If you don’t already know about the benefits of manuka honey for the skin then you’re about to find out. You probably already know about the health benefits but did you know that it’s also beneficial for the skin when applied topically and that there are numerous ways in which you can use it.
Unlike many people out there, I’m not a lover of honey, in fact, I’m the complete opposite, my taste buds just can’t tolerate it, which in all honesty is a real shame because I know how beneficial it would be to my health if I could only bring myself to eat it. However, all is not lost as I have no problem applying it to my face as it has plenty of skin benefits to make this practice worthwhile.
What Is Manuka Honey
Manuka honey is produced in New Zealand but sold worldwide. It is one of the most beneficial types of honey you can buy. It’s health benefits are pretty extensive and range from helping with sore throats, boosting the immune system, balancing the symptoms of IBS as well as reducing the symptoms of allergies just to name a few.
What Makes Manuka Honey So Special
Well, it’s all down to its nutritional content. Manuka honey is a rich source of a multitude of beneficial ingredients that make it an excellent immune booster and nutritional food source but those same ingredients also make it an excellent skin care addition too. It has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and is full of amino acids. It is also a source of zinc and B vitamins including Niacin which is particularly popular for its anti-aging properties.
What Type Of Manuka Honey Is Best
There are some important factors to consider when buying manuka honey and one of the most important would be the UMF or MGO rating. These ratings refer to the antimicrobial strength of the manuka honey and because not all strains are as rich in methylglyoxal, which determines the rating, it means that not all manuka honey is as beneficial as the next.
The higher the rating, then the higher the antimicrobial strength which means the more beneficial it is but it does also increase in price the higher you go. However, it is worth noting that the taste of the honey does also change as the strength increases. Lower strength manuka honey is the sweetest but as the strength increases, the less sweet the honey becomes.
Once you’ve decided which strength manuka honey you want to buy, there are several different ways in which you can use it for skincare purposes and here are just a few ideas to get you started.
Using As A Cleanser
To use manuka honey as a cleanser, simply wet your face and apply a tablespoon of honey to the skin and wipe it around in the same way you would any other cleanser. Manuka honey is pretty thick so you may need to add more water to your face if you find it difficult to wipe the honey around your skin. You can also heat it up slightly over a bowl of hot water to make it runnier and easier to spread.
To finish, rinse with lukewarm water which will easily remove the honey without leaving any sticky residue behind. Unfortunately, this is not very effective at removing makeup so this technique is best used as your morning cleanse. It can also be added to other ingredients to make a pretty effective body scrub too.
Using As A Face Mask
Manuka honey makes a great face mask and it’s very easy to use. Apply approximately one tablespoon of honey to the face and spread it around evenly. You may need to lightly spritz your face with water first to make it easier to spread the honey across the skin.
Leave it on for a good 15 to 20 minutes then rinse away with lukewarm water. You may want to cover up with a towel though as this stuff can get a bit messy and has a tendency to drip, especially during the hotter seasons. If you’re feeling a little bit more adventurous, it can be added to other skin-benefiting ingredients to make a variety of different face masks.
Using As A Spot Treatment
Honey is known for being a natural acne remedy and because Manuka honey is high in antibacterial properties, it makes a very effective spot treatment. Simply apply the honey directly to the spot and cover with a band-aid or something similar to prevent it from being rubbed off. For best results, leave on overnight then rinse away with lukewarm water in the morning. If you prefer to do a shorter treatment, leave on for at least 30 minutes.
Beware Of Counterfeits
Because manuka honey has become so popular in recent years, the marketplace has now become rife with counterfeit products. It is estimated that in one year alone, over three times as much manuka honey was sold around the world than what was actually produced in New Zealand so that’s a serious amount of counterfeit manuka honey. If you work it out, that means that over two-thirds of the manuka honey sold were fake.
Bearing that in mind, I tend to stick with manuka honey that has either an MGO or UMF rating stated on the container like Manuka Doctors manuka honey who also have the New Zealand government certified logo on all of their products. You can also check the UMF honey association for their list of registered members if you’re buying a UMF rated product just to be extra certain that you’re buying the real deal.
There are also concerns about the potency levels that some popular companies are claiming on their jars. One well-known company was subjected to an analysis where two of their jars of manuka honey were tested and the results suggested that the potency level was either extremely low or non-existent despite the fact that one label stated active 12+ and the other label stated active 16+ so be very careful of what you buy.
A Seriously Beneficial Honey
Manuka honey has many benefits making it quite the multipurpose product but be careful and make sure you’re buying the real deal. It is also worth noting that some people may experience breakouts when first using it topically so give yourself a good two weeks or so for your skin to adjust before giving up on it completely.
And do remember if you’re using manuka honey for both skin care and consumption, keep them separated in two different containers for hygiene purposes. Have you tried manuka honey before and if so what did you think? I’d love to hear about your experiences with it so do feel free to leave your stories in the comments below.