Oct 10, 2012

Good Lookin' Wednesday

So, I know Wednesdays are kind of a slump day, which is why I was hoping that by posting on Wednesdays it would give me and you a middle-of-the-week perk up. Sharing tips, tricks, and good products is always fun, helpful, and a real money saver because someone else has already tested them out for you.

I try to keep many of my products pretty natural or organic (though sometimes I stray) but all of them have to do right by my skin, hair, and body. If I have to cake myself in something in order to look good, it's doing me wrong. So, for my first post I want to talk about raw honey. Yeah, the stuff you buy at the farmer's market or Trader Joe's or other healthy establishment. You can put it in your tea, use it in recipes, or even eat it plain. Did you know it's also really great for your skin?

(Note: If you're allergic to bees, do not use raw honey. Also, never give raw honey to a small child under 2 as it can be fatal. This warning label should be on the jar.)

Raw honey contains enzymes which allow it to keep many of its natural healing properties which are lost in the commercial refining process (AKA the stuff you find at Wal-Mart.) By applying it topically it can help to heal small cuts and scrapes, and using it internally supposedly has many benefits as well.
Raw Honey made from Orange Blossoms
 Here is the last jar I bought. It's the only brand the store carried that wasn't a sage-based honey (I'm allergic to sage, so, probably not a great idea for me) and it's lasted me a few months now.

Since it hasn't been refined, the honey will crystallize over time, leaving a thick layer at the top while the layer underneath remains liquid. Mine is a few months old, but the thick, lighter colored layer hasn't gone bad, and will become a liquid again when exposed to the temperature of my skin.
I love to use it when I'm peeling after a sunburn. It soothes and calms itchy, ruined skin. Later on in the sunburn process it will slough off all the dead skin while moisturizing the new skin underneath and give me a nice, healthy glow. You can mix raw honey with other ingredients to make facial masks specific to your skin type, but I don't. Raw honey has antibacterial properties, which help fight off acne and infection as well as the normal whiteheads and blackheads which occur when bacteria clogs up pores in your skin.

I combat these by washing my face with raw honey once a week. A once a week regimen will not upset the balance in any skin type. (I find that using it every day is too much moisture for me, so I use Bareminerals as my main skincare.) I wet my face first and then grab a tablespoon of honey out of the jar with my fingers. (I do not consume any honey from this jar. It is for my external use only. I don't think it'll kill you, it's just kind of an ick factor for me.) I spread it on, careful to avoid the eyelids, and let it sit for a minute (if it's a new jar it can be a little runny, so use less and watch it to make sure it doesn't run past your eyebrows) before gently massaging it across my skin.

Raw honey is grainy, and can exfoliate quickly. Be careful and light with the pressure the first few times or you could end up exfoliating too many layers in one go. This goes for any face wash. Your skin is fragile, and rubbing harshly is a surefire way to cause lines, wrinkles, and sagging. Since the honey has no artificial sweeteners or preservatives, it dissolves in water and washes away easily, leaving your face clean, soft, and glowing.

Also, if you have age spots, freckles, or mild hyperpigmentation, dampen the spot and dab a little raw honey on it for ten minutes every night and it should lighten up in a few weeks, thanks to a peroxide-type effect raw honey and water have when mixed together.

Do you use raw honey in your skin regimen? What do you think?

Also, drop a note, tweet, email, whatever, about a problem or product that you can't find or that does work for you that you'd like me to cover. Anything from getting rid of your cat's itchy flea bites to finding a good hair conditioner to the most awesome chapstick I've ever used. Let me know.

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