manuka honey honey health honey skin

Most of our staff didn’t get past 15 years old without pulling something out of the fridge and onto the vanity. Whether it was cracking an egg into hair conditioner or whipping an avocado into a homemade facial, experimenting with food-based beauty DIYs was part of our quintessential teenage rite of passage – and a practice we brought with us into adulthood.

Although these projects can lead to chick flick-worthy mishaps, many beauty DIYs are truly worth the extra effort! Bananas, eggs, coconut oil, papaya…these farm-fresh foods are the perfect ingredients for a gorgeous glow, as raw fruits and oils are full of just the right stuff to nourish the skin and hair.

Although the powerful mineral, enzyme and vitamin content of these foods make them worth the task of a completely homemade mask or lotion, the lengthy steps required – whisking eggs, peeling fruit, blending up concoctions – usually make DIY beauty elixirs a rare “girls night in” treat.

The latest sensation in edible beauty experimentation is raw, active honey – but it’s not nearly as sticky a situation as you’d think.

There are a few reasons this gooey stuff is causing such a stir. First of all, we’re learning to distinguish between the processed versions of our favorite products and the raw, organic, un-processed versions that have so much more to offer. With honey, the raw factor makes all the difference: raw honey has powerful anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. The enzymes, minerals and vitamins in honey are left fully intact when raw, as well as the slew of antioxidants and phyto-nutrients.

Raw honey is good, but manuka honey is better – and Wedderspoon’s honey is the gold standard. Named for the flowers that grow readily in New Zealand, manuka honey is considered “active”, meaning it bears such an extra-concentrated dose of anti-bacterial properties that it is considered therapeutic. That’s what makes this sweet stuff such a potent salve for the skin. Wedderspoon’s is the most widely-trusted brand from New Zealand and has become a cult-status favorite with in-the-know beauty lovers.

Breakouts, dullness from fatigue, redness and irritation can all be soothed and remedied with a good slather of this golden goo. Honey helps to heal skin damage, detoxify, oxygenate and gently exfoliate. At first, it may seem foreign to dip into your stash of tea sweeteners in order to soften your skin, but you’ll soon learn to adjust when you begin to note the difference in your dermis. Although raw, active manuka honey is powerful enough to be used to heal wounds and treat infections, we’re sticking to the simpler tasks of banishing breakouts and giving skin the glow!

Would you or wouldn’t you? We dare you to give it a try and recommend Wedderspoons! Find it here or at one of our favorite online beauty shops, Spirit Beauty Lounge – where it’s sold right alongside the makeup and the moisturizers, natch.

Do you use honey on your skin? We want to hear about it! Leave us your comments or send us your emails about your latest beauty obsessions!

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From our friends


  1. I was thrilled to see this post on your site today! I’ve been using Manuka honey as my face mask for a while now and I just love it. It is so moisturizing and healing, my skin absolutely glows after.

    Melissa | 06.07.2013 | Reply
  2. I am in love with Raw Honey, especially Raw Manuka Honey.
    I have featured a few DIY facial masks including Raw Manuka Honey on my blog

    I highly recommend Raw Honey and Manuka Honey to EVERYONE, especially if you suffer from acne, eczema or sensitive skin. it’s my favorite cleanser in the world and it removes makeup really well!!

    Britanie | 06.07.2013 | Reply
  3. Thanks, Zoe – great!

    Suzanne Hall | 06.07.2013 | Reply
  4. I LOVE that you are talking about Manuka honey! I’m an aesthetician and I put Wedderspoon’s Manuka honey into every single mask I prepare for my clients. I sing its praises on a daily basis. Love the Chalkboard!

    Andrea Gray | 06.09.2013 | Reply
    • Loved reading your comment, Andrea – we think it is fantastic that you include Manuka honey in your line of work. Thank you!

