Manuka Honey for Skincare: Benefits and Applications

Manuka honey is a natural ingredient that has been used for centuries for its therapeutic benefits. Produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the manuka bush, manuka honey is known for its unique antibacterial properties and is rich in antioxidants. This superfood has been making waves in the beauty industry due to its incredible benefits for the skin.

Manuka honey is now commonly used in skincare products such as cleansers, moisturizers, and masks, and has been found to offer a wide range of benefits, including its antimicrobial activity, anti-inflammatory properties, and the ability to promote wound healing.

In this article, we will explore the benefits of manuka honey for the skin and how you can incorporate this natural ingredient into your skincare routine to achieve a healthy, radiant complexion.

manuka for skincare

14 Benefits of Manuka for Skincare

Strong Antibacterial Properties

Manuka honey’s strong antibacterial properties make it a popular ingredient in skincare products, particularly those designed for acne-prone skin. The antibacterial activity of manuka honey is due to the presence of hydrogen peroxide and methylglyoxal, which make it effective against a wide range of bacteria. When applied to the skin, manuka honey can help to reduce the bacteria that cause acne, making it an effective treatment for blemishes and breakouts. Additionally, manuka honey’s antibacterial properties can help to prevent infection in cuts, scrapes, and other wounds, making it a useful addition to first aid kits.

Promotes Wound Healing

Manuka honey has been found to promote wound healing due to its ability to recruit the correct type of cells, known as fibroblasts, needed to help wounds heal. In addition to this, it also creates a moist environment and a protective barrier around the wound, which can speed up the healing process. Manuka honey has been shown to be particularly effective in treating burns, ulcers, and other types of skin damage, and is often used in medical settings as a natural alternative to conventional wound dressings. When applied topically to minor cuts and burns, manuka honey can also help to soothe and relieve pain, making it a valuable addition to any first aid kit.

Fades Scars

Manuka honey has mild lightening properties due to its trace amounts of hydrogen peroxide. As a result, it can help to fade scars and hyperpigmentation, making it a useful ingredient for those looking to achieve a more even complexion. Manuka honey has been found to be particularly effective in reducing the appearance of acne scars, as well as scars from other types of injuries. While it may take some time to see results, incorporating manuka honey into your skincare routine can help to reduce the appearance of scars and promote the growth of healthy, new skin cells.

Soothes Eczema

Manuka honey has been shown to have soothing properties that can help to alleviate the symptoms of eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions. Eczema is a chronic condition that causes red, itchy, and inflamed patches of skin. The anti-inflammatory properties of manuka honey can help to reduce inflammation and redness, while its antibacterial properties can help to prevent infection in areas of broken skin. When applied topically, manuka honey can help to soothe and moisturize dry, itchy skin, providing relief to those suffering from eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions. It is important to note that while manuka honey can be a helpful addition to a skincare routine for those with eczema, it is not a substitute for medical treatment and should be used in conjunction with other treatments as recommended by a healthcare professional.

Decreases Pain

Manuka honey’s healing properties make it a popular treatment for burns, wounds, and other types of skin damage. However, in addition to promoting wound healing, manuka honey has also been found to decrease pain associated with these types of injuries. Studies have shown that applying manuka honey topically to burns and other types of skin damage can help to reduce pain and discomfort, making it a valuable addition to any first aid kit. This may be due to its anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce swelling and inflammation, or its ability to promote healing and restore damaged skin. While more research is needed to fully understand the pain-relieving effects of manuka honey, its ability to promote healing and soothe damaged skin makes it a promising natural treatment for a variety of skin injuries.

Effective Anti-inflammatory

Manuka honey has been found to be an effective anti-inflammatory agent, which makes it a valuable ingredient in skincare products for those with inflamed or sensitive skin. Inflammation is a natural response to injury or infection, but chronic inflammation can lead to a range of skin problems, including acne, rosacea, and psoriasis. The anti-inflammatory properties of manuka honey can help to reduce redness and swelling associated with these conditions, promoting a healthier, more even complexion. Manuka honey has been found to be particularly effective in reducing inflammation caused by acne and other types of skin blemishes, making it a popular ingredient in acne-fighting skincare products. Additionally, its ability to reduce inflammation and promote healing makes it a promising natural treatment for a variety of inflammatory skin conditions.

Offers Antioxidant Protection

Manuka honey is rich in antioxidants, which can help to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause damage to skin cells, leading to premature aging and other types of skin damage. Antioxidants work by neutralizing these free radicals, preventing them from causing further damage to the skin. The high levels of antioxidants in manuka honey make it a valuable ingredient in anti-aging skincare products, as well as in products designed to protect the skin from environmental stressors such as pollution and UV radiation. Additionally, manuka honey’s antioxidant properties can help to promote the growth of healthy, new skin cells, leading to a brighter, more youthful complexion. Incorporating manuka honey into your skincare routine can help to protect your skin from damage and promote a healthier, more radiant complexion.

