I recently visited the Honey Hive in Taupo, New Zealand and now I’m fascinated by bees! I’ve always loved honey, but now I have an even greater appreciation for it. One bee will visit thousands of flowers in its lifetime and will produce only 1/2 a teaspoon of honey. And yet that honey holds amazing nutritional and healing properties. Honey is naturally antibacterial and contains powerful healing enzymes.
Honey is obviously tastes great as a sweetener in your tea or baked goods, but there are heaps of external uses as well. It can be used as a natural antibiotic on burns or scrapes, and it can be used as a natural acne treatment!
The Search for Clear Skin
Can I be straight up with you? Is that OK? I’m 26 and I still deal with acne. It’s gross, I know. I’ve wondered for years when I would “grow out of it.” But since I’ve been getting back to my roots and learning about true nutrition, I’ve come to realize that everything I could have done wrong through my life, I’ve done.
Just about all skin conditions originate in the gut–from an imbalance of good & bad bacteria. There are lots of things that can cause that imbalance, and unfortunately I’m the walking poster child for many of them. So here we go:
- I was bottle fed as a baby
- Took antibiotics for every cough & cold growing up
- Drank pasteurized milk
- Ate a regular diet of processed & packaged foods (including waaaaay too much sugar)
- Took birth control pills for years
- Then stripped all the natural oils from my face with harsh chemical products.
Sigh. So I’m working on restoring a good balance of bacteria in my gut by taking a high quality probiotic supplement, cutting sugar and pasteurized dairy out of my diet as much as possible, and starting to implement fermented foods.
I’ve tried a number of natural acne face washes and lotions from the health food store, but they didn’t do much good. I finally just quit washing my face altogether and instead only used coconut oil as a moisturizer (it’s antibacterial as well). Surprisingly enough, washing or not washing my face didn’t make an ounce of difference in my acne, but it did restore the balance of oil on my skin. No more time wasted scrubbing my face twice a day with smelly sulfur based soap! And I no longer deal with oily or dry skin. (Score!)
So, back to the honey. You’ve probably already surmised that I’m going to tell you about a honey face mask for acne. Not only does putting honey on my face keep my acne at bay better than almost anything else (what I eat is the most important), but it has improved the quality of my skin within days.
Here’s how I do it:
How to Make a Honey Face Mask
1. Pull your hair back well with with head band and remove any makeup (or not, but definitely remove eye makeup with this natural make-up remover).
2. Take about a teaspoon of raw honey from the jar using a spoon or the tips of your fingers.
3. Rub your fingertips together a bit, then smear the honey on your face evenly. I find it helps to dot it on first, then smear gently.
4. Leave it on your face anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour. (Fix your breakfast, wash the dishes, brush your teeth, read a book. There are plenty of things you can do with honey on your face.)
5. Rinse off with warm water, then pat your face dry. You’ll be surprised at how easily it comes off!
I often follow my honey mask with an apple cider vinegar toner, then moisturize with coconut oil. Don’t worry–the wonderful fragrances from the honey and coconut oil override the potency of the vinegar.
A few notes for you about the honey mask:
- You can moisten your face with a small bit of water before applying the honey. This makes it way easier to spread, but you don’t want to water down the honey. Try splashing some water on your face, then patting it almost dry with a towel.
- Do this every. single. day for at least 2 weeks to get started. Twice a day is ideal, but once a day is alright, too. After a while you can reduce the frequency of honey masks and just use coconut oil.
- Choose a raw, unpasteurized honey to make sure all the enzymes and nutrients are in tact.
Who’s willing to try putting food on your face? If you deal with any kind of skin problem, honey can be incredibly beneficial. And you can’t get much easier (and truly cost effective) than one simple ingredient for a homemade beauty product.
As a side note, I’ve also learned that mead (fermented honey wine) is incredible! If anyone has had experience making their own mead, please let me know. I want to learn!
Who’s in for the honey face mask challenge? Have you already tried using honey on your face? What has your experience been like?