Honey, that sticky, delicious goodness produced by bees, has been used by humans for thousands of years—and not just to satisfy a sweet tooth. After thousands of years of studies and uses we now know that honey has antioxidant and prebiotic properties when ingested, and antimicrobial activity when applied topically. But there's a big difference between the stuff that comes in that cute, squeezable bear and Manuka, the pricey, potent honey that has now begun to transition out of health-food markets and hospitals and into beauty products.
All types of honey have an antiseptic quality, thanks to glucose oxidase, an enzyme in bee saliva. But Manuka's powerhouse benefits are specific to its source: the white and pink flowers of the New Zealand–native Manuka bush. The blossoms happen to contain an antibacterial compound called methylglyoxal (MG), which remains highly bioactive once the bees have changed the nectar into honey.
Thus begins the beauty-industry buzz. In treating aging skin, the goal is to stimulate collagen production and help aging cells function like they did when they were young. Manuka honey's combo of skin-soothing, hydrating, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties could also potentially keep skin looking younger.
The properties in Manuka also address cosmetic issues. Manuka can shut down the inflammatory cascade that degrades skin. It stops enzymes from destroying collagen and it also has peptides that help cells release a boost of energy into the cells that slows down aging.
Manuka Honey can be found in a variety of skincare and beauty products across the globe today such as moisturizers, masks, facial cleansers, and more.
Interested in finding out more about Manuka Honey? Check out these 6 products that Allure says are game changers!