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Manuka Honey Is The Ultimate Beauty Find

From a beauty standpoint, manuka honey is definitely one of the best natural beauty products there is.

Beauty & Fashion

In case you ever end up being a contestant on Jeopardy and there's a category that's devoted to nothing but honey, there are some things you should know. Honey has been hailed as being a sweet form of medicine and a powerful energy booster, ever since the beginning of time.

In order to make a pound of honey, bees must get nectar from over two million flowers. Each bee? It only makes one-twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime. It's also reportedly the only kind of food that doesn't come with an expiration date. Not only that but honey is the only food that's produced by insects, and it's the only food that produces pinocembrin (an antibiotic that improves how your brain functions). Some of honey's health benefits include its ability to lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels and relieve coughing.

Yeah, honey is all kinds of dope. So, the next time you go to the store to pick up a jar of honey, get two. One for eating (local raw honey is best) and another for medicinal and beauty purposes. Which one is best for that? Manuka honey. Due to all of the antibacterial properties that this kind of honey has, it's great at quickly healing wounds, fighting tooth decay and healing a sore throat. Some studies reveal that manuka honey is even great at treating symptoms related to cystic fibrosis.

From a beauty standpoint, I've got 10 solid reasons why—although it's a little bit on the pricey side—manuka honey is definitely one of the best natural beauty products there is. (For the record, raw honey works well too. I'm going with manuka honey because it's the 2.0 of all honey types.)

1. Skin Moisturizer

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Because honey has such a low pH balance to it, it's got the ability to remove all sorts of bacteria from your skin. As far as manuka honey is concerned, the high amount of antioxidants that's in it helps to nourish your skin. Although this kind of honey is powerful, it's also gentle enough to use on sensitive skin. If you use it on your face, after a week's time, your skin's texture will become noticeably smoother, all without clogging your pores in the process.

Some women simply apply a layer of manuka honey onto their clean damp skin, let it sit for five minutes and then rinse it off (then follow that up with adding a little sweet almond oil to their face before turning in every night). Or, if you'd prefer to make some DIY manuka body butter, click here to learn how.

2. Exfoliant

Something else that honey contains are amino acids which is why it's so good for your skin. Manuka honey is especially beneficial because it's a type of honey that contains a powerful antibacterial property known as methylglyoxal. The combination of the acids and methylglyoxal is what makes this honey an effective-yet-gentle type of exfoliant.

One way to get the most out of manuka honey is to make an exfoliating face mask. All you need to do is combine half of a mashed ripe banana with two tablespoons of manuka honey and half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon (you can also swap out the cinnamon for a teaspoon of baking soda if you'd like; it's also a really good exfoliant). Mix everything together, apply it to your clean and damp face and let it sit for 15 minutes. Then rinse, first with warm water and then cool in order to seal your pores.

3. Acne Treatment

On average, our body is made up of five million pores with 20,000 of them on our face. Each pore contains a follicle that has a hair and sebum (naturally-produced oil) in it. Too much oil, dead skin and/or bacteria in your pores can lead to an inflamed bump because the inflammation prevents the bacteria from escaping. Manuka honey is able to remove the bacteria and even slow down the pH balance surrounding your zits so that the healing process of your bumps speeds up.

All you need to do is mix a tablespoon of manuka honey with a couple of drops of fresh lemon juice (it is an astringent that can help to prevent acne scars) and five drops of lavender essential oil (it removes bacteria while soothing your skin).

Bonus Tip: Manuka honey is a fabulous eczema remedy too. There are many clinical studies to support the fact that it brings instant relief to dry, cracked and oozing skin. If you want to DIY some eczema cream, Dr. Axe has a cool recipe that's easy to make.

4. Acne Scar Fader

Technically, pimples are inflamed lesions that turn into wounds once you pop them (which is why putting stuff like toothpaste on them really isn't the best idea). Wounds are torn skin tissue that eventually turns into a scab and, usually a scar after that. An acne scar specifically happens when our body produces too much collagen in the effort to heal the wound; this leads to raised skin and discoloration.

