The skin is the interface between the body and its environment and acts as a barrier protecting from adverse external factors.
Solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation is one of the main causes of a variety of cutaneous disorders, including photoaging and skin cancer. Its UVB component (280–315 nm) leads to oxidative stress and causes inflammation, DNA damage, p53 induction and lipid and protein oxidation. Recently, an increase in the use of plant polyphenols with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties has emerged to protect human skin against the deleterious effects of sunlight.
The bioactive substances in some plants have pharmacologic effects in regulating biological processes which can accelerate healing, reducing inflammation.
Two of these are honey and lemon. Let's find out how and why.
Are There Benefits to Using Honey and Lemon on Your Face?
Let’s delve straight into the benefits of honey and lemon for skin , followed by understanding each in detail with their individual internal and topical benefits so you can logic for yourself why the combination enhances the performance of each other when used together.
Honey and lemon for face
Honey is my favourite derived herb. In my extensive research on natural and derived plant and animal herbs, I have never come across one ingredient being even close to the plethora of benefits that honey alone gives.
For starters, it has traces of minerals and vitamins not to mention the antioxidants which destroy free radicals and delay ageing. Certainly on the surface of the body, honey has shown again and again that it can clear up the dirtiest wound and the most stubborn sore.
Lemon , on the other hand, due to its acidic nature , higher pH, can reduce oil and inflammation of the skin. Lemon also corrects the skin tone and even whitens in many cases and being the house of vitamin C, lemon acts as anti-oxidant that fights signs of ageing and reverse any damages and reducing acne.
Being antibacterial in nature , honey and lemon combination acts as a one-stop-solution for acne, blackheads , pore cleansing, dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Lemon contains alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) which help to remove dead skin cells and honey’s antioxidants act as natural antibiotic agents that fights free radical damage.
How to make the lemon and honey pack and how to use honey and lemon on face?
1. Mix equal quantities of honey and lemon juice and apply it all over the face. Leave it for 10 minutes and wash it off with cold water. This will not just lighten the skin tone, but will also keep the skin supple and glowing.
2. Alternatively, you can also add equal parts - ratio 1:1 of lemon and honey in a glass, mix it well and deep freeze it in your ice tray. Rub the ice cubes on your face next day for 10 minutes. You can do this every day. In addition to all the benefits it will also tighten your pores because of the ice.
This pack will make you glow like a baby and keep you well hydrated! You can also use honey and lemon pack on your elbows, knees .
Note- Patch test before use, do not use if you have sensitive skin.
More about Honey
Honey is one of nature’s wonders. Honey has been around for a long time and yet we know little about it. It is the nectar gathered from the blossoms of many flowers by bees. Honey has been a common sweetener for foods and a powerful medicinal tool for centuries. The oldest civilization known, the Sumerians, were well acquainted with bee keeping and honey, and it is safe to assume that early man also know how to gather honey and enjoy its sweetness. It is the simplest and often the best way to soothe a sore throat, and it can be taken at any time.
In some areas today, where modern medicines are hard to come by, honey is still being used to treat burns and wounds. It is applied directly to the area, and covered with clean gauze or cloth. The cloth is removed and discarded when a fresh application of honey is needed. The effects of honey's healing properties can be dramatic. For example, I once had a cut on my thumb which turned septic and refused to yield to any treatment. After honey was applied for 24 hours, the layer of infected skin peeled away to reveal new pink skin underneath and no sign of the infection. The use of honey as a wound dressing material, an ancient remedy that has been rediscovered, is becoming of increasing interest as more reports of its effectiveness are published. The clinical observations recorded are that infection is rapidly cleared, inflammation, swelling and pain are quickly reduced, odour is reduced, sloughing of necrotic tissue is induced, granulation and epithelialisation are hastened, and healing occurs rapidly with minimal scarring. The antimicrobial properties of honey prevent microbial growth in the moist healing environment created. Unlike other topical antiseptics, honey causes no tissue damage: in animal studies it has been demonstrated historically that it actually promotes the healing process. It has a direct nutrient effect as well as drawing lymph out to the cells by osmosis.The stimulation of healing may also be due to the acidity of honey. The osmosis creates a solution of honey in contact with the wound surface which prevents the dressing sticking, so there is no pain or tissue damage when dressings are changed. There is much anecdotal evidence to support its use, and randomised controlled clinical trials that have shown that honey is more effective than silver sulfadiazine and polyurethane film dressings for the treatment of burns. Honey is also an ideal first-aid dressing material, especially for patients in remote locations when there could be time for infection to have set in before medical treatment is obtained: it is readily available and simple to use. It would be particularly suitable for first-aid treatment for burns, where emergency dousing or cooling frequently involves the use of contaminated water which then leads to heavy infection of the traumatised tissue. As well as providing an immediate anti-inflammatory treatment the honey would provide an antibacterial action and a barrier to further infection of the wound.
Honey is most commonly used as a topical antibacterial agent to treat infections in a wide range of wound types. These include: Leg ulcers, Pressure ulcers, Diabetic foot ulcers, Infected wound resulting from injury or surgery burns.
In most cases, honey is used when conventional antibacterial treatment with antibiotics and antiseptics are ineffective. Numerous studies have shown that these difficult-to-heal wounds respond well to honey dressings. Inflammation, swelling and pain rapidly subside, unpleasant odours stop, debridement is enhanced as the honey dressings remove dead tissue painlessly and without causing damage to the regrowing cells. Honey promotes rapid healing with minimal scarring. Honey can also be used as first aid treatment for burns as it has potent antiinflammatory activity.
Antibacterial properties of Honey are the result of the low water activity causing osmosis, hydrogen peroxide effect, and high acidity.
