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ASK THE EXPERT: WHAT IS MANUKA HONEY (AND WHY WOULD I PUT IT ON MY FACE?)

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In part two of Natural Week here on the blog- I am answering another reader question: 'What is all this buzz about honey in beauty products? And have you ever put honey on your face?' -Kristin

Oooh this is such a great question and I am so excited to delve into it with you. Honey has been getting a lot of press lately, and for good reason. It's anti-bacterial qualities are great for acne sufferers, and it's natural sugars are amazing at drawing moisture into your skin. Not to mention it is great for healing burns and minor cuts. Cool right!?!

Honey has been a natural remedy for centuries and its' healing properties are no myth. As of late, top beauty brands including the French luxury brand Guerlain has been harvesting the power of the bee and bringing it home to your bathroom. They even bought their own ISLAND where a rare bee is indigenous, so that they can source the honey themselves and maintain the integrity of the species. I have tried a sample of their Royale, and oh man... wish I could afford the whole bottle!

And while these luxury creams, venoms (yes venoms! dubbed natures' botox) and masks all deliver the amazing results of the bees super-honey... There is another way to introduce this stuff into your beauty routine for a little less money:

Manuka honey is a raw form of honey, that comes from New Zealand. It hasn't been pasteurized or preserved, and can be eaten of course, but it is also an amazing facial mask. I have been indulging in a twice-weekly mask for the last few months for my research on this post- and I have been converted, to say the least.

Not all honey is created equally, so before you go squeezing that honey bear bottle from your pantry on your face- be sure you know the difference. There are ratings on the bottles that say something like +10, +20 etc. Those ratings stand for the amount of anti-bacterial qualities that particular batch contains (which is based on how and where is was harvested) The higher the number, the more potent the formula... and the more expensive. I use 24+ so I am getting some pretty serious action, but remember I am fighting acne.

Smearing sticky honey all over your face is weird. I totally get that. But just about everything I do in my beauty routine these days is a little wacky...comes with the job. But here is the great part- my acne has subsided, my redness is tamed, and I can feel my face draw in the moisture in my products deeper than before.

By wearing this sweet mask on your face two times per week for about 20 minutes, you give your skin a fighting chance against bacteria, inflammation, and dullness. After your rinse the honey off- apply your night creams and feel in amazement the 'sucking' action your skin now has, to draw in the moisture from your products. It's remarkable, and I love it! It goes on THICK but as it warms against your skin it moves around quite nicely, and be sure to pull your hair back in a headband to avoid a sticky situation :)

You can pick up this honey at your local natural market but I have had better luck with variety online. I've compiled my favorites below, as well as some of the luxury bee products from above. If you give any of those a chance, please let me know!

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