You put it in your tea, maybe drizzle some on toast—but did you know that honey can also be a standout topical skin care ingredient? Used for centuries for its skin-saving and wound-healing properties, it's a top-notch pick in the world of effective, natural ingredients, particularly when you're talking about manuka honey! A unique type with an even greater amount of benefits than other honey, it's a smart choice not only for certain cosmetic concerns but for more serious, skin health issues, too.
Why Manuka Honey is Different from Other Kinds of Honey
Its benefits range from antibacterial/anti-viral/anti-fungal, as well as an anti-inflammatory and a humectant. It aids in wound healing due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties; draws in moisture to the skin and can soothe irritated skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Anyone looking for hydrating and soothing benefits; manuka honey may also be beneficial for those with eczema and acne. Manuka honey works synergistically with other antibiotic ingredients, as well as other wound-healing ingredients. It works well when combined with other hydrating ingredients—such as shea butter and coconut oil—to moisturize the skin.
Therefore, when you are treating acne, these benefits all tie in to give you the ability to fight breakouts, keep them from returning, and heal any residual acne scarring!
Now, it’s important to note that not all types of honey are created equal (it's why if you go to the grocery store, you'll find a variety of different colored kinds of honey on the shelf, all with a slightly different flavor). Manuka honey is produced by honeybees that feed on the manuka tree in New Zealand. This is important because it's what gives manuka honey its most defining characteristic, namely its strong antibacterial properties. Most honey derives its antibacterial nature from hydrogen peroxide, but the manuka variety is unique in that it contains both hydrogen peroxide and another component called methylglyoxal.
The nectar of manuka flowers contains a large quantity of a substance called dihydroxyacetone, which is then converted into methylglyoxal. The higher the concentration of methylglyoxal, the more antibacterial the manuka honey is. There's even a rating scale known as the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) which measures the potency of the methylglyoxal and how antibacterial the honey is.
Fraudulent manuka honey can be found on the market (Trader Joes was slapped with a class action lawsuit for labeling their honey as 100% pure despite it only testing between 57.3 and 62.6 percent manuka honey), so it's important to check for the UMF labeling, which denotes that the company must have a license and follow the set rules and regulations to guarantee authenticity to the customer.
Given its antimicrobial content, it should come as no surprise that manuka honey is noteworthy for treating wounds, burns, and lesions, both in ancient times and today. There are even manuka honey dressings pre-made for wounds. It should absolutely be used as a medical treatment. But the benefits don't stop there: It's also a great anti-inflammatory ingredient, and anecdotally reported to be beneficial for other issues such as acne and eczema!
Benefits of Manuka Honey for Skin
This particular type of honey delivers a variety of benefits for skin, addressing everything from medical to cosmetic issues. We break it down for you below of how manuka honey treats acne and other skin problems:
Has strong antibacterial properties: Because manuka honey contains both hydrogen peroxide and methylglyoxal, it's potent against a variety of bacteria. In fact, it's even been shown to have antibacterial effects on e. Coli and as well as MRSA, though she adds that more research must be done to conclusively confirm which bacteria it can effectively combat.
Promotes wound healing: Manuka honey recruits the correct type of cells, known as fibroblasts, needed to help wounds heal. Aside from that, it also creates a moist environment and a protective barrier to speed up healing, which is why it's often used to treat wounds, burns, and ulcers. There were even a few studies that showed manuka honey decreased pain!
Is an effective anti-inflammatory: The anti-inflammatory properties of manuka honey have not been matched in honey derived from other species of bees. This is beneficial not only for the aforementioned medical issues but also for other conditions such as acne and eczema.
Offers antioxidant protection: Manuka honey may down-regulate skin-damaging reactive oxygen species (caused by exposure to free radicals), making it beneficial for anti-aging purposes.
- Draws moisture to the skin: Manuka honey is a natural humectant due to its sugar component, meaning it helps draw in and retain moisture in the skin. This makes it a useful ingredient in moisturizers and emollients.
Finding Manuka Honey Skin Care
So now that you know the ins and outs of manuka honey, you’re probably wondering where to purchase it. Well, while making a DIY face mask with raw manuka honey is absolutely an option, it’s not very practical for daily skin care. Wild Naturals created a full line of face, body, and hair care with manuka honey as the star ingredient!
For all the incredible benefits of manuka honey for your skin, shop the Wild Naturals online store today!