Category Archives: acne

Why Manuka Honey May Actually Cure Your Acne

Can manuka honey help you get rid of acne? Yes, in fact it may. Let’s tell you up front that there are no scientific studies confirming this claim. Yet.. But in theory it works. I’ll explain further on in this post.

More importantly, ask people who tried it. Big chance they are positive. Especially if you have tried many things and most didn’t work. That’s the thing with acne right? I think you should consider trying. Only downside? It may get messy. And sticky.

As is the case with so many treatments you are probably inclined to think this is the next so called miraculous natural remedy that doesn’t work. Good for you. A critical mind is a good thing.  A pimpled face is less desirable. Most of us know how it sucks when nothing works.

The good news is that there is some evidence, although minimal, and  trustworthy reviews showing the manuka honey acne remedy really can be effective.

This post is about the use of manuka honey on acne,  the scientific facts, user experiences and more useful information. Read on to find out more.


Why Should You Use Manuka Honey for Acne?

It has been years ago since I suffered from acne and I have never used honey myself in this matter. Simply because didn’t know about it back then. So I don’t have experience with using honey to get rid of acne myself. But I do know a fair bit about honey in relation to skin care.

When writing about manuka honey and skin care I regularly stumble upon experts saying honey really can be an effective acne cure. Also posts on the forum show this natural remedy really works for (certain) people. Links to the sources further on this page.

Since both clinical findings as well as experiences of people on forums are promising and there isn’t much awareness about this natural solution yet I thought it might be a good idea to look into this. Especially considering the antibacterial,anti-inflammatory, dermal empowering aspects of Manuka honey.


In order to determine if honey really does get rid of acne we first have to take a close look to what acne exactly is. Scientifically that is.

What Exactly is Acne?

acne causes and definition

What exactly causes acne is not quite clear. Hormonal changes during puberty and pregnancy are commonly thought to be causes. Also genetics seem to influence acne.

Acne is simply said clogged pores. These pores get clogged by dead skin cells and a naturally present oil (sebum). A bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes which also naturally occurs in the skin attracts white blood cells. These blood cells produce an enzyme causing inflammation (red bumps) as a reaction to clogging of the pores. A correlation results in an increase of the growth of the bacteria. Ultimately progressing in pimples,              severe acne and possibly scars.

Get Rid of Acne with Manuka Honey?

What are the Benefits of Honey regarding Acne?

How certain improvements exactly are accomplished is not fully understood yet but in general getting rid of acne is thought to have to do with 4 criteria: (The best cures provide a combination of these effects)


  • regulate shedding in the pore to prevent clogging

  • destroy the  ‘Propionibacterium acnes’ bacteria

  • anti-inflammatory effects

  • hormonal manipulation

Manuka honey is the most researched, most powerful medicinal honey known today. It has the ability to  penetrate skin tissue and treat infections beneath the skin. Clinically proven to cure wounds, infections, ulcers and other skin conditions. Its antibacterial, antiseptic,  antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory properties are unchallenged. Read scientific reports here.

So apart from conquering inflammation and bacteria, which are two major factors in acne, Manuka honey also has shown to draw out  impurities in, even in highly infested, problematic, wounds. So it might have the same effect on acne pimples as well. It also has proven to stimulate the growth of new skin cells and fasten wound closure which helps reduce acne scars.

Being aware of these wonderful properties it could be very legitimate to suggest Manuka honey might be a really good natural acne remedy.


Does Honey Really Get Rid of Acne?

does it kill Propionibacterium acnes bacteria?

Many species of bacteria are destroyed by the osmotic (water  extracting) effect of Manuka honey. Also acidity (a low pH  value) is a significant antibacterial factor of honey. It must  be used topically because when digested it dilutes which decreases or diminishes its acidic action.

Hydrogen peroxide is another powerful antibacterial agent. Although present in all honeys Manuka honey has something extra. Previously called UMF or MGO, now labeled the Molan Gold Standard, this trait is the most powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory aspect of Manuka. (The label indicates the  honey has been laboratory tested for its activity)

What  might be the most convincing argument for this cure is the fact  that scientists doing research on Manuka honey have not found  any type of harmful bacteria resistant to Manuka honey’s special antibacterial activity. Although this sounds promising, we want  proof. So is there clinical evidence Manuka honey kills the Propionibacterium acnes bacteria?

A look at the Waikato  Honey Research website shows one of the researchers of this university’s current interests is a subject called: “Trials of honey to treat acne”. (after the redesign of their website they haven’t made these publications available yet.) So they think it might work and are looking  into it but there are no study reports on this particular subject yet.


Sugar in Honey Supposed to Worsen Acne?

what about bacteria feeding on sugar

The statement that  honey should not be used for acne because of its sugar content should be invalidated. The thought behind this argument is that  bacteria feed on sugar, thus acne would get worse.

Facts are that honey’s high sugar content along with its low Ph makes it an antimicrobial agent, actually inhibiting the growth of  bacteria.


How To Use Manuka Honey To Get Rid Of Acne

honey face mask, stipping spots..

For some users it dries out their spots while other people say it only helps even  their coloring and complexion. Although not an over night  miracle cure but with some time and dedication it may actually work.


Get Rid of Acne with a Honey Face Mask

Just spread a  layer of honey on your face. It’s best to use sterile manuka honey without any other ingredients.


Real Active Manuka Honey

I recommend manuka honey with an UMF rating of at least 10+ or an MGO rating of 200+. Always go for reputable brands that have their honey tested for antibacterial activity in certified labs. In my opinion the best brands are East Cape, Manuka Health, Comvita, and Watson and Son.


Pros and  Cons of Honey to Get Rid of Acne


  • messy, sticky

  • might give a tingling, slight stinging  sensation


  • soft skin

  • no side effects

  • natural

  • really seems to work



Reviews on

Reviews of people suffering from acne who started using Manuka honey. Click on the links below to read  their experiences.  Message Boards

Stuff works great to fade redmarks and kill bacteria. I’ve  tried everything. EVERYTHING! This is the only stuff that  actually worked. Only been on it for 2 days, and I can see a  noticeable difference.  Message Boards

In conclusion for now, I’ve used the Active Manuka Honey for  two days now (no make-up) and had seen some dramatically positive results. Only two days!!! The red blotchiness is almost completely gone, zits dried up and skin tone looking a  lot better. Looks like scars are fading as well. I love this  stuff.



Manuka Honey Acne Testimonial

I found this testimonial on Tumblr:


” As a typical teenager I too suffered from acne. As I entered my 20’s I expected my skin problems to disappear. Unfortunately, I was wrong. I’ve tried  everything from over the counter products to prescription medication. I had heard through a friend that manuka honey could  be used for my problem.


With no hope left I was willing  to try something new. My very first night I applied the honey to  my blemish and covered it with a band-aid. The following morning to my surprised I noticed a dramatic improvement. Not only had  the size, swelling and the redness been reduced by I could barely notice that I had a blemish at all! I have finally found  a solution to my skin imperfections! Thank you Manuka Honey! “


A Bit About Staph Infections and Acne

2  different things

Staph infections can infect wounds as well as occur on the skin. Little pus filled breakouts will appear which  look like pimples. Sometimes this type of skin infection is  wrongly thought to be acne vulgaris.

Commonly antibiotics  are prescribed by the doctor to treat this infection. However  more and more bacteria get resistant to antibiotics. Research  has shown Manuka honey to be effective at killing the                     Staphylococcus bacteria, the cause of this skin condition. Actually this specific bacteria is very sensitive to the antibacterial action of Manuka honey.

“seven species of bacteria most commonly involved in wound infection have been tested for their sensitivity to the antibacterial activity of honey. The results thus showed that these honeys, with an average level of                     activity, could be diluted nearly ten-fold yet still completely  inhibit the growth of all the major wound-infecting species of  bacteria… …Manuka honey, with an average level of activity, could be diluted with 54 times its volume of fluid yet still completely inhibit the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, the major wound-infecting species, and a species notorious for its development of resistance to antibiotics.”


Studies, Clinical Trials?