Hydrogen peroxide in Honey is activated by dilution. However, unlike medical hydrogen peroxide, commonly 3% by volume, it is present in a concentration of only 1 mmol/l in Honey. Iron in Honey oxidizes the oxygen free radicals released by the hydrogen peroxide. When used topically (as, for example, a wound dressing), hydrogen peroxide is produced by dilution with body fluids. As a result, hydrogen peroxide is released slowly and acts as an antiseptic.
Although not a natural herb, honey is a plant by-product and used medicinally around the world. Honey is also an energizer, helping workers and athletes overcome fatigue and regain energy. Children, young and old can alike take honey, without worrying any side effects. Honey is a multivitamin tonic, has antibacterial properties and has antioxidants. Nausea, cough, cold etc can be treated by taking honey with a tsp of tulsi (basil) leaf juice. Asthmatic persons can also benefit from taking honey everyday. Ayurveda acknowledges honey as a wonder medicine capable of providing longevity. Osteoporosis is another condition, which can be prevented by taking honey regularly. Modern researches have underpinned the wonderful effects of honey, proving honey to be effective against advanced cases of stomach and bone cancer. Taking one tablespoon honey with one tsp cinnamon powder three times a day and cancer symptoms receded in one month. Honey has several antioxidants, effective against cancer growth. You can take honey alone or with milk or water, with or without a pinch of cinnamon powder. Make honey a habit; it will keep you healthy, strong and fruitful. Honey is anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal, and all of these properties make it ideal for healing wounds. It also dries out wounds effectively because of its low water content while its high sugar content keeps microorganisms from growing. Honey also contains an enzyme that produces the disinfectant hydrogen peroxide when it touches a damp surface like a wound.Honey’s Nutritional Value
Honey is primarily made of water and carbohydrates. It also contains trace amounts of several minerals and vitamins. You can find niacin, calcium, copper, riboflavin, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc in honey. Honey also contains a blend of flavonoids and phenolic acids. These are antioxidants that eliminate potentially destructive free radicals in the human body.I cannot resist sharing some of the health benefits of honey as its so effective and useful both for body and skin.
-clear bladder infection
-recede arthritis pain
-help with weight loss
-strengthen immune system
Some crucial , well researched and well tested medicinal properties of honey include
- Honey is useful as sedative. Take one teaspoon of honey in warm milk before going to bed.
- Honey can be taken either with warm milk or with lemon juice and radish juice as a remedy for cold.
- Honey in warm milk or water can give relief to sore throats. Gargling with honey is very useful in gingivitis.
- A daily addition of honey to the food stimulates digestion and regulates the acidity of the gastric juices.
- One spoon of fresh honey mixed with the juice of half a lemon in a glass of lukewarm water taken first thing in the morning is very effective for constipation, hyperacidity and obesity.
- Honey is used to cure gastrointestinal problems. It is used as a remedy for gastritis and stomach and duodenal ulcers.
- In other words, for diseases accompanied by a rise in acidity.
- A mixture of honey and rose petals when taken in the morning, at the initial stages of tuberculosis produces best results.
- It is believed that a moderate quantity of honey and pomegranate (anar) is good for people with heart trouble or heart weaknesses.
- Asafetida (Hing) fried in ghee and mixed with a tablespoon of honey can be taken thrice a day for heavy and painful menstrual periods and leucorrhea.
- A daily intake of honey strengthens the immune system in children thus developing their disease resistance capacity.
- Add honey and fresh fruit to low-fat yoghurt for an energy sustaining snack or stir a spoonful of honey into a glass of water before your daily workout.
More about Lemon
Lemons are a great source of calcium, vitamin C, magnesium and potassium -- minerals and antioxidants that improve the appearance and condition of our hair, skin and nails
- Vitamin C: Lemon juice contains vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid. Vitamin C does a great job at evening out pigmentation without too much irritation, and could help increase collagen in your skin as well. It’s also an antioxidant that counteracts free radicals, making it good at protecting your skin from the sun.
- Citric acid: Citric acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) are great for exfoliating your skin, making it look plumper and smoother.
- Niacin (vitamin B3): This is anti-inflammatory, helps with pigmentation and alleviates dry skin as well.
Keep in mind that lemon juice should not be left on the body for extended periods of time and may have severe reactions when exposed to the sun. Always consult with your doctor if you have any concerns.
Lemon for face
Due to bacteriostatic, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties, benefits of lemon for face include antihistamine effects, antioxidant effects , anti-inflammatory effects and immunomodulatory effects.
Note- Lemon is not good for sensitive skin.Discontinue immediately and thoroughly rinse with cold water if it you have used it.
Disadvantages of lemon juice on face
As i told earlier, lemon has a very high pH and is highly acidic in nature. For this reason alone, anyone with mild to hyper sensitive skin should completely stay away from using lemon on face as it can increase the problems. It can irritate your skin. Excessive dryness, redness, and even peeling can be some of the side effects of applying lemon on face.
A note on Lemon essential oil
Citrus essential oils, including lemon essential oil, have long been used widely in aromatherapy and alternative medicine. Lemon oil contains furocoumarin derivatives and is known to cause phototoxicity. It cannot be used outside of IFRA rules. Refer IFRA website always to understand essential oils safety.Among various other citrus-essential oils, lime oil and bitter-orange oil also contained large amounts of oxypeucedanin
Why I am particularly fond of the lemon peel
The lemon peel also contains small amounts of calcium, vitamin C, and potassium, as well as fiber and they are less harsh on your skin!!
They are beneficial for treating acne. Make your own beauty water by grating lemon skins into a bowl, squeezing the juice into another bowl, and then mixing the peels and juice together. Then, gently massage the solution into your face for an all-natural, acne-fighting treatment.
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