Wednesday, October 18, 2017

DIY Manuka Honey Masks - over 12 Recipes

Hi Lovelies,

Welcome back! And if you are new here, welcome 💕💕💕

Green Life In Dublin
DIY Manuka Honey masks

What if I told you that you can get completely natural mask for your skin, face and hair if you will with multiple benefits for the skin for much less than 30euros/dollars for whopping 250gr? Would you believe me? Well that exactly what manuka honey is! Manuka honey is very different from other honeys and I would highly suggest using this instead of your regular honey, one jar used for masking will last you up to a year used once or twice weekly, so that justifies the price for me. I do have the second jar for eating, but I never put it into the tea (don't put it into hot beverages, ever, because heat destroys those precious enzymes we are after, and with them destroyed it becomes not that different from sugar. So, that's your lesson for the day).

If you don't want to shell out for manuka honey, please feel free to use raw local honey (preferably organic) as your next best bet. Just please do your research on different types of honeys first and then decide. Honey in the teddy shaped plastic jar? Not the best thing for your skin, as it is not only heat treated, it is mixed honey too. Meaning it is only slightly better than sugar, and it is not what you want at all.

If you haven’t heard of it, Manuka Honey is the most unique and powerful form of honey on the planet.  It’s exclusive to New Zealand, created by bees who pollinate the Manuka Bush. But what makes Manuka that much better than your average honey?  It’s all in the nutrient composition.
Manuka honey is known as ‘active’ honey; it has natural antibacterial qualities and proven health benefits. It’s made by bees foraging from the New Zealand Manuka (tea tree) bush. Look for the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) rating on the jar – the higher the rating, the greater the antibacterial activity. Scientists say it can help ease ulcers and an upset stomach, prevent gum disease, boost your immunity by fighting bacterial infections, and ease skin conditions.
 Raw honey has a multitude of beneficial nutrients: Amino acids, B-Vitamins, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, and Zinc to be exact.  But in Manuka honey, the density of these nutrients is over four times greater than your average honey, so your body is getting a powerful dose of enzymes that fight inflammation and bacteria and boost your immune system. 
For the skin, a good UMF rating means your skin will receive incredible benefits - the anti-inflammatory quality of Manuka honey is proven to improve skin texture and tone.

Let's leave the health benefits when consumed orally for another post, today it is all about the skin and it's benefits for the skin. Due to it's high anti inflammatory properties this wonderful honey heals and repairs the skin, hydrates, reduces redness and inflammation, plus it oxygenates the pores to draw out bacteria, thus drastically improves acne areas. But wait, there's more to it, manuka honey promotes skin regeneration, repairs cellular damage, and lessens scarring. Because of it's hydrating properties, it is anti-aging - it retains moisture in the skin, which can only be a good thing! It also re-balances the healthy bacteria on your skin. Gives glow. And that is not all, are you ready for it? It helps the skin build collagen and inhibits the bad guys (a group of enzymes called MMP) that destroy the bacteria - isn't that the music to our ears?

So, let's get into my recipes, shall we?

Green Life In Dublin
DIY manuka honey and raw cacao mask
Do you see all those brands coming out with some kind of chocolate masks? Me too! I will let you know into one secret of mine, I love perusing ingredients of well known green beauty products and then trying to recreate pared down version of it at home. Well, if you have the ingredients at home already, why go and spend 60+ euros for a jar of it? Am I right or am I right? Coming back to the chocolate mask, you can easily DIY it with just honey and raw cacao powder! Of course you can add more ingredients to it and make it as complicated as you want, I am giving you “bare bones” of a mask, but it is no less effective! Go ahead and eat the leftovers in the spoon! And make yourself some hot chocolate while you have the mask on. Chocolate day anyone? Cacao benefits for the skin: it is excellent for the skin, it boosts blood circulation in the skin when applied topically (so use it in the hair masks too, it reduces hair loss too), thus giving it glow and health; it prevents us from premature aging. Because it contains Omega 6 fatty acids, it heals on a cellular level and provides us with much needed hydration. Cacao has a raw enzyme, which helps in repairing the cell and its rejuvenation. I could go on and on.
Preparation: mix half a teaspoon of manuka honey with the same amount of raw cacao and apply on your face. Keep on for 20-40mins and then rinse with warm water.

Matcha benefits for the skin: with brilliant topical properties, green tea has long been touted as a potent yet gentle antioxidant that's suitable for all skin types. Matcha boasts these benefits and then some - think of the vitamin-packed powerhouse as a highly concentrated mega-dose of goodness for your face Rich in antioxidants, matcha reduces inflammation and works to repair sun damage while calming the skin.
It can't be simpler to do - take 0,5 teaspoon of honey, add a small pinch of matcha, mix and apply on the face for 20mins. 

