Today we seek to answer the common question, “Is manuka honey good for acne treatment?” We’ll look at manuka honey acne treatment from various angles including how to use it for acne removal and why it works for acne spots and scars. I have as well included some before and after pictures.
In addition to its antibacterial action, honey stimulates the production of special cells that help to repair the tissues damaged by an infection. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties that lessen inflammation and pain associated with infections. Manuka honey acne treatment (and indeed that of the ordinary honey) hinges upon these beneficial properties.
Keep in mind that acne breakouts start when excess sebum in your hair follicles mix with dead skin cells and bacteria and plug the skin pores, leading to the formation of a comedone that ultimately manifest itself as whiteheads or blackheads.
As bacteria thrive in the mixture, the surrounding skin tissues get inflamed leading to the redness associated with acne. Continued bacterial activity and inflammation culminate in more severe types of acne such as nodules and cystic acne. The presence of pus in acne pimples also signifies bacterial infection.
Honey not only targets and kills the acne causing bacteria but also reduces the inflammation of the skin tissues surrounding the pores while keeping the skin moisturized. Thus, honey addresses the root cause of acne instead of just treating the symptoms.
Why Manuka Honey Is Best for Acne Treatment
Manuka honey comes from New Zealand where it is produced by honey bees that feed only on the flowers of and pollinate the manuka tree.
Manuka tree is native to New Zealand.
As with any other type of honey, manuka honey has antibacterial, healing, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is however known to have far stronger antibacterial properties than other types of honey. Scientific studies have shown that manuka honey inhibits more than 80 bacteria species.
This is because in addition to the hydrogen peroxide responsible for the natural antibacterial properties of honey, manuka honey also contains significantly higher levels of methylglyoxal (MG) – another antibacterial component that is insignificantly present in other types of honey.
The methylglyoxal in manuka honey is derived from another compound referred to as dihydroxyacetone. Manuka flower nectar – that the manuka honey producing bees feed on – contains high levels of dihydroxyacetone.
It is thought that there are additional compounds responsible for the strong antibacterial properties of manuka honey which in effect makes manuka honey acne treatment far more superior to that of other types of honey.
Other Manuka Honey Skin Care BenefitsIn addition to acne treatment, you can as well benefit from using manuka honey for skin care. Among its best skin care benefits are:
- Skin moisturizing: Manuka honey - and indeed all types of honey - helps to keep your skin hydrated.
- It’s rich in antioxidants which makes it a good remedy for elimination of fine lines and blemishes in the skin.
- It has skin pH balancing, softening, and brightening effects that work together to give your skin a nice glow. What a perfect way to treat your face before that date or night out!)
Manuka Honey for “Rosacea acne”Rosacea is a common long-term, relapsing (meaning that it improves, then worsens, and so on) dermal condition that first manifests itself in momentary flushing (reddening) of the skin.
As the condition progresses, other symptoms such as permanent redness in the skin, burning sensation, visible blood vessels in the skin, and papules and pustules develop.
Rosacea papules (raised, red bumps on the skin) and pustules (pus-filled swellings on the skin) are easily confused with those of acne. It is no wonder rosacea used to be referred to as rosacea acne even though the two conditions are different.
Unlike acne, rosacea is not characterized by blackheads [more information is available in a previous article on What is Acne] and oily skin; on the contrary, rosacea affected skin is typically dry and peeling. Rosacea also doesn’t cause scarring.
Rosacea is more common among fair-skinned people but people of African and Asian descent may also be affected.
The anti-inflammatory properties of manuka honey has been shown to be beneficial to rosacea acne. It is in fact touted to be one of the best home remedies for rosacea.
In addition to reducing the inflammation and redness, manuka honey also moisturizes the skin. Usage of manuka honey for rosacea treatment is usually topical, but some people have reported success using it internally as well.
Choosing the Best Manuka Honey for Acne TreatmentAs the WebMD says, manuka honey producers have developed a numerical rating for the potency of their honey referred to as Unique Manuka Factor (UMF).
The UMF rating corresponds with the concentration of the beneficial antibacterial compounds and thus the strength of the honey in as far as bacterial killing action is concerned. The higher the UMF rating, the better the manuka honey acne treatment.
The WebMD recommends using manuka honey with a UMF rating of at least 10. In general, the higher the UMF value of manuka honey the better it is for acne removal.
Look for wordings such as “Active Manuka Honey” and “UMF Manuka Honey” on the label of the bottle. These are used to market manuka honey with UMF 10 and above.
