We make our own honey water based on an ancient recipe found by Mark Constantine. The recipe blends honey with tincture of benzoin (styrax benzoin) and rose oil diluted in water. A prized 19th century beauty tonic called ‘Virgin's milk’ was also traditionally made with tincture of benzoin and rose water.
Honey has been used as a skin ointment for over 2000 years, and was often used to lighten skin and hair, because it contains an enzyme that produces small amounts of hydrogen peroxide when diluted. This action is responsible for much of honey’s antibacterial effect and was called ‘inhibine’ before it was identified as hydrogen peroxide.
The hydrogen peroxide content is negligibly active in pure, undiluted honey, but when diluted in water, it becomes more active and can serve almost like a mild, slow-release antiseptic. The other phytochemical substances in honey buffer the antibacterial action and make this a very safe way to help skin heal itself.
Honey has been successfully used to treat problematic skin conditions, such as diabetic ulcers, and it is a traditional remedy for infected acne spots. Honey is also being investigated in the fight against the so-called super bug MRSA.
Poppea, the second wife of Nero, used a mixture of milk and honey for her complexion and Cleopatra bathed in honey and asses’ milk. It is said that du Barry, an infamous mistress of Louis XV of France, used honey as a face mask and that Japanese women used to rub honey on their hands. Honey is a natural humectant (it attracts and retains moisture,) and therefore, a wonderful, gentle moisturiser.
Tincture of benzoin is used to treat blisters, to protect skin’s surface and as an antibacterial and antifungal agent. It helps to preserve oils and butters and prolongs shelf life. Rose oil is one of the finest cosmetic ingredients, suitable for all skin types and excellent for mature, dry or sensitive skins.
In aromatherapy, rose oil is typically used to treat depression, sadness and grief and as a tonic for mature skin. Rose oil helps to strengthen capillaries and soothe redness.
As a gentle humectant, honey water is an ideal ingredient in our Yummy Yummy Yummy shower gel and American Cream hair conditioner. It helps to lock in moisture, thus softening the hair and the skin.
We use honey water in our Honey I Washed The Kids soap for its protective and moisturising properties.