I Washed My Face With Honey For A Week and Here's What Happened
All my life, my grandmother has been persistent that I try her ancestors' DIY all-natural skincare ingredients. These have included lemon to lighten my tan and gram flour to alleviate the acne I had during puberty and remove extensive facial hair. Needless to say, I was intrigued. I rubbed half a raw lemon on my face every day after coming home from school, desperate to lighten my complexion. Every weekend, I'd make a paste of gram flour and let it dry on my face before vigorously rubbing it off half-an-hour later, waiting for my skin to become baby-smooth and hairless.
I'm sorry, but are you cringing? It's okay; growing up, I realized what a mess I had made of my skin. Eight years later, and my skin is still super dry and sensitive. It feels rough, and I often find myself complaining to my dermatologist of dull skin. Soon enough, I fell down the rabbit hole of Google and YouTube and found many bloggers incorporating coconut oil and apple cider vinegar into their skincare routines. Needless to say, I had learned my lesson.
However, I soon came across raw manuka honey and discovered its miraculous qualities. I researched on it for an entire week to make sure that it would not worsen my (already sensitive) skin.
Raw Honey: A Miracle
Lots of websites claimed that raw honey was a brilliant, moisturizing facial cleanser. They said that it would reduce acne and inflammatory facial conditions, such as eczema. I found out that people have been using honey for centuries in wound care because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Research suggests that honey has antioxidative, antimicrobial, and soothing properties.
Honey, mainly manuka honey, is native to New Zealand. It has a high concentration of methylglyoxal (MG). MG is a component that is derived from the nectar of manuka flowers. While MG can commonly be found in other kinds of honey, it is especially abundant in manuka honey, which means that manuka honey has the highest antibacterial properties.
Benefits of Honey
- Since honey has antiseptic properties, it removes dirt and bacteria from the skin, preventing and treating acne
- It is loaded with antioxidants, and it boosts collagen production which slows down aging and keeps the skin radiant and glowing
- Honey is naturally moisturizing, and it hydrates the driest skin
- It's healing properties help nourish damaged skin while fading stubborn old acne scars
- It works as a clarifying agent that cleans the pores and keeps them from clogging
- The enzymes in honey work as a gentle exfoliator that sloughs off dead skin cells and help you achieve a bright, radiant complexion
How to Cleanse Your Face with Honey
I've always thought of honey as a natural sweetener that goes into your oatmeal or coffee or is spread on a piece of bread. Thinking of using honey on my face each morning made me uncomfortable. I had a million questions running through my mind- Isn't honey sticky? Will water be enough to wash it off? Will it remove dirt and impurities off my face? Will my skin smell sickly-sweet throughout the day? What if it gets oily?
Keeping my reservations aside, I decided to take the plunge. I started with transferring honey from the jar into a plastic bottle. I did not want to scoop out honey with my hands and cause germs to be transferred into the jar, so I took out an empty bottle of the Primary Skincare's Glow Toner (save the Earth and recycle old bottles!) and poured out some honey into it.
The next morning, I wet my face with water and squeezed some honey into my palm. I gently massaged the raw honey on my face for a few seconds. It felt odd. There was no lather, so I was not sure whether the honey was actually cleansing my skin. I rinsed my face well with room temperature water to remove all stickiness. The cleanup was way easier than I had expected. Raw honey is thicker than the one with preservatives, so its easier to put on the face.
The Immediate Result
Surprisingly, the honey did not leave my skin sticky or oily. Usually, my skin feels tight and dry after I wash my face with a store-bought cleanser each morning. Cleansing my face with honey actually made my skin feel moisturized. There was no annoying tightness. In fact, my skin felt clean and moisturized. I did not find any patches of dry skin that I usually find right after my morning cleanse.
Two Weeks Later...
The idea is that honey is a soothing ingredient that is rich in nutrients and has antibacterial properties, making it perfect for all skin types, especially acne-prone and sensitive skin. A gentle honey cleanse preserves the skin's protective barrier while reducing blemishes, breakouts, and redness. Since honey is a natural skin protectant, it seals moisture into the skin, keeping it moisturized.
I found that washing my face with honey eliminated my acne, evened out my skin tone, and I noticed that my skin did not feel dry anymore. The moisture content in my skin seemed to balance out on its own, and I felt that my pores felt smaller. The honey did not clog my pores or cause any new acne as I'd imagined it would. The biggest miracle was that I remained mostly acne-free during my period week, which never happens.
I don't think my old face wash was a problem, but the fact that honey is so hydrating and calming really helped my skin. Usually, I would never wash my face with face wash before applying makeup because the foundation would stick to my dry face instead of blending. However, I noticed that with the honey cleanse, I could apply my makeup with ease. My foundation did not get trapped around any flaky, dry patches. My face has never felt THIS silky smooth.
Honey is a GREAT option for anyone who is sick of chemical face cleansers and wants to try something natural. However, make sure to do a patch test before to ensure that you are not allergic to honey. If you have any severe medical conditions, it is better to stick to tried-and-tested medicated face cleansers or consult your dermatologist before trying something new. Good luck!