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Healing Manuka Honey Face Mask

by | Last updated Sep 8, 2020 | Published on Mar 7, 2019 | Recipes

Have you ever tried a honey mask?  I have, after 5 minutes, all I can taste is honey on my lips as it melts and drips down my face.  The beauty bloggers don’t post that part.

That’s why this manuka honey face mask is amazing, the combined benefits of tea tree oil and manuka honey are given structure by the clay.  Plus the Kaolin clay is super gentle, exfoliating and detoxing for your skin.

This is one of my new favorite go to masks recipes when I want a twist for my Kaolin clay.  I actually use Kaolin clay everyday as a pre-cleanser in my evening routine.  It’s gentle enough that you can use it on all skin types, even everyday.

After using the Manuka honey face mask, I’m hooked with this new fusion.  My skin was so moisturized and it nicely healed up a breakout I was having and I had glowing skin even a couple days later.  This manuka honey mask is great for anyone who:

  • Has dry or sensitive skin
  • Has acne or blemishes
  • Has uneven skin tone
  • Needs a deep clean of their skin for ideal skin health

So I’ve jumped on the Manuka honey bandwagon.  Manuka Honey has been touted as an amazing healing clay, without a ton of mainstream research to back up the claim. But there have been some pretty amazing results for this healing clay and a whole cult following.  I do mix regular honey in my face masks, in my opinion, the results were way better 3 days later with this mask recipe.

Keep reading for way more information on Manuka Honey, Tea Tree Oil, Kaolin clay.  Plus how to mix and apply this clay face mask.

Healing Manuka Honey Face Mask 1

Inspired by Freeman Clay Face Mask, a super affordable line of clay mask products.  Our facial clay masks are also very affordable and work out to less than .80 cents a mask, plus they are 100% natural.   This face mask claims to have Manuka Honey with tea tree oil in a spunky yellow packaging.  You would think Freeman Manuka Honey Clay Face Mask would be yellow, but it’s actually white.  

From the list of ingredients below, I don’t even see Manuka honey listed?!?  Or tea tree oil!?! Tea tree oil would be called “Melaleuca alternifolia”.   This is marketing at it’s best, the cocamidopropyl might be what gives it it’s “honey like” feeling.  Am I missing something???

Water/Aqua/Eau, Bentonite, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Titanium Dioxide, Pumice, Propylene Glycol, Vinegar (Apple Cider), Kaolin, Xanthan Gum, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Disodium Edta, Citric Acid, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Fragrance/Parfum, Hexyl Cinnam-Aldehyde, Yellow 6 (Ci 15985), Red 40 (Ci 16035)

Not to mention a a couple of the nasties in the ingredient list that just aren’t good for you:

  • Methylcloroisothiaxolinone and Methylisothiazolinone is a common preservation found in health care products but has been linked to lung toxicity, allergic reactions (which some reviews comment from this mask), and possible neurotoxicity. (Safecosmetics.org)

Avoiding products that have chemical ingredients like above can be the best way to stay clear of those chemicals.  My rule of thumb?  Can I pronounce the ingredients?

This face mask used Bentonite Clay, we decided to go with a calming face mask so we used Kaolin clay in this recipe.  But you can try out this recipe with all types of clay with our 4 pack of facial clay assortment pack.

Holdup, I don’t apply anything to my skin without understanding what it does for my skin. So first let’s go through why to use Manuka Honey.

Healing Manuka Honey Face Mask 4

What is Manuka Honey?

All honey’s are not created the same.  There’s regular honey, organic honey, alfalfa, clover, golden, buckwheat, manuka honey and more than 300 types of honey available.  The main difference, is the floral source that is pollinated by the bees. 

Manuka honey is harvested in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the manuka bush. It has differentiated itself from the many other varieties of honey by its healing properties.  But it’s still sweet, and delicious! 

Manuka Tree Bush | What is Manuka Honey

Manuka Honey Benefits for your Skin:

There are not a lot of research that can prove the efficacy of manuka honey as a skincare treatment, but there are studies that prove it’s anti-bacterial ability.  Further studies are required to take healing honey’s from an “alternative” healing medicine to mainstream.  Some of the benefits are:

  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Balance PH
  • Hydrating

Keep reading for more details on why these factors matter for your skin.


Most honey naturally produces hydrogen peroxide when glucose oxidase (produced by the honey bee) reacts with sugar and water.  As you probably know, hydrogen peroxide is a mild antiseptic.  This is a large part of why honey is such a popular beauty ingredient for so many skin care products.  Take a saunter down the skincare section at sephora to see for yourself.  My favorite natural honey product is Burt’s Bee’s.

