Beauty With A Capital Bee

11th September 2009

Not before time, writes Mary Linehan, we seem to be realising the role of the not-so-humble bee in the balance of nature, not least the future of man.

Honey and its sisters – royal jelly, beeswax and propolis – are wonderful gifts from nature (credit where credit is due: the honey bee) that have been used for centuries in traditional beauty treatments and as natural health remedies.

We now know from scientific verification what our ancestors knew from traditions handed down through generations: that honey not only has a myriad of uses for the face, hair and body, but that its composition is a source of curative, soothing, health-giving and beautifying benefits.

Honey comprises 80% sugars and carbohydrates, 18% water and 2% vitamins, minerals, pollen and amino acids. It’s rich in potent antioxidants, thus powerfully anti-ageing; it’s anti-microbial, making it first-rate as an acne treatment; and it’s humectant so it attracts and retains moisture.

Medicinally, it’s also been used successfully to treat burns, cuts and sores and to act as a protective barrier for wounds. Health-wise, it helps soothe sore throats and relieves coughs and colds.

In celebration of the role of the bee in health and beauty, here are some wonderful natural and organic products, you really should treat yourself to. Take it from me, they’re the bees knees…

Burt’s Bees Honey & Orange Wax Body Moisturiser (£11.74)

Over 99% natural, this is a sweetly uplifting and delicious body lotion made with honey, beeswax, orange peel wax and milk to soothe, rehydrate and maintain skin moisture levels.

Balm Balm Lip Balm (£2.99)

Award-winning Balm Balm is 100% organic. The Fragrance Free Lip Balm has beeswax, shea butter, jojoba and sunflower oils to soothe, moisturise and nourish delicate skin.

Excellent with or without lipstick, and the fragrance-free formulation doesn’t interfere with eating or drinking.

Lush Flying Fox (£7.59)

Nectar for the body, this richly moisturising and emollient blend of the finest English, Greek and Hungarian honey, is laden with heavily sensual, mood calming jasmine and yang ylang.

Tip: Works well on a hot date…

Natural Eve Multi-Task Rescue Balm (£9.99)

A 100% organic, super concentrated moisturising, nourishing, protective balm (from Watford-based Natural Eve) – made with beeswax, olive flower oil and sunflower seed oil, and delicately fragranced with reviving red mandarin oil. Brilliant for dry patches all over the body.

And for the health conscious…

For a multitude of reputed health benefits that includes shinier hair, an aid to digestive and skin problems and enhanced immunity, try taking a Bumbles Royal Gellee capsule (£5.59) daily and enjoying Manuka Honey on toast.

Said to be the queen of honeys, Manuka is indigenous to New Zealand. Exceptionally active, every jar of this wonderful source of abundant energy and good health carries a UMF® number that denotes the amount of naturally occurring antibacterial properties of the honey. At £16.39 for the UMF® 15+ it’s expensive, but worth it.

Burt’s Bees – John Lewis, Debenhams and Waitrose
Balm Balm – www.balmbalm.co.uk
Lush – www.lush.co.uk
Natural Eve – www.asos.com
Bumbles Royal Gellee and Manuka Honey UMF® 15 + by Comvita Products, both from www.victoriahealth.com

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