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Magic Manuka Balm

The story behind our Magic Manuka Balm

Exciting news here at Bee Sensual. We have a new and amazing product – Magic Manuka Balm!

How it came to be?

The owner of Kauri Cliffs wanted to meet with me last year to develop a range of manuka products for their spa. He had used manuka honey with great success on a wound on his leg and is now a firm believer in it’s amazing properties.

I played around with ratios of honey to my organic balm and eventually settled on the perfect blend – 15% 10+ manuka honey with organic beeswax, organic almond oil and vitamin e oil.

He loved it and when I trialled it on myself it left my skin feeling AMAZINGLY soft and hydrated. I fell in love. Since it has such a high manuka content I decided it must be good for all sorts of things and I set to work testing my theory. Not long thereafter I fell off my bicycle and grazed my elbow well and truly on rough tar (long and not so lady-like story) – great testing opportunity!

manuka-magic-balm-bee-sensual-nz

1) 30 September 15 – 2) 11 October 15 – 3) 04 May 16

I know, elbows aren’t that sexy, but hey we’re all about self love here, and these pictures really show you the amazingness of what the balm did. The balm is literally all I ever used on it. I taped it up every morning and evening with a gauze and a good helping of the balm and it never scabbed, dried up or got infected! I was sold.

magic-manuka-balm-bee-sensualI’ve used it on pimples with great success and one of my friends loves using it as a deeply nourishing cleansing mask. It tastes amazing too (I know from making it), but I didn’t say that 😉 I also recently heard it did great things for someone’s eczema. So I’m looking forward to more stories!

Basically the balm is wonderful for pimples, scars, wounds, rashes, eczema, massage and pretty much anything else. If you would like to read more about our magic manuka honey collected by our bees from the many stands of native bush in the beautiful Far North, head over to our Ingredients page.

To purchase – head over to our shop 🙂

The bees know it’s spring…manuka is flowering

The bees know that it’s spring…

While us humans think that it is still winter, wet, windy and cold, the bees have other ideas! They are starting to build up their populations in anticipation of the first bloom of spring.

And for us here in the Far North the first bloom of the season comes in the form of manuka. Manuka honey has some delicious and unusual properties. First up, it is really difficult to extract or spin out of the comb. Once the bees collect the nectar and store it in the comb, the honey sets like jelly and will not cooperate with traditional honey extraction methods. A clever device has been developed which is known as a pricker; this device has thousands of plastic needles that extend into the comb to agitate each cell of manuka honey, break the surface tension and loosen it, ready to be spun out in the traditional manner (We’ll share pics when it’s being extracted).

manuka-flower-nz-northland

Manuka honey also has well known and documented anti-bacterial properties. This has been great for beekeepers, as the unique properties of the honey have driven demand up from all over the world and hence the price beekeepers receive per kilogram. The flip side of the high prices has seen many cowboys enter the industry, and the etiquette that once governed where hives were placed is harder to find. Our theory is to make the health and well-being of our bees number one, create wonderful relationships with our landowners, and see the silver linings 🙂

So for now our Bee Sensual hives are healthy with booming populations of bees and are sitting in sunny apiary sites with the beautiful manuka flowers starting to bloom en masse a short flight away! The season is off to a good start, now it is up the weather gods!

bee-sensual-bees-spring

Aroha,

Harlan and the bees x

 

Winter skin care…are you listening to what your skin wants?

Winter. It’s in full swing up here in the Far North of NZ (quite mild so far). With it comes the cold, the rain and sometimes the dry cold. I don’t know about you, but when that dry cold hits, the skin on my body wants to drink up my Body Butter, my hands get drier than normal and my face only wants Night Cream and lots of Gel Toner (day and night). When it comes to winter skin care, listen to what your skin’s wanting, and adjust accordingly.

There are some tips that may be useful for most of us when it comes to winter skin care:

  • Using a gentle, creamy cleanser that nourishes instead of strips your skin.
  • A little extra hand love in the form of Hand Cream.
  • Lips often get quite dry when it’s cold, so the odd application of an all-natural, protecting Lip Balm can work wonders.
  • A simple and easy face mask that not only gently removes dead skin cells, but is deeply moisturising and healing – honey (ideally manuka, but any honey is great).

winter-roast-vegetables-quiet-time

Winter isn’t only cold, rain and dry cold, however. It’s also time for cosiness, fires (if you have one), cuddling under woolly blankets, reading in your pyjamas, nourishing soups, root vegetables done a million ways and permission for a little more time…self time. I find that with the sun setting so early I seek out a little more time for things that are just for me…reading, pulling out the pencils and being creative, or listening to inspirational talks while I explore my sewing box. When I do things just for me, I feel like I’m allowing a bit more self-love to flow, which I’m working on getting better at.

