My fascination with the New Zealand started way back in 2002 during my all-girls sleepaway camp days. All of the hot male counselors at Camp Mataponi came from New Zealand, and We all thought it was freaking adorable that they were called “kiwis” and that their country had more sheep than people. My best friend Lauren and I were so in love with them that we wrote two song-and-dance routines in their honor (called: “Maintenence Men” and “Waterskiing Guys”) and performed them for the entire camp. It was definitely more creepy than it was cute (we were like, 14.), but it was a true ode to all of the amazing things New Zealand had given us (aka our sexual awakenings).
A decade later, New Zealand has re-entered my life in a much less pervy way: Via its beauty products.
Contrary to what pre-pubescent me would have said, New Zealand has a lot more to offer than just hot guys with dreamy accents. The island nation is the birthplace of “Manuka honey,” which is slated to be one of the biggest skincare trends of 2017.
“We have always known about the antibacterial and hydrating properties of honey for the skin but we are going to be seeing different grades of honey with varying touted benefits,” says dermatologist Dr. Dana Stern. “For example, Manuka honey, which comes from the flowers of the Manuka shrub in New Zealand has shown to have antioxidant properties in addition to the usual humectant and antibacterial.”
Basically, Manuka Honey is a zillion times better than regular honey, and you should be using it all the damn time. Here are three easy ways to add it into your beauty routine (you only have to buy one jar!).
Manuka Honey, $29.99, Shoppri.com
1. As A Soap/Hand Cream
Manuka honey is an ingredient in all kinds of fancy hand creams (like this one from Shea Moisture) but can also be used on its own for some seriously hydrating effects. Plus, it’s a natural antibacterial, so you don’t have to double up with hand soap or Purel.
2. As A Face Mask
Rub it on your skin, wait 20 minutes and rinse. It’s sticky AF, but also tastes really good (Whenever I use it as a mask I purposely let it get on my lips and lick it off. Judge me.).
3. As A Food
As it turns out, my licking-the-mask-off-of-my-face habit is totally fine. Raw Manuka honey is a powerful digestive aid, and consuming it can help with allergies and immune system defense. For best results, eat 2-3 spoonfuls every day 30-minutes before meals.