What does a very special honey variety from Australia and New Zealand have to do with the zits, pimples and acne that plague us from puberty until… um, forever? If you’re anything like me, the uprising of a decent purulent spot always shocks and amazes. I mean, I thought I had left acne in the past, along with Degrassi Junior High, a brief subwoofer obsession, Pop-Tarts, the Happy Harold health and sex-ed van, and my Dollarmite bank account. Anyway, seems some things just keep on keeping on, and acne, sadly, is one of them. With that said, it seems that we might all need a little help from time to time with problem skin, and manuka honey might just be the answer!
Manuka honey is a very special variety that has earnt itself a name for its superpower qualities. Produced by bees that pollinate the flowers of the manuka bush (Leptospermum scoparium) which is native to New Zealand and south-eastern Australia (tea tree), manuka’s unique trait is its high antibacterial quality. As found by researchers in Germany at the University of Dresden, the active ingredient, Methylglyoxal, is most likely responsible for these effects, and this honey variety has traditionally been used for wound healing, preventing tooth decay, soothing sore throats, and improving digestive issues. According to the Australian Manuka Honey Association, manuka inhibits problematic bacterial pathogens that cause disease or illness unlike any other known antimicrobial. Strong stuff!
According to Healthline, “Acne can be the skin’s reaction to factors such as stress, poor diet, hormone changes, and pollution” (which certainly explains my zit appearances, especially when I am super busy and running around like a mad man). They recommend the natural treatment of manuka honey for its sugars (mainly glucose and fructose), amino acids, vitamins and minerals, and hydrogen peroxide and methylglyoxal (two antimicrobial compounds): “Combined with its low pH, these ingredients make Manuka honey a great addition to your beauty routine as a mighty fighter against acne”. And, as they suggest, there are several ways you can use manuka honey to fight off those skin dramas: as a cleanser ¬– a pea-sized quantity mixed with a little water, massaged onto your face and rinsed off; as a mask – mix ground oats, manuka honey, and lemon juice into a paste, apply to your face, leave for 15 minutes and rinse off; or, as a spot treatment – simply add a tiny amount of manuka honey with your finger and let it work its magic! I suggest: Tasmanian Honey Company Manuka Honey Bio-Active $24.95 available from the Ben’s Bees online store.