I never used to like winters, but recently I’ve come to embrace them in a way I always have the other seasons. Maybe it’s something to do with the bees, and being beekeepers? I adore summer and the sun and more time outdoors in nature, but in winter there’s a certain quiet and calm because the bees pretty much go into ‘hibernation’…they don’t need as much attention, and so everything at Bee Sensual slows down a little, even time…

I also cherish those clear sunny winter days, there is something truly magical about them for me!

What are your winter skin care tips and how do you give yourself a little extra ‘me-time’?

 

DIY Chocolate Face Mask – 100% edible!

organic yogurt, raw honey, manuka

3 ingredients from your kitchen: cocoa powder, raw honey and yoghurt

A DIY chocolate Face Mask to try at home 🙂

For an exfoliating, regenerating and delicious chocolaty treat for your skin, all you need is equal amounts of 3 common ingredients from your kitchen:

  • a cup/container of your choice
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder (I use Trade Aid’s Fair Trade organic) – high in antioxidants and wonderful for skin renewal
  • 1 tsp raw honey (I use our own manuka of course) – exfoliating, hydrating, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and regenerating
  • 1 tsp yoghurt (one of my favs is this BioFarm organic – plain) – not only rich in nutrients (such as zinc, calcium and b vitamins), but also high in lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid amazing for exfoliating and making your skin feel soft and refreshed

You can of course make larger quantities and store it in the fridge for a few days. Mine doesn’t ever make it to storage because it’s too delicious as an afternoon (or morning snack)!

DIY chocolate face mask

Organic cocoa powder, raw honey, organic yoghurt = delicious chocolate face mask (100% edible)

Mix together and then gently apply to your face – a lovely soft make-up brush would be ideal here. In circular motions I then lightly massage the chocolaty goodness into my skin to make sure that it deals to old skin cells and cleans out my pores. After about 10-15 minutes when it gets tacky to touch I rinse my face with warm water and then lovingly apply Rejuvenating Oil. My skin feels so soft and nourished afterwards!

I’m quite glad my tongue is not too long, because although so tasty it would be pretty gross to lick it all off after exfoliating 😉

DIY cocoa face mask

YUM!!!

It’s so quick and easy – please give it a go and tell me how you find it. Remember as always to be kind to your beautiful face, thank it for everything and smile 🙂

Also, please let me know: what’s the yummiest face mask you’ve ever made?

Turmeric sunshine on my face!

topical turmeric treatmentA DIY Turmeric Face Mask:

I look a little funny
My face is kinda sunny
 This mask is pretty runny
Yum! That must be the honey…

I’m a firm believer in turmeric’s amazing healing abilities when taken internally, especially for its incredible anti-inflammatory effects on the gut. That is a story for another time though.

A while ago I went hunting for a DIY face scrub to help with pigmentation and came across a recipe with turmeric powder in it. One of my favourite pastimes is researching, so I took the opportunity to read more about the topical use of turmeric and of course create a mask for myself.

All you need is 3 basic kitchen ingredients (with the option of sandalwood powder if you have or otherwise almond meal is perfect):

  • DIY turmeric mask1 tsp turmeric powder (I like to use organic)
  • 1 tsp plain yoghurt
  • 1 Tbsp honey (raw of course, and luckily in NZ a lot of the honey is)
  • Optional – 1 tsp sandalwood powder or almond meal

Mix the ingredients together in a clean container until you have a smooth consistency and then gently and lovingly massage your face with it. Turmeric of course stains everything, so please be careful of your clothes and favourite tea towels etc. ‘Will my face stain yellow?’ you may well ask. It must be the combination of goodies, but no it shouldn’t. Mine doesn’t anyway 😉

Leave it on for at least 10 minutes while you do something nice for yourself, like relax with a magazine or soothing cup of tea. The first time I did it I ended up listening to an inspiring talk on managing our beliefs around health and 30 minutes later I rinsed it off with warm water. My skin felt amazing!

Turmeric process

The mask’s benefits

Some of turmeric’s many properties are anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, which is why it is incredible for treating acne and pimples. It also regulates sebum production and therefore is a wonderful skin balancer if your skin is too oily/dry.

Yoghurt has high-levels of lactic acid, which means it gently exfoliates and hydrates. It is also very soothing and being high in zinc is healing for all number of skin conditions.

Honey, well honey is magic 🙂 And besides it makes the mask taste delicious and clean up is a treat 😉 Read more about it here.

Almond meal is a rich in essential fatty acids and vitamins, so while it gently exfoliates it is giving back nutrients and moisture to the skin.

Most importantly, create and apply with cupfuls of self-love and gratitude. I would love to hear how you enjoy this, and if you’re brave enough to share some yellow sun-face pictures here or on our facebook that would be great 🙂