Hi beauty bees! Sorry I have been a touch quiet lately – uni started up again and I have been preparing for the onslaught of new students. I’m settling into my schedule now (which always takes me a little getting used to) and I have lots of ideas for posts lined up 🙂 but first, lets talk honey. Manuka honey to be exact!
I love DIY beauty and DIY face masks – but let’s be honest, I’m also pretty darn lazy, so my favourites tend to be the ones which only incorporate one ingredient LOL but seriously, we are more likely to do something more often if it is easy and can fit into our schedule without to much drama – and that’s why I love Manuka honey! This stuff is gold when it comes to using it in your tea (to fight infections and illnesses), smothering all over your face as a mask or to use as a lip balm for very sore, chapped lips. Maybe I shouldn’t call this a ‘one hit wonder’ as Manuka honey keeps on giving, but I think you know what I mean 😉 So what makes Manuka honey a little more special than regular honey?
Manuka honey has antimicrobial and antibacterial power – which promotes wound healing (it’s so effective that some hospitals use it on actual wounds as it’s backed by scientific research), by stimulating the immune system and providing nutrients for cell metabolism and rapid tissue repair. The bioactivity of the honey (the antimicrobial and antibacterial properties) is measured using the ‘Unique Manuka Factor’ (UMF) so the higher the number, the more bioactivity is within the honey (all Manuka honey labels should state the UMF number on the label). The fact that the honey works to heal skin and wound infections – makes it perfect for soothing inflammation on the skin. Inflammation is a big concern for those who have acne prone skin (that’s why it can appear to be red and inflamed) but it’s also great overall for skin regeneration – so it can help reduce acne scarring. Skin regeneration is something we all need, especially after a day out in the environment, after being stressed and attacked by free radicals (ahhhh!). Manuka honey can help your skin do the repair work it naturally does in the evening and while you sleep.
Manuka honey is produced from wild flora in New Zealand.
Manuka honey also contains amino acids, vitamins and minerals. As a humectant, it draws moisture into the skin (acne prone skin also needs moisture – but the right kind) and only gently exfoliates (rough exfoliation should not be done on acne prone skin, this can intensify the inflammation). So as you can see, in one word, it is FAB all around for everyone – to really nourish and soothe the skin, especially for problem skin.
So how do I use it? I first cleanse my face (using a Clarisonic for a deeper cleanse) and then I smother my face with the honey – warning – animals may be attracted to your face and may attempt to lick you (my dogs were soooo curious when I was walking around the house like this and I’m pretty sure they thought I was a walking snack lol). It’s best to do this in the evening when your skin is using its natural regenerative powers and also because it is cooler then, and the honey won’t just slide and drip off your face (messy…). I try and keep it on for as long as possible, but even if you only have 15 minutes to spare, the honey will still work its wonders! Your skin will be sooo smooth afterwards and soooo soft to the touch! Remember to moisturise afterwards to lock in all that goodness.
The photo above is a little blurry as it was getting dark outside and I hate my cameras flash settings! Time to get a proper camera me thinks 😉
You don’t need a Manuka honey with a really high UMF number/factor, but you want to make sure that the honey hasn’t been processed to much (or else you may as well buy regular honey) so your best bet is to skip along to your local health food store and pick one up there. I have bought a UMF 15+ Manuka honey before, but it was really expensive (I think I paid about $30 for a small tub – the brand was Comvita which produces awesome Manuka honeys) definitely reserved for more medicinal purposes (great for winter time and boosting your immune system when sick). The one I use everyday for my tea and for this beauty treat is from Bee Products Active and cost around $20 for a 30+ MG rating (I found this one at Woolies- it was the most decent one there). Bee Products Active also have a honey with a rating of 8+ for around $12-13 but sometimes Woolies is out of stock of it. So as long as you check the label and find one which hasn’t had anything added to the honey, hasn’t been heated/processed to much (that can destroy some of its antibacterial properties) with a UMF factor/number, you should be good to go 🙂
If you want to use the honey in tea, i would suggest letting the tea cool a little in order to not reduce the antibacterial properties within the tea (the same applies for fresh lemon and lime juice). As I mentioned above, Manuka honey is also the bomb for healing chapped and sore lips, so use as a balm when at home and after a while, you can lick off or wipe off the goodness (but I suggest licking it off 😉 )
I definitely recommend this treat for your skin – simple, easy and very effective! Especially if you’re going into winter soon like us Sydneysiders!
Have you tried Manuka honey before? Perhaps you know of some other honeys which work a treat? 🙂
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Catch ya next time beauty bees!