The Honey Mud | FAQ

Will I feel any tingle or redness from the natural salicylic acid (wintergreen extract)?

It is normal with acid exfoliation to experience cool or warm tingling and a temporary pinking of the skin, with an increase of heat and blood flow as fresh oxygen rushes to your cells. This is a good thing, and key to the magic ahead. Not everyone will experience this sensation, but many of you will. Don’t be nervous, get excited! There’s some power enveloped in this cushy, luscious pudding. 

Our gentle hero has been given a glow-inducing boost via the inclusion of our new and very special extract of wintergreen. This unique addition is the first 100% naturally-derived salicylic acid obtained from wintergreen leaves; an incredibly effective alternative to traditional synthetic salicylic acid. 

Be sure to read more about this truly special ingredient, both in the next question below, and HERE in our ingredient glossary where you can dive into the full story of every single ingredient we use in our kitchen lab, from sourcing to skin benefits. 

If you find that pinking or heat sensations persist beyond 15 minutes, reserve The Honey Mud for nighttime use in these early weeks of introduction until your skin acclimates. This formula is especially beautiful before an early bedtime and long sleep, and for days you can ease into softly. 

Note that pinking and heat sensations occur most frequently in skin that is sensitive, inflamed, or recently exposed to the sun, exercise, temperature extremes, other acids and exfoliants, retinol, and for individuals who have never, or rarely use, skin actives. The Honey Mud was formulated for delicate skin and works in support of these conditions and in complement to your existing ritual.

For me personally, flushing or pinking of the skin happens only very rarely now, particularly when I've been neglecting my skin or skimping on massage and other practices that keep my circulatory system moving. It tends to appear in areas needing attention, serving as a gentle reminder to slow down and tune into the needs of my own skin, and truly, to keep coming back to this formula and the unique gifts it has for me every single day. 

While our original formula was as soft and sweet as its pudding-like goodness looks to be, the update doesn’t mess around. Expect results. This ingredient update gives oomph to The Honey Mud on a level I didn't even know was possible. I love it so much! 

Massage a fat, blueberry-sized dollop into wet skin to emulsify into a gorgeous and silky cleansing milk, or smooth extra generously over clean, dry skin to do double duty as an enzyme masque. 

Slow your breathing and massage your skin lovingly with the pads of your fingertips as you rinse The Honey Mud clear after cleansing or masking. I like to begin with warm water as skin softens and dead cells and pollution are released, completing with a final cool water rinse. Immediately follow with The Blue Cocoon and The Youth Dew, massaged directly into the water on your skin (skipping your towel entirely). Mist generously with The Jasmine Garden to saturate, press gently across face, neck, and décolleté, and your ritual is complete.

I can’t wait for each of you to experience this luscious, transformative, deliciousness. 

I am excited to learn more about the updated formula! Can you break down exactly what changed?

There is so much to share with you! I've listed out the new updates in detail below. Some are actual changes to the formula, and others are not fundamental to the recipe, rather, an adjustment of how that ingredient needs to be listed for EU regulations on our label.

You can see the full ingredients listing on this page, and read more about the story behind each and every one of our unique contributors to this formula on Our Ingredients page to go even deeper.

Now for what's new:

1. Kaolin + Titanium Dioxide
This ingredient (Kaolin, also known as White Halloysite) has not changed from the original formula, but the naming convention on our label has. Our kaolin clay, and all kaolin, naturally contain a certain content of the mineral titanium dioxide. The titanium dioxide is not an added ingredient, but a component of this raw ingredient that is required to be called out separately in the INCI to adhere to European labeling requirements. The naturally-occurring titanium dioxide content is less than 1% of the formula.

2. Water + Sodium Chloride
Water was included in the original formula as a clean and neutral base for the magic of our colloidal silver (read about the incredible benefits of this favorite ingredient of mine HERE), as well as to facilitate the assimilation of water-soluble vitamins and nutrients. This update introduces "Sodium Chloride", that while listed separately from "Water" due to labeling requirements, is in combination with the water, ultimately as a saline solution (salt water).

As saline has the same properties as human tears, it is incredibly gentle on the skin, yet effective in creating an environment that's resistant and inhospitable to pathogens and other organisms. Water alone assists in the growth of unwanted factors (and renders preservation necessary), but when water + sodium chloride are combined in a formula together as saline, it works by reducing the water activity in our product. Given that The Honey Mud is primarily clay-based, the addition of salinated water forms a kind of gel, consisting of a nano-network of clay particles that is inhospitable to growth of unwanted organisms.

