All it takes is one teaspoon of honey to help start your day the right way-add it to a glass of warm water, along with the juice of half a lemon and drink it first thing in the morning-it will increase your immunity, help to balance your gut flora and will ‘wake you up’ naturally. Honey contains over 300 of enzymes & vitamins, including B, C, calcium, iodine and phosphorus and even water, so why did no one thing of creating a skincare line around it? Oh wait, one woman did, her name is Tanya Hawkes, she is a bee keeper with over 25 years of experience and she is also a founder of the pure honey range called Therapi Honey Skincare.
Therapi launched its face skincare range at the 2013 Natural & Organic Products show and then Content Well-being store hosted a beautiful presentation ( they stock the whole range in their Marylebone store, as well as online ), on the rooftop of Soho House in early September. The sun shone, the conversation flowed and men and women of all ages seemed riveted by the jars of honey and Therapi austere white packaging, which reminds me of old school apothecaries that still retain the air of mystery, wonder and discovery.
The range is very gentle ( Tania herself used to suffer from hypersensitive skin, as well as eczema, so her research was thorough and all-encompassing ) but it offers wonderfully moisturising and healing benefits. How do I know? Well, I ‘intentionally’ used it on my post-summer skin and continued to do so as temperatures started to plummet. Happy to report that the products work beautifully in different climates and different temperatures, yet remain effective and nurturing, like honey itself.
There are three honey product lines within Therapi honey skincare range: Rose Otto ( suitable for normal & dry skin; comprises Honey Gel Cleanser, Hydrating Facial Toner, Honey Moisturiser and one of brand’s best-sellers, Ultra Radiance Cream ), Orange Blossom ( the line for for normal skin includes Honey Gel Cleanser, Hydrating Facial Toner & Honey Moisturiser ) and Lemon Myrtle ( for oily and combination skin; Honey Gel Cleanser, Anti-bacterial Facial Toner & Honey Moisturiser ). As Tanya Hawkes says ‘Therapi’s unique formulations use honey, active botanical extracts, cold-pressed organic oils and nourishing plant butters that give you healthy, glowing skin each and every day’.
While Tanya tested various things to sort out her own skin problems for several years, it took her about three years of research and development before she was ready to launch her honey based skincare range. She started with setting up Apples & Pears Apiaries Ltd and making honey & beeswax products, which led to the development of a new range of skincare based around organic honey in 2010. Each of the three product lines are made in the UK and have been formulated to work with all skin types. The range has been awarded the holy grail of organic certification, Soil Association.
The healing powers of honey have been known for centuries but now scientists are doing more and more research into honey’s health benefits, from helping to heal wounds ( it was used by Russian doctors and nurses during the Second World War as antiseptic as well ), to dealing with hay fever symptoms. Beware though, that not all honey is created equal-you need to source and buy raw, unprocessed honey-try to find a beekeeper and support their efforts, as well as your own health and beauty. Another important tip is never to add honey to just boiled water or tea as heat kills honey’s antibacterial properties and can even make your drink toxic.
All of the ingredients in Therapi honey range are chosen for their unique properties that will benefit the well-being of your skin. Bees are not just beautiful and hard-working creatures, they are ‘sophisticated organic chemists that convert nectar and pollen from flowers into highly nutritious & natural compounds called ‘pharmacopoiea’. Honey is a natural humectant that attracts, as well as retains moisture and makes sure that when applied to skin, it will help the skin retain its optimal hydration levels. It also helps to regenerate tissue, fight free radicals, improve skin tone & elasticity, as well as reduce signs of ageing, redness and inflammation process within skin layers.
Therapi’s Rose Otto Ultra Radiance cream ( the team told me that they jokingly call it the Marmite, as people either take to it or dislike it. Yours truly remains firmly in the first category, as this rich and concentrated cream helps to sooth skin in the summer heat or when you go skiing. It also acts as a beautiful base for your make-up and smells faintly sweet. When you apply it on its own ( you only need a little bit at a time ) it makes your skin look more luminous. The uniqueness of this product is that it contains certified organic propolis extract, which is a precious compound that is produced by bees from the resins of plants and is known for its purifying, regenerating and healing properties.
The line of products that I tried ( ‘Balancing Orange Blossom‘, made with 90% organic ingredients and targeted for normal skin ) was created around orange blossom and utilises the power of honey, calendula, known for its soothing properties, with the addition of uplifting neroli and jasmine oils that in combination help to maintain skin’s natural defences, as well as help to improve skin tone, balance and tone your skin.
Therapi No.1 Honey Gel Cleanser has liquid, gel like consistency and lathers beautifully when added to water. You then massages your face with it and notice that it turns into the lightest of moisturising creams. You then rinse it off with luke-warm water and realise that you skin feels regally soft and well-moisturised. I love using it in colder months because it gives you a pampering experience at the end of the day.
Did you know that in order to gather one kilogram of honey it takes a bee up to 150,000 of flights to get nectar (with the flying distance of about half a million of kilometres )? Or that depending on the plant from which the bee collected the nectar, there are about 50 types of honey, including buckwheat, tulip, pumpkin and chestnut.
Therapi No.3 Honey Moisturiser looks good enough to eat. It has pale yellow colour ( due in part to sea buckthorn oil ) and looks so beautiful you are almost cautious to put your finger in it and spoil perfection. It has light, feather-like mousse consistency but moisturises your skin, whether you use it in the morning or night-time, beautifully and lightly fragrances it as well. Each of the products in this line has its own smell and identity, while complementing each other’s benefits and making your skin look and feel beautiful from outside in. You can also apply it to your neck and decollete and feel full benefits within a few weeks of use.
As an additional treat, apply some honey on your cleansed face and tap your face all over with the tips of your fingers. Leave it on and wash it off in 15-30 minutes, then apply Therapi moisturiser and your face will look flawless, with clean pores and radiant complexion.
Therapi use 5% of their profits to support bee conservation projects. Don’t forget-if bees disappear ( use of harmful pesticides, widely utilised in agriculture and during our own gardening projects at home, have been proven to disrupt bee behaviour in the way that will have long-term consequences for the humans. Using organic farming practises or phasing out the use of harmful substances like atrazine & endosulfan ( endocrine disruptors that really affect our hormones. What used to be abnormal thyroid test results a few decades ago is considered a norm now-just one of the fact to consider when you have the moment ) will benefit both our food chain, as well as our overall health. By supporting organic brands like Therapi you make yourself naturally beautiful, as well as contribute to the overall well-being of the planet we all call home.