I’ve shared before how I wash my face with oil and how that has been the best skin care routine I’ve ever used. Some readers commented that they still hadn’t found the right combination of oils for their skin type, so I wanted to share another natural face wash I recently found …

Honey …

Sound strange? So does cleansing your face with oil, but it turns out that they are both natural and effective ways to cleanse skin naturally.

Honey Face Mask (or Wash)

For this method, raw honey must be used. Raw honey has natural antibacterial properties and contains enzymes and probiotics that are good for skin. This method can be especially good for acne-prone skin as it doesn’t stop moisture from the skin but does reduce oils and bacteria. (Acne is usually in internal problem though, so it is important to look at diet too!)

Honey Face Wash – Simple and natural recipe that nourishes skin and helps fight acneHoney is gentler than soaps, which strip the skin of beneficial oils, and it gently nourishes skin. I know a local vet who has even used raw honey to speed skin healing on animals as it helps reduce bacteria and speed healing while protecting the skin from outside disturbances. This idea appears to have some scientific backing, as there are now medical-grade ointments (like this one) that use honey for wound and burn healing in humans.

What Kind of Honey

I’ve personally tried two different types of honey for facial cleansing:

Manuka honey
Raw organic honey
Both seem to work really well. Manuka honey is considered more cleansing and antibacterial (and has health benefits when used internally) but from what I found, either one works great for skin care (and raw honey is cheaper). I normally use a slightly lesser quality honey for face cleansing than I use with food. As long as a honey is raw and preferably organic, it is great for skin use.

Typically, I wash my face at night with the oil cleansing method since it also removes makeup, and use the honey face mask in the morning before showering. I keep a small jar of honey and a spoon on my bathroom counter for this purpose.

Bonus Ingredients

A friend of mine also recommended adding a tiny bit of vitamin C powder (which is also great for skin) to the honey face mask, along with some essential oils for extra antibacterial and acne-fighting power.

Since then, I’ve been experimenting with variations of this honey face mask and cleanser. Different variations seem to work for different skin types.

Personally, I mix a few drops of lavender and frankincense oils into the honey I keep in my bathroom. I also sometimes add a dash of cinnamon or vitamin C. I just spot test on my inner arm before trying anything new on my face and I recommend the same for anyone trying these DIY methods.

Wellington City Council has announced the launch of the voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing requirements.

“We want to lift rental standards in our city and make better accommodation available for people. Every Wellingtonian deserves a warm, dry home,” says Wellington Mayor Justin Lester.

The Rental Warrant of Fitness is a first in New Zealand. Wellington City Council partnered alongside public health experts from the University of Otago to create the questions that landlords can go through to see if their investment property meets the minimum standards.

Mayor Lester says “We’re partnering with the University and will be launching an app that will allow tenants and landlords to check their house against minimum health standards designed by experts, and allow landlords to request a full inspection by a professional to be certified as meeting the standard”.

The idea behind the Warrant of Fitness is not only to improve the quality of rental housing but also give landlords the chance to promote their investment as being warm, safe and dry.

Most of the questions in the Warrant of Fitness appear to be reasonable but some are dependent on the human factor. For example, one of the questions asks whether the home is free of visible mould and that if there is, that it is less than an A4 sheet of paper. Mould is actually a joint tenant and landlord responsibility as without physically ventilating the property, mould will grow. This is particularly noticeable in the winter months when heating is used, moisture builds up and mould spores can grow in areas such as wardrobes, bathrooms, on the wall behind beds and other areas of the home.

How does the assessment work?

Landlords (or tenants with their landlord’s permission) can book a Rental Warrant of Fitness inspection on Wellington City Council’s website from August 28. Landlords may wish to ask their Property Managers to assist them with obtaining the warrant as a point of difference for their investment property.

Wellington City Council has advised that they are partnering with building inspectors who will attend and carry out an assessment which will take around an hour to complete.

At that assessment, the house will either pass or fail. A report will be emailed to the owner of the property (or their property manager). If the house fails the assessment the owner will have 6 months to meet the criteria and re-book a follow up assessment for free. The Rental Warrant of Fitness is valid for three years.

How much does the Rental Warrant of Fitness inspection cost?

The cost is $250. If the house does not pass there is a six month window to get the work done and have a re-assessment done for free.

While the Warrant of Fitness is being run through Wellington City Council, the questions are reasonable for any landlord to use as a baseline to check in their investment or use the questions for any improvements.

Have you ever noticed unsightly little red bumps on your skin? If so, they may be a condition called keratosis pilaris. Conventional treatments for the issue can be rather harsh on the skin, but there are natural options. This keratosis pilaris exfoliating cream helps moisturize and exfoliate for clearer skin.

What Is Keratosis Pilaris?

Also nicknamed “chicken skin,” keratosis pilaris is an unsightly skin condition that manifests as red patches and bumps. It resembles goosebumps and appears most often on the back of the arms and thighs. They feel rough like sandpaper and are very small, about the size of a salt grain. Sometimes they occur on the face and can be mistaken for acne. There may also be redness around the bumps that varies from light pink to bright red.

What Causes Keratosis Pilaris?

No one is exactly sure what triggers these little red bumps, but certain groups of people and those with dry skin are more prone to them. Pregnant women, overweight people, and those with eczema or dry skin are more likely to have keratosis pilaris.

Skin naturally contains the protein keratin, and about 50% of us are genetically predisposed to overproducing this protein. When excess keratin becomes trapped inside the hair follicle, it forms a rough, raised plug. These clogged hair follicles then cause inflammation, turning the surrounding skin red.

How to get rid of Chicken Skin

Since the hair follicles are plugged with excessive keratin, gently exfoliating the area will help clear them out. (Don’t use anything too rough however, as that can just further irritate the skin.) It’s also important to moisturize the skin, as the problem is caused by overly dry skin in the first place. Using anti-inflammatory products will soothe the skin and tame the accompanying redness.

Conventional treatments typically involve steroids, but here we’re using the potent anti-inflammatory plant turmeric and lavender essential oil.

Use the Right Ingredients

This recipe for keratosis pilaris cream uses baking soda to exfoliate the skin. It has a finer particle size that’s gentler and very cleansing for dry skin.

Baking soda has a very high pH of 9 though, which makes it very alkalizing. Long-term this can cause a problem, as skin is naturally acidic with a pH that ranges between 4 to 5.5. Citric acid makes the mixture more skin-friendly, with its pH of 2.2 to help balance the recipe out. (Just make sure to look for non-GMO citric acid.)

Some Himalayan sea salt provides extra exfoliating power and nourishes the skin with dozens of minerals. Turmeric powder also provides some exfoliation but primarily decreases inflammation. Lavender essential oil further soothes irritated skin and decreases inflammation.

Unrefined coconut oil rounds out the recipe to hold it all together and get that creamy consistency. Coconut oil is high in lauric acid, an intense fatty acid that helps break up excess keratin.

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