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How to Use Manuka Honey for Skin

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I'm a mom of two boys living in Denver. The Fox & She is where I share my easy outfit ideas, style tips, beauty hacks and wellness tips for inspired, happier living—everyday.

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manuka honey skincare

I talk a lot about skincare products, but today I wanted to highlight a totally natural ingredient that packs a powerful punch when it comes to your skin.

Manuka honey!

In general, raw honey can be really amazing for your skin, but this special type of honey is the absolute best. Manuka honey is native to New Zealand and is produced by bees who pollinate the manuka flower. True manuka honey only comes from New Zealand, so be sure to check your labels when purchasing.

What makes manuka honey so incredible is that it has amazing antiviral, antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Because of that, it’s a stand-out ingredient for just about every skin type and skin condition—everything from acne to sensitive skin can benefit from this magical golden honey.

If you have breakouts, manuka honey can be especially beneficial for you, according to this article by Healthline. It aids in healing wounds (and the FDA actually approved it as wound healing treatment!), which is why so many people with acne swear by it.

When looking for manuka honey, you want to look for it in it’s raw form. That means, it hasn’t undergone any process that could damage or remove its beneficial healing powers. When honey has been processed and heated over a certain temperature it can actually kill some of those amazing enzymes and amino acids, so definitely make sure you’re buying raw.

Manuka honey also has a bunch of other health benefits, not just for the skin. According to this article, it can aid in soothing a sore throat when you’re sick, improve digestion, boost your immune system and boost your energy as well. I’ve actually been adding it to my tea and coffee all this past week, can’t hurt, right?!

One thing to note! If you are allergic to bees or honey, consult with your doctor before using this—we definitely don’t want you to have any allergic reactions.

manuka honey skincare

How to Use Manuka Honey for Skin


This is how I was first introduced to this magical honey! Simply spoon a small amount onto clean fingers and massage into your (makeup-free) skin for at least a minute, go longer if you’d like. Rinse with warm water and pat dry. Finish with your moisturizer of choice, this is my go-to moisturizer.

If you have acne or breakout-prone skin, you will love this! When my skin was really broken out last year, I washed my face with manuka honey morning and night and it made a big difference. I found that because it was so calming, my skin was less reactive in general. Blemishes healed faster and were less noticeable too.

Face Mask

It can also be used as a face mask to treat breakouts, calm inflammation, reduce redness and soothe the skin. It’s very hydrating too, and will leave your skin feeling balanced and supple.

To mix up a quick mask, simply spoon a small amount on and rub all over your face. Let it sit for 10-20 minutes and rinse.

You can also mix manuka honey with organic green tea powder or a high-quality yogurt because of the natural probiotics. If you want a good exfoliating mask, combine a teaspoon of brown sugar and a little bit of coconut oil.

Dark Spot Treatment

This one is new to me, but one I’ll be trying ASAP as I have some dark spots (thanks pregnancy!) on my forehead.

Combine a teaspoon of raw manuka honey, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and 1 tsp of organic cane sugar and combine. Rub all over clean skin and let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse completely and finish with a moisturizer.

So many dark spot treatments involve bleaching and harsh ingredients, so I love that you can use this totally natural ingredient, plus a few other kitchen staples to reduce dark spots.

Benefits of Manuka Honey for the Skin

Heals Acne

Manuka honey is an incredible product for treating acne. Like I mentioned earlier, it aids in healing wounds and it has natural antibacterial properties that kill acne-causing bacteria on your skin without stripping it of it’s natural oils. All that antibacterial activity is what helps cleanse the skin, gently and prevent further breakouts, resulting in clearer, healthier skin!

Reduce Inflammation & Redness

Methylglyoxal is high in manuka honey which helps it to reduce inflammation on your skin and also within your body. This ingredient acts almost like an antibiotic according to this article because of it’s antibacterial properties.

By soothing the skin and reducing inflammation, it reduces redness and helps. your skin to look and feel calm.

Hydrates Skin

Manuka honey is a natural humectant, meaning it draws moisture from the air and binds it to the skin to give your skin cells some major hydration.

If dry skin is something you struggle with, this might be the perfect cleanser for you.

manuka honey skincare

Because of the hydrating properties of manuka honey, it also makes for a really great anti-aging ingredient because it keeps skin moisturized looking plump and full. When skin is well-hydrated, fine lines and wrinkles are less likely to appear.

When you pair that with the other powerful skin-repairing benefits, it makes this ingredient a powerhouse for fighting time.

Balance Skin’s pH

Manuka honey can balance your skin’s pH levels and help get rid of dead skin cells to reveal your gorgeous skin underneath. When your skin’s pH is balanced, it’s harder for bad bacteria to grow, so you’ll experience less breakouts.

Where to Get Manuka Honey

The good news is that manuka honey is readily available at the grocery store. Just look in the honey aisle at Whole Foods! I’m sure most grocery stores carry it, but that’s where I’ve seen it.

You can also purchase from Amazon, this is the brand we buy and love.

Manuka Honeys

Manuka honey is more expensive than regular honey (around $30 for a 17oz. tub), but that’s because it’s much harder to come by. Remember, it only comes from bees that pollinate the manuka flower in New Zealand. Plus, it’s far more powerful and beneficial for your skin, so the extra cost is totally worth it in my opinion. A little goes a long way too, so one tub should last you a couple of months.

There are also so many amazing skincare products out there that use manuka honey as an ingredient. Manuka Doctor is a whole brand of skincare based off the healing power of manuka honey! I personally love this blemish-clearing mask and soothing mask from Primally Pure and use them at least once a week.

What Does K Factor Mean?

You’ll see something called a K-factor on the tub. The higher the K factor, the higher the concentration of beneficial enzymes & compounds. Opt for a higher number when you can.

Have you tried manuka honey as a cleanser or mask? What results did you get?

BTW, how to get rid of dry skin on your face, and how to clear a breakout in a hurry.



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