As we all know activated charcoal is great at drawing out impurities from the skin. You can use it on its own of course, but I mix it with manuka honey for double whammy! Again, this couldn't be simpler - just mix half a teaspoon of honey with one (or half) capsule of activated charcoal and apply on the face for 20-30 mins.

Manuka honey & Hibiscus

Natural botox plant anyone? Step forward hibiscus! With most powerful anti-ageing plant actives, it’s no wonder Hibiscus is called the ‘Botox plant’. Hibiscus has a magical reputation for increasing skin elasticity to give a stunning natural youth-boost. With the incredible ability to inhibit the activity of the enzyme elastase, which is responsible for breaking down our skin’s precious elastin, Hibiscus actively combats the ageing process by firming and lifting your skin. It also evens out the skintone, helps to speed up the cell turnover and some studies claim it reduces large pores. I don't know about this, as I didn't use this mask consistently enough to see it. But I know for sure that hibiscus contains gentle acids that has slight exfoliating properties. 
Preparation: choose organic dried hibiscus petals from your local health shop (edible ones, meant to drink as a tea) and then blitz them into powder with your coffee grinder. Mix with honey and apply. Admire the pink colour and leave on for at least 20 mins.

Be careful with this one if your skin is super sensitive like mine, use just a tiny bit of the cinnamon and do a patch test first. Cinnamon is a great addition to the face masks because it increases the blood flow to the skin and that can only be a good thing. Add a bit of sugar for that exfoliation goodness and you’ve got yourself a poor man’s version of Leahlani Honey Mask!
P.s. honey and cinnamon mixture is also very good for spot treating! Leave it for as long as you can, overnight is ideal.

Manuka honey and organic neem powder

I wouldn't suggest eating this of the spoon, haha! Neem is a amazing herb with many benefits to it, today we will look into its benefits to the skin only, but it has many and many uses. Neem leaves have antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties and hence they are quite effective on skin infections. They also soothe irritation and reduce inflammation without drying the skin. Neem is also antiseptic, antibacterial and antiviral, as well as antifungal, and that lends to myriad of health properties, which is too wide to get into here. Let's just say it is good for acne, skin inflammation and redness and so much more.
Prepare and use in the same way, just use 0.25 of teaspoon of neem to start with, it is very powerful stuff.

Vitamin C is amazing for the skin! Not only it does promote the collagen production (this fact alone makes me want to use it straight away), protects skin from sun damage, speeds up healing and reduces skin discoloration; but it also improves skin's moisture and hydration levels and thus keeping the skin looking younger, all while being brighter and healthier looking. It also speeds up healing and reduces inflammation, and all that is a music to my ears! Music to my ears!! And what's more, it stays on your skin for up to 48 hours still doing it's goodness. It goes without saying you want to use pure form of it, without added sugar and sweeteners! Mixing it with honey makes sense if you want your mask to do multiple things at once, and your skin will be left happy! Note - this combo is fabulous for fading hyperpigmentation and scars over time. Another note, don't overdo it if you have sensitive skin like me, I just add a little bit to half of teaspoon of honey.
Prepare and use in the same way. Crush the vitamin C if it comes in tablet form like mine does. Or use some sort of natural berries superfood powder rich in vitamin C - like camu camu or baobab, acai powder, etc?

Clays are amazing for the skin, and each type of clay will have it's own benefits, so please choose according to your skin type. I find pure clay masks much too drying on my skin, so mixing it with manuka honey is like pure heaven to me, not only my skin detoxes but it hydrates at the same time, fabulous or what? Choose clay according to your skin type and mix with honey for pampering mask. With honey's hydrating abilities you won't have to constantly spritz your face to keep it moist. (if you are a clay mask lover and you let them dry on your face, keep in mind you are not fully benefiting from the mask as the active ingredients work only when the mask is wet)

Green Life In Dublin
DIY manuka honey and spirulina/chlorella mask

Want poor man’s version of Leahlani Mermaid mask? Mix manuka honey with spirulina and/or chlorella or mixed greens and ta-dah! I call it Shrek mask not a mermaid mask though. Spirulina benefits to the skin: it reduces dark circles. Anti-aging. Tones and cleanses the skin. Brightens the skin. Helps with acne. I could go on.
Chlorella benefits to the skin: similar to the spirulina benefits. You can always do your own research if you are dissatisfied with my answer? Both of them are amazing for the skin in short. Use in the same way.

Of course you can use regular milk powder too, it will have slightly different benefits, but since I am dairy free, coconut it is for me! If you know me for any length of time, you know that I love anything coconut! Coconut milk powder benefits for the skin: as it is packed with vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5, and B6 as well as iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, it can only be good for your skin! It is incredibly nourishing and conditioning (again, try it as a hair mask too), it prevents acne, treats sunburns, prevents premature aging, moisturises and aids in many skin conditions, including rosacea, dermatitis and eczema. It can help treat the skin by removing the harmful bacteria. Once again, take 1 teaspoon of manuka honey and half a teaspoon of powdered coconut milk.

