Use Honey to Wash Your Face? Here’s Why and How

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Making the switch to a non-toxic skincare routine isn’t the cheapest task. Non-toxic skincare products can be on the expensive side due to the quality of ingredients used to make these products (quality oils, herbs, etc. that aren’t cut with filler ingredients can be costly) as well as the smaller-batch nature of products (and the companies who produce these products). Learning where to splurge and where to save in your skincare routine can be super helpful. Today, I’ll show you a simple way to save money in your skincare routine: wash your face with honey!

Use Honey to Wash Your Face, Here’s Why and How

If you’re looking for a place to save in your non-toxic skincare routine, going with a homemade cleanser is a great option. I recommend investing/splurging on a good face oil or cream moisturizer (my favorites right now are Laurel for a face oil and OSEA for a more traditional cream moisturizer) and then saving money on the cleanser and toner (I love rosewater by Cocokind).

Using honey to wash your face is a budget-friendly way to do this, but don’t let the minimal cost of this face wash fool you into thinking it doesn’t pack in amazing skincare benefits.

how to use honey to wash your face

Why Use Honey to Wash Your Face

It may seem slightly odd to use this sticky substance to wash your face, but it’s a practice that’s been around for ages. According to the authors of Honey: A therapeutic Agent for Disorders of the Skin,  “Honey has been recognized around the world for its healing properties with records of its therapeutic use dating back to 2000 B.C.”

  • Honey (and milk) is believed to have been used by Cleopatra as a face wash.
  • The Ancient Greeks and Egyptians used honey as a treatment for wounds and burns.
  • Today, honey is used all over the world as a skincare ingredient and to cleanse the skin and treat skin conditions (like eczema).

Honey has been used this way because of its amazing benefits.

honey for skin care

The benefits of honey…

  • rich in antioxidants
  • has antibacterial properties (check out this article from the National Institutes of Health)
  • a natural preservative
  • a humectant, which means it has moisturizing properties 
  • is soothing
  • doesn’t strip the skin (like many commercial face washes and soaps) and works to regulate the pH of the skin, which is essential for healthy skin function
  • it’s relatively cheap, considering the multi-purpose nature of this ingredient

When honey is used as a face wash (or part of a skincare routine, say as a face mask), honey can leave the skin cleansed, nourished, hydrated, and glowing. Honey can be fantastic for all skin types, particularly acne-prone skin and aging skin due to the antibacterial and antioxidant properties.

honey face wash

How to Wash Your Face with Honey

Let’s get super practical. A few months ago, my video guy came over to shoot a video on how to use honey to wash your face (the video was for an olive oil company, not Live Simply which is why there isn’t a video in this post). I’ll never forget the stunned look on his face when I told him that our next shot was of me washing my face with honey. “Ummm, how are you going to do that?” was his reaction.

I get it. Washing your face with honey may seem a bit different, particularly if you’re used to conventional face wash products with sudsing and foaming agents or even just a bar soap. Suds are not essential for face cleansing. You won’t get the same experience when using honey, but it’s easy to get past this once you experience how your skin feels and looks after using honey as a face wash.

how to wash your face with honey

What You Need

Raw, unfiltered honey: This kind of honey is going to be the best choice as it hasn’t been heated so its full of beneficial properties. You can find this at farmer’s markets, via a Google search for raw honey, or in grocery stores.

How to Wash Your Face

  • Before washing: If the honey comes in a large bottle or jar, you may want to pour some honey into a smaller jar so you can keep it in your bathroom. I love a small 4-ounce mason jar or Weck jar with a tight lid (to keep ants and bugs out). A small jar will make it easier to use the honey as a face wash.
  • Before washing: Remove makeup. You can do this by applying a small amount of oil (like jojoba oil) to a cotton ball and then wiping your face with the cotton ball. Or, you can make a homemade makeup remover–I share my favorites in this post.
  • 1st: Splash your face with warm water so it’s damp.
  • 2nd: Pour a small amount of honey into the palm of your hand (you can also use a small spoon to scoop the honey from the jar).
  • 3rd: Massage the honey onto your face using your hands, just as you would a commercial face wash.
  • 4th: After spending a few seconds massaging your face with honey, run a washcloth under fresh, warm water. Use the washcloth to gently remove the honey from your face, neck, and hands. Rinse the washcloth as needed, repeating until all honey has been removed.
  • 5th: Follow up with a toner (I love this rosewater toner from Cocokind) and moisturizer. I love any of the oils from Laurel Skin and this OSEA moisturizer (coupon code Livesimply takes $10 off any $90 purchase from OSEA). During the day, I use oil as a moisturizer (Laurel) and at night I use both an oil and the OSEA moisturizer for extra hydration.

washing face with honey

I only wash my face at night, before bed, with face wash (such as this honey). In the morning, I splash my face with water or rinse my face with water in the shower. This is up to you and what works for you, your skin, and lifestyle (if you workout and sweat in the am, etc.).

Honey Face Wash Recipes

You don’t need to make a face wash “product.” You can simply use honey, as-is, as a face wash (as we talked about above). But if you want something more or just don’t love the idea of using straight up honey on your face, here are a couple of ideas…

  • Honey Face Wash: This is a nice option for someone who wants the suds of a face wash. With this option, you don’t need to remove makeup first. Combine 1/3 cup liquid castile soap, 1/3 cup honey, 3 tablespoons distilled water, and 2 tablespoons of jojoba or sweet almond oil in a soap dispenser bottle. Give the bottle a shake and use as a face wash.
  • Honey and Aloe Cleanser: If you don’t want all the stickiness of honey, try this option. I’ve found that you don’t need to remove makeup first with this option, unless you’re wearing a heavy amount. Mix 1/4 cup aloe vera gel, 1/4 cup honey, and 1 tablespoon jojoba oil or sweet almond oil. Mix the ingredients together in a jar, pour or spoon into your hand and use as a face wash.

honey face mask

Maybe you already have a beloved face wash (there are some fantastic non-toxic cleansers out there) and switching to honey isn’t for your right now. You can still incorporate honey into your skincare routine by making a honey mask. Here are two of my favorite honey face masks.

  • Honey and Spirulina Face Mask (the Glow Mask): Combine 1 teaspoon honey with 1/2 teaspoon spirulina powder. Mix together and apply to face. Let rest for 10 minutes, then rinse off. Read about spriulina and how to make this mask here.
  • Honey and Yogurt Mask: Combine 1 tablespoon plain yogurt and 1 teaspoon honey. Apply the mask to your face, let rest for 20 minutes, then rinse off. This is one of my favorite weekly masks! Read about the benefits of using yogurt as a face mask here.

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