Beauty Nectar

Honey&emdash;nature's wonder ingredient for skin and hair&emdash;is finding its way into everything from cleansers and creams to shampoos and hair conditioners
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The abundance of sugars, trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids found naturally in honey provide powerful moisturizing and anti-aging benefits for hair and skin. Honey contains anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, as well as natural antioxidants that help to protect against bacteria and sun damage. Because it's a natural antiseptic that soothes and heals skin, honey is also an ideal acne treatment. Acne is caused by the buildup of oil and dirt, and honey can absorb these impurities from the pores on the skin.

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Honey's stickiness allows it to attract and retain moisture, and this helps keep skin and hair hydrated. Honey helps retain moisture in your hair, turning dry, damaged, dull-looking hair lustrous and shiny. It can also rid your scalp of dry, itchy flakes.

But not all honey is the same. The antibacterial quality of honey depends on the flower nectar the bees feed on and where the honey is harvested. For example, manuka honey, which is harvested in New Zealand, is packed with the tough antibacterial component methylglyoxal (MG), which is found in high concentration in the nectar of manuka flowers.

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Repair and strengthen hair with John Masters OrganicsHoney & Hibiscus Hair Reconstructing Shampoo and Honey & Hibiscus Hair Reconstructor. This daily or weekly intense treatment duo is packed with healing honey and essential fatty acids that can renew dry and damaged hair follicles and promote a healthy scalp.

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Brighten and smooth as you cleanse with Now SolutionsVitamin C & Manuka Honey Gel Cleanser. Manuka honey, vitamins C and E, extra virgin olive oil, and aloe vera provide a gentle, deep cleanse for dry or combination skin with uneven tone, dullness, and acne or blemishes.

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Sweeten up your beauty routine with Honey Girl OrganicsFace & Eye Crème. Made with the honey of bees fed on the tropical Hawaiian flowers of Oahu's North Shore, beeswax with pollen and propolis, royal jelly, and extra virgin olive oil, this multitasking cream moisturizes, reduces fine lines, repairs damage, and protects skin from harsh weather.

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Polish your skin and tighten pores with Bee NaturalsHoney Sugar Scrub. Sugar, honey, glycerin, jojoba oil, sunflower oil, rosemary extract, and essential oils gently exfoliate arms, legs, and any rough spots without the sting and drying of salt scrubs. Leaves skin soft and smooth.

Bee well in Napa
The Auberge Spa at Calistoga Ranch in California's Napa Valley knows all about the power of local honey, as well as bee propolis (the glue bees make to seal their hives) and royal jelly (the substance drones make to feed the queen bee). Not only does the spa offer a 90-minute Honey Dream Bee Well detoxifying and hydrating therapy, it also uses honey harvested from beehives in its own garden. The spa's combination of honey and massage techniques gently lift the skin from the muscles, allowing increased circulation to flush out toxins. A warm wrap seals in the immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory benefits of honey and bee propolis, while a royal jelly face mask softens and nourishes skin.

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Sherrie Strausfogel is the author of Hawaii's Spa Experience: Rejuvenating Secrets of the Islands. Writing about beauty, spas, health, cuisine, and travel, Strausfogel's work has appeared in more than 100 magazines, newspapers, guidebooks, and websites. She is based in Honolulu.

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