Manuka Honey Face Mask Benefits + How to Do It

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I'm a Certified Health Coach, longtime blogger, and host of The Elizabeth Rider Show. In addition to writing recipes (I love to eat!), I believe that embracing your personal evolution and taking responsibility for your happiness are the keys to living a fulfilling life.


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Have you tried a 100% natural Manuka honey face mask yet?! If not, you need to start asap.

In my never-ending quest for a more natural beauty routine, I’ve been on the hunt for an easy, natural face mask that isn’t filled with tons of chemicals and actually works.

If you’ve wondered if Manuka honey lives up to its hype, the answer is yes, it does. And then some.

What Is Manuka Honey?

Manuka honey is a special type of honey that comes from bees collecting nectar from the Manuka plant (Leptospermum scoparium) native to New Zealand. Therefore, all real Manuka honey comes from New Zealand. The Manuka tree shrub has a short bloom season, making this type of honey even rarer. Lucky for us, the bees know what to do, and they aren’t called busy bees for nothing. They get to work each year collecting the pollen and creating the honeycomb that gives us our Manuka honey. Nature is so cool!

Back to the honey…

All honey contains a naturally-occurring enzyme that produces hydrogen peroxide, therefore, has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. However, the nature and properties of the Manuka plant give this type of honey extra powerful antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, antioxidant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties.

Sounds exotic, right? That’s because it is.

Manuka honey has been used in medical settings for years and can be used to treat minor scrapes and burns without the harmful side effects of lab-created antibacterial ointments. Always be safe and use common sense—Manuka honey isn’t going to reattach a finger, but it’s perfectly great to use on a paper cut.

Getting the Manuka glow at home while I write this post.

Elizabeth Rider Manuka Honey Face Mask

What to Look for in Manuka Honey

Raw and Unpasteurized

Pasteurization will destroy the beneficial enzymes in any type of honey. Real Manuka honey by nature is raw and unpasteurized to maintain it’s healing properties, so if you’re buying real Manuka it will be raw and unpasteurized even if it’s not indicated.

MGO, UMF or K-Factor

Up until last year, independent organizations created ratings for Manuka honey. One is called MGO, which measures the levels of Methylglyoxal, and the other is UMF, the Unique Manuka Factor that measures a variety of other compounds in the honey. The Wedderspoon brand uses a proprietary system called K-Factor that’s been deemed legitimate by the New Zealand government.

Look for MGO of at least 250, UMF of at least 16+, or K-factor of at least 16. The higher the number in any of these, the higher quality of Manuka honey.

Manuka Regulations

The New Zealand government is in the process of creating new standards for Manuka because not-so-great companies create knock-offs. The regulatory definition includes four chemical markers with varying threshold levels and a DNA test. Yep! Honey has DNA. The honey must meet all five test standards to be considered and labeled as Manuka honey. Which basically means it’s gettin’ real over in the New Zealand honey industry. As with anything, look for brands you trust.

Which leads me to the cost. Manuka honey isn’t cheap. However, it’s worth it. And the good news is that a little goes a long way. I’ve been buying my Wedderspoon Manuka honey K-factor 16 on Thrive Market for the last year and a jar of it lasts 3-6 months. Here’s my link for you to get 25% off your first order. You can also find it at your local natural foods store.

Benefits of a Manuka Honey for Your Skin

1. Clearer skin: The antibacterial properties of Manuka honey can naturally kill acne-causing bacteria.

2. Soothed skin: The anti-inflammatory and healing properties of Manuka soothe your skin and can reduce redness.

3. Glowing skin: The enzymes provide a gentle exfoliation, leaving your skin baby soft and glowing.

4. Moisturized skin: There’s something oddly moisturizing about a Manuka honey face mask, which I believe comes from the emollient properties of the honey.

5. A safe treatment for your skin: Manuka honey is 100% natural, so you don’t have to worry about toxic chemicals sinking into your skin. Honey contains pollen and of course, comes from bees, so avoid this face mask if you’re allergic to bees.

How to Do a Manuka Honey Face Mask at Home

Use this one to two times per week to get the best results.

