Why is mānuka honey good for your skin?
Mānuka honey is very healing and therapeutic for the skin with potent compounds that provide a rich source of medicinal properties for the skin.
- Antimicrobial property Firstly, mānuka honey is a rich source of an antibacterial compound called methylglyoxal, abbreviated as MGO (which is the mānuka honey’s strength rating). Methylglyoxal is the primary and most effective source of mānuka's antimicrobial activity. When applied sparingly to the face, mānuka honey kills bacteria that may be living on the skin’s surface, infecting the skin pores and generating acne and other skin problems. A further antibacterial compound found in mānuka honey is hydrogen peroxide, which is formed by the enzyme glucose oxidase. These antibacterial agents are good skin cleansers. Mānuka honey is also a good antibacterial because of its osmotic action. What does this mean? Osmosis is when water is drawn out of bacterial cells preventing their growth. This is particularly effective in mānuka honey due to its extremely high concentration of sugars which exert osmotic pressure on bacteria. In addition, the slight acidity of mānuka honey supports the breakdown of bacteria.
- Nourishing property Secondly, the rich variety of vitamins, amino acids and minerals found in mānuka honey enhance the skin’s natural levels of protection without stripping the skin of its natural oils and moisture. For example, vitamin B is used in cell mitosis, DNA synthesis, energizing and lipid production processes, vitamin E aids natural healing of the skin, vitamin C helps to synthesize collagen and elastin and vitamin A aids repair and protection. The natural sugars Fructose and Glucose help exfoliate the skin thus removing dead skin cells and unclogging pores while amino acids support cell function and renewal.
- Skin acidity Third, the slight acidic content of mānuka honey helps to match and balance the natural slight acidity of the skin. The acidity of mānuka honey comes from gluconic acid, which is a product of the oxidation of glucose that happens in honey.
- Natural hydration Fourthly, mānuka honey is a natural humectant, meaning it draws moisture to the skin's surface and retains it, keeping the skin naturally hydrated.
Conclusion Mānuka honey provides a huge range of positive benefits for the skin without any of the possible downsides of ingredients included in many skin products. It is helpful for specific skin challenges such as acne but equally for all skin types through the efficacy of its unique combination of bioactive compounds that support the maintenance of healthy skin. The same extraordinary properties of mānuka honey long known for supporting general health are now being recognized for their great benefits for the skin.
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