Over the past decade or so, New Zealand’s active manuka honey has become recognized for its near mythical benefits and multitude of properties that are good for all kinds of ailments and in particular the skin. So it is no wonder that manuka honey now forms the key ingredient in a number of cosmetic and skincare products. However, its use stems back into the mists of time as popular wisdom has long understood its benefits.
Not just for circles under the eyes
Interestingly, it is also reported to be useful in treating some eye conditions too. For some contact lens wearers, dry eyes is a condition may be familiar and in the worst instance can make it impossible to wear contact lenses. While there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest that honey eye drops could be of use in treating dry eyes, there has also been some research on the subject.
One paper published in the Journal of Apicultural Research (in 2007) entitled ‘Using 20% honey solution eye drops in patients with dry eye syndrome’ concluded that honey eye drops did prove to be beneficial in the treatment as well as having a positive effect on the state of the cornea. So in the future, contact lens wearers who suffer from dry eyes may find a more natural way to find relief.
Manuka honey is also popular in some homemade remedies for treating less serious problems that mostly stem from modern life, such as bags under the eyes. Its use is based on the the honey’s exceptionally good properties that benefit the skin.
Benefits of manuka honey for the skin
Manuka honey’s antibacterial properties have long been recognised and studied but it also has many other attributes which make it suitable and a good product for nourishing and healing the skin.
Research has been conducted at the University of Wales on cold sores, which has shown that manuka honey may be effective in treating cold sores, demonstrating its antiviral properties.
Manuka honey is effective in treating skin blemishes and acne because it penetrates the skin and its strong antibacterial properties kill bacteria and do not dry the skin out.
It is the powerful antioxidant properties[/highlight] of manuka honey that can provide protection against damage caused to the skin from ultraviolet radiation when it is applied topically. Antioxidants combat oxidation of cells, which damages them and contributes to the ageing process. This is one of manuka honey’s great properties in that it repairs damaged skin and promotes new skin growth.
The honey’s well-known anti-inflammatory properties make it suitable in the treatment of irritated skin as well as a number of skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis.
Manuka honey is packed with a long list of minerals and vitamins including copper, iron, zinc, and potassium, and the vitamins B and C.
Manuka honey is a natural moisturizer and softens the skin. It is also a deep cleanser as it penetrates deep into the skin tissue.
Manuka honey has has also been shown to be effective in preventing scars when used topically because it heals the wound and lifts scabs away from the wound, so allowing the new skin to grow at the same level as old skin. Scars are formed when a scab forms on top of a wound and new skin grows underneath, but because is not at the same level as the old skin a scar is produced.
Manuka honey has antimicrobial properties, which has again been proven through academic research reported in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, which found that manuka honey is a unique antimicrobial agent that kills microbes in a manner unlike other agents.