Manuka honey, which is made by bees who pollinate the Manuka bush (native to New Zealand) has been regarded as a superfood by many for years. You may have heard about Manuka’s many health benefits, namely aiding in digestion, boosting immunity, and soothing sore throats, but it can actually help with things like acne, eczema, and dermatitis as well. Not to mention, it does wonders for the hair too.
If you suffer from acne, it may seem counter-intuitive to rub honey all over your face, but raw honey and Manuka honey, in particular, is known for its acne-fighting, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, which makes it perfect for spot treatments and DIY face masks!
While raw honey is generally full of beneficial vitamins and minerals like amino acids, magnesium, zinc, calcium and B Vitamins; Manuka honey has even higher concentrations of these as well as special enzymes that have an antibacterial effect and support healing. Studies have shown that applying it to cuts, scrapes and lesions speeds up the healing process and prevents infection.
It all sounds great, right? Before you run to the grocery store to buy an industrial sized tub of Manuka honey, you’ll want to do some research. There are plenty of imposters out there, in fact, honey is the third most faked food in the world. Manuka honey, in particular, is rare, which accounts for its high price point. But if you’re going to be spending upwards of $35 for a jar, you’ll want to make sure it’s coming from a legitimate source.
- Look for Manuka honey that is UMF certified (UMF stands for Unique Manuka Factor) and has a UMF rating higher than 10. Above 15 is optimal, but these tend to be costlier. The higher the UMF rating, the more Methylglyoxal it contains. Methylglyoxal is the compound that gives Manuka its incredible antibacterial and antiviral properties.
- The Manuka bush is native to New Zealand, so the honey should be New Zealand produced and the company New Zealand based.
Try out some of these DIY skin and hair recipes:
Acne Fighting Cinnamon Manuka Honey Mask
1 teaspoon of Manuka Honey
½ teaspoon of high-quality cinnamon
½ teaspoon of witch hazel (optional)
Directions: Mix the ingredients well in a small container. Apply to freshly cleansed, damp face with your fingers and leave on for 30 minutes. Wash off the mixture with warm water. This mixture can also be used as a spot treatment and left on overnight. If you suffer from regular breakouts, you can do this mask two times a week and you will start seeing results within 3-4 weeks of regular use. The witch hazel, though optional, is a natural astringent and can help reduce oil production and the formation of blackheads.
Anti-Aging Matcha Manuka Honey Mask
1 teaspoon of Manuka Honey
½ teaspoon of high-quality Matcha powder
Directions: Mix the ingredients well in a small container. Apply to freshly cleansed, damp face with your fingers and leave on for 30 minutes. Wash off the mixture with warm water. Matcha powder is high in antioxidants, which is especially beneficial for mature skin.
If you’d rather skip the formulas, you can apply Manuka honey directly to clean skin and leave on for 20 minutes up to one hour and you will still see the benefits.
Coconut Manuka Hair Mask
3 tablespoons Organic, cold-pressed coconut oil
1 tablespoon Manuka Honey
Directions: Warm up ingredients in a small pot using low heat. Mix the ingredients well and remove from heat (do not heat for too long). Once the mixture has cooled down a bit, apply it to dry or damp hair. You can skip the scalp if your hair gets oily easily. Leave on your hair for about 20 minutes being careful not to get oil on clothes or furniture. Wash out the oil in the shower. You may want to wash your hair a second time to remove any leftover oil. This treatment will make your hair soft, shiny and manageable!
Buy my favorite Manuka Honey here: