How to Wash Your Face with Honey
In a cruel twist of fate, I developed real acne for the first time at the age of 24. Before that, I washed my face with a bar of hand soap, never moisturized and my skin was practically flawless.
I had no appreciation of how fucking good I had it.
Since then, my skin and I—well, we've had a rollercoaster of a decade.
When acne first appeared in my mid-twenties, I had no idea how to treat it. I misapplied a lot of natural remedies like apple cider vinegar (both internally and externally), tea tree oil and jojoba oil. Nothing seemed to make anything better. I tried acupuncture and herbal tinctures. Eliminating dairy and gluten. All the things.
I finally turned to drugs (Epiduo and Mirena) and Dermalogica products, which worked well for a while to keep the breakouts to a minimum. Years later, I was nervous about my skin after going off birth control, but nothing happened. I was nervous to stop the Epiduo, but nothing happened. And finally, after having a baby, I decided I'd try to pull the plug (mostly) on Dermalogica and find some more natural skin care products to use.
and now I wash my face with raw honey and moisturize with oil.
I learned about honey washing from Lily Diamond of Kale & Caramel. She is whip smart when it comes to natural products, and she is now my skincare hero.
Before we begin, a disclaimer: I want to make it extra-clear (lol) that by the time I switched to this routine about a year ago, my skin had really calmed down quite a lot, so the honey wasn't some kind of adult acne cure for me personally.
I remember while I had the really bad acne I would just obsessively beg Google to tell me what to do, but everybody's skin is so different and (secret’s out!) Google really doesn't know what to do. I don’t know what’ll be best for your skin either.
I still get some breakouts (though not usually intense ones). I still have hyperpigmentation (but it's more easily disguised by a CC cream rather than a heavy layer of foundation that I hated wearing back in the day).
My skin is still far from perfect, but it is much healthier lately, thanks (in part) to the nourishing, skin-friendly properties of raw honey and sweet almond oil. Also thanks to hormones and goodness knows what else.
How to Wash Your Face with Honey
This is my whole nighttime skin routine. (90% of mornings, my skincare routine involves doing nothing. If I’m showering in the morning though, I’ll rinse my face with water and skip to the rosewater spray/moisturizing steps after.)
1. Gather your gear.
Farmacy Green Clean Cleansing Balm. This is the soft, creamy wonderbalm I use to remove makeup. I love this stuff so much. It feels so silky and luxurious and really gets everything off.
Raw honey. It's as simple as that. I have a jar of Beez Kneez (a Minneapolis-based brand) I've been using, but Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and really most grocery stores will have raw honey. If yours doesn't, there's always the internet. Beez Kneez will ship to you and it's not even at all expensive when you compare it to some fancy face wash that you get suckered into at Sephora that comes in a tiny bottle
Sweet almond oil. This is unscented and non-comedogenic (means that it won't clog pores). It doubles as a makeup remover and a moisturizer. I use this Viva Naturals brand. You can use other types of oils or a combo, but this one is a good starting point as a base.
2. Remove your makeup.
The honey won't remove makeup, so you do have to do some pre-cleansing with a cleansing balm (the one from Farmacy is my fave!). Some people go for an oil-based makeup remover. You can technically just use the sweet almond oil or even just olive oil, but straight oil doesn’t work as well as a makeup removing product for me. I used Dermalogica Precleanse for a long time and it's the same concept (though the ingredient deck is not as clean). You massage it onto your dry face, then wet your hands and massage some more to start emulsifying and removing all the makeup. Then you rinse. If you don't wear makeup, just skip this step.
3. Wash your face with honey.
You thought there was some secret trick to this part, but there is not. You use the honey the same way you would use face wash except you don’t put it on your eyes. Put a small amount in your hands and massage it onto your damp face. You probably think it is going to be sticky. It's not. Raw honey melts with the water and it feels really nice. Then rinse it off and dry your face.
4. Spray your face with rosewater (if you want).
This part is optional. Honey keeps your skin's pH balanced, so you won't need a toner or feel the same tightness that we sometimes confuse with cleanliness. I just think rosewater smells delicious and I like the ritual of it. I only wash my face once at night, so sometimes I'll also spray a bit of this on in the morning.
5. Moisturize your face with sweet almond oil.
Remember in the '00s when everything in the beauty section was oil-free? Well, that was a huge mistake. The right oils are really good for your skin. Just use a small amount of sweet almond oil and lightly massage it onto your face. Give it a few minutes to settle in and your skin will be baby-soft (and I know this to be true because I had a baby). If my skin is feeling irritated in any way, I’ll add a little bit of Dermalogica Ultra-Calming Serum at this stage. P.S. If you know of a more natural alternative to this cooling serum, do tell!
6. Choose your own adventure with supplemental oils.
Everybody's skin is different, but there are so many beautiful face oils out there to help with different things. Sometimes I mix in a small bit of Kenna Nicole Green Hemp Oil and Acure Rosehip Seed Oil on my cheeks because it's supposed to be great for hyperpigmentation. The rosehip oil is a drier oil, meaning it absorbs super quickly. It isn't as moisturizing as the sweet almond oil, so I always use it in tandem. I've also read a lot of great things about blue tansy oil and marula oil as well, but haven’t tried those yet.
Do you have any natural skin care recommendations? I’m always looking for more tips!
bee photo via pexels