If you apply a dab of manuka honey and sweet almond oil directly onto your acne scars, the properties in the honey will soften the scar tissue and even out your skin tone. The key is to apply the solution daily in order to get maximum results.

5. Dark Eye Circle Lightener

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There are alot of things that can lead to dark circles underneath your eyes—heredity, stress, allergies, sleep deprivation, too much sodium in your diet, excessive sun exposure and aging. Thanks to both the anti-inflammatory and bleaching properties in manuka honey, by applying a thin layer of it underneath your eyes (and letting it sit for 10 minutes or so before gently rinsing it off), it will increase blood circulation and boost collagen levels in that area. With this, you should start to see noticeable results in around 72 hours.

6. Hair Conditioner

Another awesome thing about honey is that it is a humectant (it pulls humidity from the air). This is a good thing to know if your hair is naturally dry. The high amounts of antioxidants and nutrients in manuka honey makes it the kind of ingredient that not only softens your hair but strengthens your hair follicles too.

If you'd like to give your locks a bit of a protein treatment while also keeping your tresses soft, combine three tablespoons of manuka honey with two tablespoons of avocado oil and one tablespoon of olive oil. Put everything into a microwave-safe bowl, use a whisk to make sure all of the ingredients are well-blended. Then zap the mixture in the microwave for 10 seconds and apply it to your hair, right after you've shampooed it. Let the mixture sit for 25 minutes with a plastic cap on your head, then rinse thoroughly and style as usual.

7. Lip Soother

There are all sorts of things that cause chapped lips. Although dehydration is probably the most obvious, humidity, sun rays and licking your lips too much (partly due to the bacteria that's in your saliva) can do it too. Since manuka honey is scientifically-proven to speed up the wound healing process (so much in fact that it's FDA-approved to do so) and tissue regeneration, that's why it does such a wonderful job at soothing and healing your lips.

If you want to make your own lip balm (complete with lavender and coconut oil), click here for the instructions. (You can also click here to buy some empty lip balm containers and here to purchase some small tin jars, if you'd prefer.)

8. Razor Bump Remover

Have you ever wondered what exactly causes a razor bump, it's this—whenever we cut our body hair, sometimes it tries to curl back and enter into the same pore; this is what results in an ingrown hair. This, combined with the dead skill cells that we're constantly shedding, can create quite the nuisance. The antibacterial properties in manuka honey is able to reduce the inflammation that razor bumps cause and remove the dead skin cells that are clogging up your pores.

The best way to use manuka honey to treat your razor bumps is to apply a thin coat of the honey directly on the bumps. Let the honey sit for 10 minutes and then rinse the oil while lightly massaging the bumps in an upward, circular motion. You should notice results within a day or so.

9. Nail Strengthener

Something that a lot of people are not aware of is how good honey is for your nails. Again, since it's got so many antibacterial properties in it, honey can help to heal toe fungus. Plus, it's awesome when it comes to restoring cracked cuticles and, it can strengthen your nails over time too.

Mixing a teaspoon of manuka honey, olive oil and apple cider vinegar is all you need to do. Apply the combo to your nails and cuticles, let it remain them for 15 minutes and rinse. If you do this twice a week, your nails will start to heal and your hands will become super soft as well.

10. Sleep Agent

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Did you know that, according to a UCLA study on sleep deprivation, if you miss just one night of sound rest that it can age you? (Hey, that don't call it "beauty sleep" for nothin'!) That's why getting no less than seven hours of sleep is so important.

If you need a little help with, not only falling but staying asleep, don't turn in before swallowing one-half to one full teaspoon of honey (you can also put it into some caffeine-free herbal tea, if you'd prefer). What honey does is provide your liver with enough glycogen so that your brain is not "triggered" awake. In other words, honey literally gives you enough energy to stay sleeping. Plus, honey contains tryptophan; most of us know that it is an amino acid that is a powerful sleep aid too.

Yep, this is just one more reason to treat yourself and your beauty regimen to some manuka honey, just as soon as possible. I'm pretty sure you will absolutely love it—from head to toe.

Featured image by Getty Images

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Originally published June 25, 2019

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

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