(A honey essence from Skinfood was seriously amazing for my skin. Photo by David Yi, Very Good Light)

The last time I thought about honey was actually the first Saturday in June (I have a really good memory), when I re-watched Jessica Alba’s abs gyrate and her booty bounce in the legendary (FILL IN THE BLANK ____ musical/drama/classic/life-changing) film.

The movie, called, well, Honey, has Jessica feigning a Harlem accent, dreaming of a better world for her neighbors, teaching hip-hop choreographer as a way to keep kids off the street. The 2003 movie is deep, ya’ll.

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In any case, after re-watching the film for the seventeenth time in my small Brooklyn apartment, I was inspired to do many a thing. One, was change into a tight wife-beater and baggy pants and dance along Dekalb Ave. all the way to Harlem. Two, was doing a gazillion sit-ups (while balancing pizza on my forehead) to get Jessica’s no nonsense abdominals. Finally, to try honey out as a beauty product. It’s funny how my thought process went from Honey the movie toJessica Alba’s abs, to then Jessica Alba IRL beauty guru (Honest Beauty), and then finally to try honey as a beauty product.

I’d heard of the crazy benefits of honey in the past few years from my own Korean mother, who makes DIY masks at home, but using the substance for my own face never appealed to me. For one, it seems way too sticky, and then there’s the whole cleaning aspect that really turns me off. Seems like a nightmare for any bathroom sink or kitchen.

(Photo by David Yi, Very Good Light)

But then, reading about the benefits really did entice me. Like, did you know honey has better probiotic and antibacterial properties? It also is healing, hydrating while also nourishing your skin. Honey is said to also help with acne, eczema or healing wounds. Most beauty gurus will agree that Manuka honey (named after the New Zealand Manuka bush it comes from) is probably the best because it has antibacterial properties.

SEE ALSO: Why one night stands are perfect for testing beauty products. 

Note: Not all honey is created equal. In fact, there are hundreds of sources for honey and dependent on where it’s from and how it’s harvested can determine its potency. For your skin, you would almost always want to go for raw and unfiltered honey. The terms “organic” and “all natural” doesn’t make any of the product any less processed.

I started out the first week with replacing my cleanser at night and washing my face with honey. I thought that honey would be super sticky and wouldn’t react with water, but when in contact with warm H20, it seems to seep right off. Immediately, I felt my skin was super bouncy and soft, but didn’t see that it did anything out of the ordinary. After using honey everyday for a month, I did see my acne a lot less angry, my skin smoother, bouncier. But I didn’t think that it made such a dramatic difference that I’d need to completely change my beauty regimen in place of honey.

What I learned, instead, was incorporating honey products into my beauty regimen. That is, Manuka honey for a cleanser when I feel dry or need a holistic approach to acne, honey essence for seeping in moisture and treating the skin, or a leave-on mask from brands like Farmacy.

Ultimately, I researched and learned that honey reacts differently to different skin types. So as it might not be the ultimate cure for my own problem areas (like acne or blotchy skin), it could be amazing for someone else. Honey though, no matter how you put it, is definitely only good for your skin, just like Honey the movie, is only amazing for jumpstarting your inspirational day. But like the movie, it isn’t life-changing by any means, though will make you feel that much better, even for a few seconds.

My favorite honey products of the moment:

  1. Manuka honey from Manuka Doctor Bio Active Honey, $19. Any Manuka honey will do but I’m into this one since it’s super active and will jampack those benefits.
  2. Royal Honey Propolis Essence from Skinfood, at SokoGlam, $38. This one has 50% Black Bee Propolis extract, 20% royal jelly extract and 10% royal black honey and keeps your face moist and protected. It totally made my brighter by week two and has a nice, non-sticky gel consistency.
  3. Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask from Farmacy, $56. I am completely obsessed with this new brand I discovered at Sephora. Created as a “farm to table” sort of beauty brand, it’s all about utilizing the best farmers to make the best products. This one is specifically for fine lines, dry skin and completely hydrating. Its light formula is completely delicious.
  4. Fresh Honey Mask, $60. My mother and I have been obsessing over this honey mask from Fresh ever since we tested it out for holiday. It’s super luxe, leaving skin completely hydrated, soft and with fine lines diminished. My mom is so in love with this, she asked only for this for her birthday.
  5. Yellow citrus and honey splash mask by Blithe Energy, at Glow Recipe, $45. At first, I was super confused with the mask. Like, do you directly put onto your face? Do you splash it on and then wash off? Then, I actually read the directions. In it, it says to take a capful and douse into your sink, filled with lukewarm water. The blend of lactic acid and botanical extracts allow your skin to instantly radiate. I tried splashing for a week and now a firm believer. NOT GREAT FOR YOUR BATHROOM FLOOR, THOUGH!