Manuka Honey contains very little natural hydrogen peroxide. Instead it contains methyl glyoxal (MGO’s) which is responsible for its antibacterial activity. Even some antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Clogged pores, stress, or oily skin can be the main causes of acne. When acne bacteria (yes that’s an actual thing) gets trapped in your skin, pimples can be the result.  With high concentrations of MGO’s in some manuka honey, this can help remove that bacteria from your skin to prevent breakouts.

It’s selective ability to target bacteria has been found to be responsible to stimulate healing and reduce scarring when applied to wounds.  An example of it’s antibacterial healing capabilities comes from a German Children’s hospital.  A 12 year patient with cancer, waiting to receive chemo, was isolated due to an infection on the skin.  During isolation a local antiseptic was applied to the skin for 10 days with no results.  The doctors then applied a healing honey to the skin and the infection was gone in 2 days.  Healing wounds with honey dates back to the ancient Egyptian and Greek era’s.


Honey contains Phenolics, which acts as an anti-oxidant.  Anti-oxidants can help reduce an overabundance of inflammation in your body.  Think, huge acne volcano inflammation in the middle of your forehead.  Redness and inflammation on your face go hand in hand.

Manuka honey can help reduce inflammation on your skin, which will balance out redness and acne blemishes.  This gives you a much more balances complexion.

Reduction of inflammation is one of the main reasons that people will take manuka honey internally.  I like to drink 1 teaspoon of manuka honey mixed with 1.5 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to balance out my body acidity.

Balance Skin PH for faster healing

If you have read our other face mask recipes, you will probably has noticed that we often talk about PH.  If the PH of your skin is off balance, this can be the cause for acne, oily or dry skin.

The optimal PH level of your skin is approx 5.5, or between the range of 4.5 – 6.5.  If you skin is too acidic, below 5.5, this can cause excess oil production. Likewise if you skin is too alkaline, above 5.5 it can cause dryness.

Honey, has a low PH level, mean of 4.4, and has been shown to be more effective with other lowel PH level products.  The freeman mask that we referenced above contains Bentonite as their main clay, which has an average PH of 8.7.  We chose to use Kaolin clay which has the lowest PH of clay’s, at 7.  This varies with different sources of clay.

Balancing the PH of your skin can lead to faster healing of redness or acne.

Adds a hydration factor to your clay mask

Clay masks are not hydrating masks and have a drying effect on your face.  This is why when using a dry clay mask, it’s important to remove the mask from your skin prior to it drying fully.

Because of the high sugar concentration in honey, it can have a moisturizing effect of the mask.  I enjoyed this mask on my skin for 20 minutes and it wasn’t dry yet.  I also didn’t add a moisturizer after using this clay mask as my skin already felt so wonderfully moisturized!



Can you use this Manuka Honey Face Mask everyday?

Yes! Both the main ingredients in this face mask are manuka honey and kaolin clay, which are both sensitive enough to be used everyday.  In fact I use Kaolin clay as a pre-cleanser every morning.  If you have dry skin, can be used everyday.  With oily skin, you will definitely enjoy this mask (as I did) but a bentonite and apple cider vinegar mask might be more effective.

How long should you leave Manuka Honey on your face?

Because of it’s moisturizing and hydrating properties, you can leave manuka honey on your face longer than you would a clay mask.  Feel free to leave it on your skin for approx 20 minutes.

Will Manuka Honey clog pores?

No, in fact it does the exact opposite. It’s kills acne-causing bacteria on your skin so that bacteria can no longer clog your pores.  When used in this recipe, the Kaolin Clay will also be working on pulling impurities from your pores and leaving minerals behind when the mask is removed.


Where to buy Manuka Honey?

I’m an Amazon die-hard.  I love my prime membership and how convenient it is to get anything delivered next day.  The Manuka honey on Amazon was pretty pricey.  This stuff does not go sweet on the wallet.

Healing Manuka Honey Face Mask 6

But did you notice the “UMF20+” after the Manuka Honey?  This is the concentration rating system of the honey, that indicates the concentration of the unique manuka honey attributes.  The UMF levels are:

  • Low Grade:  UMF5 to UMF9
  • Medium Grade:  UMF10 to UMF15
  • Superior High Grade:  UMF16+

The 250MGO indicates the MGO’s concentration.  The more compact the MGO’s, the more antibacterial and effective the honey is. So make sure to pay attention to this number.

It’s recommended for healing effectiveness of manuka honey that you purchase no less than UMF15 and 250MGO.  

Healing Manuka Honey Face Mask 7

What are the Benefits of Tea Tree Oil?

