To be honest, I don’t know the answer to this. What I can do is just to share my experience and theory
My fascination with Manuka honey started when I had World of Organics’ signature Sheer Indulgence Facial with Manuka Honey Mask. I loved the experience so much — the massage and the post-facial glow — that I bought my first jar of Manuka honey the day after. It cost me a whopping s$124 but it was worth it because I drained it up to the very last sticky drop.
High UMF Might Just be Too Active
In one of my earlier posts, I mentioned how much I love manuka honey as a natural remedy to acne. Usually, the higher the UMF (Unique Manuka Factor), the faster it acts on pimples. I also cautioned, however, people with sensitive skin to be careful with types of Manuka honey with very high UMF, usually 20 and above. Why?
Whenever I used high UMF honey as mask or facial massage cream, I usually developed one (or as in the most recent case, more) big pimple or bump the day after. And it’s really ironic because the rest of my skin would be smooth and glowing due to the same manuka honey treatment! I’ve never known my skin to be sensitive as I used to be able to take harsh chemical peels without a problem. Except for my eyelid eczema, my skin rarely reacts to products.
I could not find any other articles which reported studies or similar experiences. My (hopefully near-intelligent) theory, however, is that since Manuka Honey is active, it can sometimes over-stimulate the skin and cause such reactions. It can trigger allergies just like any other ‘active’ ingredients like acids and certain essential oils. I also read that Manuka is very good in drawing out toxins from the skin and the body so it could also be possible that the big pimples are due to purging.
Don’t Fret, Just be Careful
Still, my experience with Manuka honey has been more on the positive side. I don’t think this post should shun away anybody from ever trying manuka honey. Just be careful and know the limits of your skin. Usually, if you need to do spot treatment for pimples, UMF24+ and above is most ideal as you need something potent. But if you just want to do a regular mask or facial massage, UMF 10+ is a safe value.
You can still use those with higher UMF values but it will depend a lot on the other ingredients you use and the ratio of manuka honey in the mixture. But until you’re really confident about mixing your own beauty recipes and are not afraid to risk having one or two pimples in the name of beauty experimentation, then I suggest better stay on the safe side for now.
Has anybody experienced similar reactions with DIY manuka honey beauty recipes before?
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