One of the best ways to get clearer, less acne prone skin is to switch to an all-natural cleanser, especially one that doesn’t strip away its natural oils or disrupt its Ph balance.
Now, you may have heard about using honey as a cleanser, but did you know that achieving acne free skin largely depends on what type of honey that you use?
Yep, forget those typical grocery store brands (they are usually shaped like bears) and take a trip to your local Whole Foods Market or comparable natural foods store and pick up some Manuka Honey.
What is Manuka Honey and How to Use it For Acne Free Skin
Manuka Honey is a medical grade honey that comes from New Zealand. The bees collect nutrient rich pollen from the blossoms of the Manuka tree (aka New Zealand Tea Tree) and produce a monofloral honey that contains high levels of medicinal constituents.
This means that all of the medicinal qualities of the Manuka tree are present within its pollen. When bees create Manuka Honey, the result is a highly nutritious, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial honey that surpasses all others. It’s basically the holy grail cleanser for every skin type!
And guess what? It’s fantastic as a natural acne treatment, and has NO side-effects!
The Benefits of Manuka Honey
• Supports and nourishes the digestive system – Try having 1 tsp an hour before meals to enhance healthy digestion
• Enhances the body’s ability to heal minor wounds, stomach ulcers, and various infections – Apply to cleaned wounds or infections directly. For ulcers, spread it on a small piece of fruit to hold the honey in the stomach for as long as possible
• Soothes sore throats – Add Manuka Honey to your favorite throat soothing tea (make sure the tea isn’t too hot as it will kill the enzymes in the honey. You can also take Manuka honey by the spoonful to help coat irritated tissues in the throat.
• Natural acne treatment – Apply Manuka Honey to directly to blemishes as a spot treatment, use as a facial mask (I like to wear it for at least 20 minutes but will often wear it for hours while puttering around the house), or use it as a facial cleanser on damp skin.
The Manuka Honey Secret
You may be wondering how Manuka Honey effectively treats acne. Well first, we need to look at its UMF – the unique manuka factor.
This determines the potency of the medicinal qualities in the Manuka Honey. Typically, you will want a UMF of at least 16+ to effectively treat blemishes. Anything less than that won’t be as effective (though you may be able to get by with 12+) so if you can’t afford it, you might as well save your money since Manuka Honey with a UMF below 16 will still cost quite a bit.
I have to say though, a jar of Manuka honey will last quite a while and is certainly worth the splurge!
• UMF 5 to UMF 9 are very low activity levels
• UMF 10 to UMF 15 are useful levels
• UMF 16+ are superior levels with very high activity and is the best at killing acne-causing bacteria (this is my favorite one)
How to Use Manuka Honey to Clear Skin
Honey has been used historically for thousands of years to treat everything from a sore throat, burns, allergies, digestive distress, staph infections, poor sleep, eczema, and even gingivitis due to its anti-microbial properties.
Manuka honey is basically regular honey on steroids which is why I like using it as a therapeutic treatment for acne.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to use Manuka honey for acne:
Manuka Honey as a Spot Treatment
There are a few ways to use Manuka Honey for naturally treating acne. One way is to use the honey as a spot treatment on existing blemishes for a couple of hours, or even overnight if you can manage it as it’s quite sticky.
The tea-tree-like properties of the honey soak into the skin and fight infection and inflammation making it perfect for reducing redness and severity.
I personally have found it easier to mix the honey with a small amount of facial clay or even just dabbing dry clay over the honey in order to keep in place for long periods of time. The longer you keep it on, the better!
I’ve also heard of some people covering particularly bad blemishes with a dab of Manuka Honey and a bandage with good results.
If you happen to have a wound from picking, you can even use Manuka honey the same way you would use Neosporin, except that it’s natural!
Manuka Honey as a Face Wash
Another way to use Manuka Honey is to use it as a gentle daily face wash. Since Manuka honey is so potent, you only need a tiny amount, so don’t want to waste the money you’ve spent on such an expensive product by using gobs and gobs of it. I would say to use no more than a pea size on damp skin. You may think that’s hardly anything, but a little goes a long way.
I recommend wetting your face first after your skin has had a chance to steam in the shower for a few minutes. You want the pores to be open in order to get the best results. Be sure to remove your makeup prior to using the honey to ensure that it absorbs into the skin and has the best chance possible to fight blemishes.
And as a side note, NEVER get water in the honey because water will spoil the whole batch. I like to use a small wooden spoon to scoop the honey from the jar, then I just wash the spoon in the shower and allow it to air dry for the next use.
With daily use, you’ll notice that the honey’s humectant properties will moisturize your skin while also healing up existing blemishes and preventing new ones from forming.
Manuka Honey as a Face Mask
The last way I like to use Manuka Honey for acne is to use it as a healing face mask. I will sometimes add a drop of an aromatic essential oil depending on what kind of mood enhancement I want, and then let the mask sit for as long as possible. Try to leave it on for at least 30 minutes. I will often do an hour or more!
My favorite essential oils to use are:
Lavender – Lavender is amazing for calming the skin and reducing redness. It also kills acne-causing bacteria and soothes irritation.
Rose – One of the best oils to use for overall skin health if you can afford it!
Geranium – My personal favorite as it helps normalize sebum production.
Sweet orange (use only at night since this oil makes your skin sensitive to sunlight) – This EO is great for brightening the skin and reducing hyperpigmentation.
When I’m ready to rinse off the mask, I will wet my fingers first and begin to “wash” my face with the honey and then rinse it off. This mask leaves your skin soft and glowing!
I recommend using it a couple times per week for best results.
Have you ever used manuka honey to treat acne? Let me know in the comments!
For more manuka honey articles look below:
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