If you have sensitivity to honey, though, you are best staying away from manuka honey with a UMF rating of 20 or more.
Wedderspoon 100% Raw Manuka Honey is one high quality manuka honey product that you will want to consider for acne treatment.
How to Use Manuka Honey for AcneWe have already mentioned it but it is so important that it deserves another mention that you need to and should use active manuka honey for acne treatment. This will allow you to reap the maximum benefits of manuka honey.
While any raw manuka honey with bio active 12+ and higher is fine, the general consensus for acne treatment among skin care experts seems to be bio active 16+. This reflects the anti-bacterial strength of the honey.
It simply tells you that the honey has been cold compressed as opposed to fine filtering which in effect ensures that it is very close to its natural state and has much of its antibacterial activity intact.
With that said, here is how to use manuka honey for acne:
Below is a breakdown of the different ways in which you can use manuka honey topically to improve the appearance of acne spots and scars:
1. Manuka honey face maskThe first topical manuka honey acne treatment option is to apply it as a facial mask. To do that, follow the following steps:
- Wash your face with warm water and mild soap or cleanser.
- While the face is still wet, apply 1 tablespoon of manuka honey and spread it all over the face.
- Allow the face mask to sit in on the face for 15 to 20 minutes and then wash it off with warm water before patting your skin dry. Because honey is a natural moisturizer, you will be good to go without further moisturizing, unless of course you feel you need to.
- Repeat this process once or twice a week and you will see significant improvement of acne spots and scars.
2. Manuka Honey Facial CleanserUsing manuka honey as a facial cleanser is yet another great remedy for acne and is especially helpful if you dislike the stickiness associated with honey facial masks. It is also a good option if your skin is sensitive and gets irritated when you use face masks.
Here is how to use manuka honey as a facial cleanser:
- Scoop a tablespoon of manuka honey and massage it onto dry face (or any other part of the skin) with your fingers. If you have makeup on, remove it first using a washcloth.
- Allow it to stay on the face for 30 seconds and then flush it off with warm water
- Finally pat your skin dry and apply a moisturizer
3. Overnight treatment of acne with manuka honeyFor an even more effective manuka honey acne treatment, assuming you don’t have sensitivity, you may consider treating your face overnight as follows:
- Cleanse your face with warm water and gentle cleanser or soap
- Apply a thin layer of manuka honey all over the face and then massage it gently
- Leave it on the skin overnight and wash it off with warm water the next morning. Since honey is messy, you will want to use an old pillow case or a towel to keep it off your pillow.
4. Spot treatment with Manuka honeyThis topical manuka honey acne treatment option is particularly good for staggered acne pimples and cysts. It helps you avoid unnecessary wastage of your precious product – considering the fact that manuka honey is more expensive than ordinary honey.
- Cleanse your face and then dab a small amount of honey on the area affected such that it completely covers the target pimple, cyst, or whitehead.
- Apply a Band-Aid over the area to keep the honey intact and leave it on overnight.
- Remove the Band-Aid in the morning and rinse the honey off with warm water
Oral Intake of Manuka Honey for Acne Treatment
You may as well consider eating manuka honey for acne improvement and removal, but topical application remains the most potent way to reduce the appearance of acne pimples and blemishes.
Taken internally, manuka honey can help to boost your immunity and empower your body to combat infections, including acne, more effectively. For best results, take the honey internally while at the same time applying it to the skin.
Some people use the honey as a tea sweetener, others apply it to biscuits and toasts at breakfast, and yet others take a tablespoon of the honey straight a few times a day. You should not use manuka honey in recipes that involve cooking since heating erodes some of its medicinal potency.
Manuka Honey for Acne ScarsAcne scars form when the body conglomerates massive amounts of collagen – the supportive component of the skin - around the affected area of the skin. They may form when acne spots and pimples take too long to heal and are commonly associated with more severe cases of acne.
Manuka honey helps acne scars in two ways: First, it speeds up the healing of acne spots, thus minimizing the chances of formation of scars. Secondly the hydrogen peroxide in the honey helps to lighten and fade the scars which then makes them less noticeable.
The topical remedies explained in the above section work great for acne scars as well, but overnight treatment is particularly best suited to acne scar treatment.
As for the manuka honey face mask method, consider applying the honey to a gauze before applying it to the skin as outlined. This ensure that it maintains constant contact with the skin resulting in more effective acne scar treatment.
That is all there is to say about the relationship between manuka honey and scar removal, so go ahead now and try it.