This post is looooonnnng overdue, but which I mean I’ve been wanting to share this with you since January and am finally getting around to it in June. Oops.
This winter I started using manuka honey on my face a few times each month as an all natural mask. No chemicals, fragrances, crazy ingredients—just super high quality honey!
So just what is manuka honey and what makes it so special? Manuka honey is produced by bees in New Zealand that pollinate the native manuka bush. For generations, honey has been used for antibacterial medicinal purposes, but not all honey is created equal. Crucial to the quality of the honey is how it’s harvested as well as the type. Manuka honey is far more pure and potent than any old jar that you can find in the grocery store. It’s very thick and creamy. It has been said that because of manuka honey’s high sugar content and and lack of water, it creates an environment that is very inhospitable to bacteria and pathogens, making it great for wounds, cuts, and skin conditions.
Manuka honey is rated with the UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) system, which indicates whether or not the honey is “active.” Honey that is tested and verified to have an antibacterial property level of 10 or more is given a UMF rating and is then called “active.”
For the most benefits, choose the highest number you can find. I picked up a jar that’s rated 16+. It’s not inexpensive, but you only use a tiny bit and the honey never spoils!
Make Your Own Manuka Mask
To make a soothing, cleansing, and skin-restoring manuka honey mask, you’ll need:
- Active Manuka Honey (bio active 10-16+ if possible)
- Organic Ground Cinnamon
The amounts you’ll need will vary depending upon how much skin you’re covering. I use about 2-3 teaspoons of honey and a few shakes of cinnamon to cover my entire face. I mix them together between my fingertips and rub it on, avoiding the area around my eyes. And then I look like this!
The first time I did a honey mask, I used WAY too much cinnamon…probably upwards of a teaspoon. After washing off the mask, my entire face burned for hours and looked sunburned. At first I thought it was the honey itself, but a few weeks later I did it again with less cinnamon and it didn’t burn or turn red at all. So go easy on the cinnamon…it’s more powerful than it looks!
Cinnamon is also a natural antibacterial ingredient, so along with the honey the whole mask is very good for fighting surface bacteria and restoring balance to the skin.
How Long and What Frequency?
Leave your manuka mask on for 10-20 minutes, then gently wash it away with warm water. If your skin is on the dryer side, you may want to moisturize afterwards with a little jojoba oil or coconut oil. I find that my skin feels pretty balanced and “normal” after washing off the mask, so I just dry my face and that’s it.
You can use a manuka mask on your face several times a month. I do it about every 10-14 days or so.
And one last tip: Designate a jar of manuka honey for face purposes only. Although you can eat manuka honey, I would advise keeping separate jars for culinary uses and skincare uses so that you don’t cross contaminate either one with bacteria. Ick!
Let me know if you try it out! Natural skincare is so much fun and I’m really enjoying exploring a wide world of different homemade “treatments.”