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Unique Manuka Honey

Skin Benefits and science

Manuka Honey Superfood

At Au Natural Skinfood we use one of nature’s superfood – Manuka honey as a HERO ingredient in our formulations. The results are clinically proven and for this reason Manuka Honey is now widely used in hospitals worldwide for wound care.

Manuka honey is safe to eat, and you can be assured that it is safe to put on your skin, working as a humectant, Manuka honey draws vital moisture into the skin, hydrating, rejuvenating and restoring its natural glow.

Manuka honey and your skin

Skin renewal

Skin renewal refers to our body’s natural process of replacing shedding layers (desquamation) in an orderly manner. As we age, our skin’s cell renewal process slows down and becomes less efficient. Manuka honey is a natural humectant meaning that is effectively holds in moisture combined with its micro-exfoliating effect, blood is brought to the surface of our skin, stimulating collagen production and encouraging our aging cells to function like they did when they were young. Manuka honey is scienfitically proven to speed up the healing process of wounds, including acne cysts and premature aging.

Balances the skin’s microbiome

Just like out gut microbiome, our skin has a microbiome too. Manuka honey’s combined benefits of hydrating, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties help balance the skin’s microbiome by eliminating bad bacteria and multiplying good bacteria. A healthy skin microbiome strengthens our skins barrier function, allowing us as nature intended to fight off external pollutants, stop trans-dermal water loss and slow down the signs of aging.

What makes Manuka honey special?

All honey has antimicrobial activity, derived from several factors including its high sugar content, lower water content, low acidity, the presence of Hydrogen Peroxide and the presence of phytochemicals.

Hydrogen Peroxide is however affected by heat, light, time and commercial processing. Manuka honey is unique because it contains a natural activity, Methylglyoxal (MG), which displays significantly higher antibacterial effects than Hydrogen Peroxide.

In vitro studies have revealed that the Manuka honey has been shown to exhibit ‘broad-spectrum’ antimicrobial activity, being able to act upon more than 80 species of pathogen, including antibiotic-resistant ‘superbugs’, such as MRSA.

Why you need the right sort of activity in Manuka honey

Not all Manuka honey’s are equal – some are more effective than others, and product labeling can be confusing or misleading. This video by Prof Peter Molan demonstrates in the laboratory why the special non-peroxide antibacterial activity that is in only some of the Manuka honey on sale is important, and why the type of antibacterial activity in other honey is not as good, as is made out in its activity rating.

What is UMF Manuka honey rating?

UMF stands for ‘Unique Manuka Factor’. The UMF grading system appraises natural markers found in Manuka honey and assures purity and quality. The UMF number indicates the level of the unique Manuka properties within the honey. The higher the grade the higher the purity, this only applies to UMF graded honey. Methylglyoxal (MGO) is one of the four unique signature compounds measured in the UMF testing process. UMF also tracks key signature markers: Leptosperin , DHA as well as HMF. Some honey brands use a measurement of MGO alone as the basis of their honey grading system.

For further information on the UMF grading system and NZ Honey Association go to

Manuka Honey Research

The efficacy of Manuka honey’s powerful antibacterial properties was reaffirmed in recent years by tests conducted by Sydney University’s School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences. During their study, Manuka honey was able to kill every strain of bacteria it was tested against, including antibiotic-resistant ‘superbugs’, some of which are flesh-eating. Importantly, the research also found that the bacteria were unable to develop a resistance to Manuka honey in the way they can with general antibiotics.

Furthermore, New Zealand’s University of Waikato has formed the Waikato Honey Research Unit, on this select team is the same scientist who first uncovered Manuka honey’s unique anti bacteria properties. The key aim of the research unit is to better study the cellular composition of honey and examine its antimicrobial activity in the hope of unlocking more of its potential benefits. In 2004, Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) licensed the use of medical grade Manuka honey – which must adhere to strict regulations and meet high standards in order to qualify- as a wound dressing. Its ability to remain highly effective in the presence of fluid and bacteria makes it a natural choice as a treatment method. What’s more, in the same year, the NHS also authorized the use of the honey in sterilized, medical-grade skin creams.

The antibacterial activity of honey: 1. The nature of the antibacterial activity
Molan, Peter C. (2006)
Honey has been used as a medicine since ancient times in many cultures and is still used in ‘folk medicine’. The use of honey as a therapeutic substance has been rediscovered by the medical profession in more recent times …

The antibacterial activity of honey: 2. Variation in the potency of the antibacterial activity
Molan, Peter C. (1992)
Honey is gaining acceptance by the medical profession for use as an antibacterial agent for the treatment of ulcers and bed sores, and other surface infections resulting from burns and wounds. In many cases, it is being …

Why honey is effective as a medicine. 2. The scientific explanation of its effects
Molan, Peter C. (2001)
The effectiveness of honey as a therapeutic agent has been unequivocally demonstrated in the literature reviewed in Part 1 of this article published in 1999, but the biochemical explanation of these effects is more …

Anti-influenza Viral Effects of Honey In Vitro: Potent High Activity of Manuka Honey
Ken Watanabe,a Ratika Rahmasari,a Ayaka Matsunaga,a Takahiro Haruyama,b and
Nobuyuki Kobayashia,b (2013)
Influenza viruses are a serious threat to human health and cause thousands of deaths annually. Thus, there is an urgent requirement for the development of novel anti-influenza virus drugs. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the anti-influenza viral activity of honey from various sources….

The effect of manuka honey on enterobacteria
Lin, Shih-Min (Sam) (The University of Waikato, 2010)
Manuka honey (Leptospermum scoparium) produced in New Zealand has been shown to exhibit substantial antibacterial activity against a broad range of pathogens causing wound infection and is being used in wound management …

The Study of the Antioxidant Activity of Phenolic Components of Manuka Honey
Wang, Hao (University of Waikato, 2011)
The phenolic compounds of honey have been known to pose significantly antioxidant activity, including iron-binding and free radical scavenging activity. Manuka honey has been widely used in wound treatment and the antioxidant …

Honey as an antiviral agent against respiratory syncytial virus
Zareie, Parvaneh Palma (University of Waikato, 2011)
Respiratory syncytial virus is the most frequent cause of hospitalization for viral respiratory infections in infants and young children worldwide. It also severely affects immunocompromised adults and the elderly, however, …

Study: Manuka Honey Kills More Bacteria than all Available Antibiotics
Blair SE1Cokcetin NNHarry EJCarter DA. 2009
There is an urgent need for new, effective agents in topical wound care, and selected honeys show potential in this regard. Using a medical-grade honey, eight species of problematic wound pathogens, including those with high levels of innate or acquired antibiotic resistance,

Manuka Honey – DHA and Methylglyoxal Explained
For centuries, honey has been known to have broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties, and has been used to treat a variety of ailments

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