Manuka Honey Skin Benefits: 3 Reasons to Wear a Manuka Honey Mask

So you’re in the know about honey and all of its super-sweet skin benefits and one particular type of honey has really piqued your interest.

Yes, we’re referring to Manuka, which has been on many people’s natural skin care radars thanks to its highly potent natural antibacterial properties – perfect for those of us with acne-prone skin.

And it’s not just for those of us who want to breakup with breakouts – Manuka’s gained quite a reputation for everything from healing skin damage and soothing redness and irritation to softening and smoothing the overall complexion, making it the ideal honey for all of us green beauties with sensitive, irritated, inflamed skin whether from breakouts or other skin conditions.

So…what is this Manuka and how does it work its miracle? Let’s find out!

What Exactly is Manuka Honey?

Manuka honey is a medicinal-grade, monofloral honey produced from the nectars of the manuka bush, a type of tea tree plant native only to New Zealand. You’re probably familiar with tea tree oil and tea tree extract and their blemish-fighting prowess – to be clear, Manuka isn’t the same kind of Tea tree we’re all familiar with for blemish control.

3 manuka honey benefits for skin

There are actually 3 different species of plants growing in Australia and New Zealand known as ‘Tea-tree’ and the one that all the Tea Tree Oil comes from is the Melaleuca variety. ‘Though not the same one, the Manuka tea tree has been shown to have strong antifungal effects, though not as potent as Melaleuca. The flip side, though, is that Manuka showed more antioxidant activity while Melaleuca showed none.

The Manuka bush also has something quite unique to it.  You see, this Oceanic plant is so reputed for its natural medicinal attributes that it has its own rating system, the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF). When purchasing your manuka honey, look for a UMF of over 10 to be assured a high concentration of manuka. And don’t even bother with an UMF rating below 5 (a rating of 0 to 4 means pretty much undetectable UMF). A rating over 10 is clinical-grade and those with ratings of 15 or higher are top-super-superior grade.

‘Cause Manuka honey is priced based on its UMF, the price does go up with the ratings, but so does the amount of good healing stuff so you’re getting what you pay for. Plus, a jar of Manuka honey will last you several months so you get your money’s worth.

Our best recommendation? You can’t go wrong with Wedderspoon’s Raw Manuka Honey.

Okay, that’s all nice and dandy, you say but you came here for the scoop on Manuka honey skin benefits. What can Manuka do for my skin?! Quite a lot, actually…

3 Huge Manuka Honey Skin Benefits 

Honeys of all types have been used in ancient medicine but recently Manuka has been under the microscope to figure out why it’s so great.

Recently, German scientists have found that Manuka honey not only contains hydrogen peroxide (which is found in all raw honeys and is hugely responsible for honeys’ antibacterial properties), but also a seriously high dose (up to 100 times more than other honeys) of methylglyoxl, a potent antibacterial which has anti-inflammatory benefits that speed up wound healing and treat microbial infections.

And this is great news for your skin, especially if you’re looking for a simple 3-in-1 natural skin care solution…

Manuka Makes a Natural Acne Fighting Face Wash

Of all the honeys, Manuka is the most renowned for its antibacterial prowess, thanks to its high methylglyoxl content. Now combine that with the natural skin benefits of honey – like being a natural hydroscopic which attracts and holds water away from wounds, allowing the wounds to heal faster – and you get Manuka’s wonderfully unique function of pulling the moisture out of bacteria in infected areas and killing the bacteria. This also helps prevent further breakouts by drawing impurities out of your pores.

Add to this the fact that Manuka honey is a potent anti-inflammatory tha’ll soothe inflamed skin while balancing the skin’s pH and breaking down old skin cells (thanks to honey’s acidic pH) to keep pores clear, and you’ve got one of the best all natural acne-fighting face washes on earth. Oh, and of course pure Manuka honey is an anti-irritant with no additives or fillers that’re likely to irritate your skin or clog pores – making it perfect even for the most sensitive-skinned beauties.

Use Manuka’s MG Content to Combat Signs of Age

Another wonderful thing about Manuka’s high methylglyoxl content? Methylglyoxl’s been shown to increase collagen cross-linking, which in plain English means that it increases the growth of collagen in skin cells and you know what that means: healthy collagen = taut and tight skin.