      The Chalkboard | 06.10.2013 | Reply
  5. I am thrilled that you guys are discussing the benefits of honey in skincare! I have been using Wedderspoon’s honey (specifically the Active 16+) for years and my temperamental skin has never looked better. I not only use it daily with Pratima’s Herbal Cleanser or Neem Mask, but add it to every facial mask that I make. At the moment, I am really enjoying it with Black Rock Mud Co.’s Mud Pot, along with some smushed papaya, avocado, and lemon juice for a boost. When my skin gets extra snarky, I’ve been mixing a teensy bit with my night moisturizer (one of Pratima’s, of course) for some extra nighttime healing. Manuka is, by far, one of the most amazing and versatile products in my arsenal, with Pratima’s Neem Oil coming in a very close second. Those two products alone could easily round out a skincare routine for any skin type!

    Beth Smith | 06.11.2013 | Reply
    • We are so thrilled you enjoyed the piece, Beth, and loved reading about your experience with both Manuka honey and Pratima Neem Oil (a fave of ours, too)! Thank you for the tips!

      The Chalkboard | 06.11.2013 | Reply
  6. I am a holistic skin care therapist and I use Manuka honey in almost all of my Raw Face Treatments. I also regularly suggest it to my clients for home use. Manuka is absolutely amazing in its healing capacity for the skin and it smells so delicious. In general honey is great for the skin but Manuka is next level great. So I’ d say, definitely use Manuka on your skin. It works!
    I love the Chalkboard…you guys do an awesome job!

    Magdalena | 06.13.2013 | Reply
  7. Manuka honey is amazing! I have a lovely mask from La Bella Figura that contains manuka honey, and it has been so wonderful at de-gunking my pores. I also have a jar of manuka honey that I use for cleansing a few times a week. You just have to be careful as you masasge it into your skin — it has a tendency to pull at your skin, and we don’t want that! I love how wiping it off with a warm cloth is soooo easy and leaves my skin soft and glowing. Manuka honey is nature’s best defense against acne!

    kimberlyloc | 06.13.2013 | Reply
  8. I tried using raw local honey as a face cleanser for the first time two months ago and loved it! I have always battled problem skin and I had just run out of my cleanser that I felt pretty meh about. I loved it! My skin got clearer, my pores shrunk, and I didn’t look as red. I didn’t get Manduka just bought it raw at my local farmers market.

    Tricia | 06.16.2013 | Reply
  9. Check out manukahoneyblog.com re Wedderspoons.As a New Zealander I am very informed about original Manuka and its fragile sources and supplies.Get informed yourselves as to what you are using…

    Isabel gilbert palmer | 10.26.2013 | Reply
  10. I love using honey as face mask and wash, and also as a great honey-rinse to hair. In fact, honey can also be used as a lightening agent for hair as well — it’s great for blondes in particular!

    I honey-rinse my hair every-other day, and once a week I do the lightening treatment.

    It’s wonderful stuff!

    Between honey and coconut oil, I really don’t need any other personal care items. 🙂 OK, maybe bentonite clay.

    Jenifer | 12.23.2013 | Reply
    • Bentonite clay, honey, and coconut oil? Sounds like our kind of personal care stash, Jenifer!

      The Chalkboard | 12.30.2013 | Reply
  11. Can I use this product on an ugly scar from ankle surgery to heal the wound/skin? Its a fairly large scar and I want minimal scarring.

    Alicia Martinez | 01.28.2014 | Reply
  12. Very good information. Manuka honey has become very popular for treating many conditions.

  13. Received a suggestion from a friend to try “Manuka Honey” for facial masks. So good to see such great reviews!
    I’ve purchased a bottle, and going to try this out in the weekend. Hoping to see some favorable results soon 😉

    Amorita Maharaj | 04.13.2014 | Reply
  14. It’s been interesting to see all the glowing reports of using honey as a face mask … how do you put it on exactly? Isn’t it incredibly thick and sticky to apply and then wash off? How long do you leave on for and how do you stops from getting everywhere? I have seriously sensitive skin that hates any amount of manhandling so I’d be thrilled to hear how you all manage.

