What Is The Best Manuka Honey For Acne?

Acne affects up to 50 million people annually in America alone. 

Acne is the most common skin condition in the US. Although those most affected people are usually between 12 and 24 years old, acne can remain a permanent feature for some people until later in life. 

With acne medications threatening a host of side effects, it’s no wonder why one study found that 77% of its participants had sought alternative treatment. 

One such solution getting quite the buzz is Manuka Honey. Prompting numerous studies and ongoing scientific interest, Manuka Honey has actually been found to be more effective than some other well-known acne products. Here, we delve into what the science says in relation to acne treatment and which, as a result, is the best Manuka Honey for acne.  

In this article, we will explore:

  • Manuka honey and acne prevention
    • What causes acne?
    • How (and which) Manuka Honey can help with acne?
  • Manuka Honey and acne inflammation
    • What is happening when the skin is inflamed?
    • How (and which) Manuka Honey can help calm inflamed skin?
  • The best Manuka Honey for acne scars 
    • How (and which) Manuka Honey can help heal the skin?
    • What at-home Manuka Honey acne applications are there?

Manuka Honey and Acne Prevention

What causes acne?

On a physiological level, acne is caused by blocked pores. Our pores are connected to glands that produce sebum, the natural oil on our faces which cleans and clears the skin. 

When these pores become clogged with excess sebum or dead skin cells, a bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes develops. Our white blood cells attack this bacteria, causing irritation and inflammation - acne. 

So, can you prevent pores from becoming blocked? Well, there are genetic and hormonal factors involved which are pretty much impossible to control. Scientific research has found others that may play a role too: 

  • Diet
  • Stress
  • Skincare products
  • Haircare products 

These are a little easier to influence. Here, we focus on skincare and ensuring that what you are putting on your face will not only not cause acne, but help to prevent it in the first place. 

How (and which) Manuka Honey can help with acne?

The two properties of Manuka Honey which lend it perfectly to acne treatment have also earned it worldwide fame. 

Manuka Honey has reported antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. What does this mean in practice? 

Studies found that bees make a protein when they produce Honey called defensin-1, which kills bacteria. 

“...the potential importance of honey for medicinal purposes cannot be underestimated. 

The research data has confirmed that Manuka Honey's antibacterial activity, in comparison to non-Manuka Honey, is due to a higher phenolic and methylglyoxal content… the conclusion is that honey is a natural and safe antibiotic.”

Not only is Manuka Honey suggested to kill bacteria, but with its antimicrobial properties, it is also said to slow the spread of microorganisms in the first place. 

With this in mind, which Manuka Honey is best for use with acne?

UMF is the rating used to differentiate between the types of Manuka Honey. It is determined by multiple factors, one of which is its activity levels. 

The higher the UMF, the stronger this antibacterial activity is. 

Our UMF™ 26+ | MGO 1282+ is the highest grade Manuka Honey on the market and will give you the best available concentration of activity levels for your Manuka Honey acne application. 

Manuka Honey and Acne Inflammation

What is happening when the skin is inflamed?

If your skin has become inflamed with acne, your white blood cells are attacking the bacterial intruders clogging your pores. 

Skin can swell, become red and itchy, dry or produce pimples. This could be your immune system working properly, or it could be the immune system malfunctioning, depending on the cause and symptoms.

Either way, your skin may appear to be suffering. If you know that the cause is clogged pores, then treating this inflammation is about removing those toxins and preventing their return. 

How can Manuka Honey help to calm inflamed skin?

We’ve already mentioned how Manuka Honey is known for its unique wellness properties, which are ideal for use with acne, but it can also regulate your skin’s pH levels.

According to one study, the ideal pH level for adult skin is just under 5, although most adults sit at around 5.7. Areas more exposed to the elements, like the face, tend to be more alkaline, which can cause the skin to lose its healthy level of natural fats (lipids). These lipids protect the skin against microbial invaders, so this imbalance can perpetuate inflammation. 

Together with killing off bacteria, preventing its spread and balancing pH levels, studies suggest that Manuka Honey may be an effective natural option for clearing your skin of unwelcome microorganism visitors. 

The higher the UMF grade of Honey, the more concentrated these effects can become. See our full range of Manuka Honey here.

The Best Manuka Honey with Acne Scars

How can Manuka Honey benefit the skin?

Scars are a natural response to injury, as our body takes time to rebuild its broken structures. The key to healing scars is to give them time - and not make them worse.

Scars can be itchy, red and dry. Manuka Honey acts as an emollient, which means that it locks in moisture to the skin and protects it. By keeping the affected areas hydrated and supple, the honey may relieve discomfort and prevent the temptation to scratch scars. 

Manuka Honey is also said to reduce redness, helping you to look and feel your best while managing your acne with the best that nature can offer.  

What at-home Manuka Honey acne treatments are there?

There are plenty of DIY Manuka Honey acne spot treatments and natural masks that you can make at home. Find some of our favourite recipes on our blog here

Other than the key ingredient, (high-grade Manuka Honey - the higher, the better), the following ingredients feature in a lot of natural skincare recipes:

  • Green tea: Green tea contains a micronutrient called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which has been associated with reparative processes in the skin. Studies also suggest that EGCG may also prevent sun damage, lock in moisture and prevent wrinkles. Warm the tea leaves with water and mix them with your Manuka Honey for a topical treatment.
  • Cinnamon: Studies have found cinnamon to contain antimicrobial, wound-healing and potentially anti-ageing properties. Try combining honey, cinnamon and nutmeg to create a beautiful fragrant face mask with all the nurturing goodness your skin is craving. 
  • Tea tree: A famed antiseptic, tea tree oil is a regular in many skincare products. Reducing inflammation and stimulating white blood cell activity, adding tea tree oil to your Manuka Honey face mask could give your skin the extra boost of healing help it needs. 

You can also use Manuka Honey alone on your skin. Check out our recipes here for using your honey as a cleanser, mask and treatment. 


Natural Acne solutions and Manuka Honey

Whether you are looking to prevent, ease or heal your acne, Manuka Honey can help. The best Manuka Honey for use with acne will be the highest-grade UMF on the market. 

This high rating indicates the strongest activity levels, a key aspect of the prevention and treatment of acne.

Due to its plethora of wellness benefits, Manuka Honey has become the third most-faked food in the world. At New Zealand Honey Co., every batch of our honey is independently tested and rated. This means that you can trust that our highest grade Honey is exactly what they say on the jar. 

Get started with your honey skincare journey and check out our range here

Check out some of our other skincare tips:

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