Honey has been used as skincare and medicine for thousands of years—its use traces back some 8,000 years. Even back then, people recognized its antibacterial properties and its ability to heal wounds.
However, more recently, manuka honey, specifically, has come into the spotlight as a deeply efficacious skincare ingredient. Let’s get into its benefits for your skin, why it's different (and better) than regular honey, and how you can start incorporating it into your skincare routine.
What is Manuka Honey?
Manuka honey is made from the nectar of the manuka plant, a large flowering bush native to New Zealand and Australia. It has a semi-opaque, creamy look and texture, and a more intense caramel and toffee flavor, distinguishing it from standard honey.
Manuka Honey vs. Other Types of Honey
Manuka honey’s defining characteristic is its higher concentration of essential vitamins, minerals, and other antioxidants thanks to the unique properties of the manuka plant. Like all types of honey, manuka honey is antibacterial, however, it does things a little differently here, too.
Most honey derives its antibacterial nature from glucose oxidase, a special enzyme that converts sugar into a mild, bleach-like antiseptic you’re surely familiar with, hydrogen peroxide. However, manuka honey is special because it contains both hydrogen peroxide and another component called methylglyoxal. This germ-fighting compound derives from another compound, dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which occurs naturally in the nectar of flowers of the manuka tree.
The Benefits of Using Manuka Honey for Your Skin
As you can imagine, its antibacterial and antioxidant properties make manuka honey a great addition to your skincare regime. Here are three key benefits of using this high-powered honey on your skin.
1. Helps with Skin Hydration & Softness
Honey is one of the most effective moisturizers thanks to its mix of humectant and emollient properties. As a reminder, a humectant draws moisture from the air into your skin, whereas an emollient fills the spaces between skin cells for softer skin. When it comes to managing dry, flaky, and irritated skin, manuka honey is ideal.
2. Has Properties to Help with Acne
There are three ways it can help with acne:
- As mentioned, manuka honey has some crazy antibacterial properties which can help reduce acne flare-ups.
- It’s anti-inflammatory, helping to reduce the swelling and redness of existing acne.
- Manuka honey recruits the correct type of cells, known as fibroblasts, needed to help wounds heal, meaning those picked-at pimples could heal faster.
3. Reduces the Signs of Aging
As we go about our daily lives, our skin is bombarded with stressors—like UV rays and pollution—developing free radicals which are responsible for up to 90% of visible skin aging. Good news for you, manuka honey is full of antioxidants, potassium, zinc, and vitamin B3. These help block free radicals, delaying the development of fine lines and wrinkles, and helping your skin remain visibly youthful and healthy-looking.
How to Use Manuka Honey in Your Skincare Routine
We recommend using products with manuka honey so you can get the most out of this ingredient while also incorporating other skincare essentials. One of the best ways to incorporate it into your skincare routine is through a mask. This way it sits on your skin for at least five minutes—imparting all its antioxidant, and antibacterial goodness into your epidermis.
Shop Our Refresh Mask with Manuka Honey
Add skincare’s sweet secret to your routine with HPPY Skin Refresh Mask. You get all the benefits of manuka honey plus a restorative mix of spirulina, caffeine, organic cucumber, and hyaluronic acid for hydrated, soothed, and balanced skin. We use high-pressure processing (HPP) machines to preserve our masks without the use of chemical preservatives. This means you get whole ingredients—no extracts or fillers—retained at their peak and ready to transform your skin. Shop HPPY Skin for HPPY-er skin days ahead.