Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wash Your Face with Honey, Sweetie

I've mentioned before in my Meet Beatrice video and Facebook that I've been washing my face with honey. Yes, I am secretly crunchy granola. Hear that sound? That's the sound of a stereotype being broken. Kaboom! But really. I like putting food on my face... and in my mouth... and that's where it ends so don't get too excited. 

And I like that if I accidentally lick my lips, I get a taste of yummy honey and not some chemical-laden cream that requires me to brush my teeth thoroughly. (image credit)

So if you're interested in trying out a honey wash, let me introduce you to my face washing routine. I first learned about the honey wash when I read Crunchy Betty's Honey Challenge post. It intrigued me because it seemed like a miracle wash. Here's a snippet from Crunchy Betty about the properties and benefits of washing your face with honey:
  1. It is antibacterial and antimicrobial. It will get off any lingering nastiness that’s thinking about setting up camp on your face and creating pimples.
  2. It is slightly drying which means it helps soak up any pimples or oiliness.
  3. It is also incredibly moisturizing. Seems like a double standard, doesn’t it? But it’s true. Honey sinks into your skin and moisturizes like you wouldn’t believe. (Remember Cleopatra and her honey baths to look young?)
  4. It imparts all kinds of beneficial enzymes that work at scrubbing your face for you, as well as perform a little anti-aging action.
  5. It’s great for acne, aging skin, normal skin, dry skin … honey loves EVERY SKIN TYPE.
  6. It is healing and helps repair acneic sores and scars.
  7. It’s 100%, absolutely, positively natural, great for your skin, and such a SIMPLE addition to your routine!
How would you say no after reading all that? The one caveat is that it needs to be a make-up free face. It works for me because I use just mascara and eyeliner. (Another secret, I'm completely clueless about make-up.) However, she posted another tip on how to remove eye make-up which was perfect for me. So here's what I do to wash my face at night:
  1.  I pour a dab of cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil into a cotton pad and swipe it over my eyes to remove all the mascara and eyeliner. I love that it doesn't irritate my eyes and I can open my eyes without getting blinded. Bonus: Doing this every night has made my eye area super soft and supple and it has strengthened, thickened, and aided in the growth of my eyelashes.
  2. Optional: Gently tissue off the oil with a soft tissue. I don't do this because I need the moisture and it hasn't impeded my ability to rinse off the wash. It may for you so leave the oil on for your first try and use your judgement for your next attempt.
  3. With slightly damp hands, pour a dab of honey, about under 1/2 tsp, into your hands and rub together. Then massage it into your face all over. All over means all over. I go over my eyes and I make sure to get my jawline because I get quite a few breakouts there.
  4. Let it sit for a little bit. It can be as little as 30 seconds or as long as 5 or 10 minutes. I let mine it while I brush and floss my teeth, so about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Rinse off in warm water. You're done.
Important: The honey can't just be any run-of-the-mill honey. It needs to be as unprocessed as possible, meaning it should be labeled raw. Why? Heat destroys the beneficial properties in honey. Most honey is pasteurized which means it's heated. Raw honey is not heated and therefore retains everything that makes it good. Your best bet is the farmer's market where you can ask the beekeeper how the honey is processed, or a well-stocked grocery store. Just read the label. Since you use so little of it at a time, you can definitely stretch what seems to be a pricy bottle of honey for a far longer time than a pricy tube of top-of-the-line chemically cleanser. Besides, it never ever spoils. If it crystallizes or hardens, just place the bottle in a bowl of warm water to soften. Don't microwave, heat is your enemy! (Right: raw honey I use. Found at HomeGoods of all places!)

I've done this for about two months now. The first couple weeks were magical for me. I loved my skin, it was clearing up and glowed. Then, when I hit the one-month mark, my skin had gotten really dry on my forehead and my skin tone was very ashy and rough. I discovered that I was rinsing with water that was way too hot and that I was washing my face too much. At first, I did the honey-wash every morning and night. Now I just wash my face at nights.

It sounds weird and frankly, dirty, to not wash your face in the morning, but if you think about it, it makes a lot of sense not to. You sleep all night. You're not going out there getting dirt and dust into your pores. You're not eating food. You're not doing anything but resting your face gently against your pillow for hours. So when I started just rinsing my face in warm water followed by a cold water splash in the a.m., my face underwent a transformation. It made a huge difference in the dryness and oil production and now I am much more balanced.

Other tips on the honey-wash: The original method said you could apply the honey directly to a dry face. I hated this because it just pulled at my delicate skin. Adding a bit of water made it go on a lot smoother. Try not to use hot water to rinse, it dries out your skin. I moisturize by smoothing a dab of olive oil around my eyes and my dry spots which are my forehead, around my nostrils, and the corners of my lips. 

Another bonus I've noticed with the honey-wash and olive oil. I had a bit of redness on my nose and cheeks after spending all day in the sun at the beach. There's no solid proof, but I swear on my vegetarian cookbooks that the honey and olive oil (I applied it to the red areas) soothed and dissipated the redness. I've gotten red twice, it seems to have worked twice. Just food for thought. (Hehe, get it?)

I also intersperse my routine with something called the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM,) but as vital as it is, it deserves it's own post so check back soon on my experiences with OCM! Read all about my OCM experience! (image credit)

Would you give this a try? If you do, let me know what you think in the comments!

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