Monday, January 23, 2012

Honey Facial Wash

Honey is such a miracle product.  I love to purchase raw honey from local farmers, using it to sweeten the kids' oatmeal, to soothe sore throats and coughs, to dab on tiny boo-boos, to drizzle on homemade biscuits slathered with butter, and to make granola.  Such a simple, pure, amazing product.

Studying bees during The Boy Wonder's science lessons only added to the honey idolatry around these parts.  It's just good, good stuff.  And honeybees are perfectly amazing creatures.

Honey has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, and because local flowers are used by the honeybees, it is thought (but unproven) that the consumption of local honey can help with allergies.  The fact that it tastes like heaven doesn't hurt.

Last summer, Crunchy Betty wrote a detailed series of posts on using honey as a face wash, and I was stunned by the idea.  I had never even heard of it, and here she was suggesting that honey was good for acne, for aging skin, for dry skin or oily skin, for sensitive skin and for normal skin, and it was healing to boot, and would even help heal acne scars.

See, I have bad skin.  For many, many years I fought a losing battle with cystic acne that cost absurd amounts of money, wreaked havoc on my self-esteem, and resulted in scars over most of my face.  It has only been in the past seven years that I have found a cocktail of cleansers and creams that do not aggravate my skin, but I have long been uncomfortable with the amount of chemicals in these products.  And it has occurred to me more than once that all these drying products would possibly exacerbate the onset of wrinkles as I age.

There is no end to the injustice.

I do not care to speak about this usually, for even as the intervening years have softened the blow of that decade in which I wore heavy makeup to cover my blemishes, I get a little nervous still about the thought of changing my cleansing routine and possibly causing problems to resurface.

But this honey face wash had my interest piqued.  So I went for it.  And I haven't looked back in months now.

Using raw honey is important (Crunchy Betty explains the reasons here), and I have easy access in my area to local, raw honey, but you can find raw, truly unheated honey at most health food stores as well.  I have also used regular old store-bought honey in a pinch, and found it worked just fine.

I follow Crunchy Betty's routine almost completely.  In the mornings, when there is no makeup to be removed, I simply wet my face with warm water, rub about 1/2 tsp of honey onto my face, and then rinse off.  I follow that with a tinted moisturizer that contains sunscreen, and some loose powder, and I'm good to go.  No need for toners or acne creams or anything else.  {Well, there is usually mascara and eyeliner involved, but that has more to do with vanity than with skin, so we'll skip the boring parts about how I do my eye makeup}.

At night, to make sure I have completely removed my makeup, I again follow one of Crunchy Betty's routines: I wet my face, squeeze about 1/2 tsp of honey into my palm, and then add about 1/2 tsp of baking soda to the honey, mixing it up with my finger.  I apply the scrub to my face, and rinse with warm water.  Following that, to rebalance the pH of my skin - because the baking soda will alter the balance somewhat - I use a homemade toner comprised of 50% water and 50% apple cider vinegar.  I then apply a little bit of tea tree oil and jojoba oil to my face for moisturizing and blemish-preventing protection.

I've followed this cleansing routine for the past six months now, and I cannot help but think it's a whole lot of fabulousness.  Facial cleanser is one more item crossed off the shopping list, and yet another notch that can be added to the belt of consumer anarchy.

Gah.  That might be my worst metaphor yet.

This post was featured on Natural Mothers Network.


Floating down the river of life! said...

I've sent this on to my 15 year old son. He's battling acne like crazy right now - perhaps this will work. Thanks for everything you do and post. You and your family are just amazing.

BTW, post the amazing carrot cake recipe that you've referenced, but not published.


Erin said...


We've battled acne for the past 3yrs with our 16yr old son
we've been trying Manuka Honey as it has stronger healing properties.
also trying coconut oil for scar healing too. trouble is teenage boys are not always consistent.

Love to know how you get on.
btw I found you through your mum's blog.

Sarah Beam said...

Ugh. Teenage acne is just a whole 'nother thing altogether, isn't it? My self-esteem was so delicate in those years that I don't think I could have dealt with it. Mine came on in college and lasted through most of my twenties.

I still shudder thinking about it.

I do hope your son, M., and your son, Erin, find some relief. Making sure the skin is properly moisturized is key, though it seems counter-intuitive. Jojoba oil is fabulous for moisturizing acne-plagued skin without clogging the pores.

Natural Mothers Network said...

Hi Sarah! Thanks for sharing your experiences with acne. One of my daughters suffered from it for a while and I resorted to that Benzyl Peroxide cream which instantly did the trick. But your ideas are far more natural. Making a note of them now!
Thanks for sharing on Seasonal Celebration and hope to see you next week!
If you want an email reminder each week click here
Rebecca x

Jess said...

This is so great. I'm so going to do this.

Today I made a toner "tea" that I super loved. I'm going to keep with it for a bit to see if I'll love it long and strong.

P.S. Can't wait for your deo recipe. I'm still not totally satisfied with mine.

P.P.S. Let's keep bees. Lazy B has a class. Let's just do it. We'd be rich in honey.

And we don't have anything else going on . . .

marchesa said...

thanks for all your recipes...i'm anxiously awaiting the homemade laundry detergent. one of my least favorite products to buy

Sarah Beam said...

Marchesa, I am so glad you reminded me. I had, of course, forgotten...


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Facial Cleansers for Sensitive Skin