Natural ingredients

8 Reasons Why Manuka Honey is a Skin Saviour

Clever honey bees forage on tea tree bushes
known for their antiseptic, zip-zapping properties.
They become a flying anti-acne hero.

Honey—Manuka in particular—could it be the holy grail of skincare?

It’s earned a kind of mythical status for many reasons.

And it tastes as good as it is for you.

It never spoils and combats a myriad of skin conditions.

And insects make it, for crying out loud.

This golden, sticky substance is recommended for everything.

From a moisturiser, lip balm, mask, and even an antiseptic spot treatment.

Let’s have a peek at how the beauty industry and the wild honey bee go together so beautifully:

What’s the Fuss With This Sticky, Sweet Stuff?

The bees forage on the tea tree bush to make nectar, and the tea tree’s antimicrobial abilities enhance the honey.

Another reason to save the bees—All hail the honey bee.

Its superpower is its potent antimicrobial properties, which is why it’s so good at helping to fight infection, literally repairing your skin at a cellular level.

Have you ever noticed how wildflower honey never grows mould or goes off, even if buried in the back of your cupboard for years?

This is the side-effect of its slightly acidic, antimicrobial properties; the enzymes in manuka honey release natural acne-bacteria-blasters— flavonoids, phenolic acid and hydrogen peroxide infact—all of which help to clarify your skin.

Here’s another reason—you can slather it on your face and body to get that oh-so-glowy skin and even use it as an antiseptic treatment to treat your spots with it.

No wonder its antibacterial, antiseptic, allergy calming, throat soothing properties translate to a topical goldmine.

However you want to use it, please do because we at the NC are convinced it’s a wonder drug.

If this isn’t enough to convince you to slather it on where your skin most needs it, keep reading:

The Manuka Honey UMF Rating

The therapeutic properties of wild honey are well established.

It is used for wound healing, and its antibacterial activity is active against staphylococcus aureus and helicobacter pylori bacteria (1).

To understand how the antibacterial activity of honey products is graded, we need to get a bit technical.

The antibacterial nature is associated with hydrogen peroxide, which is standardised in terms of what is referred to as phenol concentration equivalent—this is expressed as the “unique manuka factor” (UMF), which the Active Manuka Honey Association set up (2).

The number that follows the trademark UMF is equal to the concentration of phenol used:

  • Manuka honey with a rating of UMF 10 equals a 10% dilution of phenol.
  • a UMF 20 rating is equivalent to a 20% dilution of phenol, making it twice as strong.

The antibacterial properties work after the hydrogen peroxide disappears—referred to as non-peroxide activity; this makes manuka honey much more potent than other types of honey.

This is why high-potency manuka wild honey is used in a clinical environment to treat MRSA-infected wounds; as a side note, the honey must have a UMF 5 or above to treat MRSA.

The Benefits of Wild Honey

1. A Potent Antimicrobial

Honey prohibits the growth of certain bacteria. The antimicrobial properties are due to its enzymatic structure, which releases hydrogen peroxide, a compound that retards bacteria’s growth.

Wild honey also contains gluconic acid, which behaves as a chelating agent; it binds with metal agents, keeping skincare formulas free from microbes.

2. A Strong Antiseptic

New Zealand native manuka honey is highly effective against a range of bacteria, including those that cause infected wounds, stomach ulcers, and sore throats.

The efficacy and benefits of the potent antibacterial properties have been reaffirmed in tests conducted by the University School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences in Sydney (3).

It was found that wild honey attacked and killed every strain of bacteria it was tested against, including the antibiotic-resistant “superbugs,” some of which are flesh-eating MRSA, which is scary stuff.

What is also super interesting is that the research revealed that the bacteria were unable to develop any resistance to the honey, the way bacteria can with antibiotics.

3. A Powerful Antioxidant

Manuka honey offers a hefty dose of antioxidants to the skin, combing damaging free radicals, which we discuss in more detail here.

This is due to glucose oxidase, which produces hydrogen peroxide, as discussed above, which works similarly to antioxidants, naturally helping to mop up free radicals.

Honey also contains polyphenol ferulic acid, which has fantastic oxidising properties, helping to prevent premature ageing (4).

4. A Soothing Anti-inflammatory

Wild honey has anti-inflammatory properties that help calm and soothe inflammatory conditions such as eczema, acne and psoriasis.

A 2017 study on honey from stingless bees found that raw honey collected from a wild honey bee hive has a robust anti-inflammatory effect.

More studies support this finding that most honey varieties have potent anti-inflammatory properties (5).

5. PH Balancing

The pH of honey falls between 3.5 and 6.0, making it reasonably acidic; your skin is also naturally acidic, so manuka wild honey is excellent for repairing your skin’s barrier function.

6. Moisturising and Hydrating

Wild honey naturally absorbs moisture from the air; it then locks it in your skin’s tissues, helping keep your skin soft and supple.

Honey is often referred to as a humectant and is a valuable ingredient in skincare due to its unique ability to draw water from the atmosphere.

Humectants attract moisture to the skin’s tissues, helping to keep it hydrated for longer, locking moisture onto the surface, and preventing transepidermal water loss (TEWL).

7. Repairing and Wound healing

As mentioned earlier, manuka honey is a natural antioxidant. When applied topically, it reduces oxidative stress from free radicals, recovering damaged tissue and reversing signs of ageing.

Additionally, honey’s presence helps keep exposed wounds moist, which in turn helps promote skin healing.

8. It is 100% Natural

Whilst we don’t want to state the obvious here, if you scour the ingredients list on many of your skincare products, they can often read like a science textbook.

But look at a jar of this one ingredient, active wild honey, and you know exactly what you’re getting: a gorgeous elixir that  has a natural affinity with your skin,

Recommendations for Your Face

Honey’s anti-ageing and hydrating properties shine above the neck.

Start with Nectar balm to appease dry skin and protect your face from further damage. Then, use Betox skin shot to ward off sagging fine lines and wrinkles and plump, smooth, and hydrate your skin for a silky-smooth surface.

To Conclude. The naked truth

Who would have thought Manuka honey had such an affinity with your skin?

Manuka honey comes from the wild honey bees that feed off the New Zealand tea tree plant.

Tea tree oil is an excellent skin healer thanks to its antimicrobial, anti-viral and antiseptic bacteria-killing powers.

From a mask to a cleanser or antiseptic spot treatment, it’s a wonder drug; it delivers penetrating healing and nourishment to cuts, burns, cracked heels, and inflamed skin.

It is incredibly healing, helping to support your skin’s natural immunity, encouraging wound healing, and protecting your skin by reinforcing, which can lead to early signs of ageing.

If you want the healthy, plump skin of your dreams, then we think you’d agree that everyone needs a little honey in their life.


5 replies on “8 Reasons Why Manuka Honey is a Skin Saviour”

Honey is indeed good and I will like to be using it. But,is it true that, when one applies honey on his skin othe skin will look visibly fresher?

I have very day chapped lips and I had positive results with active manuka honey (one with hydrogen peroxide) I switched to the non active one hearing that it is more stronger in healing etc, my lips swelled and started to crust and weep so I stopped using it, and may dilute it with something else, applying it neat can be indeed irritating to the skin as I experienced this is the only place I have read and know it to be true.

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