So I told you guys I had a project planned and I would be telling you about it really soon, this is that time! (It was really soon, like in the very same day kinda soon!) I am taking the Crunchy Betty Honey Challenge!
The idea of this challenge is to stop using harsh chemicals on our faces and start using what nature gave us. Yummy, raw, unprocessed, and local honey.
I told you that I was trying to wrangle Kasey into helping me, but it turns out, she was way ahead of me! Shortly after I posted this morning, she sent me a text saying she had already been doing the challenge for a week!! Sneaky, girl! Kasey was just introduced to the Crunchy Betty site about a week ago and she is already on the fast track to being one of the crunchiest people I know! Hooray! So, I convinced our other friend, Heather, to do it too. (And by “convinced” I mean “asked”…) Kasey started a week ago, I started today, and Heather plans on starting on Tuesday, after she gets off her crazy weekend shift in the E.R. (She’s a pretty badass nurse!) and she has time to go buy some real honey.
I bought my honey at our local farmers market. The ASU Regional Farmers Market is awesome. For those of you in Jonesboro who haven’t been, it is open Saturdays from 7-1 and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2-6. You should go. Really, you should. Like, on Tuesday, go.
The honey comes from a local honey farm called Culp’s. It is actually here in Jonesboro. Doesn’t get much more local than that. The poor man at the stand today was afraid I wasn’t going to buy any because I asked if it was pasteurized and he just became so sad and dismayed and said, “No ma’am, this is about as raw as it comes, it’s filtered but I just don’t have the processing equipment I used to.” He sounded so sad. I wish I had a picture of his face when I told him that it was EXACTLY what I was looking for! You’d have thought I handed him a winning lottery ticket! Ok, well maybe he wasn’t quite that happy, but his frown did turn upside down! Then I was delighted to find out that their honey can be bought locally at several privately owned grocery stores, including the one around the corner from our apartment! Yay!
So, I got the honey this morning before work, and I waited and waited and waited. I thought and thought and thought about whether I should wait and start when Heather does or not. Naturally, and I’m sure you’ve already guessed (you guys are a pretty smart bunch) I could not wait. I had to try it. So I did, and it was awesome! I told Kasey via text, “It’s a good thing my tongue isn’t long enough to lick my face!” It’s the honest truth. This honey not only tastes like heaven in a mason jar, it feels wonderful on my skin! I may be a permanent convert to the ways of honey cleansing. We will see how it goes for these two weeks of the challenge, but do not be surprised if I am singing the praises of this honey in every post from here to eternity! Yeah, it’s that awesome. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.
After my amazing story, I am sure you are all just dying to try this, so here are the basics, from Crunchy Betty herself:
Why You Want to Wash Your Face With Honey
- 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.
- It is slightly drying which means it helps soak up any pimples or oiliness.
- 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?)
- It imparts all kinds of beneficial enzymes that work at scrubbing your face for you, as well as perform a little anti-aging action.
- It’s great for acne, aging skin, normal skin, dry skin … honey loves EVERY SKIN TYPE.
- It is healing and helps repair acneic sores and scars.
- It’s 100%, absolutely, positively natural, great for your skin, and such a SIMPLE addition to your routine!
How to Wash Your Face With Honey
First, remember that these directions are for washing a face that doesn’t have makeup on it. Honey alone doesn’t take off all the goopy gunk.
For now, if you wear makeup, just continue to take it off the way you normally do, and incorporate the honey wash into your morning, pre-makeup routine.
Here are your wash instructions:
- Tie your hair back or get it out of your face. (Honey makes hair really sticky.)
- Pour 1/2-ish teaspoon of honey into the palm of your hands and rub your hands together for 2-3 seconds, just to warm up the honey.
- Place the honey on your face and massage it in for a minute or two – all around, don’t forget an inch of face.
- Optional – leave the honey sitting there on your face for 5 or 10 minutes, just so your skin can drink the goodness in.
- Rinse a few times with water. You’ll be surprised at how quickly and easily it rinses off!
- Bask in the beauty that is your face now.
Seems pretty easy, right? That’s because it is!!
These are some instructions for those of you who wear makeup:
Instructions on How to Remove Your Makeup With Honey (and a few other things)
It stands to reason that the more stuff you put on your face, the more things you’re going to need to take it off. So taking your makeup off is a little more involved than just slathering honey on and rinsing.
