How To Use Manuka Honey for Skin Care

What is Manuka honey and how can you use manuka honey for skin care? I answer these queries in this in-depth breakdown of manuka honey.

I only found out about this brand of honey a few months ago while browsing Marks & Spencers.

I began researching it some more and tried it out with impressive results!

What is Manuka Honey?

Manuka honey is a monofloral honey produced from the nectar of the manuka tree native to Australia and New Zealand.

Manuka honey has a viscous texture; the highest among all kinds of honey.

It is dark cream/dark brown in color and has a strong flavor, which some people find a bit much. 

As a natural treatment, Manuka honey is one of the food items you should include in your everyday life and skincare regimen.

Manuka honey benefits for skin

What is the Difference Between Honey and Manuka Honey?

Regular honey has a lot of benefits including antibacterial properties but manuka honey contains 4 times the amount of these benefits.

Additionally, manuka honey contains a unique antimicrobial compound – Methylglyoxal.

Methylglyoxal gives manuka honey its distinct bitter taste and has more efficient healing properties than regular honey.

Another unique compound in manuka honey is hydrogen peroxide which also aids in wound healing.

Top 7 Benefits of Manuka Honey For Skin

1. Packed Full of Nutrients

Regular honey contains amino acids, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, iron, calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc.

Manuka honey, on the other hand, contains up to 4 times that amount of nutrients.

2. Manuka Honey Calms Acne-Prone Skin

Manuka honey has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that are beneficial for treating acne-prone skin.

It helps calm skin inflammation and irritation.

3. Manuka Honey Heals Wounds

Manuka honey contains a substance known as MGO which helps heal wounds on the skin.

In this article, researchers reported the many benefits of honey for the skin.

4. Evens Out Skin Damage

Manuka honey helps even out scarring and hyperpigmentation from previous acne bouts.

This is due to the hydrogen peroxide content which is thought to contain mild lightening properties.

5. Softens Skin

Manuka honey is an excellent emollient which means it softens the skin and helps retain moisture in dry skin

6. Full of Antioxidants

Manuka honey is packed with antioxidants that help fight cell damage from free radicals.

7. Soothes Skin Care Issues

Manuka honey helps soothe irritation from skin care conditions such as eczema and dermatitis.

Other skin problems manuka honey can assist with include psoriasis and dandruff.

Manuka Honey UMF

Manuka honey UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) is the global standard for identifying and measuring the antibacterial strength of Manuka.

The UMF is a guarantee that the honey is of medicinal quality and suitable for health purposes.

Manuka honey with UMF 10 – 16 is considered extremely beneficial while UMF 16+ is considered superior quality.

There are Manuka honey varieties with ratings below 10. They are also beneficial but not quite as much.

bee on Manuka flower
Bee on Manuka Flower

How to Identify UMF Manuka Honey

As with all trends, the popularity of Manuka honey has led to a number of counterfeit products being labeled as genuine Manuka honey.

When in doubt about the authenticity of your manuka honey, here’s what to look for:-

  • The UMF trademark should be clearly visible on the product label.
  • The label should be from New Zealand and from a licensed company.
  • The UMF rating should be between 10 – 16+.
  • Genuine Manuka honey isn’t cheap. The world market price for a kilogram of Manuka honey is as high as $1,000.

If the Manuka honey you purchase is missing any of these things, it likely isn’t the genuine article.

You can find out more at Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association.

Manuka Honey MGO

MGO is the short name for Methylglyoxal – another compound found in manuka honey. 

Methylglyoxal has been linked to high antibacterial abilities in manuka honey.

The MGO rating on a manuka honey label indicates the amount of methylglyoxal in the honey.

For instance, an MGO rating of 829+ indicates there’s at least 829 mg of methylglyoxal per kilogram in the manuka honey.

The higher the concentration of MGO in the manuka honey, the stronger the antibacterial effect.

Manuka Honey Mask for Skin

This recipe is one of the best ways to utilize Manuka honey for your skin.


  • You will need 1 teaspoon of Manuka honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder


  • Mix the manuka honey with cinnamon powder then apply to cleansed and damp skin.
  • Leave for 45 minutes then rinse with lukewarm water.
  • Follow up with your nighttime moisturizer.

Use this mix 2 – 3 times a week. If you find the mix too strong, skip the cinnamon.

Other Ways to Use Manuka Honey on Skin

  • You can use manuka honey as a substitute for glycerine in DIY products. Glycerine absorbs water and helps your skin stay supple and moisturized.
  • You can mix a little bit of manuka honey with your daily moisturizers and cleansers. This will require some trial and error to find the right blend for your skin care needs.
  • You can eat 1 tablespoon of Manuka honey every morning or mix it in with coffee, tea, or a smoothie if the taste is too strong for you.

Where to Buy Manuka Honey?

You can find Manuka honey on Amazon or with 10% off your first order of $40 or more.

If you can find it, New Zealand Honey Co. Manuka Honey is the highest-rated brand of Manuka honey for the face.

Related Content: What is the Best Manuka Honey for the Face? 

Manuka Honey Warning

While allergic reactions to honey are rare, it’s still best to conduct a patch test first before you add it to your skin care regimen.

However, if you’re allergic to bees, then you should avoid applying manuka honey on your face.

To be on the safe side, do not combine manuka honey with other active ingredients like retinoids or acids.

Manuka Honey FAQs

Can I Put Manuka Honey on my Skin Every Day?

If you’ve never used manuka honey before, start with using one to two nights a week.

If your skin loves manuka honey, then you can increase use to three times a week.

Does Manuka Honey Clog Pores?

Manuka honey contains compounds that help detoxify the skin and slough away dead skin cells.

When this happens, your pores remain clear. To summarize, manuka honey doesn’t clog pores.

How Long Can You Leave Manuka Honey on Your Face?

You can leave manuka honey on your face for 35 – 45 minutes. Leaving on any longer isn’t going to make much of a difference.

Benefits of genuine manuka honey for the skin


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