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Friday, June 12, 2009

Honey facial wash

Okay, so after yesterday's conversation about eco friendly facial cleansers and Amber mentioning that she washes her face with honey, I had to do some research because, frankly, it sounded totally nuts. How in the world can your face get clean with something so darn sticky as honey?

Well, I found a huge, HUGE, thread on Mothering about washing your face with honey and I was somewhat convinced by the testimonials. Being totally dubious about it's efficacy, I read on. For those who have oily skin, they would mix in a little baking soda, but that sounded too drying. And for those who wanted a little exfoliating action, some would mix in some brown sugar or dissolved aspirin. And many used coconut oil as a moisturizer. So, being the human guinea pig that I am, I threw caution to the wind and gave it a try last night.

I was mostly concerned with its makeup removal abilities, so I used a clear liquid makeup remover on my eyes and then washed my face with a mixture of honey and brown sugar. My initial impressions are that I must have used too much brown sugar because it was pretty damn scratchy so next time I'll dial it back a bunch. The honey was really sticky but I was able to spread it. The whole concoction smelled deelicious and I didn't have to worry about whether or not it was toxic and whether or not it was stripping my skin.

But did it work? On my greasy skin? That was extra sweaty and gross from doing a ton of gardening on a hot afternoon? Hell, yeah, it did. And I was totally surprised because I was expecting it to be a sticky mess. My skin felt totally smooth and non-oily. As a follow-up, I applied coconut oil (that I use for soap making and lotions and whatnot) to the areas around my eyes, mouth and cheeks that tend to get dry. I was expecting that to be totally greasy, but it wasn't. The oil absorbed really quickly.

Of course, this is the result after one mere application, but if things keep up, I'll be hooked. I'm always very concerned about the crap I put on my face but rather unwilling to run around looking like a giant zitty greaseball. I'm also concerned about my aging skin and use anti-aging products that do who knows what to me internally. My mom always used straight up vitamin E from a capsule and she looks about 15 years younger than she is (although I'd have to chalk that up to good genetics), but maybe I'll have to try that as well since it's an antioxidant. I'll wait and see. And hopefully I won't have to give up like my ill-fated no-poo experiment.

Anyway, I'll keep you posted on my progress! Has anyone else heard of this or tried it?

34 comments:

Toria said...

I use a homemade cleanser that is a combination of liquid castille soap (so olive oil based), honey & glycerin. It works really well, my face is well cleaned, even makeup is removed, but doesn't feel dry or stretchy afterwards. I can come back with the exact recipe later if you'd like to try it.

I find the smell of the honey a little off-putting for some reason - I just can't get used to my cleanser smelling of honey. And it's strange to sometimes get a little in my mouth & just taste the honey.

Leslie said...

Toria,

I would be interested in your recipe. It sounds interesting.

Marissa said...

I read that yesterday and wanted to try it too! I am a tad worried as I have skin that breaks out in cystic acne. But it is worth a shot!

Keri said...

Does the type of honey matter? I.e. commercial versus local? Just wondering....

Deanna said...

People were recommending raw over processed honey and local is always best, if it's available to you. I'm just using a local honey I buy in bulk.

Amber said...

I use cheap, unpasteurized honey for my face, and it's fine for me. And I use it straight up, maybe 1/2 a teaspoon or so spread on my damp skin.

I thought it was totally crazy at first, too. But I read the same thread on Mothering and thought I'd try it because I had honey on hand and was disillusioned with my face wash. And I was amazed it works. I found it a little hard to get used to the lack of suds, but I've been doing it for a couple years and haven't looked back.

Yoga Witch said...

Yay! I don't generally use anything on my skin anymore, but I still do a honey mask or honey cleansing at least twice a month. I LOVE it!

keenbeen said...

Here is a blurb from the national honey board that i ran across last year. I had a massage therapist who was just crazy about honey in skincare.
http://www.honey.com/consumers/honeyhealth/beauty.asp

I'm going to start using it. I usually get creamed honey though so I guess I'll have to remember to pick up some liquid at the store.