But all of these ingredients are effective and good for your skin in different ways. And, really, what I’m giving you here is a full-treatment facial cleansing. All your makeup, coming off. Your skin will be clean and your pH will be balanced and healthy.
Hey! People who still have oily skin/breakouts with the straight honey wash. Do this instead for a while. See if it helps!
Here’s what you need for the whole shebang:
- Baking soda
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Olive oil (or another carrier oil like avocado, apricot kernel, or sweet almond oil)
- Washcloth, cotton rounds
And here’s what we’re going to do:
- Tone and rebalance
- Remove eye makeup
1. Remove Your Makeup with Honey and Baking Soda
Here is everything you need for the first phase of removing your makeup by washing your face with honey, baking soda, and apple cider vinegar (step 2).
Forget the apple cider vinegar (ACV) for now.
Phase 1 involves only removing your makeup and washing with the honey and baking soda.
I’ve prepared an easy 4-step graphic for your viewing pleasure. Please view it and be pleased.
Step by step:
First, wet a washcloth with water. Then, pour 1/2-ish tsp honey on the wet washcloth. Sprinkle about 1/2 tsp baking soda on top of the honey. Splash a little water on your face, and then scrub everywhere very, very gently. The baking soda is slightly exfoliating, so we don’t need to scrub hard at all.
Then, just splash water on your face a time or two. Your makeup (other than the eye makeup) should be nearly (if not completely) removed.
2. Tone and Rebalance with Apple Cider Vinegar
In my humble opinion, this step is crucial, so don’t write it off.
With the baking soda, you’re throwing your skin’s pH balance out of whack just a little bit, leaving it vulnerable to dryness and/or potential pimples. The apple cider vinegar will help balance this out and put your skin back into a healthy state of being.
Plus, this is a perfect opportunity to make sure all traces of makeup are off your skin.
For this reason, I recommend (at least for the first few times you do it) using a cotton ball or cotton round. Only so you can see the results on the cotton. After that, you can use a crocheted pouf (like the one at the right of the picture below) or even just the edge of your washcloth.
How to tone with ACV:
Wet your cotton round, cotton ball, or washcloth with water. Place 2-4 drops of apple cider vinegar on your round. If you’re using ACV straight, you do not need more than this.
A tiny bit of apple cider vinegar goes a long, long, long way.
Swipe your face all over with the watered-down apple cider vinegar.
Check the cotton round to make sure there are no traces of makeup on it. If there are, use the back side of the round to remove the rest. This is not for your eyes, so avoid them.
Alternatively, you could fix up a batch of diluted apple cider vinegar. If you want to do that, I’d say about 3 tsp of ACV to 1/4 c. water is good. If you do this, though, you’ll want to store your toner in the refrigerator.
Or, add about 5 drops of rosemary essential oil to the premade ACV toner (to preserve it, and this will also add some extraordinary antibacterial power).
I like just using the dropper to put small amounts on a wet cloth, simply because it’s easier for me and I don’t have to worry about preservation. But you should do what makes you happy.
3. Remove Your Eye Makeup With Oil
This step is so easy. Even a cavewoman could do it. No! Even a socialite cavewoman could do it.
You’ll clean off all your eye makeup, and leave behind nourishing oils for the delicate skin around your eyes.
Simply pour a small amount of oil on the end of a clean washcloth or a soft cotton round, close your eyes, and swipe it around your ocular region a time or three.
Makeup is gone. Kaput. Period. That’s it.
Oils you can use for this: Extra-virgin olive oil, apricot kernel oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil, hazelnut oil. Really, just about any nourishing oil that is cold pressed will do.
Are You Ready to Start Removing Your Makeup Naturally Now?
Really, it’s super easy, and it’s a regimen that’s easily incorporated into your routine – using things you probably already have in your cabinet.
I know a main question is going to be: What should I use to moisturize with?
I’m going to say again, even with this regimen, I don’t feel the need to moisturize at all right now. It may be the summer air (we’re having oddly high amounts of humidity), or it may be the newly incredible health of my skin. But my skin feels SO soft and supple, I don’t have any desire to add something else to it right now.
If you feel like you need to moisturize, my favorite, favorite thing in the world is just straight jojoba oil.
