Manuka Honey for Skin – What Does the Science Say?

Manuka honey is a type of honey that is only produced by bees who pollinate the manuka bush in New Zealand. Manuka honey can be considered a premium type of honey and has a more distinctive sweet taste with a touch of bitterness.

manuka honey for skin

Why Choose Manuka Honey?

The nectar of the manuka plant contains a compound called dihydroxyacetone. It results in the honey having a compound called methylglyoxal (MG), which is rarely present in other types of honey.

Besides its healing compounds, the honey also contains high levels of amino acids, vitamin B, and minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, potassium, sodium, and zinc.

What Research Has to Say About Manuka Honey

There is limited research on the specific benefits of Manuka Honey on acne. However, the outcomes of studies on the topical application of honey on wounds and infections have generally been promising. Here is what we know for sure.

In 2011, research was conducted on the medicinal and antibacterial properties of honey. The results showed that natural honey could draw moisture out of the environment and thus dehydrate and destroy bacteria. Manuka honey was mainly found to be effective against various human pathogens when applied topically to wound sites.

Additionally, its high sugar content kept microbes away and helped with faster healing of wounds and infections. This study also demonstrated that samples of Manuka honey could speed up new tissue formation in wound sites.

Now, we know that acne breakouts are triggered and worsened by bacteria in skin pores. The antimicrobial activity of Manuka honey should provide relief from these conditions.

Another factor to consider is that acne causes skin inflammation. The same research suggested that Manuka honey is rich in natural anti-inflammatory agents. Hence, it can possibly target and resolve localized inflammation during acne breakouts.

Another 2018 study indicated that the antibiotic properties of Manuka Honey were due to the presence of hydrogen peroxide and methylglyoxal as ingredients. However, this research also suggested that the effectiveness of Manuka honey as an antibacterial agent was directly linked to the methylglyoxal content in a sample.

This means that you should pay attention to the UMF or Unique Manuka Factor when buying a sample to make sure you choose an effective variety for your skin concerns.

Some of the Skin Benefits of Using Manuka Honey

  • It can cure anti-fungal skin infections, such as yeast or athlete’s foot.
  • It acts against numerous human pathogens and can help to heal wounds and skin infections such as staph or MRSA.
  • It provides localized relief for inflammation and prevents bacteria build-up. Hence, it can reduce the symptoms of acne conditions and prevent future break-outs.
  • Gives an overall glow to your skin.
  • Manuka honey aids in the healing of scars.
infographic manuka honey benefits and how to use

Manuka Honey Face Mask

You can make your healing mask to help your skin tackle the symptoms of acne conditions and heal faster. Making your skin mask is easy and straightforward to do, and only takes about half an hour of your time at night.


Collect together the following supplies to make your manuka honey mask.

  • A jar of 100% manuka honey.
  • A teaspoon.
  • A clean washcloth and towel.
  • Access to a sink.

Steps to Apply Honey Mask to Skin

It’s effortless to apply your healing manuka honey skin mask. Just follow the steps below.

  1. Wash your face and pat it dry.
  2. Don’t apply any moisturizer.
  3. Measure out one teaspoon from your jar of manuka honey.
  4. Close the jar.
  5. Use your fingers to massage the honey on your face.
  6. No other ingredients are required!
  7. Smooth it evenly over your face, avoiding the hairline, eyes, and mouth.
  8. Leave your honey mask on for at least thirty minutes.
  9. Use warm water and your washcloth to wash the honey off your face.
  10. Pat dry with a towel.
  11. It is recommended to continue this practice daily till you start seeing results.
  12. Continue applying the honey every three or four days afterward. This will prevent bacteria build-up in your skin pores and reduce the occurrence of acne breakouts in the future.
unique manuka factor (UMF)

Side Effects & Safety Measures

There are some safety measures that you should take into consideration before treating any skin condition or medical condition with manuka honey. If in doubt, always seek the advice of a qualified medical professional.

  1. If you’re allergic to pollen or bee stings, you may want to try manuka honey with caution—rub a small bit on your inner wrist to see if you get a reaction.
  2. Do not apply Manuka Honey to wounds or infection sites till they have completely healed.
  3. Avoid getting it into your eyes.
  4. Although Manuka Honey has been proven to relieve wounds and infections, it is recommended to check with a physician before using it for such conditions.
  5. Use caution when using Manuka honey on children. Ensure that you do a patch test before applying to a large area of skin to ensure that it doesn’t cause any allergic reactions.
  6. If you are using manuka honey alongside traditional medical treatments, let your physician know. Drug interactions are rare but always possible.
  7. Be alert for any symptoms that may arise with the continued use of Manuka honey. If your throat feels sore or you develop skin irritation or rashes, discontinue the usage and visit your doctor without delay.

To Wrap It Up…

Additional research is needed to indicate the effectiveness of Manuka Honey in acne treatment accurately.

Nevertheless, a jar of honey is excellent for your medicine cabinet. So, why not invest in the very best? Manuka honey is undoubtedly a superior type of honey, and it serves so many purposes.

With a high phenolic and MGO content, this type of honey offers significant remedies for various skin issues, including wounds and infections. It has also been scientifically proven to be safe and even beneficial for skin health in general. So, don’t hesitate to stock up on Manuka honey to treat more than just acne conditions.

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