I'd like to hear anything anyone knows about using buttermilk. When I used to take baths, I would sometimes use powdered buttermilk in the tub and it made my skin so soft. I wonder how it would do on facial skin?

LynnieBee said...

I'd be interested to hear about buttermilk too...

Amber, so you just rub honey on your face and rinse it off and that's it?

Elisabeth said...

I've used honey for a while now. I don't remember exactly how I came across its use as a face cleanser. I think I read that it works well on blackheads, and that's when I started. I actually only use it a couple times a week as an exfoliant (partly crystallized). My husband's grandfather is a bee keeper, so we always have plenty on hand. I love it!

Beany said...

I've used honey in the past on my face as it also serves as a mild bleaching agent in addition to giving a good facial. Lighter skinned people won't notice a big difference, but for the darkies like me growing up, honey bleaching facials were all the rage.

Juli said...

I'm really excited about this for a couple reasons:

1) I'm looking for less-plastic or plastic free facial cleansers

2) I have rosacea and am nervous about using bar soap or oils on my face- the dermatologist said to use oil free products. But perhaps the ingredients in my drug store 'gentle' cleanser aren't doing me any favors either, and botanical oils would be good whereas mineral oils are bad...

Question for Crunchy, others- can you think of a natural or plastic free/less plastic alternative to eye make-up remover? Would a cotton swab with EVO or coconut oil loosen up mascara?

Deanna said...

Juli - I've read that you can use olive oil or coconut oil to remove eye makeup, but I haven't tried it yet.

Toria said...

The honey cleanser is from Bodyworks by Murdoch Books and is a mix of:

60 ml honey
125 ml glycerin
40 ml liquid castile soap

Juli said...

Thanks Deanna,

I tried some olive oil to get rid of the remnants of last night's eye make-up that my facial cleanser missed. It worked! Though I got a bit in my eye and it stung a little. I followed up by washing my face with honey, which seems to work well. Can't wait to see how this works out over the next couple of weeks.

Terra said...

Just wanted to say that in the winter I've used a combo of cream (just a spoonful) and honey, massaged it into my skin before I got in the shower, left it on so it would penetrate in the heat of the shower, then washed it off. I get really gross flaky patches around my mouth and all this goes away.

saskatsguidetocheaplivin said...

I've used honey on and off for a couple of years now and it has always worked out well. I always had to make sure I used it right before I showered though, because I can't seem to keep it out of my hair. I spoon it right from the jar onto my face and let it sit for a minute or two before rinsing it off. I now feel motivated to go back to using it all the time.

Jessica said...

I tried it yesterday and have high hopes! I would love for this to work as I am in the process of researching starting my own bee hive in our yard. (I have to wait until my two-year-old is old enough to respect the bees.)

So far so good. I washed my face with straight, supermarket honey after a session with my treadmill and it worked beautifully!

Deanna please post more updates on this method... BTW I love this new blog! Keep up the excellent work.

Cheap Like Me said...

It sounds really expensive to use honey! Maybe I'm missing something, but why would you use honey and not a gentle soap?

I use homemade oatmeal soap, and a while ago, I quit using soap almost all the time. I use mineral makeup, hardly any, and sometimes I splash water on my face, if it feels greasy I use a little soap, and otherwise I remove eye makeup (with olive oil) and go to bed. My skin feels better and looks better, too.

Tammie Lee said...

Thank you for reminding me about honey! I use to use it as a mask. Use warm water to rinse my face, pat slightly dry, then pat and spread a little honey on. Then the cleansing action was to touch fingers to my face and gently pull the fingers off. A bit of a suction action. My face always felt soft and smooth after.
Since honey has been known to assist the healing of many skin maladies, I would think it would be beneficial for many skin types. You have me inspired. Thank you.

Maudi said...

Cool idea. I just tried honey with brown sugar. It was a great exfoliator, way better than my expensive fancy facial scrubber. Ill probably end up doing this three times a week. I didn't try the coconut oil, I did try the vitamin e capsule, however,and that was a little greasy, so perhaps tomorrow I will try the coconut oil. Thanks crunchy, it was perfect. I have all these ingredients right in my cupboard.

