I've always had sensitive skin. And when I say 'sensitive' I mean 'prone to break out at the slightest provocation'. I expected it to get better when I left my teen years, but it didn't. I've tried various face washes and face creams and lotions and potions, but none of them really worked.
After my daughter was born, five and a half years ago, I started to become aware of the chemicals that are in most cosmetics. I started reading labels like a hawk, poring over ingredient lists and trying to decipher words like cocamidopropyl betaine and tetrasodium EDTA. I looked for more natural products, with fewer chemicals. After all, the last thing I wanted to do was slather my baby with a potential carcinogen.
I tried some 'natural' face washes, hoping that something with fewer chemicals would be kinder to my skin. But I still couldn't find a miracle product. And then one day four years ago I stumbled across a suggestion that felt a little, well, out there. I was browsing an internet forum, and I saw that someone had good results washing her face with honey. I was skeptical at first. But then I thought to myself, "Self, what have you got to lose? You've certainly tried enough other face washes that haven't worked out." So that night I gave it a go, and I was hooked.
I won't say that honey was a miracle cure, but I have broken out far less since I started using honey than any time before I hit puberty. Because honey is a natural humectant, it helps to provide moisture to your skin without being oily. Honey doesn't leave my skin feeling dry and tight after I use it, like many soaps or face washes. Honey also has antibacterial properties, so it can attack the bacteria that feed breakouts. Honey is safe to eat, so I feel it's safe for my skin. And where I live, it's easy to find local, raw honey in glass jars, so I am supporting local farmers and reducing my carbon footprint at the same time.
So, how do you use honey as face wash? I start by getting my face wet. Then I spread about 1/2 teaspoon or so over my face. It takes a little getting used to, because it doesn't foam like regular face wash, but it really does work. I leave the honey on for a minute or so, and then I rinse it off. That's all there is to it.
I've tried various different kinds of honey over the years. Raw (unpasteurized) honey works best. Beyond that, I haven't noticed a difference. Although I like to buy local and avoid plastic bottles, I've had equally good results with honey in a big just from Costco as honey from my farmer's market. Honey as face wash really can be a budget choice, and even at its most expensive it's been cheaper for me than many face washes. Although, that may vary depending on the cost of honey in your area.
I had my doubts about honey as face wash, but now I'm a convert. If you're on the hunt for a new face wash, why not give honey a try? You might be in for the same sweet surprise that I was!
Amber is a crunchy granola mom, suburban superstar and aspiring writer. She lives with her family in Metro Vancouver, Canada. You can catch up with her regular adventures on her blog at Strocel.com.