Honey Face Wash — Not As Bonkers As It Sounds

Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
There comes a time in every woman's life when she's forced to question her choices. For me, that moment came while sitting naked in a photo studio with nothing but a makeshift garbage bag for a top as a 20-something photo assistant poured a full bottle of honey on top of my head. There's nothing like feeling cold, sticky goo run down your bare face in rivers to make you take a step back and consider what led you to that particular situation.
It all started a while back when we ran our Great No-Face-Wash Experiment story. Commenter Cat Coule mentioned that all she did to her face was honey washing. Having never heard of this particular DIY method, I was intrigued, so I decided to do a little digging.
According to the websites that popped up in my search, honey cleansing involves ditching traditional cleansers in favor of washing your face with raw honey. Since this sweet stuff has antimicrobial qualities, the theory is it will keep your face clean, won't strip away your natural oils, and can be beneficial in fighting acne.
My first thought was Well, that sounds batshit crazy — we should totally try it! I had absolutely zero intentions of being the one who actually embarked on the experiment. I'm usually adventurous — I'll do pretty much anything to my hair, and I'm always game to try the latest makeup and nail-polish colors — but as someone who has struggled with problem skin for her entire life, I simply don't eff around with my skin-care routine. After 20-or-so-odd years of experimentation, I've found something that works for me, so voluntarily dropping that in favor of slathering a thick, syrupy concoction on my face sounded like my idea of skin-care hell.
And, yet, there I sat, naked and sticky in that cold photo studio. How did I get to this place? What did honey wind up doing to my skin? Keep clicking to get the full rundown. But, be warned — I'm not sparing any of the gory details.

More from Skin Care

R29 Original Series