Can You Use Manuka Honey for Acne?

Can You Use Manuka Honey for Acne?

Manuka honey is a special type of honey that is made by the bees collecting nectar from the Manuka trees. Manuka trees can be seen growing in New Zealand and the Southern side of Australia.

The importance and therapeutic potential of conventional honey are undeniable. In a similar way, Manuka honey is also being used for medicinal purposes for over a thousand years.

This may make you wonder that what is in the composition of Manuka honey that makes it so special. Well, for your knowledge, there is no single component that Manuka honey is popular for.

In fact, there is a whole array of the most beneficial components found in the composition of this type of honey. Some of these components include:

  • Amino acids, the building blocks of proteins
  • Sugar
  • DHA, a type of omega- fatty acid
  • Methylglyoxal, a compound with antibacterial properties
  • Leptosperin, a natural chemical found in the nectar obtained from Manuka trees
  • A very low pH

Does Manuka Honey Work for Acne?

As mentioned before, the uses of Manuka honey are far-stretched. It has anti-inflammatory properties and can heal wounds at a rapid rate. Beauty conscious people use it in their everyday face masks to enhance the health of their skin.

But one of the most popular questions that a lot of people tend to ask is if Manuka honey can treat acne.

Only a little research has been performed on the potential of Manuka honey in treating acne. However, it does offer certain benefits in treating similar skin problems.

A research performed in the year 2014 indicated that this type of honey consists of strong antimicrobial properties. This means that it can fight different types of bacteria, viruses, and fungi residing on the skin.

Moreover, it has anti-inflammatory properties to get rid of skin inflammation. Additionally, it can also fasten the speed of recovery of a skin wound.

Researchers who consider Manuka honey as a great way to treat acne consider this on the basis of certain facts. Some of these facts have been explained below for your understanding.

Manuka Honey- A Comprehensive Guide To Astounding Benefits

Anti-inflammatory Effects

Manuka honey is thought to be rich in different types of antioxidants. Because these antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties, Manuka honey is implied as a good treatment for acne.

Anti-inflammatory compounds in Manuka honey can reduce the localized inflammation that develops around acne.

Antimicrobial Properties

Manuka honey is said to possess an antimicrobial effect which means that it can fight and kill different types of organisms including bacteria.

Bacteria are often found infecting the skin pores and causing acne. Research says that Manuka honey can suppress about 60 different species of bacteria. This list also includes some of those bacteria which are resistant to most of the antibiotics.

A high sugar content present in this honey can also play a role in inhibiting the growth of bacteria and other microbes.

Manuka honey is also said to possess certain hygroscopic properties. This means that it is able to draw out the moisture from bacteria causing acne. As the bacteria get deprived of water, their survival becomes difficult.

Wound-Healing Properties

As per one study, Manuka honey also has a property to heal wounds. This is owing to several factors.

Manuka honey has a low pH and can also reduce pH of any surface that it is applied to. We also know that a low pH favors wound healing so, Manuka honey can be used by people who wish to get their wounds recovered soon enough.

As discussed before, Manuka honey also draws out moisture from the surface of the skin. In this way, it makes it dry and clean. At the same time, the antibacterial effects of Manuka honey help the wounds to stay free of any type of bacteria.

How to Use Manuka Honey for Acne

Manuka honey can be used in different ways to treat acne.

As a Spot Treatment

Take a tiny amount of Manuka honey and apply it directly to a pimple. Let it stay there until it gets dry.

As a Mask

Take a small amount of Manuka honey and mix it with lemon juice to form a paste. Use this paste on the face and let it stay there for 15 minutes. When the mask gets dried, rinse it off using warm water.

Manuka Honey- A Comprehensive Guide To Astounding Benefits

As a Cleanser

Take a pea-sized quantity of Manuka honey and massage it on the face for one minute. Now, rinse it off using water. This will help cleanse your face and remove all the impurities.

Additional Uses of Manuka Honey

More research is required on Manuka honey to establish its efficacy in treating other skin disorders. In the meantime, some of its uses have already been discovered.

Manuka honey can be used to address the following problems of the skin.


Manuka honey does not only speed up the process of healing but can also stop the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms that may infect cuts.


Manuka honey is also helpful in treating scars. It has also been proven that using Manuka honey on wounds allow less scar tissue to develop as compared to the wounds where no exposure to Manuka honey has been made.


Manuka honey can also be used to treat burns. Scientists have already proven that it can stop the bacterial growth and can enhance tissue regenerating process. Both of these are essential for healing a burnt area.

What to Consider while Using Manuka Honey?

A few things need to be kept in mind if you are considering to use Manuka honey. If you wish to use it for treating acne, it is important to realize that the antibacterial properties of Manuka honey can vary among batches.

RELATED: Manuka Honey- A Comprehensive Guide To Astounding Benefits

For this purpose, a grading system named the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) has been created which helps to grade the level of antimicrobial activity in a batch of Manuka honey.

The honey can be graded on a scale of 5 to 20. A number is assigned to a certain batch on the basis of the presence of three compounds; DHA, methylglyoxal, and leptosperin.

Manuka Honey- A Comprehensive Guide To Astounding Benefits

If a certain batch of Manuka honey has a high UMF, this means that it is richer in the three compounds mentioned above. Ultimately, this means that this certain batch has higher potential to kill bacteria as compared to other batches with low grading number.

Another thing to consider if you are thinking of using Manuka honey is that it can cause an allergic reaction in certain people. Therefore, before you use it, consider doing a spot test to be sure.

For performing a spot test, take a small amount of Manuka honey and place it on the inside of your arm. Keep checking for any allergic symptoms for a period of 24 hours. If nothing happens, you are probably good to go but if signs like itching, redness, and hives appear near the test area, you have an allergy to it.


Manuka honey definitely requires more support through scientific research for establishing its therapeutic potential. However, because it has properties for killing bacteria, healing wounds, and reducing inflammation, it is generally considered to be a good option for treating acne.

Although other treatments are available for acne, such as oral antibiotics and laser therapy, they may not be effective for all and may have side effects. In such circumstances, Manuka honey can be a safer and more effective natural alternative.


Nancy Walker

Nancy holds a Medicine degree and a Masters of Science MS in Infectious Disease and Global Health (MS-IDGH) from Tufts University. She worked as a lecturer for three years before she turned towards medical writing. Her area of interest are infectious diseases; causes, mechanism, diagnosis, treatments and prevention strategies. Most of her writings ensure an easy understanding of uncommon diseases.

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