Nurture Skin with Honey

I confess, when I am nervous or distracted, I tend to pick at my cuticles, gross, I know. Dry skin around my nails is a curse for me. I have tried different over-the-counter lotions, homemade herbal blends with all the good stuff like beeswax and carrier oils. Some were either too oily, or it was too waxy and just coated the surface without really healing it. None seem to work, as soon as my skin dries out- I pick– eewww!

Then there was a sweet little honey concoction.
One day I collected handfuls of Blanc De Coubert rose petals (Rosa ‘Blanc Double de Coubert’) with the intention of making a fresh batch of rose water. Instead, I decided to infuse the petals into raw honey to make a fragrant skin softening lotion.  After a week I  added a cut up vanilla bean  because well…who can resist the aroma of a real vanilla bean?  After about three weeks, My honey skin lotion was deep amber color and intensely fragrant with roses and vanilla.
honey rosevanillaBefore you think this lotion is sticky and gooey,  I used fireweed honey from a local beekeeper. Most wildflower honey and spring time honeys are not as thick as other types.  I use these lighter honey’s for lotion making.  I also added sweet almond oil  to tame the sticky feeling. And best of all, skin loves honey and takes it in very easily and naturally.
 Bonus! A drop on each fingernail with  a quick massage around cuticles is my new magic cure for my terrible cuticle picking habit!

Honey the Healer
Not just a bunch of sweet talk-here is more information on studies of honey (including the marketing of “medicinal honey”) for use in wound and burn healing.
http://www.motherearthnews.com/natural-health/health-benefits-of-honey-zmaz99fmzraw.aspx
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21479349
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3609166/  http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2014/jan/01/surgihoney-treatment-infected-wounds

Make
Herb-Infused Honey
Add the skin healing qualities of your favorite herb to honey for extra rich skin therapy.
Fill a clean glass pint-size canning jar 1/2 full with fresh or dried herbs. Pour honey (use local, fresh raw honey) to the top of the jar, leaving about an inch of head space. Cover. Place honey/herb jar in a pan of water on the stove and allow the honey to warm (do not boil). The warmth will help release the essential oils of the herbs. Remove from heat and allow to sit for a week or longer.  When the honey smells intensely of the herb, strain out the herb with a cheesecloth and place in a clean glass jar. Cover tightly. Honey also acts as a natural preservative due to its high sugar content and will have a longer shelf life than most homemade lotions.

My recipe
 The skin softening qualities of roses with honey is my super healer for dry skin. 
1 cup of raw wildflower honey
About 1 cup of fresh washed rose petals
½ vanilla bean, cut into 1-inch pieces
Add rose petals to a clean glass jar. In a separate glass measuring cup, warm the honey for 30 seconds in a microwave (test and adjust time if needed, the honey should be warm, but not burning hot). Pour honey over the rose petals. Shake well. Place a lid on the jar and allow to sit for a week to 10 days. Add the cut up vanilla beans and shake well. Allow mix to sit for another week to 10 days. Strain out the roses and vanilla beans through a cheesecloth.
Add
1 tablespoon of sweet almond oil
3 drops vitamin E oil
Mix well. Store lotion in a glass bottle.

Refresh
Honey Sea Salt Scrub
Use your herb honey in a scrub for a softening skin refresher.
½ cup organic French grey sea salt (or any organic, course-grind sea salt)
2 tablespoons herb-infused honey
1 to 2 tablespoons coconut oil (just enough to make a good paste consistency)
Use as a scrub on rough skin like elbows and feet. Massage in about 2 to 5 minutes. Rinse with water -just enough to remove graininess but not wash away the oil and honey.
Pat dry and rub until the oil/honey mix dissappears into skin.

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