We all know that honey tastes great. But did you know that it’s also been a beauty hack all through human history?
It’s been used as a wound salve and burn treatment by the Ancient Greeks and Egyptians as early as 2000 BC. Thousand year old still-edible honey was found in King Tut’s tomb.
It’s also been traditionally used for a wide array of skin concerns in Malaysia, Persia, India, parts of Africa.
We also use it now.
Specifically, we love Manuka Honey, which hails from New Zealand, where bees frequent the beautiful Manuka Trees to produce honey of a superior quality. Here are the benefits of Manuka Honey, which has additional antibacterial benefits, making it a prime skincare ingredient.
So, what’s UMF?
UMF stands for Unique Manuka Factor. UMF is a quality mark identifying natural, unadulterated manuka honey produced in New Zealand; it also ensures purity and quality. The UMF number on a jar of Manuka Honey indicates its antibacterial activity. The higher the UMF number of the honey, the more antibacterial compounds it has, and ratings range from UMF5+, 10+, 15+, to 20+. But even UMF5+ Manuka Honey has antibacterial properties that are superior (about 20 fold) to ordinary honey!
What, exactly, can Manuka Honey UMF20+ do for the skin?
The antibacterial properties of Manuka Honey UMF20+ is the highest among the rest of the varieties, and shows promising benefits for wound relief and calming of inflammatory blemishes that haven’t yet broken through the skin.
Manuka Honey has great antioxidant abilities. When antioxidants are applied topically, they balance out free radicals, preventing damage to the structure and strength of your skin.
Manuka Honey is a natural humectant, meaning it can draw water from the environment into the skin layers to supplement the health of the skin barrier, providing firming and well-ageing benefits.
Manuka Honey, it also helps seal in the moisture in the skin, helping the skin reduce Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL) and remain in its healthiest state.
How to use Manuka Honey UMF20+ in your skincare
It is perfectly fine to use Manuka Honey directly on your face as a wash offmask (be warned: it can be incredibly sticky and difficult to apply). While it has a wide range of benefits for the skin, the most efficient way to take advantage of Manuka Honey is to use it in combination with other active ingredients and treatments for a multi-corrective solution to your skin concerns.
Our Complexion Clarifying Accelerator is a strong exfoliating treatment with a 12.5 % Acid blend that helps to retexture the skin, clarify the pores and smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The antibacterial activity of Manuka Honey UMF20+ is the perfect complement for this to unclog pores while hydrating and strengthening the skin barrier to reduce the risk of irritation from the exfoliation. We source our Manuka Honey from sustainable bee farms.
Thank the bees, and protect them!
Bees work hard to make honey, but are also an endangered species due largely to human activity. Whether you have your tea with honey, or put honey on your skin, it’s important to take steps to take care of the bees.
If you have a garden, consider allowing wildflowers to grow to create more food and foraging sources for busy bees in your area. Purchase local honey and support small independent beekeepers with sustainable practices. You can even create pollination spaces in your own backyard for native bees.
As always, it’s important to protect the habitats and the natural environments where bees thrive.
To learn more, here’s the WWF guide to protecting the bees.