I Washed My Face With Manuka Honey for a Week—Here’s What Happened


Admittedly, I’m late to the all-herbal skin-care communique. Plenty of people included coconut oil and apple cider vinegar in their splendor workouts for a while now. But I’m too scared to position oil on my pimple-prone face, and the powerful scent of vinegar makes my nostril hairs curl. That said, I did want to get in on that herbal splendor tread, so I commenced studying natural cleansers because I’m now not particularly pleased with those I have on my shelf. My glycolic cleanser is too harsh, and my foam purifier isn’t hard enough on my oily T-quarter. Like Goldilocks on pores and skin-care venture, I began looking for a natural cleanser that could be simply right for me.

On my quest, I fell into a Google rabbit hollow and observed manuka honey cleaning. Beauty websites claimed that raw manuka honey labored miracles as a moisturizing facial cleanser, even suggesting it can enhance zits and inflammatory skin conditions like eczema. And human beings had been the usage of honey in wound care for centuries, so it seems respectable.

There’s even a little research that shows honey has antioxidative, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory houses. But what even is manuka honey? Native to New Zealand, manuka honey is a spread of honey with high attention of methylglyoxal (MG), a factor derived from the nectar of manuka flowers. Though MG can be found in different styles of honey, the compound is in particular wealthy in manuka honey, purportedly giving it more antibacterial homes than other honey types.

There’s even a rating gadget maintained by the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association (UMFHA), a growing enterprise of beekeepers, manufacturers, and exporters dedicated to generating proper manuka honey. The rating device, the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF), uses numbers to signify the number of certain compounds (like MG) in merchandise, which confirms that the product is genuine.


Intrigued with the aid of the possibilities of this seemingly wonder product, I enlisted the information of a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist, Y. Claire Chang, M.D., of Union Square Laser Dermatology, and set out on per week-long honey cleaning experiment. Dr. Chang cautioned that I select incredible honey with the right system that wouldn’t clog my pores. After a chunk of studies, I picked Manuka Doctor Bio Active Honey ($21), a product certified as authentic New Zealand manuka honey via the UMFHA.

The first time I opened the jar, I was amazed. Manuka honey is almost mustard-colored and greater opaque than the stuff I even have in my pantry. I began with a patch check to make certain my pores and skin wouldn’t negatively respond. (Though I’m no longer allergic to bees or honey, it’s always higher to be secure.) Despite being vicious, the honey went on more easily than I expected. However, a touch didn’t move in a protracted manner. I needed several large finger scoops to cover the floor location of my face. I smeared it around for thirty seconds, and it felt slick on my moist pores and skin. To my satisfaction and shock, it rinsed off effortlessly—nothing like the sticky mess I had anticipated.

For one week, I washed my face each night with manuka honey and noticed any modifications in my pimples, redness, pores, and skin hydration. I did leave out the lather of a conventional purifier—by some means, washing didn’t truly experience like washing without it—however, I became willing to forego the pride of foamy bubbles if manuka honey labored in addition to human beings claimed it did. Keep studying to see how my enjoy and the research stacks up towards some common manuka honey cleansing claims:

First up: Can manuka honey do anything for my acne?

My revel in As luck could have it, I changed into honey cleaning the week before my duration—pimple primetime—and curious to see how manuka honey might fare in opposition to my traditional crop of cussed acne. I turned into hopeful, but regrettably, I didn’t see a lot of a difference. The common pre-duration bumps came out to play and overstayed their welcome for forty-eight hours.

What the science says: The hard truth is that no matter all of the outstanding anecdotes I’d study, there are now not several sciences to lower back up the claims that manuka honey reduces breakouts. “Though some in vitro studies propose manuka honey can inhibit Propionibacterium acnes, a kind of bacteria related to pimples,” Dr. Chang says, “clinical studies have didn’t corroborate the blessings of honey as a pimples treatment.”

