Natural Beauty Series Part 3: The Beauty Benefits of a Manuka Honey Face Mask
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.
I’m happy to report the hunt is over!
If you’ve wondered if Manuka honey lives up to it’s 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 more rare. 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.
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.
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 labelled 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 bacterial.
2. Soothed skin: The antii-nflammatory 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 1-Ingredient Manuka Honey Face Mask
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 this 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 it sit for 20 minutes and let it work it’s 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.
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 wash cloth 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.
Read More from the Natural Beauty Series
Be sure to catch these other posts in this Natural Beauty Series:
- Natural Beauty Series Part 1: Longer, Thicker Eyelashes without Extensions
- Natural Beauty Series Part 2: 1-Ingredient Hair Growth Treatment
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.BUY CELLSENTIALS (10% OFF)
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 prodcut, 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.