Monthly Archives: October 2013

All the Candy.

I really enjoy Halloween. I love to be just a little bit scared, I adore candy, and while costuming isn’t my favorite activity, if it’s just once a year, I can dig it. But I hate Halloween on college campuses.¬†

I know that this is basically the opposite of what everyone else thinks, but I absolutely hate it when campus turns into a giant beer keg. I hate the way women are expected to wear very little clothing in very cold weather. I’m always kind of entertained to see the weirdest sexy costume. You know, like sexy Big Bird? Or sexy Hannibal Lecter? I don’t really get that trend.

Mean Girls may have told us that Halloween is the one day a year a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girl can judge her for it, but to me Halloween is the one day a year I can eat fantastic amounts of candy and no one can judge me for it. 


Not just for bees

So this will be slightly less helpful for people who are vegan – I have to apologize in advance. The truth is, that even if I someday take the plunge and become a vegan, I will not be giving up honey. I probably wouldn’t give up yogurt either, although that’s more for nutrition than because I enjoy it. But honey is one of those go – to sweeteners I’ve used for years. I actually used to eat spoons of honey as a snack when I was younger. In addition to that, honey is used in quite a few Hindu rituals – I’ve literally never lived in a house without honey in it.

In addition to these things, I also use honey to wash my face.

This isn’t actually an entirely new concept – before the conception of modern medicine, honey was used as a treatment for a wide variety of ailments. Got a sore throat? Put some honey in a cup of hot water and sip slowly. Honey can boost immunity, and it can help maintain blood sugar levels. It apparently has all of these exotic types of bacteria that do all sorts of good things for us. There’s a lot of literature out there about the benefits of honey, and if you’re really curious, I strongly encourage you to do some research of your own. While I’ve done my fair share, I am by no means a definitive expert!

The point is, using honey as a face wash isn’t actually that weird because, in addition to having the benefits listed above, honey is also anti – bacterial and anti – fungal. It also works to moisturize, which is something I needed since I have an oily t-zone and dry cheeks. I’ll be talking more about how people with oily skin need to moisturize properly later. When I was looking at alternatives to face wash, I was really searching for something that wouldn’t dry me out, break me out, make my skin oily, or do any of the other things that commercial products are wont to do – honey fit the bill!

I do have one caveat though – if you decide to try this at home, please invest in some raw honey! Initially, I tried to use regular old clover honey, and I found myself breaking out worse than ever. Two weeks in, I determined that I was NOT just getting acclimated, and that something was wrong. Further research told me that pasteurization techniques used on our honey make it less effective as an anti-bacterial agent. If this is something you’re trying, get some raw, unpasteurized honey. I’ve actually had good results with several brands of local honey, so don’t be afraid to experiment.

Just put a teaspoon full or so in your palm, and use it like you would use face wash – rinse first, then use a circular motion or whatever, then rinse and pat dry!

*If you’re wearing make-up, try adding a small amount of cinnamon to bring a scrubbing element to the honey – it’ll take your makeup off, and your skin will get a little treat from the cinnamon as well. Cinnamon can help bring blood to the surface of your skin, and can be used to treat acne. However, cinnamon is an irritant, so If you have sensitive skin, get yourself a bottle of grapeseed oil, and use it to take your makeup off! Just put a small amount on a cotton puff, or cloth, or whatever, and wipe it over your makeup-ed areas.




That hippie life

So I’m kind of a wellness junkie – I like it when things are organic. I like it when they have small and simple lists of ingredients. I love to make my own salads, which mainly involve lots of raw bits tossed together in combinations you wouldn’t expect. And most of all (OF ALL) I love to make my own beauty products.

I should add that I’m a pretty zitty person – my face used to look like a pizza all the time. I tried all sorts of strange and exotically named chemicals to get rid of the acne, and nothing ever worked. So finally, I decided to go fully hippie on the whole beauty regimen. While I still buy my make-up commercially, most of my daily practices are all natural.

This was about three months ago, and the journey hasn’t been the smoothest ever. There was some trial and error. I discovered along the way that rose water (which is theoretically supposed to act as a natural astringent) actually gives me blackheads. I discovered that you need to use exact concentrations of ingredients when mixing beauty products, and that the concentrations are different for every person. So, while I could read about a woman who used “x”¬†amounts of baking soda in “y” amounts of water, I actually need “f” amounts of baking soda in “t” amounts of water.

Along the way, I’ve had unreasonable amounts of dandruff. I’ve broken out quite a few times. I’ve wound up with supremely oily skin AND supremely dry skin. There was a solid one month period where my hair was always gross in some way. It took forever for my hair to acclimate to a new regimen, especially since I had to balance hair washes with workouts.

In the end though, I can honestly say that my skin (and hair, and body) are a lot happier for me efforts! So, over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to be sharing the recipes that worked, and those that didn’t.

I’ll probably also share my favorite recipes and workouts at some point, although that may take a while! Dorm living and cooking aren’t quite as compatible as I would like!