Juli said...

Just want to say I've been using honey (raw and local, from the Farmers Market) for the past 5 days and so far so good!

I have rosacea and the last time my skin felt this smooth was after a series of laser treatments a few years ago. So that is saying something. I still have redness, but my skin's texture is a ton better. I guess my 'gentle' facial cleanser wasn't all that gentle!

Thank you so much for posting about this!

keenbeen said...

I also want to say that I've been using honey to cleanse my face since reading this post. I'd been having trouble for a while with breaking out and very blotchy skin, and had started using foundation so I could look a little more together at the office. The honey has actually cleared my skin up and evened my skin tone, and I'm not wearing foundation anymore. I use to try products that advertised evening out skin, and never noticed anything. And its so relaxing in the evening to have the honey scent! Great tips, thanks!

Christina said...

I'm wondering if anyone has tried just water and washcloth washing? I haven't used anything else in years. In the winter my drier patches show up and get less scrubbing and a bit of moisturizer (I'll have to try one of the recommended oils), and when I travel to a dry climate the drier patches expand. But in all climates the washcloth does the trick - a bit more exfoliating in the t-zone, more gentle on the cheekbones, eyes and mouth.

Radioactive Duck said...

I'm a tad late getting in on this, but after two days using honey to wash my face I have definitely found my new face wash. I always felt even after showering after the gym my skin still looked all oily, but the honey fixed that right up. And brown sugar and honey face scrub at night is divine, even if I keep getting the wrong ratio of honey. It's a learning curve that I'm willing to battle.

Colleen said...

I just wanted to post an update. I started using honey to clean my face after reading this post, and I loved it. Then I had a baby, and showers weren't as regular, and I felt it was really hard to not make a sticky mess using the honey. I read on another site about the "oil cleansing method" (OCM), and thought I'd give it a try. I came up with my own formulation and liked it; now I do honey in the shower and OCM if I'm not taking a shower. For a treat before I had to abandon my baby to daycare and go back to work, I went for a facial for the first time in about 4 years. For the first time ever, she said I had no blackheads! She looked a little shocked when I told her how I'd been caring for my skin, but I guess this works. I like to alternate the honey and oil, not only for the varying properties, but I think the honey is a bit better for getting rid of the stuff on the face that is not oil. Anyway thanks for the great ideas. My skin feels great. Since the oil stays on your skin a bit, I'm thinking about adding some oils like carrot and strawberry seed that are supposed to be very beneficial.

Sonja said...

I love using honey as a mask. I'm a beekeeper so we have lots on hand. It sits in its own little jar in the medicine cabinet next to the toothpaste and contact solution. I mostly use it as a mask and then wash it off in the shower.

Leslie R. said...

I tried this after reading about it here. I am in love!!! My skin is senstive and red and acne-prone and all of it. I love the honey- my skin seems calmer, prettier, and definitely more predictable. Thanks for the info!

buy viagra said...

Undoubtedly honey has excellent properties which help skin care, especially facial care assistance, honey help skin feel smooth and hydrated, it is recommended that this facial is performed once a week.

Anonymous said...

At 61 my sensitive combination skin can't take anything that's out there in skin care.I tried honey. Maybe it will close my pores so the coconut oil won't break me out like it usually does. It's portable too.

paige said...

can it be creamed honey? or does it have to be like pure honey?

Viagra said...

This sounds like a wonderful facial!

Goodale Park said...

How cool is that! This post is one of the best in all. I belief in this site. All the user in this site was posting their notice about the post so great. Thanks for posting about this.

Anonymous said...

I made the cleanser with 1/8 cup honey, 1/8 cup vegetable glycerin, and a teaspoon and a half of liquid almond scented castile soap ( dr. Bronners) . Put into a little bottle, it made a good face wash. The recipe called for 1/4 cup glycerine,,but i used less.