I’d just reached my fabulous thirties. Things were only going to get better, right? Well, just as I was starting to get my life together, things got a bit more complicated due to my underactive thyroid gland and over-active hormones. Yup, you guessed it―cystic acne had attacked my jawline. And the worst part or the best part―I couldn’t tell then―I got engaged. With my wedding only two months away, and with very little time for makeup trials, my excitement was mixed with dread.
I, like all brides, wanted nothing more than to look my best for the big day. Yes, I wanted my acne-ridden skin to glow! I needed a solution for acne fast. But how?
Everyone I spoke to thought they had an answer. A lot of people suggested tried-and-tested-but-failed-miserably methods from laser therapies to home-made remedies. Nothing would get me the results that I needed within a short period, and with the wedding rapidly approaching, I started to panic.
And that’s when I made my discovery.
After a relaxed visit to the Hot Water Beach in Coromandel with my fiancé, we stopped on the way back at Mossop’s Honey; a beautiful retail store and beekeeper on the Tauranga highway selling natural skincare products.
I immediately fell in love with all those gorgeous-looking remedies on neatly stacked shelves, and I tried hard not to let the desperation of finding a cure show on my face. The petite lady who ran the shop asked me what I was looking for. A miracle, I told her.
She spoke two words: Manuka Honey.
And that tasted sweet to my ears.
Let me tell you a little bit about the best kept secret to get rid of acne.
What is Manuka Honey?
Manuka honey is extracted from the bees that feed on the manuka plant, which is found in New Zealand. It is loaded with antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and is used to treat wounds and skin infections.
How is it different from regular honey?
Regular honey may be good for a sore throat or taste yummy on pancakes, but Manuka honey has a whole host of other sweet properties. It kills acne-causing bacteria on your skin without stripping it of its natural oils.
Each bottle is tested and given a Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) rating based on its antibacterial activity. The higher the UMF rating, the greater the antibacterial effects―just like the SPF number you see on sunscreens. If you have severe acne, go for a higher UMF.
Unfortunately, that day they did not have a bottle in store with a higher UMF, so I settled for UMF +10, which the lovely lady assured me would be more than enough to treat my acne.
After taking notes from her on how to apply the manuka honey mask, I said goodbye filled with newfound hope (and honey ice-cream).
Here’s how you use the Manuka honey face mask
Step 1 – Wash your face thoroughly with a mild face wash, and gently pat the skin dry with a clean, soft towel.
Step 2 – Take a dollop of honey and use your fingers to apply it all over the face and jawline (focusing more on the problem area).
Step 3 – Leave it to do its magic for a good 20 minutes.
Step 4 – Rinse it off with a splash of warm water.
Step 5 – Take a couple of ice cubes and run them all over your face and jawline for a couple of minutes. This helps shrink the open pores and reduce swelling.
Step 6 – Pat your skin dry and avoid using any night creams so your skin gets a chance to breathe.
If you have dry skin, you may want to add a little bit of yoghurt to the mask. If you are not a mask person, you can use it as a spot treatment or facial cleanser.
How it transformed my at-home skin care
I applied the mask every night and washed it off before I went to bed. Along with using the Manuka honey for acne treatment, I also focused on my gut health. I drank more water, went for long walks, ate fresh fruits, and stayed away from oily and greasy junk.
Days became weeks, and the wedding day was on the horizon.
I’ll be honest and tell you that 80% of my skin was clearer in less than two months! The acne scars on my cheeks had also faded significantly. The wedding was magical; I was a happy bride and my husband was even happier at sanity being restored.
Though my diet has slipped slightly (a little too much fried foods and sugar), I’ve continued to use Manuka honey on my face to work on the remaining 20% of my acne. It’s stubborn, but it’s starting to give in.
My two cents dipped in sweet nectar
As women, we have many battles to fight, and taking care of our skin is one of the hardest. No amount of serums, lotions, or peels will rescue us from the endless nuisance of overactive hormones reaping havoc in our bodies. We have to deal with them from within. Stay away from processed foods, eat healthily, and get some good night’s sleep.
To get rid of acne and acne scars, I’d say this is the best natural skincare treatment I’ve found―and with miraculous timing.