Oh, if only Canadian summer could last forever…But what if we make winter our friend? What if we are well prepared for Winter, and we greet her as a good friend who came over for a visit and stayed for the winter holidays, and over Easter perhaps? We will stop there before we scare ourselves into moving to a tropical island and pretend we had never seen a winter storm nor felt the North wind on our faces.
And here is the reason for that fear: The low temperature contributes greatly to the loss of moisture and elasticity in the skin. What we need to do is prepare our skin to be ready when we get into the winter months of January and February. Because it is not about being beautiful now, but also when we’re bundled up like Bedouins in the middle of the infamous January snow storms (we’ll definitely post selfies of our look when the time comes).
On to the first of the natural ingredients that are good in making our skin looking supple and firm, yet soft to the touch:
Honey: Also known as a one of the naturally occurring humectants, honey has been used in the ancient civilizations to aid the wound healing process. Records as far back as 2000 BC indicate that Sumerians in the ancient world had been using this technique as a medical procedure. So how is honey beneficial to maintain a soft and blemish-free skin? The answer lies in its biochemical properties, naturally occurring in all types of it:
- Honey has anti-inflammatory properties: it naturally reduces the inflammation on the skin. Inflammation occurs because the part of the skin that is damaged, sends signals to the central nervous system to engage its skin repair mechanism. It is reported that the application of honey reduces the symptoms of inflammation and also exhibits a soothing effect to the damaged skin.
- Honey is antimicrobial: if you came to our house and complain of a sore throat, the usual response is to take a [table]spoonful of honey, and try to hold it at the back of your throat for a few seconds before swallowing it. This recipe has been in our family for as long as our grandmothers can remember. The reason why honey heals sore throat is in its antiseptic properties: it produces a thin film of hydrogen peroxide that kills bacteria that are present on the skin, and prevents new ones from entering the affected area with its silky smooth consistency (it’s not an ideal environment that microorganisms prefer to live in).
- Honey is an anti-oxidant: The amount of phenolic compounds (the good guys) in honey are able to scavenge the free radicals (the bad guys) that could cause cell damage (those rascals!). It also reduces the oxidative stress in the deeper layers of the skin (it prevents the amplification of the inflammation), triggers a special mechanism that is responsible for the creation of new tissue generation, and stimulates the healing process.
The second natural ingredient we will be considering is a kitchen staple for many: olive oil.
In its natural habitat, olive oil has been used for a long time as part of the skin care regime. It has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that fight skin damages. Most of the time, olive oil is used as a delivery vehicle for best absorption of the properties of honey, i.e. the supersonic jet that carries VIPs to the affected area. The main component of olive oil, the oleic acid, helps to get ingredients such as the polyphenols from honey deep into the skin layer. It is safe to say that honey and olive oil have been around for a long time to help with common skin problems such as dryness, irritation or the occurrence of wounds and burns.
In other words, whatever skin care routines we skipped during our leisure summer months can be forgiven with this salve we have for you below. And of course, we are looking forward to seeing our skin improve its defense against the winter months.
Be happy, be beautiful.
Honey and Olive Oil Salve
- 1 tsp Honey (we prefer unpasteurized, but whatever you have on hand will do the trick)
- 1 tsp Olive Oil
- Mix the ingredients in a glass container.
- Apply to your face and neck after washing your face instead of your nighttime serum. Follow with your regular moisturizing regime.
Note: We like to use this salve before bedtime only because the skin repairs occur when we go to sleep. You can use the mix as a facial mask when your skin is very dry. In this case wash your face, apply the mix and try to leave it on for as long as possible, before washing your face with warm water and applying your moisturizer.
Please Note: if you are allergic to pollen and bee sting DO NOT USE THIS RECIPE, we will be posting an alternative very soon.