and enter a timeless world letting ourselves be enchanted by ancient myths.
Honey for beauty, what science says
Honey, of all types and of any origin, is appreciated for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Honey is capable of modulating the skin's immune system, is emollient, moisturizing, soothing and anti-aging, thanks to the polyphenols it contains, it keeps the skin young, elastic and delays the appearance of wrinkles (McLoone et al, Cent Asian J Glob Health, 2016). Not only that, honey also acts as a hair softener (Burlando et al, J Cosmet Dermatol, 2013). Thanks to these characteristics, honey can be included in treatments against seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff of the scalp, but also irritation, wounds, psoriasis and acne (Burlando et al, J Cosmet Dermatol, 2013). Honey can also be used as an ingredient in scrubs since it contains substances, such as gluconic acid, which act as a peeling agent, removing dead cells (Kurek-Górecka et al, Molecules, 2020).
Honey, anti-acne mask and for irritated skin
Let's see how to use honey to prepare a soothing and antiseptic mask. If you have lemon balm water available you can skip this step, but if you don't have it at home bring half a glass of water to a boil, add a teaspoon of dried lemon balm, remove from heat and leave to infuse for five minutes, then filter. In a bowl, mix 3 tablespoons of ventilated green clay and as much lemon balm water as you need to make a cream. Add a teaspoon of honey, whatever you have at home is fine, mix and apply on clean face. Leave on for ten minutes, then rinse, sprinkle some lemon balm water and apply your face cream.
Honey, anti-wrinkle mask
Blend in a blender the pulp of half a kiwi with a teaspoon of blueberries, frozen and defrosted or fresh, when it is season, and a teaspoon of honey. Add a tablespoon of clay, whatever you have at home, and a teaspoon of argan oil. Mix, apply to a clean face for about ten minutes, then rinse, spray a floral water, such as thyme or rose water, complete with a few drops of serum oil and a little of your face cream.
Honey, treatment against dandruff and itchy scalp
As we have seen, honey fights dandruff, soothes scalp itches, strengthens the skin barrier and is anti-inflammatory, therefore ideal in case of dermatitis. In a bowl, pour two tablespoons of coconut oil and one tablespoon of jojoba or grape seed oil. Combine 1 teaspoon of honey, mix and apply to moistened scalp. Massage and spread the product up to the ends. Coconut oil is also an excellent remedy for repairing damaged hair and preventing, even in healthy hair, the loss of protein (Gavazzoni Dias et al, Int J Trichology, 2015). Leave on for thirty minutes, then wash off with shampoo.