Honey Challenge Part 2

I have successfully made it through my first week of honey washing! Well, almost, since today is only day six, and I guess I missed a day in the middle… hrm.
Revision: I’ve made it through 5 out of 7 days of washing my face! I solemnly swear to continue cleansing my face for the following eight days with my yummy, tasty honey.

I’m not keen on complex or time-consuming beauty procedures, which is why I only shower a few times a week and generally don’t wear any makeup.This is also one of the reasons I accepted this challenge: it’s so simple and natural that I had no excuse not to. I was originally going to start the Oil Cleansing Method (I finally purchased some oils and will be experimenting with OCM after the Honey Challenge), but my tendency towards laziness swayed me towards honey. Also, having a network of lovely ladies trying and reporting on it together definitely spurred me on.

How does it work? How do you “wash” your face with something so sticky? It turns out it really isn’t that tough. Honey becomes rather malleable when it warms up, and rinses off easily, even with cool water. The basic steps, with director’s commentary, are:

  1. Pour or spoon a bit of honey into your hands.

    I have a big ol’ jar of it and have been scooping about a tablespoon’s amount out for each wash, licking the bottom of the spoon because it’s so danged tasty I don’t want to waste any so I don’t get honey all over the counter. I then scoop the spoonful with my fingers.

  2. Rub hands together to warm up honey and spread over face.

    I make sure to smear it up to my hairline, down under my jaw, and all over my nose as those can be problem areas for me. Of course I lick the honey remnants from the spoon afterward.

    1. Let sit on skin for 2-10 minutes if you want more of a mask-effect.

      Sometimes I treat it like a normal face wash and rinse off immediately, though I like to leave it on longer if no one is home.

  3. Rinse off.

    The bathroom inevitably looks like it’s flooded when I’m finished; I need to learn to splash more gently.

  4. Dry face.

That’s it! There are variations to these rules, dependent on variable such as skin-type, allotted time, and the likelihood of your significant other licking the honey from your face. In the past six days I have played around with a few tweaks to see what works best for my skin. The following are my day-by-day notes from the field, including my results and opinions.

Day 1: I removed my eye makeup first since honey alone isn’t strong enough and I didn’t want sugary-goodness in my eyes. In the shower, I first washed my face with warm water, then applied honey. The heat of the shower quickly liquified it, making for a treat as it dripped in my lips. It was very easy to wash off. My face felt a little tight after the shower, but looked clearer and less dull.

Day 2: I applied honey on a dry face with dry hands… there was a bit of skin-pulling, particularly near my eyes. The crystals in the honey acted as a gentle exfoliation as I massaged it in. I let it sit on face as a mask for 10-15 minutes, then rinsed off. The pesky dry patch on my chin is a little less flaky, but still red. Hormonal acne is still hanging around, but not as painful (is the honey helping heal it?). Skin definitely looks more luminous, though it feels a little tight so I followed with moisturizer.

Day 3: Whoops, I didn’t wash!

Day 4: Just a quick wash in the morning with a few minutes of exfoliation while brushing my teeth. It only took only a couple of splashes of water to get all the honey off my face and out of my hairline. The trouble pores on my chin and nose look smaller, but the dry patch near mouth is still irritated and started peeling again. Cheeks and forehead, which have been kind of dull as I’ve not used a facial scrub since moving three months ago, look much more radiant. Overall my skin still feels too tight to totally forgo moisturizer (I’m not sure if this is due to it being winter or the honey), but it’s not nearly as tight as after regular face wash.

Day 5: I did another wash in the shower, like I would with traditional face wash. The pink, residual blemishes on my forehead and chin seem to be healing faster than usual. I don’t see any new acne, but my skin seems slightly more flaky after the shower- I definitely felt the need to moisturize. We went out for dinner and I only put on a dab of under-eye concealer for my dark circles. Upon returning from dinner, I noted that my skin tone appeared more uniform and less red than it has been in several years, despite the lack of makeup.

Day 6: I wet my hands in warm water and spread the honey on a dry face: no more pulling, and no drips! I was able to get it on the sensitive under-eye area with no problem. I think this is the technique I will continue to use. I rinsed with cool water in an attempt to combat the increasing dryness… no luck. It stung and felt really tight afterwards- the worst it’s been since starting. Where did my glowing skin go? I didn’t use my regular moisturizer, and opted for a bit of sesame oil instead: the sensitivity and all-over flakiness (and ouchy-ness) subsided a few hours after applying it.

Crunchy Betty gave some great tips today on super-cleansing with honey by using either oil or baking soda/vinegar to clean makeup and extra tough gunk. I will definitely be avoiding the latter as it seems too drying for my sensitive face and instead sticking to a honey and oil combination. In fact, it looks like sesame oil is great for moisturizing and removing my waterproof eye-makeup; it is a promising alternative to  petroleum-based mineral oil.
Almost one full week into this treatment and I am undecided on the results. I love that it seems to be clearing up my blemishes and doing a nice job exfoliating, but I am not loving the dryness that is coupled with that. My skin needs something in the middle, something that exfoliates gently and is hydrating. Regardless, I am determined to finish the challenge!

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