Tea Tree Oil, like Manuka Honey, has strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.  Making an acne-fighting essential oil.

The benefits of tea tree oil for your skin are:

  • Anti bacterial, natural fight bacteria to cleanse your skin
  • Anti inflammatory, reduce redness and balance complexion
  • Reduce the appearance of acne scars

Tea tree oil is actually a wonderful acne treatment that you can use daily in a tea tree oil facial cleanser or toner.

Please be careful when using essential oils.  The basic rule of thumb is to never apply undiluted to your skin.  They are very concentrated, and strong.  More is not always better, so for this mask recipe, make sure to only add 1 drop, it’s plenty!  

What are the Benefits of Kaolin Clay?

At facial clay masks, we are all about clay.  Kaolin clay is one of my favorites! That’s how it made it into our 4x multipack of clay.  Pure white, this clay alone will make you look ghost like.  But it has amazing healing properties, that are gentle enough for every skin type.

Just some of the benefits of Kaolin Clay are:

  • Cleansing deep into your pores
  • Gentle exfoliation
  • Reduces oily skin
  • Heals the skin and balances complexion
  • Circulation boosting

Get Kaolin Clay in our facial clay assortment pack.

Manuka Honey Face Mask Ingredients

The ingredients for this manuka honey mask are pretty simple.

Recipe Yield: 2 face masks

You will need:  

Equipment required:

  • 1 glass, wooden or plastic bowl (glass is preferred)
  • 1 plastic, or wooden spoon
  • 1 face mask brush (included in our facial clay assortment pack)

How to Mix Manuka Honey Face Mask

This recipe yields 2 face mask recipes, one for both Mr. Facial Clay Masks and I.

Step 1: Mix the 1 tsp of Manuka Honey with 1 tsp of water, rose water or witch hazel.  Stir until the honey completely dissolves in the liquid.

Do not skip this step and jump to mixing the honey and the clay together, it does not work that well. 

Manuka Honey Clay Face Mask Step 1

Step 2: Add the Kaolin Clay

Our facial clay assortment pack comes with 4 different types of clay, Bentonite Clay, Rhassoul Clay, French Green Clay and Kaolin Clay.  It’s the perfect introduction to clay, you can not only try this Kaolin clay mask but also our popular Bentonite and Apple Cider Vinegar recipe too.

The consistency of this mask was not super “thick”.  I wanted to keep a balance between honey to clay ratio.  The consistency was also not too thin, so it didn’t run at all.  If you are looking for a thicker paste consistency, add up to 3 tsp more of Kaolin Clay.

Healing Manuka Honey Face Mask 8

Step 3: Add 1 drop of tea tree oil and mix.  

Healing Manuka Honey Face Mask 9

If you make too much, you can store this in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, but no longer because it does contain water.  Water inhibits bacteria growth after a couple days without a proper preservative.

How to apply Manuka Honey Mask to your Face:

Before applying any mask to your skin, always make sure to cleanse your face.  I love get a hot face towel and let it sit for a couple seconds on my skin to open my pores. This is just one of the fundamentals we cover in our how to use a dry clay mask instructions

Because of the sticky honey factor, I would apply this face with a face mask brush.  Simply apply a medium layer to your face and upper neck.

Because the honey is a humectant, it will keep moist on your skin and take a bit longer than a clay and water mix to dry.  Leave on your skin for up to 20 minutes.  

Rinse from your skin with warm water and a face towel.  It was a bit sticky but not at all difficult to remove from the skin.

My skin was super smooth after this mask, I had a break out that just popped up the day I tried this mask and the difference by the next day was noticeable.

Tea Tree Oil Manuka Honey Kaolin Clay Face Mask

Manuka Honey Clay Face Mask

Healing Manuka Honey Face Mask

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

This is amazing for balancing skin complexion, deep pore cleaning and fighting acne. Moisturizing for all skin types.


  • 1 tsp manuka honey
  • 3.5 tsp kaolin clay
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1 drop tea tree essential oil


  1. Dissolve manuka honey into water
  2. Mix Kaolin clay into water/honey mixture
  3. Add 1 drop of tea tree oil
  4. Cleanse Face
  5. Apply to face for up to 20 minutes
  6. Wash and remove

Disclaimer: Our content does not constitute a dermatologist or medical advice.

Did you try this mask? I would love to hear how it worked for you! Leave a comment below.

P.S. Manuka honey has the same and more amazing benefits if taken internally.  I am on day 4 of doing a Manuka Honey and Apple Cider Vinegar cleanse.  Each morning I mix 1 tsp of honey with 1.5 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar 20 minutes before breakfast.  You can definitely feel this mix working it’s effects!

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