Why Manuka Honey is your skin’s secret weapon

Guest post by

Rosalind Ryan

Rosalind Ryan is freelance health journalist from Brighton. She’s a regular contributor to magazines and websites including Healthy, Weight Watchers, Vitality, Health & Fitness and Top Santé.

Author views are not our own.

You already know that Manuka Honey can boost your wellbeing – there’s plenty of studies to show it can improve wound healing1, ease a cough, and even protect your gut health – but why exactly is it so good for your skin? We’ve found the science behind the buzz that Manuka Honey is a skin saviour.

The basics – what is Manuka Honey?

all Manuka Doctor honey comes from sustainable sources). It has antibacterial and antioxidant activities, mainly thanks to a natural compound called methylglyoxal (MGO). And it’s the MGO that makes Manuka Honey so interesting from a dermatological point of view.2

The benefits of using Manuka in skincare

The MGO found in Manuka Honey gives it greater antibacterial properties than other honeys,3 which means it’s better able to fight skin conditions like acne and rosacea. Manuka is anti-inflammatory too, so it can help soothe red, irritated skin.

Manuka also makes the perfect anti-ageing ingredient. It’s packed with natural antioxidants that help ward off damage caused by free radicals, such as the appearance of wrinkles. Trials have found that manuka oil can suppress the action of MMPs – a group of enzymes that destroy collagen – in the skin.4 A lack of collagen = a lack of elasticity: essentially ‘sagging’!

You can also tackle dry skin with Manuka, and dry skin is a major cause of fine lines and wrinkles. However, honey has well-known humectant properties5 – in other words it can draw in, and hang on to, moisture – which can plump up your skin cells and helps relieve chapped lips, too. Manuka also has an emollient action, soothing and smoothing dry, irritated skin.

One of Manuka Honey’s most valuable properties is its ability to repair and regenerate skin cells. Research shows that it can quickly remove dead skin cells, stimulating new tissue growth,6 plus it reduces swelling, skin damage and scarring;7 ideal for acne sufferers or those looking to gently refresh their skin.

Which Manuka skincare products should I try?

You can go back to basics and use pure Manuka Honey on your skin, but if you want to avoid covering everything you own in the sticky stuff, there’s a wide range of products that contain this hero ingredient.

For acne-prone skin, the ApiClear Foaming Facial Cleanser has been proven to improve skin in three weeks, while the ApiClear Anti-Redness Calming Moisturiser also contains prebiotics to help rebalance bacteria found on the skin.

To ward off wrinkles, the Replenishing facial oil is made with Manuka oil. Or to increase skin’s hydration levels, the ApiNourish Repairing Skin Cream is rich in moisturising Manuka Honey.

Still not sure? All Manuka Doctor products are formulated with skin-boosting Manuka Honey, so start by picking a range that best suits your needs.

Sources
1. Yaghoobi R, Kazerouni A, Kazerouni O. Jundishapur J Nat Pharm Prod. 2013 Aug;8(3):100-4. Evidence for Clinical Use of Honey in Wound Healing as an Anti-bacterial, Anti-inflammatory Anti-oxidant and Anti-viral Agent: A Review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3941901/
2. Burlando B, Cornara L. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2013 Dec;12(4):306-13. Honey in dermatology and skin care: a review. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jocd.12058
3. Mavric E, Wittmann S, Barth G, Henle T. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2008 Apr;52(4):483-9. Identification and quantification of methylglyoxal as the dominant antibacterial constituent of Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) honeys from New Zealand. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18210383
4. Kwon OS, Jung SH, Yang BS. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:930857. Topical Administration of Manuka Oil Prevents UV-B Irradiation-Induced Cutaneous Photoaging in Mice. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2013/930857/
5. As Reference 2
6. Efem SE. Br J Surg. 1988 Jul;75(7):679-81. Clinical observations on the wound healing properties of honey. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/bjs.1800750718
7. Molan PC. Int J Low Extrem Wounds. 2006 Mar;5(1):40-54. The evidence supporting the use of honey as a wound dressing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16543212

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