Manuka Honey & probiotics
I am not kidding you! Just go into your favourite green beauty online store and type in "probiotics" and it will cough up a whole range of probiotic skin care products, so why not DIY it? We all know probiotics are all the rage right now, we are finally discovering we have billions & trillions of good bacteria not only inside us, but also on the skin, so why not support those good guys? Just open a capsule of probiotics You are regularly using, mix with some manuka and voila!

Manuka & maca
Again, not kidding! Mask products with maca do exist (some with such a simplistic formulations that you wouldn't believe) so why not make it on your own, especially if you already have maca in your home?
Maca helps to reduce the effects of ageing, and gives new strength to the skin and stimulated collagen production in the skin. I am sold, don't need to hear any more :)

Manuka honey and Blackstrap Molasses (organic and unsulfured only)

Blackstrap molasses is the thick, dark syrup produced when the sugar cane plant is processed to make refined sugar. This type of molasses contains all the vitamins and minerals which were absorbed by the plant from the soil, but which didn’t quite make it into the end product of nutritionally devoid white sugar!With a robust flavor, and loaded with nutrients, blackstrap molasses boasts a wealth of powerful health benefits. In tests comparing the antioxidant content of several sweeteners including refined sugar, corn syrup, agave nectar, raw cane sugar, maple syrup, brown sugar, honey and molasses, it was found that dark and blackstrap molasses had the highest markers for antioxidant activity. Antioxidant and antiinflamatory benefits? Yes please! Blackstrap Molasses can be used as a mask on it's own, so if you want to, you can skip the honey in this recipe, but bear in mind it is very thick and gooey (and a bit difficult to apply) so you will need to add aloe vera gel, or rosewater or something to thin it out. Benefits for the skin include acne treatment, toning and firming the skin, feeding the skin with nutrients and preventing wrinkles. Sounds good, no?
I mix equal amounts of both molasses and honey and leave on the skin for about an hour. You can do 10 minutes of you are short on time, it still will give you benefits!

Green Life In Dublin
DIY manuka honey and turmeric mask

Whaaat? This staining spice, I hear you cry!? Yes, and yes! Please hear me out. Turmeric is actually a very good thing for your skin, and I have come to love skincare products with turmeric in it, so why not to boost it a bit further and use turmeric in a face mask? As we all know, turmeric is a powerhouse when it comes to your health, and that extends to the skin, benefits include: antibacterial and anti-aging action, brightening of the skin and lightening of pigmentation, improving skin's elasticity, healing acne and scars just to name a few.
Again, use the same way as described previously, half a teaspoon of honey and a pinch of turmeric, either grate fresh or use dried. Keep for 20mins and then rinse off. If you fear about stained skin, I have just the tip for you - you can easily remove it with yogurt! If you are dairy free like me, fear not too, use toner or rosewater. I haven't had any issues with staining using those. If you are still worried, I suggest trying this mask on your day off when you don't plan to leave the house, but you will be fine, trust me!

Side note - let's not forget that you can also wash your face with honey, so if you want, you can also try that. I personally found it too messy, and as I have some fabulous face cleansers at the moment, I kind of left it off. However, never the one to give up on the good stuff, I shall try again, once I will finish all those products I currently own.

My idea for all of these DIY masks came when I started perusing the ingredients of all these wonderful masks in the green beauty world, they all tend to be either honey based or clay based (with some fabulous add-in ingredients) and after a while you start wondering whether those fabulous results they promise come from those add in ingredients or from base of honey? Add my uber sensitivity to the mix, and if I get a reaction to the 95€ mask and I have had zero irritations from my own DIYs, it kind of makes it a no brainer to DIY, isn't it? And I promise you, the results rival the shop bought masks. And you can feel good about it, because you know exactly what you are putting on your skin AND saving yourself big bucks!

So there you go, ten twelve fourteen honey mask ideas for you. And I've got one more - you can also mix coconut oil with honey for face masking providing it does not break out your skin! That is a mask from one well know truly natural skincare brand, I am not making this up! You can use any other facial oil too, my favourite is rosehip. You probably have at least some of these ingredients in your kitchen cupboards already, so why not give it a go? on your marks, ready, set, go!

Happy masking my lovelies.

Don't forget to leave your thoughts about the recipes and masking experience in the comments below.

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Lots of Love,

Green Life In Dublin

Want to check out my skincare reviews? Click here. Interested in make up reviews? Click here. All my body care and hair care reviews live in this post. Diy inclined? Even if not, you might enjoy my super-simple-minimal-ingredients-DIYs here. You are welcome. 

and my independent research from various other sources.

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