max and me’s
This month, it was difficult for me to focus on just one ingredient because I love both the raw Manuka honey and helichrysum, two of the superpower ingredients used to make this month’s Discovery so unique. As we take the time to better understand the benefits of using ingredients directly from nature, the more we’ll want to use them in every product we ever put on our skin.
Both Manuka honey and helichrysum have been well-loved for centuries for their benefits both on the skin and internally. It baffles me because we don’t use them as much in our culture today.
Raw Manuka Honey
If I had to use just one ingredient on my skin for the rest of my life, it would be honey. And while there are all types of honey, Manuka honey has got to the be the most remarkable—not only is it a precious and scarce ingredient, but its biological makeup and unique anti-bacterial benefits are one-of-a-kind. Manuka honey comes from bees that pollinate the Manuka bush, which exists in New Zealand, and blooms only 2-6 weeks out of the year! All honey has anti-bacterial properties, and Manuka honey has high levels of hydrogen peroxide, along with its own unique antibacterial properties from methylglyoxal and dihydroxyacetone (DHA). Manuka honey has been used to treat symptoms of everything from ulcers to staph infections, sore throats and acne. Specifically, on the skin, Manuka honey is rich with natural enzymes, minerals and bioflavonoids that can support natural cell turnover, brighten the appearance of skin and soothe the feeling of inflammation and breakouts. Honey is also a natural humectant, meaning it draws moisture towards the skin.
Because Manuka honey is so rare, precious and expensive, it is important that Manuka honey is purchased from a verified, reputable source to ensure its authenticity. Luckily, there are several identifying components of Manuka honey, which make it relatively easy to verify. I love this viscous, dark brown honey in skincare, but it’s also wonderful in the kitchen and in the medicine cabinet. Manuka honey comes rated with a UMF (Unique Manuka Factor), which bestows a quality trademark upon Manuka honey to inform the public of its benefits and grade it on its therapeutic value. As a rule of thumb when buying Manuka honey, look for the UMF factor rating (typically on the front of the jar). If you’re asking me, Manuka honey is one of the most luxurious gifts nature has offered us. Max and Tanja source the Manuka honey used in the Mask & Wash from New Zealand.
Helichrysum Italicum (Immortelle)
Another superpower ingredient in skincare is helichrysum italicum, which also goes by the name immortelle. I was first introduced to this powerful ingredient by a traditional healer in South Africa, who had the bright, beautiful flowers growing outside of his treatment room. Last summer, I remember Tanja telling me about the high-vibration source of “immortelle” they had found while she and Max were in Corsica.
Helichrysum, like Manuka honey has been used for centuries internally to treat respiratory issues, candida and indigestion. It has also been used topically to support wound healing and inflammation. Helichrysum has been studied extensively because it has so many benefits on the skin—topically and internally—with unique antioxidants that specifically benefit inflammation. It has been described as acting like a natural steroid. Helichrysum has a high level of specific diketones that can help reduce the appearance of skin discoloration and age spots. With all of its benefits, helichrysum is one of the ingredients I look for in my own personal skincare, and in fact, I was overjoyed when I learned that Tanja included Helichrysum in her newest creation, The Intuitive, a floral mist and toner, this month’s Beauty Discovery sidekick.
Max and Tanja formulate their line exclusively with high-vibration ingredients. If you want to learn more about max and me, and the benefits of high vibration ingredients, I highly recommend watching our Master Class where they teach us more about their unique process.