Natural Face Wash
Baking Soda & Honey. That's it.
If you're vegan, plain baking soda will do. That's actually all I use for my bare face days, which I'll get into later.
About The Ingredients:
When it comes to using baking soda for topical use, I do not buy any sort fanciful baking soda. I get a big, 4 lb. box of Arm & Hammer™ (@ $2.25) from the cleaning aisle, then transfer over a smaller amount to a jar.
If you're going to start making things on your own, get in the habit of saving glass containers now. I use a jar that previously housed coconut oil, and I keep it under my sink. It's obviously less bulky than the big box, but it's also easier to pour out a desired amount, without creating a mess.
However, one of the many great things about baking soda, is that it is a household cleaner as well. Even if some spills on the sink, I can cleanse my face and the bathroom counter at the same time. So fresh, and so clean!
In addition to cleansing, baking soda exfoliates wonderfully. Although it is granular, it is also very silky, so it is not abrasive. It comes down to the pressure that you execute. If you're a moron and smash it hard into your face while going up and down, then yeah: it can hurt and damage your skin. So it's all on you.
Use gentle, circular motions all around your face, neck, and around the ears. Be aware to avoid the eye area. Not only because it will burn like hell if some gets into your eye, and you can probably scratch your cornea, but also because the skin around the eye is paper thin; different from the rest of the skin on your face. (That skin will definitely become red and irritated by anything that has exfoliating properties.)
As for the honey, purchase RAW honey that is UNFILTERED. Real honey. As a rule of thumb, you'll want honey that looks like it hasn't been made to "look pretty." Thick honey, that is not see-through, and more on the yellow-brown side. That little bear from the grocery store is not going to cut it. Raw and unfiltered honey still retains properties that are nutritious and beneficial to the body, both internally and externally.
The benefits of honey are amazing: it is antibacterial, it is a humectant (retains/produces moisture), and it is an antioxidant. Translation: anti-aging, acne-prevention/treatment, moisturizing, pore-cleansing, toning, and pH-balancing. All. In. One.
Purchase honey from a humane bee farm or keeper. A farmers market is a safe bet to find local, raw, unfiltered honey. I'm always on the lookout for some that still has chunks of honeycomb in it. If a farmers market is not near you, Google "local unfiltered honey [your state]," and see if you can purchase some and have them ship it to you.
This looks like a great resource for the hunt: http://localhoneysource.com.
As a fallback, a raw, unfiltered honey that is readily accessible and low-priced (by comparison) is
Y.S. Raw Honey. And they are from Illinois. :)
A bulk 32 oz. ($16) can be found at multiple locations, in-store or online. Obviously it all depends on how much you use, but for me, this amount gives me enough to last almost a year.
Although it is organic and better than commercialized honey, I'm not sure if this company practices humane bee-keeping, since it is a larger corporation. They seem to put an emphasis on bee-education, so I hope they don't carry out awful acts such as pulling of the queen's wings, feeding bees a diet of corn syrup, or burning live hives when the season changes. I've emailed them to ask if they are humane, and I'll update this, if they ever get back to me...
How to Use:
To make the face wash, scoop out just a little bit of honey; about the size of a nickel. Use as much as you would if it were a face wash from the shelf. Then sprinkle some baking soda on top of the honey, and rub them together, to form into a paste. When combined, the baking soda will offset the honey's stickiness.
Distribute it all around your face and gently work it in, using circular motions. When you feel you have covered the entire area and given yourself an invigorating mini massage, rinse with tepid (not hot, not cold) water and relish in how clean and creamy your skin feels as the cleanser melts off with the water.
Truthfully, I try to avoid washing my face too much, but most of the time it is inescapable, especially on days where I wear makeup. When I do paint my face, I wash twice: once to remove the clown face, and once to cleanse the skin. With that first round of face washing, I don't use the honey. Here is my entire face-wash procedure for makeup days:
1.) Using a cotton ball soaked with my natural grapeseed-oil-based make-remover, I erase all the bullshit from my eyes.
2.) I wash my face with a paste made from 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. After that layer of makeup is removed,
3.) I wash my face again with the honey-baking soda paste described in the box above.
4.) I tone my skin with witch hazel and a few drops of apple cider vinegar.
5.) I moisturize with jojoba oil (rosehip oil if I plan to wear makeup later that same day).
When I have a bare face, I skip step 3, and only wash my face once with baking soda only.
My primary use of the honey and all its wonderful properties is to counteract the effects of makeup. About once a week, I wear a mask of the honey only, for at least 20 minutes. Sometimes, I'll put on the honey mask, and go do an activity, like, clean the house, and I end up wearing it for a couple hours.
Knowing what I put on my face makes me feel good, but it also costs less and works better than the number of synthetic products I have previously used. About once every 6 weeks, I get a small zit that disappears within 2 days. "Combination skin" is a thing of the past. My skin tone is uniform. I used to have to put in time and effort to take care of my skin, and now it takes care of itself because it's not being treated with nonsense from the store.
Admittedly, it takes some time to get accustomed. Both in skin reaction and lifestyle adjustment. If I remember correctly, I believe it took about 3 months before I started to see consistent results, and my skin started being awesome. Being able to squeeze someone else's already-made concoction from a plastic bottle is very convenient, but I promise that you WILL find a routine and finesse as you continue your own transition. And you will be happy that you did.
As I mentioned in my intro to this Earth Health blog section, everyone is different, and there isn't a guarantee that you will also experience results that will get you shouting from the rooftops and starting a blog. But I do hope that if you put in the time, that you will indeed find as much success and joy. If that does happen, please let me know.