We have utilized multifunctional, skin-beneficial natural ingredients in order to safeguard The Honey Mud and optimize the results your complexion receives - versus opting for a standard synthetic that only adds value as a preservation system.

By utilizing "hurdle technology", which is basically intelligent formulation using several different natural preservation factors, we can control microbial growth in the absence of traditional preservatives. The final formula of The Honey Mud has been through extensive stability and preservative-effectiveness challenge testing and easily received its "pass" mark.

Further, our skin loves salt. When applied topically, salt acts as a natural detoxifier, helping to gently shed dead skin cells. When you swim in the ocean, enjoy a salt bath, or indulge in salt as an ingredient in skin treatments, this vital mineral reduces fluid retention, relaxes tissue, and helps to keep skin clear and bright. It's particularly wonderful for acne-prone and easily-irritated complexions.

3. Potassium Sorbate
Potassium sorbate is a naturally-occurring organic salt of sorbic acid. It is non-toxic, food-grade safe, GRAS (official classification of Generally Recognized As Safe), and widely considered one of the safest and most natural preservatives. Potassium sorbate can be found in seemingly everything from cheeses and baked goods to wine and pickled vegetables. It is used prolifically in natural skincare formulation for its preservative abilities and its support in regulating pH levels. This is included in The Honey Mud's updated formula at far less than 1% (just 0.2% in total), ideal for even the most sensitive skin.

4. Gaultheria Procumbens (Wintergreen) Leaf Extract
I am so excited to share this new-to-us ingredient with you! Our wintergreen extract is the first 100% naturally-derived salicylic acid obtained from wintergreen leaves; an incredible alternative to traditional synthetic salicylic acid. Beyond its immediate benefits to the skin's appearance, in the plant world, salicylic acid plays a key role in the resistance of plants to pathogens. This special quality allows this unique extract to offer itself as one more player in our natural preservation system.

Despite its minty-sounding name, our extract is odorless and does not impede the magnificence of The Honey Mud's lush aromatics. With a long history of use in traditional medicine, wintergreen is an evergreen shrub from Canada which grows in the pine forests and underbrush of North America. It was known by the native populations who used it in traditional medicine to treat various ailments, including within compresses to ease skin inflammation.

To extract this natural acid, our supplier first distills the leaves of the wintergreen plant, then uses a process called hydrolysis - which sounds like a fancy word, but can be explained simply as using water to break down the oil, which in turn produces salicylic acid.

What results is an anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory compound ideal for gently purifying oily and breakout-prone skin, visibly reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, easing redness and discomfort, decongesting clogged pores, and bringing a glow and radiance that surpasses even the beauty of our much-loved original formula.

Our wintergreen extract works similarly to beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) to target certain protein bonds in the skin. The goal here is to enhance the skin's natural shedding process that can become inhibited due to damage from the sun, environmental factors, the natural aging process, genetics, and inflammatory conditions such as acne. Natural salicylic acid helps to release dead skin not just on the surface, but also in the pore lining, where accumulation of pollution, makeup, and sunscreen mix with your natural oils and dead cells. Without effective exfoliation on both levels, skin may present as congested, dull, bumpy, rough, irritated, and simply lacking the glow of health. This buildup also impedes the effectiveness of all other products you use, blocking their delivery to your skin.

The Honey Mud's pH range is from 3.7 - 4.2, rendering it ideal for effectiveness, while remaining very gentle for the skin, which is naturally acidic.

For light daily exfoliation, enjoy The Honey Mud as your twice-daily silky cleanser, massaging into wet skin where it will turn instantly to a milk.

For enhanced results, smooth richly over clean, dry skin as a mask, maintaining the pudding-like texture, and leave on from a few minutes up to an hour or more. Skin will be left incredibly soft, smooth, and even-toned, particularly over time and with consistency.

Can I use the honey mud as a masque and a cleanser?

This beauty does double duty as both a masque and cleanser.

To cleanse daily: Massage a plump-pea sized dollop into warm, damp skin (where it will turn instantly to a silky milk), making circular motions with the pads of your fingertips to release makeup and debris before rinsing clear. This is my absolute favorite for a gentle morning cleanse, and an equally gorgeous way to close out the evening following a first cleanse with The Pendulum Potion.

