The most alluring women in history have been exploiting the antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and hygroscopic properties of honey in their beauty rituals.
Cleopatra’s honey milk baths come to mind, and perhaps Queen Anne of England’s honey-and-oil combo as a hair masque.
But here, I’m emulating Madame du Barry’s classic ritual: The honey as facial mask.
Traditionally, the honey facial mask have been brewed with oils to boost its mollifying effects. Think castor oil, jojoba oil, and yes, the timeless extra-virgin olive oil (see my shine mask). Since I’m using pure virgin coconut oil as my nighttime moisturizer these days (which, progressively, reveals amazing results), it’s pretty convenient for me to whip up this mask on my dressing table.
Just mix two teaspoons of honey and one teaspoon of virgin coconut oil (liquefied/heated) together in a small container. I use manuka honey because of its higher concentration of the touted antibacterial compound, methylglyoxal, compared to other types of honey. This way, the skin gets more protection from the damage normally caused by bacteria.
Regarding virgin coconut oil, I was actually out of it for a period after I emptied my leave-in conditioner, and I didn’t know where to get it locally. Some months ago, I stumbled upon Utama Spice while window shopping at Zalora. Right there and then, I added the bottle to cart without giving much thought, from which then I added more stuff I wishlist-ed just minutes ago to cart. To cut to the chase, that’s basically an impulse (and a big one) that led me to become the frequent shopper at Zalora that I am now, hehe.
The good news is that the Bali-based aromatherapy line is recently getting more visible than ever – they’ve expanded to Discover & Try and Lazada as well. Best of all, I can now see all their products stacked neatly on shelves of Guardian stores throughout Jakarta. So yes, I don’t have to wait for two to three days anymore to have my virgin coconut oil in my hand.
As you can see, the duo makes a pretty thick concoction. Now this is optional, but you can add 2-3 teaspoons of water to dilute it. I personally like it sticky and dirty as it is, just because I don’t like that damp feeling when you’re leaving on masks that are too fluid.
Once you’re done mixing the blend and ready to put it on, cleanse your face with lukewarm water. Pour a handy amount of the mask on each palm, and massage all over face and décolleté. Leave it on for at least 15 minutes to ensure your dermis reaps the most out of the skin-smoothing nutrients in the mask (I leave it on for half an hour).
Do this twice a week, preferably before shower1, and expect to see a mild, glowing, younger-looking skin coming right out of it.
Don’t forget that taking both honey and coconut oil orally can also help to maximize the same prettifying effects on the skin.
- You don’t want to feel greasy for the rest of your day, do you? [↩]