Honey doesn’t have a natural preservative built into it, but that’s not why it keeps itself from spoiling. It’s because to the tremendous osmotic pressure exerted by the predominantly sugar composition. Natural and synthetic materials both exist that serve the same purpose.
Jam has a natural preservative. Can we consider it a natural preservative then?
For instance, with high enough concentration, a sugar solution may maintain itself. However, intense focus is required. A high sugar solution can keep itself alive. That’s how natural preserves like jam can be manufactured.
Honey Is a Natural Preservative When
In some cases, a cosmetic formulation’s shelf life might be aided by the osmotic pressure imposed by certain chemicals. This may very well be the last resort for survival. Unfortunately, this is rarely a workable option. Any concentration close to what you require will render the finished product far too sticky and, most likely, unstable.
This is also mostly true for other naturally occurring substances used in formulations as humectants, such as sorbitol, glycerin, and glucose.
Reasons Why Honey Doesn’t Make a Good Natural Preservative
And it gets even worse. Honey acts as a superb bacterial growth medium. Applying it to your skin will just encourage the growth of bacteria that is already present. The majority of us don’t see this as a major issue. Typically, we deal with situations like this fairly well.
However, individuals with weakened immune systems may be affected. If you tend to have skin infections, doing something that promotes their growth could be very painful.
Consequently, improved preservation measures are required if honey is used in large quantities. The use of honey as a natural preservative is impractical. Honey, if anything, should have more preservatives added to it.