1. Start with clean skin. Some people like to use the Manuka as the actual cleanser, but I find a Manuka honey face mask works best if you start with clean skin.

2. After cleansing, use your fingers to spread about 1 tablespoon of high-quality Manuka honey over your entire face in a thick layer. Cover your neck and chest too if you can.

3. Let your Manuka honey face mask sit for 20 minutes and let it work its magic. This is a great time to do a castor oil hair growth scalp treatment, do a few quick chores, or just relax with a good book. Even better, hop in a hot Epsom salt bath with these incredible homemade bath salts.

Your body heat will warm the honey so it might drip a little. Wear something that washes easy and be careful where you sit in your house.

4. After 20 minutes rinse it off and enjoy the glow. Use a soft washcloth with warm water to remove the honey.

5. Follow-up with a serum or any other skin treatments in your normal beauty routine. I usually finish with a paraben-free moisturizer to lock it all in.

Manuka honey is also great for digestion and your overall health. I add 1/4 of a teaspoon to my coffee or tea in the morning, too.

More Natural Beauty Tip

Be sure to catch these other natural beauty posts:

And, as I mentioned in the previous two posts, the USANA Cellsentials multivitamin goes a long way to helping both your hair and skin shine and glow from the inside out.

But remember, supplements don’t work if you don’t take them. Simply buying the bottle doesn’t help, and looking at it every day on the counter doesn’t help either. Opening the bottle and taking the supplement helps.

I take the USANA Cellsentials Multivitamin twice per day. You can order it from my distributor account here to get 10% off of retail pricing.

Aside from helping your hair grow faster and improving your skin, taking a high-quality multi is something you should be doing anyways to fill in nutritional gaps, even if you eat well, so this one is a double win.

Quick tip: NEVER buy any supplements on Amazon.

I use Amazon for just about everything, but not supplements or specialty food items. Many are counterfeit—people actually buy good ones, keep the good tablets or product, refill the bottles with cheap counterfeits, and sell them on 3rd party sites like Amazon to unknowing consumers. Only buy high-quality supplements and products like Manuka honey directly from authorized distributors.

Over to you, have you tried this yet? I’d love to know how it turns out! Let me know in the comments below.

More in the Natural Beauty Series:

ER-Health-Coach-Manuka Honey Face Mask -01

Read the Comments +

  1. Georgia says:

    Is the Manuka honey beneficial for the skin if it is strictly taken orally?

  2. Christine Mccrea says:

    What??? 55 years ago? I am 60 and to me, Elizabeth, you look like a kid! I am trying the honey mask now as I text. I have heard on several animal planet shows where they use this honey for healing pet wounds. Thank you for your blog.

  3. ANAdea says:

    Im so glad you mentioned the Amazon thing. Unfortunately its not just the supplements, but skin care as well and baby products. I stopped buying skin care on amazon due to the counterfeit situation.

    Great article. Thanks of sharing.

  4. Maryalice says:

    I found ur blog by accident but very happy I did. 🤗 I found a lot of interesting information, u see we r never to old to learn more for health & bodies.
    Thank u very much.
    Looking forward to learning more.

  5. Brook Martin says:

    I bought manuka honey when I was in New Zealand. It is amazing stuff. I’m told that the powerful nutrients in it are best preserved when eaten straight and if you put it in hot liquids they are destroyed. Just sayin!

    • Hi Brook! Yes, high heat can destroy some of the enzymes in any raw honey. I like eat it straight off the spoon (about 1/2 teaspoon), and also stir a small amount into warm liquids sometimes (about 1/4 teaspoon). A scientist friend of mine let me know that it will retain many of it benefits when stirred into a warm—but not boiling hot—beverage. Either way, it’s great to take a “medicinal” raw dose, then use it in beverages, too. Thanks for stopping by! ~E

  6. micaelah faerold says:

    You’re the greatest.Thanks for sharing your kindness & wisdom.I had a “Babysister” just like you 55 years ago.I was an orphan.She was the greatest.If it’s you or you know her now….please tell her “Thank you” for me ,& I love her still.Caelah Faerold

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Hi, I'm Elizabeth

I'm a strong believer that life is too short to settle for anything less than living your best life. 

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