I’ve gotten a bit of acne lately. They are the red under the skin bump type so I feel like most acne solutions/masks won’t work. Besides, those tend to be a bit drying so I decided to pull out my honey sheet masks. Honey is a natural humectant, which means it attract moisture from the air into the skin to help with hydration. It is also full of anti-oxidants so it helps to fight environmental stress and signs of aging. And it is also anti-bacterial/microbial, which help promote healing and is great for acne sufferers.
Raw honey also contain enzymes, which helps to clarify and purify the skin. Normal honey from your grocery store has been processed so the enzyme and more than half of the good stuff from raw honey are gone. It’s like the difference between a burger from McDonald and a burger made from organic beef by the farmer that day, which do you think give you more nutrients? There is another category of honey that has been gaining much popularity lately — Manuka honey. I had normal honey and raw honey before, and recently brought my first (and last) jar of manuka honey to see what it’s about. It’s creamy like raw honey and have a slightly medicinal taste rather than sugary sweetness like processed honey. In terms of using it as a face mask, I honestly can’t tell the difference between manuka honey and a nice jar of organic raw honey. After I brought it, I delved deeper trying to learn more about the benefits…. and found somethin I do not like. *Takes out my little soap box*
Manuka honey have much stronger anti-microbial and anti-bacterial property than normal honey and can be used to treat scrapes/cuts. HOWEVER! Because it is so rare (only from certain plants in New Zealand) and so popular, 80% of “Manuka honey” circulating over the world are fake. The competition is so fierce that bee keepers sometimes sabotage each other by burning down the hives or poisoning the bees (one of many articles you can find). If you want to use it for medicinal purpose, topically or orally, fine. If you are just using it as face mask or sweetner, then I would definitely encourage using normal raw honey instead. I will not be buying manuka honey again, not only because it’s like $50 a jar compare to $10 a jar of normal raw honey, but I do not and will not support harassing/killing animals unecessarily. I actually am not fond of bees, I eat meat and have no problem with hunters who try to kill painlessly and uses every part of animal. However, poisoning bees just for a fancier sweetner….no. *Puts away soap box*
Royal jelly is a bit different but I grouped it in here since it also came from honey bees. While honey is made by and for the worker bees, royal jelly is only food that the queen bee consumes. It is more nutritious than honey when consumed, but skincare-wise I can’t find any article with supportive evidence that it is better than honey (there’s also propolis but it’s not as commonly used in skincare so I’m skipping it).
Skin Type: Any skin type can use it. It is especially good for dry skin, aging skin or acne prone skin (but make sure you are not allergic).
Purpose: It is moisturizing since it is a humectant, anti-aging since it contain antioxidants, clarifying/purifying due to enzyme and it have anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties. HOWEVER, those are benefits from pure raw honey, manuka honey or royal jelly. The sheet masks I’m reviewing only claims to moisturize, soften and strengthen the skin.
Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Mask, Manuka Honey
My take: The mask is a thin and sturdy translucent sheet. As soon as I open the packet there is a strong sweet scent, but it is not as noticeable once you put it on the face. The essence is of a toners/water consistency. It feels nice on the skin and after taking it off, my acne and irritated skin feel soothed. They are not as painful or itchy as before. There isn’t a lot of liquid left in the packet so I was able to massage all of it onto the skin after taking the mask off. Skin feel just a tab greasy/sticky, it is honey after all. But it was not stuffy and it does sink in after an hour or so.
THEFACESHOP Real Nature Mask, Honey
My take: It have a strong sweet scent like concentrated honey. Unfortunately the scent stayed with me the whole time it was on my face (does that mean this have a higher concentration of honey?). The sheet is thin and sturdy with the essence being a liquidy toner consistency. It did soothe my acne but did nothing for redness. It did feel a bit greasy and sticky when I massaged on the leftover essence. I don’t think I will buy again since it feels like putting your nose up against a jar of honey, in which case I might as well just go and use some real honey as mask.
Etude House Essential Mask Sheet, Royal Jelly
My take: Ahh, this mask have the most honey like scent of them all! It is the same thin but sturdy sheet as other Etude House masks. When applied, there is a cool tingling sensation on the skin. The mask dries faster than others, probably because the sheet doesn’t hold much liquid, but there’s plenty of liquid in the packet you can rub onto the skin. While it was hydrating, it didn’t do much for redness or acne. It is not sticky at all, unlike the other masks, but that’s probably because it have a bit more filler ingredients like silicone. I mean, it’s a great mask for $2, but ingredients-wise I would go with the other ones.
My take: The serum have a sweet honey scent. It is not as concentrated as the two honey masks, or maybe it’s because I’m used to it by now. The mask is a thin, sturdy and translucent sheet that adheres to the face well. The essence is liquidy and sinks in well. When I took the mask off, my skin feel hydrated, a little greasy but not sticky. I then proceed to pile on the left over serum from the packet and my face became sticky. However, the acne bump did feel a little smaller, albeit no less red.
Overall, I like Innisfree mask the best. The scent was not overwhelming, it soothed my acne and hydrated the skin well. With that said, I think I’d rather go buy a jar of raw honey and use that as a mask instead. It’s not as moisturizing as sheet masks but makes a bit more of a difference on pores and acne. If you have a real health problem and needs manuka honey, I would recommend doing your research about different ratings and standards and components first to make sure you are not wasting your money on fakes.