One examine did observe honey in human beings and determined particularly disappointing outcomes: For the examination, posted in BMJ Open in 2015, researchers gave all 136 members with zits an antimicrobial wash to use two times day by day for 12 weeks. Half of them additionally carried out a cream containing kanuka honey (some other New Zealand honey much like manuka) after the wash for 30 to 60 mins, even as the opposite half used the wash. Results confirmed that about eight percentage of these within the honey organization and a pair of percent of those within the manipulate organization showed upgrades in pimples over 12 weeks, which wasn’t enough of a difference for the researchers to conclude the honey did very a whole lot.

The verdict: If you have got pimples, you’ll possibly be higher off sticking to attempted-and-proper, evidence-primarily based medicinal drugs recommended by way of your dermatologist.

Next: Can manuka honey make my pores and skin less crimson and indignant?

My revel in: I have rosacea—an inflammatory pores and skin circumstance that reasons redness—and even though it’s not severe, I do enjoy acute flare use every so often. At the beginning of the honey cleansing trial, my skin became showing its traditional diploma of low-grade inflammation—a small rosy patch on my upper cheek. Unfortunately, after using the honey cleaner for a full week, there was a minimal reduction in my redness.

What the technological know-how says: “Since rosacea can be precipitated with the aid of Bacillus Polonius bacteria and the Demodex folliculorum mite, honey has been of the hobby as a probable treatment because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory residences,” Dr. Chang says.

She notes a pilot study posted in BMJ Open in 2015 in which 138 contributors with rosacea implemented either a cream containing kanuka honey or a manipulate cream to their faces two times a day for eight weeks. Results confirmed that 34 percent of these inside the honey organization showed upgrades in redness after eight weeks compared to simply 17 percent inside the control organization, suggesting that the honey cream can also have been extra effective at lowering the signs and symptoms of rosacea than a placebo. For this purpose, I once more had excessive hopes that manuka honey could assist my pores and skin. However, I didn’t see much of a difference at the quit of the week.

The verdict: I best-used manuka honey for every week, whereas participants in those above look at attempted kanuka honey for two months with two times a day-by-day software. Perhaps to look at results, I might have to decide on an extended trial length.

One more check: Can manuka honey hydrate my parched pores and skin?

My experience: During colder months, the dry air and heating do a doozy on my complexion. Despite my Herculean efforts to hold my pores and skin moisturized and hydrated, my face still receives uncomfortably dryness. Testing the product in the past due fall while it turned into simply starting to get cold, I changed into relying on manuka honey to convey some an awful lot-needed comfort and praying it wasn’t just a desolate tract mirage.

The day after my first honey face wash, I observed something promising. The pores and skin around my nostril weren’t peeling as badly. By mid-week, my complete face felt smoother, and I ought to practice my makeup easily—my foundation unfold frivolously without getting trapped within the crooks and crevices of rough, flaky patches. Feeling positive, I took my honey ordinary one step also. On my remaining day, I gave myself a ten-minute honey face masks remedy. When the time was up, I rinsed it off as traditional. The subsequent morning, my skin felt saturated and silky clean.

What the technology says: Manuka honey may additionally have some severe hydrating energy. According to Dr. Chang, “manuka honey is a natural humectant due to its sugar thing, which pulls in and retains moisture, and can be a beneficial aspect for moisturizers and emollients.”

The verdict: I turned into inspired. Plus, you don’t ought to necessarily slather your face in real honey to provide it a shot—there is a bunch of skin-care merchandise available that comprise manuka honey in some shape. For instance, L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition Honey Night Balm, $21, consists of a manuka honey extract, as does Ole Henriksen Moment Of Truth 2-In-1 Polishing Sugar Mask, $ forty-two Pharmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask, $56, and Naturopathica Manuka Honey Cleansing Balm, $62.

But pay attention that honey, like many botanical elements, can motive inflammation or even an allergy. So, especially when you have touchy skin, that should be added to your regimen with caution and, in all likelihood, the guidance of a dermatologist. After checking out manuka honey for diverse pores and skin problems per week, I decided to preserve to contain manuka honey into my weekly beauty regimen as a moisturizing face mask. Even though I’m a suds and lather gal, one aspect’s for certain, so my look for a perfect face wash maintains.