I've always been fascinated by bees. Even in my youth, when kiddos ran screaming in the other direction the second they heard buzzing, I'd stop and admire the adorable pollinators. Hard workers, for sure, and they're fuzzy and cute, too. Also, for the longest time, I've had an urge to start my own bee farm. I still see one in my future.
In my quest to learn more about bees--and to get up close and personal with them--I shadowed a beekeeper several years ago. Contrary to what many may think, I learned that most colonies are comprised of very gentle bees who mind their own business. I even petted one and it ate from my finger.
Why You Should Love Bees--And Help Protect Them
"Bees are responsible for pollinating a third of our food supply--fruits, vegetables, grains, and of course flowers, from which they gather the sweet nectar that is turned into honey," explains Martha Van Inwegen, a beekeeper and founder of TheraBee, a company whose aim is to save and protect bees. "Without honeybees, our super markets would be void of many foods, beauty products and sweeteners."
Sadly, and many of you probably already know this, honeybees are declining drastically in numbers. This is the result of pesticides, mites, fungi, lack of natural habitat, and improper removal of colonies.
Seriously, this is a big deal and a major bummer. And yes, while there are other pollinators out there (butterflies, insects, humming birds), there aren't any other little guys out there making honey.
The day honey runs out is going to be a very sad day for everyone, not just Pooh bear.
Not only do bees and their honey play an integral role in grocery store aisles and the environment, in general, honey is also a powerful ingredient in skin care routines.
"Honey is a golden elixir for beauty," says Van Inwegen. "It’s the most natural, chemical free skin care you can purchase! It’s naturally antibacterial, and it's antimicrobial, so it speeds the healing of acne, cuts, rashes and burns."
Honey is also a humectant, she adds, which essentially means it gives your skin a mega dose of moisture.
6 Honey-Infused Beauty Products
This bad boy is from GlowRecipe.com, which sells natural, harsh-free Korean beauty products to those of us stateside. It's a $40 multitasker that soars above all the rest of its kind, plus it's formulated with three different types of honey, including Manuka, Royal Jelly, and Propolis. I apply it to my skin after cleansing for instant hydration. Not gonna lie... I'm pretty obsessed with this one.
Pictured above are two goodies from Oyin Handmade, a thoughtful company that I treasure not only for their quality products, but their humble price tags. The Honey Hemp Conditioner is only $13.99 and is super thick and luxurious feeling. Honey's humectant qualities make for soft and revitalized hair while the hemp's fatty acids nourish the shaft. It gets rave reviews across the board, and I give it my stamp of approval, too.
The Honey Water ($10) is just as lovely, and perfect for use throughout the year. I suggest using it in addition to, or in place of, creams or oils. Your skin will feel hydrated without any of the heaviness associated with thicker moisturizers, and the scent is light enough to layer with whatever else you want to wear.
I'm always down for a body scrub, especially if said scrub A) contains lots of yummy ingredients, B) is organic, C) smells amazing, and D) makes my skin look and feel all radiant and lovely. This scrub by HollyBeth Organics is 100% organic and contains Tupelo honey, vitamin E, sweet almond oil and cornmeal to exfoliate. It's gentle and leaves you feeling both hydrated and sloughed off.
These organic, tinted lip balms from Waxing Kara ($8 each) have quickly become a favorite of mine, and that's saying a lot considering my pickiness. Each smells heavenly, and the colors glide on smoothly, as well. I love that they're infused with a bit of minty-ness (in addition to the honey), which helps to soothe lips, as well.
I know LUSH gets a lot of love around here, but it's for good reason. Honey I Washed My Hair is a brand spankin' new bar shampoo that contains fair trade honey, bergamot oil, and sweet wild orange oil. I love these bar shampoos for travel (take that, TSA!), and this one lathers nicely and leaves my hair super soft. It pairs really well with the Oyin Conditioner above. Also, it smells divine (duh, it's LUSH).
How You Can Help Save The Bees
You don't have to start a bee farm, and you don't even have to pet a bee or want to get close to them.
"Making good choices in our gardens and purchasing decisions is a great start," says Marilene Richardson, passionate bee lover who's also the owner and formulator for SongCroft Naturals. "We vote with our dollars every time we buy something. Look to companies that support Colony Collapse Disorder research and whose business practices are environmentally safe."
- What's your favorite way to use honey, for beauty purposes and snacking purposes?
- Are you afraid of bees, or do you think they're as cute as I do?
- Do any of the honey-infused beauty products above appeal?