I’m alarmingly unafraid of chemicals on my face and a bit dubious of granola health store, all-natural claims for beauty remedies. So when Manuka Honey landed on my desk, I sneezed at it having any real benefits. Still never one to pass up a beauty experiment, I gave it a very messy whirl and I’m hooked.
First things first, Manuka honey is not your average honey pot. It is from New Zealand and made from bees who pollinate the Manuka bush (aka tea tree), which is native to New Zealand and parts of Australia. Manuka is the good shit—it’s the standard against which other honey is measured against and will set you back around $30. So when shopping for Manuka, make sure it is from New Zealand, look for a high MGO number, as that dictates the higher grade of honey, and a safe bet is to aim for a UMF (honey grading) rating of around 10 for beauty.
My Manuka of choice?
Honey is naturally antibacterial and anti-fungal, so it is perfect for spot treatments of blemishes or acne. Just dab a bit on, wait 10 minutes, and rinse thoroughly with warm water. What is really amazing about honey is that it is a natural humectant, so it pulls moisture into your skin and won’t dry out, unlike most harsh spot treatments.
Me being me, I went for the whole shebang and did a honey face mask. I definitely over-did it, and was so-not-sexily dripping honey off of my chin, so I’d suggest doing a light layer of maybe a tablespoon and building upon that depending, ya know, how big your face is. Twenty minutes later I did a quick rinse and HOLY MOLY IT WORKED. My skin was so soft and more importantly, felt nourished. Much more noticeable than the packaged “super intense moisture” face masks I’ve been using all winter. My skin is perpetually dry, but if you suffer from redness, flaking, acne or eczema, the natural anti-inflammatory properties in high-grade honey can help calm skin issues while replenishing the natural skin barrier.
Recently converted, I began to research what else this magic pot could do:
- Helps even skin tone
- Heals cuts and burns
- The enzymes help with digestion
- Soothes sore throats
- Wards off free radicals with antioxidants
Similar to oil-cleansing, Manuka honey can also be used as a face or body wash to naturally clear out pores and can also serve as an emulsifier for any DIY beauty treatments. Additionally, you could apply the honey as a hair mask for a deep moisture treatment or throw a scoop into a bath. The possibilities are endless! Personally, I’ll be adding a honey mask into my self-care routine at least once a week, and will be using it as a spot treatment for any blemishes bound to crop up.