Acne can show up on your skin at any given time thanks to factors like diet, stress, pollution, new products, your hormones—you name it. Don't stress, though: Acne happens to the best of us—85% of Americans, to be exact. When it comes to treating it, you might tend to reach for over-the-counter solutions, but there's a natural option to try, especially if you have sensitive skin: mānuka honey.
"Mānuka honey is produced from the flowers of mānuka bushes, which are native to New Zealand," explains Tyler Porteous, vice president of marketing and business development at Bare Republic, an eco-active skincare line. Think of it as your new secret acne-fighting weapon, thanks to its antibacterial and healing properties.
"Mānuka is a rare, special honey that's been extensively researched and recognized for its remarkable natural qualities," adds Eve Kessner, a certified holistic health coach and SoulCycle instructor. "It's also a superfood used for a variety of health and nutritional needs." Keep reading to learn more about using mānuka honey for acne.
It Can Reduce Redness and Unclog Pores
"Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, mānuka honey can heal congested and inflamed skin," explains Porteous. "It can oxygenate pores to draw out bacteria, helping to improve acne-prone areas over time. Its anti-inflammatory properties also help reduce redness."
It Reduces The Appearance of Blemishes
"Many products for acne actually contain ingredients that can aggravate the skin," explains Kessner. "Mānuka honey calms, soothes, and nourishes problem areas, and is known for reducing blemishes without drying or irritation."
It's Incredibly Hydrating and Nourishing
"Mānuka honey can be used to heal small burns as it produces small amounts of hydrogen peroxide to keep skin clean without damaging skin cells," Porteous points out. "Honey, particularly mānuka honey, is incredibly moisturizing, allowing your skin to stay hydrated without clogging pores. It's also been shown to offer antioxidant properties to bind up and neutralize free radicals."
It Works as a Mask or a Spot Treatment
"For best results, apply a thin layer of mānuka honey to your skin," suggests Kessner. "Leave the concentrated honey mask on for 15 to 30 minutes, and rinse it off with warm water. Repeat this one to two times per week for noticeable results."
Porteous also recommends masking with mānuka honey. "A cinnamon and mānuka honey mask is a great DIY option," says Porteous. "It helps remove bacteria from the skin and improve circulation. You can also use this as a spot treatment—just make sure to do a spot test beforehand."
Shop Expert-Recommended Manuka Honey
"I recommend the Bare Republic Milk and Honey After-Sun Serum as a great option to help soothe skin from environmental stressors," says Porteous. "The mānuka and calming oat milk help to nourish, renew, and rehydrate stressed skin. A balanced blend of antioxidants derived from turmeric, carrot oil, meadowfoam, calendula, hemp seed oil, and melon extract give the ultimate gift of hydration to your skin."
Kessner is all for this 100% natural blend of mānuka honey straight from its roots, New Zealand.
The verdict is in: Mānuka honey will help with acne and beyond.