Manuka honey: liquid gold for your skin
It’s a powerhouse ingredient with incredible antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and healing properties. But did you know that Manuka honey can help keep your skin naturally healthy, clear, and hydrated?
Unique to New Zealand, Manuka honey is made only by the bees that forage on the native Manuka bush (a close relative of the powerful tea tree plant.) It’s packed full of naturally occurring bio-ingredients that give the raw Manuka honey its antibacterial properties. Though it looks similar to table honey, there’s a crucial difference. Raw, medical grade honey (like Manuka honey) hasn't been processed, meaning its beneficial nutrients, including vitamins B, C and live enzymes, have been preserved.
How Manuka honey can help your skin concerns
Manuka honey contains several types of antiseptic compounds that aid in healing and curing infections when applied topically. Besides its healing powers, Manuka honey also contains high levels of amino acids, vitamin B, and minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, potassium, sodium, and zinc…. all essential for healthy skin.
Here are just some of the skin concerns that can be improved by using manuka honey.
Acne, dermatitis, rosacea and eczema
All of these skin conditions can be improved with the topical use of Manuka honey, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to its ability to soothe and moisturise irritated skin, Manuka honey’s antimicrobial properties are great at protecting the damaged dermal layer from harmful bacteria that can cause infection and irritation.
Scarring and skin damage
Manuka honey boosts skin cell regeneration and repairs damaged cells, making it a powerful cure-all for the skin. It also locks its nutrient-rich moisture deep down within the skin's layers, so the skin cells heal themselves from the inside out.
Manuka honey is a natural humectant, meaning it will absorb moisture from the air and lock it into your skin for a dewy, glowing complexion without becoming oily.
Manuka honey is naturally rich in collagen, the building block that gives skin strength, durability, and a youthful appearance. Without it, the skin becomes weaker and more prone to wrinkles and sagging. Manuka honey assists ageing skin by inhibiting MMP, a group of enzymes that destroy collagen.
How to choose the most potent, bioactive Manuka honey
One of the many challenges of buying natural ingredients is knowing which are the most effective and most potent in a sea of choice. To help solve this dilemma, the active antibacterial ingredients in Manuka honey have been given a rating known as the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF). This rating indicates the honey’s concentration of beneficial compounds and antioxidants - the higher the value, the greater the medicinal capability of the honey.
Manuka honey with a UMF below 5 are considered non-therapeutic, because the Manuka activity is low and lacks medicinal properties. A rating between 10 and 15 offers some medicinal benefit, while a UMF level of 16 or higher represents Manuka honey of superior quality. Honey with a UMF of 16 or higher is what you should be using on your skin.
As a quick reference guide when out shopping, you can think of the UMF ratings on the labels this way:
- UMF 5-9: low activity levels
- UMF 10-15: moderate activity levels
- UMF 16+: high activity levels
Incorporating Manuka honey into your skincare routine
- For an indulgent skin treat, try mixing 3 parts Manuka honey to one part of your favourite LOVESKIN oil (the Arohanui serum’s blend of German Chamomile and Sweet Orange is simply heavenly when combined with honey) and apply to clean, dry skin.
- Allow the mask to go to work for 15 minutes. This time is a great opportunity to gently shift your awareness to calming, mindful contemplation. Experience the wonderfully aromatic oils as you receive their nourishing benefits on your mind and body.
- Remove with a warm face cloth and apply an oil of your choice to your revitalised, lustrous skin.
The next time you’re looking for a natural skin saver, reach into the pantry and enjoy the many benefits of Manuka honey when paired with 100% natural and pure active oils.