The modern approach to beauty tips and tricks can be recognized almost anywhere. Look around you. Many beauty gurus and even brands are praising and incorporating more natural ingredients into hair, skin, and health products. That’s why today, we’re sharing the impressive beauty benefits of Manuka honey, from controlling acne to fighting dandruff. So, if you’re interested in using this ingredient as more than just a natural sweetener for your herbal tea, keep reading!
What is Manuka Honey?
We know that honey is produced by bees and created from the nectar of flowering plants, and Manuka honey is no different. It derives from the Manuka plant (AKA Leptospermum scoparium), which is a small plant that’s native to New Zealand and eastern Australia. But for this type of honey to be classified as real Manuka honey, it needs to contain at least 70% of Manuka pollen. So, what exactly makes this honey a popular skin hero?
Due to its impressive antimicrobial properties, Manuka honey has served as a natural medicinal remedy for treating common ailments such as sore throats and upset stomachs. And while it still does work wonders in these areas today, the scope of Manuka honey’s benefits have broadened into the beauty world.
Benefits of Manuka Honey for Skin
Provides + Retains Moisture
One of the most popular benefits of Manuka honey is its ability to provide moisture to dehydrated skin. When applied topically, Manuka honey draws water molecules into the outermost layer of your skin (AKA the stratum corneum), which is exactly what flaky and dry complexions need. Why? When your skin lacks moisture, dead skin cells begin to accumulate, making it look as though your skin’s crying out for a cup of H20 to quench its thirst. And because Manuka honey is a natural humectant, it helps preserve moisture, making it a more effective hydrating option than the average facial cream or lotion.
Helps Control Acne
Non-inflamed, glowing, blemish-free skin? Sign us up, please!
Manuka honey is a milder option for those whose skin doesn’t take too kindly to more mainstream acne-fighting ingredients such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, which can be aggravating for some, especially those with sensitive skin. And you don’t have to worry about sacrificing effectiveness for gentleness either. This type of honey contains hydrogen peroxide and methylglyoxal, which can help combat the bacterial growth acne thrives on. The undesirable redness and swelling that frequently accompanies breakouts can also benefit from Manuka honey, too, as it’s a natural anti-inflammatory agent, which brings us to our third benefit.
Soothes Irritated + Inflamed Skin
If you didn’t already know, this type of honey contains compounds that suppress inflammatory enzymes, keeping sporadic blotchiness at bay and helping you achieve a smoother, even-looking complexion. This is especially beneficial for those with inflammatory skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, and even atopic dermatitis. These same compounds also help fight oxidative stress, which occurs when there’s an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body. The result? Irritated and inflamed skin. Pretty neat stuff, huh?
Promotes Wound Healing
If your minor wounds, burns, and/or ulcers could talk, they’d say this when it comes to healing…
But not to worry, Manuka honey can help! Have an abscess that just won’t close? This type of honey creates a moist environment and provides a protective barrier to the skin to speed up the healing process. Have an unsightly large lesion? Manuka honey, due to its acidic pH, can help lower the pH of the wound, bringing it down in size. Have a boil that won’t stop oozing pus (icky, we know)? This honey can help extract fluid out of skin tissue thanks to its sugar component which naturally attracts water molecules (as mentioned earlier). Oh, and those antibacterial properties of Manuka honey that help fight acne-causing bacteria? Yeah, they help destroy the cell walls of bacteria that’re present in all types of minor skin injuries, too.
Benefits of Manuka Honey for Hair
Say adios to dry, damaged hair and hello to long, luscious locks.
Manuka honey is not only booming with skin benefits, but hair benefits as well. Did you know that Manuka honey has four times the amount of hair-nourishing nutrients (such as copper, iron, zinc, and B-vitamins) in comparison to other types of honey? Because of this, Manuka honey has become a go-to product for revitalizing and repairing hair. So, what exactly can be achieved when this substance is worked into your mane? Thanks to its high content of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, Manuka honey can help boost hair growth, fight common scalp conditions such as dandruff, eczema, and psoriasis, and add shine, volume, and density to hair. Sound to good to be true? Well, it ain’t, folks! And if you’re digging all these benefits, check out these DIY masks for treating your locks here!
Side Effects of Manuka Honey
Luckily, there aren’t many undesirable side effects to using Manuka honey for your skin or hair. But there is one thing to be weary of…
Unfortunately, if you’re allergic to bees, Manuka honey (or any type of honey) is something you should stay clear of, unless you want to break out in hives. And those with diabetes should also proceed with caution when wanting to use Manuka honey, as a rise in blood sugar is possible. Other than these two factors and some minor stickiness, this type of honey is an effective beauty alternative.
Simply put, Manuka honey is one heck of a powerful skin and hair ingredient (and one you most likely have in your pantry). So, the next time spots start popping up on your face or your locks need some serious hydration and/or volume, opt. for a more natural solution before running to the drugstore for all sorts of mainstream, over-the-counter products. And remember to check back on the blog for when we cover all the benefits of rose water (AKA another impressive ingredient you’ll be itching to incorporate into your selfcare routine).