Thursday, January 6, 2011

I Wash My Face with Honey

The Green Phone Booth welcomes back Amber from for this guest post.

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.

My name on a sign

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.

Wet hair, no makeup, ready to go

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


ruchi said...

Wow. I totally want to try this. You don't feel sort of gross and sticky?

Green Bean said...

I might be able to compete with you as the most sensitive skin ever. In fact, I don't even use anything to wash my face because it just ends up being disaster.

Warm or cool water? Same question as Ruchi?

ruchi said...

Ooh! I don't wash my face with anything other than water either! Once again proving that GB and I are soul twins.

SustainaMom said...

When I was in junior high, I used cornmeal and buttermilk to wash my face because it was what my great-grandmother used as a girl. Honey doesn't seem any more "out there" than than that! And it smells much better :)

swiggett said...

I use honey. I don't wet my face before-hand, just smear the stuff all over. When our water heater broke, I used cold water to rinse it off. Now, I use lukewarm water to rinse. I love it when the honey has sugared a bit, b/c it is like a built-in exfoliant.

Alison said...

I am going to try this! When I first started to read the post, I immediately thought that honey is too precious or expensive to use on my face, but seriously, it is less expensive that face soap. And it is pure. And it is renewable. And, I can buy it locally in a glass jar. What a great idea!

Green Bean said...

@Ruchi - soul twin, love that!

Ash said...

I think you had me at "super sensitive skin"...

I'm still trying to fix the damage (burn) from the last set of sensitive skin products that someone (with a similar skin issue) swore by.

My first thought was the same as ruchi and green bean's question (...sticky?) but I'm willing to give it a go.

Farmer's Daughter said...

How many times a day?

I've been using just plain water most of the time, too! Mostly because I ran out of time after Josh was born. But sometimes I make a scrub out of sugar and coconut oil when my skin is really flaky/dry. Going to try honey... but I've been saying that for years, lol!

Cindy @ One Part Sunshine said...

I have really sensitive skin too so I am eager to try this out! But will it remove makeup? I try not to wear too much but I am just too self conscious about my breakouts. If it takes off makeup, I am sold!

Everydaywoman said...

Awesome idea, Amber!

You have beautifully, sensitive skin! Thanks for the hint!

Anonymous said...

I'll do my best to answer everyone's questions!

I use warm water - just comfortably so, not too hot. I do not end up sticky, because honey washes off very well with water.

I used to do it twice a day, but now I just do it once.

Honey doesn't really remove make-up, unfortunately. I rarely wear any myself. When I do, I wash first with a little bit of castile soap to get it off. As long as I don't do that too often, my skin seems OK with it. I know other people use oil of some time to remove make-up instead, which might be less potentially drying.

Theresa said...

My husband and I have both used a home-made honey-based face wash for years with great results. It's just honey, apple cider vinegar, and almond flour. Try it. It's fantastic!

melissa said...

it really does work! i started using this just a little while ago and to say the least it does miracles on my face. i leave it on about 15 minutes just three times a week around bed time. i am not a fan of creams with harsh chemicals so i have also found that eucalyptus oil and tea tree oil are great remedies for acne prone skin. i get them online at

seriously. i have never gotten better results.

Anonymous said...

Love it!!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin