First discovered by New Zealand’s indigenous Maori people, Manuka honey is crafted by bees who have visited the flowers of the Manuka tree, which features delicate white petals and an enticing red center surrounded by stamens.
And while it has a storied history, the Manuka tree was reviled in the 20th century because of its perseverance, leading farmers to celebrate when a fungus nearly wiped out the country’s entire species. (Ref. 2)
Thankfully Manuka trees survived! Contemporary farmers had forgotten what the indigenous Maori people knew. They used Manuka for everything – the leaves for tea, the wood for smoking fish and the honey made from those delicate flowers was used in a wide variety of applications, especially supporting the skin thanks to its powerful properties.
The health effects of honey
Dr. Peter Molan is an expert on Manuka honey, and before he retired he ran the Waikato Honey Research Institute at New Zealand’s University of Waikato.
That facility did a great deal of research on the health properties of Manuka honey, including its ability to support the body’s ability to manage infections.
During his research spanning more than 40 years, Molan found that Manuka honey not only supports wound recovery, but it can also help support the immune system and digestive system.
It can also benefit skin by supporting cell growth and fighting free radicals.
The best of the best
Because word has spread about Manuka honey, there are many products that claim to be Manuka honey, but have not been crafted from pollen snagged during the two to six weeks that the delicate Manuka flowers bloom each year.
To foil the counterfeiters, ratings based on methylglyoxal (MG) in the honey are used. MG is the nutrient that is believed to elevate Manuka honey’s multiple health benefits. Different grades are available based on the concentration of MG in the honey.
“MG is thought to give Manuka honey its power. The higher the concentration of MG, the stronger the effect,” say the experts at WebMD.com. (Ref. 4)
Because each variety of honey is made by a different hive of bees, the MG level can be decidedly different between one batch and another. Testing is done to determine the MG concentration of each batch.
Manuka honey and skin care
Knowing the benefits of Manuka honey – and having an all-too-real awareness of the grime that accumulates on our faces every time we step outside – it was an obvious choice to include Manuka honey in so many of our skin care products.
- Foaming Facial Cleanser. Our gentle but effective cleanser-and-toner-in-one works because it targets impurities and washes them away, leaving behind clean, refreshed skin. It is perfectly suited for sensitive skin because honey removes dirt and impurities while leaving the skin’s natural oils behind. (Ref. 5) It also offers a touch of moisture, so skin won’t feel dry and parched after washing.
Because of its natural properties, our Foaming Facial Cleanser is likely to reduce breakouts, making it an excellent supporting product for acne. It also helps gently speed cell turnover with the fruit enzymes in Kiwifruit, so replenished, revitalized skin fed by the antioxidants in the Manuka honey is more quickly revealed.
- Restorative Night Cream. At night, after a day exposed to contaminants, your skin needs an extra boost of nourishment and support, and Manuka honey fits the bill. A natural moisturizer and antioxidant, Manuka honey is nutrient-dense so it nourishes skin deeply, offering vitamins, minerals and proteins that help support collagen and elastin so skin stays supple and elastic while soothing away the day’s stressors.
- Eye Contour Cream.With the extra moisture of Manuka honey, which penetrates deeply while fighting free radicals that can damage collagen and leave the delicate skin under your eyes looking thin and sagging, this serum is an excellent addition to your age-defying skin care regimen.