What is manuka honey and why is it good for the skin?
First up, what is manuka honey?
Manuka honey is produced by bees that pollinate the manuka bush, which is native to New Zealand but also grows in Australia. Compared to the yellow-ish forms you may have seen on supermarket shelves, manuka honey is dark-hued and seen to be one of the most beneficial and antibacterial forms of honey in the world. Lucky for us, the bees down under are some busy bees.
What is a UMF rating on manuka honey packaging?
Evidently, manuka honey is so special, it gets its own acronym: UMF (Unique Manuka Factor). This is basically a trademark that only licensed beekeepers and producers of genuine manuka honey can obtain. If you’ve ever seen a jar in your health foods store, you’ll have noticed the UMF trademark, as well as a number next to it (think: UMF 25+). There’s also a similar grading system referred to as MGO – this measures the potency of manuka honey’s antibacterial properties. Much like your SPF, the higher the UMF (or MGO) the better! The number refers to the level of unique signature compounds present in the honey, which determines its quality.
Why is manuka honey good for our skin?
Think of the three As – antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
Honey has been used medicinally for its health benefits for centuries, and this extends to skin health. Without getting too science-y, manuka honey (like all forms of honey) derives its antibacterial properties from hydrogen peroxide, though also contains methylglyoxal, which makes it super antibacterial. Since it contains a high concentration of microbe-killing properties, it has traditionally been used to heal wounds and skin infections. When applied topically to the skin, its antibacterial and antiseptic properties can reduce the bacteria that could possibly cause congestion or acne, helping to potentially banish breakouts by killing acne-causing bacteria.
Another benefit of manuka honey is its anti-inflammatory properties. For those with irritated, itchy or acne-prone skin (or even those who suffer from skin conditions such as eczema), the soothing properties of manuka honey can be a skin saviour when incorporated into your skincare routine.
Last but not least in the skincare trifecta, there’s manuka honey’s vitamin and mineral properties which offer the skin antioxidant protection. This can help to fight off free radicals and daily environmental stressors like pollution that are attributable to visible signs of ageing. Manuka honey is also a humectant, which means it draws moisture from the air back into your skin in order to keep it hydrated, soft and moisturised. So if your skin is on the dry or dehydrated side, be sure to get some in your skincare routine.
Does Pollen Nation’s Honey Shots Clearing Gel contain manuka honey?
Yes, honey! Sure does. Powered by Australian manuka honey (830+ MGO, by the way), our spot treatment works to promote a healthy skin microbiome that fights bacteria. Unlike other spot treatments that can be drying or a little too harsh, the Honey Shots Clearing Gel calms the skin and helps to soothe and hydrate all at once. Trust us – it’s pretty sweet.