Also, here is the Crunchy Betty take on why you should be using the rawest, most natural and local honey you can find:
Figuring Out Your Honey Labels
It appears as if there isn’t really set standard for labeling honey. However, there are relatively loose guidelines honey manufacturers follow, and these will help you choose the right honey for you.
First, it’s important to understand that a huge part of the healthful properties in honey comes from its enzymatic components. When you heat honey on high (or pasteurize it), you’re killing almost all of those things. This leaves behind honey that takes a very, very long time to crystallize, but is lacking in quality nutrition.
Bottom line: Only buy honey that says “raw” on it, if you want to get the full benefit of a honey wash (or eating honey). Any bottle labeled “raw” honey is probably more likely to be pure, as well.
A breakdown of raw honey:
- Completely Raw honey: Will likely be crystallized and crunchy when you buy it. It will also contain some of the larger “bits” procured when the honey was extracted from the comb. Things like wax, pollen, propolis, and other remnants. These will not hurt you; in fact, they will offer a boost to your honey wash.
- Unfiltered Raw (or Strained): Will crystallize more quickly than the other types, as it either hasn’t been heated or has been pressure “strained” to get out the larger bits of wax and pollen. This is the honey you’ll most likely encounter when looking for raw designation. It is available in most big supermarkets, and every health food store you walk into. This is the type of honey I recommend for the honey wash.
- Filtered raw honey: Filtered honey is heated slightly and then passed through a fine filter. This removes all pollen and propolis, leaving behind a much “cleaner” honey. Don’t confuse “cleaner” with “better,” because when you don’t have the other bits, you don’t have the full array of goodness honey has to offer. This is still better than pasteurized, though.
This is a little tougher, because often you won’t see the word “pasteurized” on your honey container. You probably won’t see any word at all.
Except the word pure, which actually means very little. According to Benefits of Honey, there’s no set labeling standard for “pure” honey – and honey labeled pure may possibly also contain a filler (like corn syrup).
Pasteurized honey is more prevalent in mainstream grocery stores, because by heating the honey to a very high temperature and killing all of the bacterial enzymes, they’re also insuring that the honey will not crystallize nearly as quickly. And that’s what most people are led to believe is good honey.
Bottom line again: Stay away from honey that isn’t labeled as “raw.” If it’s not raw, it’s pasteurized past the point of being fabulously good for your face and your health.
Here’s a buying guide I made (sorry it’s so big), but maybe it’ll help you next time you’re shopping for honey.
There’s one exception to the labeling rules: Locally farmed honey that you buy from the farmer’s market (the kind of honey I HIGHLY encourage you to buy). If you see some, ask the farmer about it. Ask how he/she filters it. How high they heat it. If they add anything to it. (You’ll probably like the answers they give.)
Important Honey Reminders
As if I haven’t just sprung enough information on you for the week, here’s a little more that you’ll want to remember when you’re buying and using honey:
- Do not give honey to babies under the age of 1. Honey contains a specific bacteria that (very, very rarely) may cause botulism in newly developing human beings.
- Honey keeps forEVER. Especially when it’s unpasteurized. There’s no expiration date on honey. Use it until it’s gone.
- Honey that has crystallized is still good. Just because it is granular doesn’t mean it’s lost any of its goodness. If you don’t like the granulation, put your honey container in a warm cup of water to soften it. (I’ve heard recommendations to microwave it … but, as we know, high heat kills what we want, so keep it away from the nuke-machine.)
- Honey is wildly antibacterial. You know this already; I’m just reminding you. This is why it’s great for your face, but it’s also a good thing to put on small scrapes (or acne lesions).
- Don’t be confused by clover, wildflower, orange blossom, buckwheat, etc. labels. While there is a slightly discernible difference in the taste of these honeys, they haven’t been flavored. When you see honey labeled as anything that sounds floral, it just means that these are the what the bees “fed on” before they produced the honey. Again – there’s a difference in taste, which might be a fun thing to explore! (I see honey-tasting parties in your future.)
So you see, it isn’t hard and you have the resources readily available, why not go for it? We are!
You can find all the original articles I mention in this post here.
Oh! I almost forgot, this is my before picture, today, and I will do a before and after post of both mine and Heather’s experience. Kasey will just be an after because she started before either of us! That crunchy girl!