Draws Moisture to the Skin

Manuka honey is a natural humectant, which means it has the ability to draw moisture to the skin and retain it there. This makes it a valuable ingredient in skincare products designed to moisturize and hydrate the skin. When applied topically, manuka honey can help to soothe dry, irritated skin, and provide long-lasting moisture. Its ability to draw moisture to the skin can also help to plump up fine lines and wrinkles, leading to a smoother, more youthful complexion. Additionally, manuka honey’s moisturizing properties make it a useful ingredient in products designed to combat the signs of aging, as well as those designed for dry and sensitive skin. Incorporating manuka honey into your skincare routine can help to keep your skin hydrated, healthy, and glowing.

Reduction of Acne and Blemishes

Manuka honey’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties make it a valuable ingredient in skincare products designed to combat acne and blemishes. Acne is caused by the buildup of bacteria and oil in the pores, leading to inflammation and breakouts. The antibacterial properties of manuka honey can help to reduce the bacteria that cause acne, while its anti-inflammatory properties can help to reduce redness and swelling associated with breakouts. Additionally, manuka honey’s ability to draw moisture to the skin can help to prevent dryness and irritation that can exacerbate acne. When used as part of a regular skincare routine, manuka honey can help to prevent breakouts and promote a clearer, more even complexion.

Improved Skin Elasticity

anti-aging skincare products, as it can help to improve skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Antioxidants work by neutralizing free radicals that can damage collagen and elastin, leading to a loss of skin elasticity and firmness. The amino acids in manuka honey can also help to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, which are essential proteins that give skin its structure and elasticity. When used regularly, manuka honey can help to improve skin tone and texture, leading to a smoother, more youthful complexion. Additionally, manuka honey’s moisturizing properties can help to plump up the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Incorporating manuka honey into your skincare routine can help to improve skin elasticity and promote a more youthful, radiant complexion.

Protection from Sun Damage

Manuka honey’s antioxidant properties make it a useful ingredient in skincare products designed to protect the skin from sun damage. Exposure to UV radiation from the sun can lead to premature aging, sunburn, and an increased risk of skin cancer. The antioxidants in manuka honey can help to neutralize free radicals caused by UV radiation, preventing them from causing damage to the skin cells. Additionally, manuka honey’s anti-inflammatory properties can help to reduce redness and inflammation associated with sunburn. When used as part of a regular skincare routine, manuka honey can help to protect the skin from sun damage and promote a healthier, more youthful complexion. However, it is important to note that manuka honey should not be used as a substitute for sunscreen, and it is still important to use sunscreen to protect your skin from UV radiation.

Nourishment and Rejuvenation of Skin

Manuka honey is rich in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, which can help to nourish and rejuvenate the skin. When applied topically, manuka honey can help to restore the skin’s natural pH balance, providing a nourishing environment for healthy skin cells to thrive. The amino acids in manuka honey can also help to promote the growth of new skin cells, leading to a smoother, more youthful complexion. Additionally, manuka honey’s moisturizing properties can help to soothe dry, irritated skin, and provide long-lasting hydration. When used regularly, manuka honey can help to nourish and rejuvenate the skin, leading to a healthier, more radiant complexion. Incorporating manuka honey into your skincare routine can help to provide your skin with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and vibrant.

Soothing Effects on Skin Conditions

Manuka honey has been found to have soothing effects on a wide range of skin conditions, including eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea. The anti-inflammatory properties of manuka honey can help to reduce redness and inflammation associated with these conditions, while its antibacterial properties can help to prevent infection in areas of broken skin. When applied topically, manuka honey can help to soothe dry, irritated skin, and provide long-lasting relief from itching and discomfort. Additionally, manuka honey’s moisturizing properties can help to prevent dryness and flakiness associated with these types of skin conditions. When used as part of a regular skincare routine, manuka honey can help to soothe and alleviate the symptoms of a wide range of skin conditions, promoting a healthier, more comfortable complexion.

Moisturizing Effects

Manuka honey is a natural humectant that can help to moisturize and hydrate the skin. Its ability to draw moisture to the skin and retain it there makes it a valuable ingredient in skincare products designed to combat dryness and dehydration. When applied topically, manuka honey can help to soothe and moisturize dry, irritated skin, and provide long-lasting hydration. Its moisturizing properties can also help to plump up the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Additionally, manuka honey’s ability to create a protective barrier on the skin can help to prevent moisture loss and protect the skin from environmental stressors such as pollution and harsh weather. Incorporating manuka honey into your skincare routine can help to keep your skin moisturized, healthy, and glowing.

Clinical Nutritionist

Cara Hayes is an experienced natural health practitioner with a Masters in Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics from the University of Sydney. She has been writing for New Zealand Honey since 2020 and loves manuka in her morning tea.