Woman applying Manuka Honey to Benefit the Skin

Benefits of Manuka Honey for Skin

Different ways Manuka honey can benefit the skin

Manuka honey contains many bioactive compounds. Bioactive means to be biologically active and having an influence on living organism and their tissue and cells. This means bioactive Manuka honey affects our skin when it makes contact. Manuka honey’s bioactive compounds have a beneficial and positive influence on skin health and assists by treating and soothing conditions such as wounds, rashes and other irritations. These same bioactive compounds are also good for using on the skin of animals such as your pets, farm animals and for injured wildlife.

The bioactive compounds found in Manuka honey include:

  • Hydrogen peroxide (antibacterial properties)
  • Methylglyoxal (MGO) (long lasting antibacterial properties)
  • Flavonoids and Polyphenols (antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties)
  • Enzymes (cleansing and pH balancing)
  • Vitamins and Minerals (Vit B & C, potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus)
  • Animo acids (promoting tissue repair and cell regeneration)
  • Fructo-oligosaccharides (prebiotic)
Manuka honey wound care

The top 7 Benefits of Manuka honey for the skin

1. Manuka honey keeps skin hydrated

Honey is a dense liquid and has humectant properties. This means honey can attract and retain moisture when used on the skin and can assist in keeping skin nourished and moisturised. Humectants work to hydrate the skin without it feeling heavy or oily. This quality works to nourish the skin while the benefits mentioned below work alongside.

2. Keeping the skin feeling silky smooth

The slightly acidic pH, the Hydrogen Peroxide and Methylglyoxal (MGO) of Manuka honey can lightly exfoliate the skin, removing dead skin cells and create a smoother surface. Manuka honey can be applied directly onto a pre-moistened skin as a cleansing facial for ten minutes and then removed with warm water.

3. Helps reduce ageing effects on the skin

Manuka honey has antioxidants properties which come from the rich phenolic compounds, vitamin C, catalase and glutathione. These antioxidants help protect the skin from free radicals which are unstable molecules that can damage your skin cells which in turn can lead to premature aging, wrinkles and other skin issues. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals preventing and minimising their harmful effects up on the skin tissue.

Manuka honey facial

4. Many antibacterial properties

Like most honey Manuka honey contains naturally occurring hydrogen peroxide which acts as a natural antiseptic and antimicrobial. However, Manuka honey also contains MGO which has longer lasting and more stable antibacterial and antimicrobial properties which means that it continues to provide antibacterial benefits for a much longer period than raw culinary honey.

5. A natural skin anti-inflammatory 

The MGO, flavonoids and phenolic compounds in Manuka honey also have an anti-inflammatory affect. These inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and enzymes which can be:

  • soothing for acne
  • eczema
  • dermatitis
  • wounds
  • diabetic ulcers
  • and other skin irritations.

6. Fades scars and promotes wound healing

The combined benefits mentioned above create an optimum environment for healthy skin cells to grow and replenish after disruptions such as wounds, infections or irritation. The skin is moisturised, nourished, and cleansed during the healing process which enables a reduction in scarring and faster healing. 

7. Supports the treatment of acne

The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits of Manuka honey make it effective for treating acne. Manuka honey can be applied directly to the skin as a spot treatment for acne or as a facial or total area cover.

Manuka honey on skin

Are there any risks to using Manuka honey on the skin?

There are some risks or difficulties in using Manuka honey on the skin, these include:

  • Allergic reactions: some people are allergic to components found in honey such as pollen, bee proteins and other compounds. Spot testing on your skin to check for an allergic reaction is recommended.
  • High sugar content: of honey can feed some types of bacteria and fungi, which could worsen the existing skin irritation.
  • Authenticity Concerns: there is risk of purchasing counterfeit or adultered honey. Purchasing Manuka honey from a reputable brand that has the Australian Manuka Honey Associations (AMHA) certificate of Authenticity which will assist to alleviate these concerns.
  • Choosing the right strength MGO: different strength MGO is recommended for different ailments. If you do not have strong enough MGO it may not work as well as a stronger MGO honey.
  • Sticky and messy: honey is sticky, however it can be easily washed off with warm water. For larger area application you can also mix it with coconut oil to reduce stickiness and aid in dispersing the honey over the skin.
  • Some people may experience a transient or short-lasting stinging sensation when Manuka honey is applied on open minor cuts and wounds. This should quickly pass but if it persists you can wash off with water.
Spot test

What are the best Manuka honey products for the skin

There are varying strengths of MGO Manuka honey available on the market. For medicinal or skin conditions MGO 250+ is recommended as a minimum. The honeys mentioned below maybe mixed with coconut oil to make a soothing cream to spread on the skin, placed on wounds and dressings or used at spot treatments on the skin.

MGO 250+ is useful for minor cuts, burns or skin irritations.

MGO 550+ is a stronger honey and will treat the affected areas faster. For acne or more major skin conditions this honey would be suitable.

MGO 850+ this honey has more potent cleansing and antibacterial properties. This honey superior at treating wounds that are slow to heal or more serious skin conditions.

MGO 1200+ is a very strong MGO honey and can be used to treat skin conditions and irritations. This honey will give a potent treatment of antibacterial MGO to the skin.

Try Australia’s Manuka Honey with us today

We are a family-owned beekeeping business and have been in operation for over 25 years. We pride ourselves on bringing quality high-grade Australian Manuka honey to the world. We offer Manuka honey in a range of MGO strengths to suit everyone. All our Manuka honey is tested at certified, independent laboratories to ensure accurate MGO ratings. We are also a founding member of the Australian Manuka Honey Association (AMHA).

Shop Manuka Honey here.

Manuka honey beekeeper

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