    Kiki Everard | 06.24.2014 | Reply
    • Hi Kiki, I scoop the honey out with a teaspoon and then just place it into the palm of one hand and use the tips of my fingers of the other hand to smooth it over my face (avoiding the direct eye area). I have a messy bob, so use a hairband to hold it off my face (and if the honey does get on my hair it’s good for it in any case). It doesn’t run off, just stays put, and then just before I wash it off, I give my face a light massage to help with lymph removal and tone of the skin. It works wonders. I use Manuka 15+ if that’s any help. Good luck and happy honey smoothing!

      Kate Hartley | 10.09.2014 | Reply
  15. Manuka honey is amazing. I have Wedderspoon and use it for facial masks whenever my skin is feeling angry. You can also mix it with One Love Organics Brand New Day for an extra boost.

    Skye | 08.04.2014 | Reply
  16. I swear by Manuka Honey and am in the process of creating my own brand of healthy and natural skin products. Have been doing a lot of testing on myself and very tolerant loved ones! I mix a scoop of manuka honey 15+ with some neem powder (already blended with a little water) and slaver it on for a good half hour. It acts an an exfoliant as well as a detoxifying layer and is super nourishing for the skin. It leaves the skin feeling so soft and looking amazing. If dry skin is a problem, I would add a little (1/2 tspn) of raw, organic coconut oil into the blend. You can’t OD on these products and their benefits are well worth a few minutes of stickiness (and looking rather strange!:))

    Kate Hartley | 10.09.2014 | Reply
  17. I found this article after, fed up with relentless acne, I tried an acne treatment system full of various chemicals. My eyes swelled shut. It burned at least three layers of skin off. Turned every pre-existing blemish into a huge bleeding sore. Created even more blemishes. I mean, it was a nightmare and so painful. Not to mention that I was then terrified to put anything else onto my face. I layered on coconut oil for days and the swelling went down but after a week and a half skin was still coming off in chunks, I still had these huge scabs, and I was still getting new acne. Then I read this. I had some raw honey and decided to give it a try. It was the first thing that didn’t make my face burn on contact. It felt a little better after one wash and the redness went down. I washed again that night and woke up to a whole new face! It got exponentially better every day and just four days later, it’s to where I could go in public without makeup. I’m completely amazed. Honey will never leave my skin care routine again. Literally saved my face. Thanks!

    Libby | 02.24.2015 | Reply
  18. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about manuka honey. I really want to give it a try as well, but it is just so difficult to find it in South Africa..suppose i’ll have to buy it on line.. I’m 33 years old and a year ago started breaking out in whiteheads on my jawline. I refuse to start using Accutane again, and really want something natural..

    Dezi | 09.04.2015 | Reply
  19. 3 days ago I had a lesion removed from the bridge of my nose with liquid nitrogen. The dermatologist said to keep it moist with vaseline, but I tried manuka honey instead. That first night I dabbed some on and lightly covered it with a bandaid. I’ve done it each night and the healing has been quick and painless. I only used it at night after a gentle face cleansing and during the day used Cerave AM moisturizer. I really believe in manuka’s healing properties.

    Karen Nowak | 03.05.2016 | Reply
  20. I’ve used manuka honey kfactor16. Not sure if this tightens the skin as I’m starting to get forehead wrinkles, wrinkles on the sides etc…I still have acne on chin and around..

    anon | 10.16.2016 | Reply
  21. Would definately try the Manuka brand. Honeys is always a great plus for skin as it naturally smoothens the skin.

    Bramwel | 10.31.2016 | Reply
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  50. Hello, I was told to mix Manuka with hydrous lanolin in order to make it more spreadable. Is this a good idea or acne prone skin? Or is there something else that could be used to make the Manuka smoother to spread for a mask?

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