There's a lot of buzz about Manuka honey...and for good reason. It's a fantastic natural healer that can be used internally or externally to reap its medicinal benefits as a potent anti-inflammatory with high antibacterial and antiviral properties. Plus it's gentle, versatile, and packed with fab nutritional benefits.
Manuka honey hails from New Zealand where it has a history of various healing uses by the native Maori and later settlers. When bees pollinate and take nectar from the Manuka myrtle (Leptospermum scoparium), their honey is more potent than standard honey due to the presence of methylglyoxal (MGO), the active ingredient which gives Manuka honey its antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits that can help and assist with wound-healing, skincare, and as an all-around health and immune system boost when taken internally. When choosing Manuka honey, pay attention to the UMF grade...a higher number indicates a higher active rate of MGO. Honey is also a natural humectant, so it's fantastic at healing and repairing dry, stressed skin.
I've been having some issues with eye and skin allergies of late...both my personal 'hot spots' when I get extra stressed (thank you, 2020!). Long term, chronic stress can definitely exacerbate skin and allergy issues for those with existing sensitivities. So to help get things under control, I whipped up these easy DIY Manuka honey eye wash, face mask, and facial/skin mist formulas that are gentle and safe for daily use.
•Manuka Eye Wash // good for dry, itchy, and irritated eyes + blepharitis
-1/2 tsp Manuka honey (I like this one)
-2 tbsp distilled water or boiled tap water (cool to room temperature)
-1 oz dropper bottle or eye cup
-small bowl, funnel + small whisk or spoon for mixing (I like to use a small dipping bowl for projects like this to control the mixing better...around 3" in diameter)
To make: Clean and sterilize bowl and all utensils with rubbing alcohol. Add honey and water to bowl and mix/whisk well until fully dissolved. Transfer wash to dropper bottle with funnel. Apply 1-2 drops or to eyes am and pm or use eye cup. Shake well before using.
The Manuka eye wash will sting for a few seconds when it enters the eye...this is normal and means that it's working.
This formula is preservative-free. Discard eye wash after one week and replace with fresh batch.
•Manuka Revitalizing & Clarifying Facial Mask // helps tone, balance, hydrate, moisturize, invigorate, and firm skin; helps clear breakouts in acne-prone skin; helps reduce rosacea and redness
-1 tbsp Manuka honey
-1/2 tbsp witch hazel (or sub lavender hydrosol)
-1/2 tbsp sweet almond oil (or sub grapeseed or olive oil)
-small bowl + small whisk or spoon for mixing
To make: Clean and sterilize bowl and all utensils with rubbing alcohol. Add honey and witch hazel to bowl and mix/whisk well until fully dissolved. Add oil and mix/whisk well to emulsify.
Apply mask in thin layer with mask brush (it's a bit drippy) to freshly cleansed, dry skin. Apply additional layers of mask as the first layer begins to absorb (1-3 layers is good). Allow mask to sit on skin for 15-30 minutes. Remove with warm washcloth. Follow up with the Manuka facial mist formula below for fantastic results.
This formula will make enough for 2-4 mask applications. Store covered.
•Manuka Face + Skin Mist // soothes dry, itchy, and irritated skin; helps tone, hydrate, and firm skin; helps clear breakouts in acne-prone skin; helps reduce rosacea and redness; soothes insect bites, stings, burns, wounds, cuts, and scrapes
-1 tsp Manuka honey
-1 tbsp aloe vera
-1 oz lavender hydrosol
-5 drops each lavender + chamomile essential oils
-4 oz glass spray bottle
-small bowl, funnel + small whisk or spoon for mixing
To make: Clean and sterilize bowl and all utensils with rubbing alcohol. Add honey and lavender hydrosol to bowl and mix/whisk well until fully dissolved. Transfer mixture to spray bottle with funnel, adding aloe and filling remainder of bottle with witch hazel. Add lavender essential oil, if using. Cap bottle with spray top and shake well to mix ingredients. Spritz and pat into skin gently as needed. Safe for am/pm use on facial skin.
This spritz is naturally preserved from the use of witch hazel which generally contains a small percentage of alcohol, so you're good to go. Make a fresh batch when you run out!