To masque: Smooth liberally over clean, dry skin, maintaining the pudding-like texture,  for a 10-60 minute gentle enzyme treatment. I've also been known to leave this on for an entire Sunday! It's perfect to wear into a shower, preserving the natural oils of your skin from evaporating in the heat. The Honey Mud offers protection and hydration, feeding your skin as you shower. Rinse to finish, and follow with The Blue Cocoon and The Youth Dew, massaged into your soft, warm, still-wet skin.

My skin feels so soft! I'm used to a "Squeaky clean" and this is so different.

The Honey Mud is formulated to be non-stripping. A "squeaky clean" can actually be telling us that we have damaged our acid mantle, which can cause sensitization in our delicate skin.

As you rinse away The Honey Mud, be thorough - massaging lovingly with the pads of your fingertips. This is all you need. If desired, you can accompany this massage with a very soft warm cloth or sponge for a deeper, but still gentle cleanse.

Your skin should ultimately feel plump and fed, and not tight. Our goal is to build up the resilience of your glorious skin for ultimate health, glow, and radiance long term.

Does the honey mud remove makeup?

The Honey Mud will remove light makeup, along with with sweat, dead skin cells, pollution, and debris from daily exposure. It is not formulated for removal of eye makeup. If you are wearing a bit heavier makeup and sunscreen, a soft and damp cloth will help to lift away the residues of the day as you cleanse. In the evenings, we encourage a first cleanse with The Pendulum Potion to clear the slate, prior to a second cleanse with The Honey Mud to feed all the goodness back in, leaving skin happy as can be.

The honey mud looks like ice cream! What is the chocolatey fluid I am seeing? Is this normal?

Yes! Ribbons of caramel coloring lacing over the top of the jar are absolutely normal and expected in The Honey Mud. We do not use fillers or stabilizers in our formulas whose purpose is simply to maintain a perfectly consistent aesthetic appearance in your jar. We choose to focus instead on incorporating only results-oriented ingredients that truly feed and nurture the skin. 

The inherent nature of plant oils is to separate from anything they are mixed with. This is not harmful in any way, and in fact, I love being able to show you the richness and beauty of this nutrient-dense goodness in all its raw glory. 

If you wish, you can just give your jar a stir with a clean spoon or our gold dandelion wand and you’ll be good to go. You can also enjoy this exactly as it is! 

If you lean in close, you’ll see The Honey Mud shows off tiny little flecks of goodness reminiscent of the very best vanilla bean ice cream. Let me introduce you to the gorgeousness of our fresh-made cacao oleoresin! This galaxy of goodness practically bursts with antioxidant power and smells like a dream.

Raw cacao blocks free radicals, protecting skin against damage to collagen and elastin while promoting and renewing skin cell tissue. Cacao contains omega 6 fatty acids and raw enzymes, both of which help in cellular repair and rejuvenation. Topical use increases blood flow to the skin, reducing inflammation and redness, slowing the visible aging process, and supporting healthy moisture content. Enjoy this luscious superhero!

Can you tell us about your source of honey?

The unparalleled attention and obsessive dedication to the thoughtful sourcing of our fresh ingredients is our very foundation and one of our greatest points of pride. Never is this more important than when retrieving gifts from another living being.

We looked into many, many, many honey makers prior to finding our perfect fit to ensure that this was the best of the best on every level. Our gorgeously golden healer comes from a local, family-owned apiary who follows sustainable practices, honoring the health of their bees - including removing only what is needed and leaving plenty to nourish the hive, rather than fully stripping these friends of their fuel. The bees are never relocated or trucked across the country as often happens in commercial beekeeping. The apiary is well respected, carries Kosher and Organic certificates, and is 100% solar powered - known for their commitment to the environment as well as the treatment of the bees. Additionally, they use a process called "gravity straining", rather than filtering, which allows our honey to retain its natural, perfect, skin-food components.

These free-range bees spend their days exploring California’s Ventura County flower blossoms, mountains, and farms. They are flourishing - vibrant, healthy, and thriving from the fulfillment of their work - which contributes to the life and sustainability of the fields and flowers and surrounding wildlife and our ecosystem as a whole.