Manuka to Moisturize

All honeys are natural humectants, which simply means that they help draw moisture into the skin, and Manuka is no exception. Not only does this keep your skin well moisturized (which is something most acne-fighting ingredients neglect), the hydration promotes healthier skin overall by promoting skin elasticity.

Okay so now that you know the benefits of wearing Manuka on your face…what about eating the stuff? Well, that’s a great idea too. ‘Cause you came here for the beauty benefits of Manuka honey and what is more beautiful than health? You see, the same methylglyoxl that helps your skin combat blemishes and build collagen also works wonders inside your body by keeping you protected against nasties like bacteria and viruses that can wreak havoc on your system.

Want examples of nasties that the methylglyoxl in Manuka has been shown to kill?

  • Ever experienced the pain of an ulcer and want to avoid a repeat? Manuka’s got you covered – this yummy honey’s been shown to kill Helicobacter pylori (aka H. pylori), you know, the bacteria that’s the cause of many stomach ulcers as well as leaky gut syndrome.
  • Manuka is also the only type of honey that has properties that prevent the spread of highly contagious bacteria MRSA, a strain of Staphylococcus that causes infection and is known for being antibiotic resistant.
  • Traveling or have a sensitive stomach and want to protect yourself from the likes of food poisoning? Manuka’s been shown to kill Escherichia coli (aka E. Coli).
  • Got a sore throat? Or maybe even strep. No worries – Manuka honey’s good for that, too! It’s been shown to kill Streptococcus pyogenes, the bacteria that causes strep throat, so mix it in with your favorite tea or stir it up with some hot water and lemon when you start to get a tickle in your throat.
  • Prone to cold sores? Manuka’s got propolis in it, you know (as do all raw, unfiltered honeys). This bee glue is Mother Nature’s cold sore remedy which doesn’t just desensitize the pain of a cold sore – it helps heal it.

Because the antibacterial agent in manuka is stable, it does not lose its potency when exposed to heat, light, or dilution. That means that it won’t break down in the face of boiling water, and will keep on your shelf much longer than most beauty or food products.

So take advantage of both the external and internal healing properties of Manuka. If you need an energy boost, take a spoonful of manuka honey by itself or add it to yogurt in the morning to get your day going or for added pep during your post-lunch slump. Manuka even reduces bloating and acts as a digestion aid (honeys are prebiotics, you know)!

Ready to Wear a Manuka Honey Mask?

If you’re ready to get a little messy in the name of beauty, manuka is a great multi-purpose treatment that can be used in masks, as a spot treatment, or as a cleanser.

To use as a spot treatment, use a cotton pad or cotton bud and dab the honey directly to the affected area. Cover with an adhesive bandage and leave it overnight to avoid a sticky mess on your pillow. In the morning the inflammation and redness should calm down.

To use as a cleanser, make sure your face is completely make-up free. During your nighttime cleansing ritual, use a tablespoon of manuka honey as you would use face-wash. The honey will draw out moisture from the bacteria in the skin, killing the germs and preventing breakouts. Manuka is especially beneficial to those suffering from recurring acne breakouts because it not only does kill existent bacteria, its wound-healing abilities also prevent acne scarring and speed up recovery from the icky redness that follows a breakout.

Bear in mind that because manuka works by bringing bacteria to the surface, things could get better before they get worse and it does not necessarily work overnight. Some users find that there is an initial “purging” period where whiteheads come to the skin’s surface. However, given a little time and maybe some initial heartache, it is more effective and better for your skin than damaging, chemical acne treatments.

For those with dry skin, manuka is a great moisturizer and contributes to overall improvements in complexion. What’s even more impression: Because it is an anti-irritant, it also can calm redness in people with rosacea or eczema. No more steroid creams for you!

No matter your skin type, manuka provides a natural, organic glow – so whether you want smoother skin, an all-natural acne-fighting face wash or even just a spoonful of sugar in an energy-boosting health shot, manuka honey may be the all natural elixir you’re looking for. Manuka honey can even be part of your home first-aid kit because of its natural anti-bacterial properties—talk about a triple threat 🙂

Just make sure your Manuka is manufactured in New Zealand and has its UMF label and a “Made in New Zealand” label on the packaging. While regular honey is more budget-friendly than the exotic stuff from down under, only manuka contains the methylglyoxyl that heal wounds and kill heavy-duty bacteria. So get the good stuff!

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