Many websites,  companies etc. state that clinical trials have shown Manuka  honey in fact is an effective way to get rid of acne. I, however, am not completely convinced. I do think it works but I would like to see links to study reports. I can’t seem to find  them searching online. But in the near future studies will be done and possible proof will be there. Until that time I think  it is a remedy worth investing some money and time in.


So Does Manuka Honey Help Acne?


There has not been done specific research done on the efficacy of Manuka honey on destroying the Propionibacterium acnes. So there is no scientific proof it works (yet).

However considering its cumulative antibacterial properties, the many positive experiences, the abundance of studies showing its efficacy in killing other types of bacteria and infections, all together  make this natural remedy a good candidate for the most effective  natural get rid of acne solution available. Not sure where to get your jar of manuka honey? Check out this post.





The Medical Uses of Manuka Honey

The buzz around the medical uses of manuka honey is getting louder. Thanks to ongoing (laboratory) research and positive experiences with the application of this medicinal honey from New Zealand.

More and more people are wondering; “what can manuka honey do for me?”

Well to keep it very short and simple; as far as science has discovered, this honey is able to cure (or soothe) various skin conditions. On top of that there are some substantial benefits to the gastrointestinal system. It soothes and possibly cures several digestive ailments such as stomach and bowel complaints.

The beauty of this gift of nature (I think this term is not overdone) is that it’s natural, has no side effects, is very powerful in destroying harmful bacteria but at the same time it assists in restoring the balance of good bacteria in the human body.

Let’s be more specific on manuka honey’s medical uses;

Dermatological Uses of Manuka Honey
Various skin and tissue conditions have been shown to benefit from topical application of this special honey.

It is used in wound care to help treat;

  • (surgical) wounds,
  • burns,
  • amputation stump wounds,
  • ulcers, diabetic leg and foot ulcers,
  • (bed and pressure) sores,
  • decubitus ulcers,
  • ringworm (Tinea),
  • MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staph Auereus) infected wounds,
  • surgical wounds and even more.

It seems to help some people with reducing acne outbreaks too.

Research has shown it is more effective than several conventional wound care practices. This was concluded from a comparison of 17 randomized controlled trials involving a total of 1965 participants, and in five clinical trials of other forms involving 97 participants treated with honey. source: using honey in wound care (.pdf)

“It’s been used on wounds where nothing else will work”

A visitor of one of my Squidoo lenses sent me photos of a decrease of her psoriasis outbreaks as a result of applying manuka honey.

Digestive / Gastrointestinal Uses of Manuka Honey
Manuka honey is used internally for gastrointestinal disorders, such as;

  • acid reflux (GERD),
  • heartburn,
  • up-set stomach,
  • gastroenteritis (stomach flu or tummy bug),
  • esophagitis (inflammation, irritation, or swelling of the esophagus),
  • stomach ulcers, peptic ulcers,
  • h. pylori (helicobacter pylori),
  • gastritis (inflammation of the lining of the stomach),
  • duodenum ulcers,
  • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS),
  • and other digestive diseases such as diverticulitis, and ulcerative colitis.

As well as for the medical use of manuka honey on acid reflux as for a part of the other conditions mentioned above there is no clinical evidence it works. At least not yet. But many studies are in the pipeline at the moment and the many positive testimonials are significant.

On acid reflux for example there are abundant anecdotal reports demonstrating it does at least seem to offer relief. Common medicines are known to offer relief too but these have side effects whereas manuka honey does not. Here’s more info on manuka honey offering acid reflux relief.

There are indications manuka honey also helps treat sore throat, sinus infections, water warts, and eczema. Just recently a mother informed me about her 3 year old daughter being cured of a recurring bladder infection supposedly thanks to the use of manuka honey.

Critical note
Considering the extraordinary benefits some batches of manuka honey have displayed it should be emphasized that there is a distinction between honey as a medicine and as a dietary supplement. Most manuka honeys even though they have been tested for their antibacterial and other beneficial properties are technically just dietary supplements. The only manuka honey and products based on this honey, such as Medihoney dressings, are approved by the FDA and are indeed medical devices.

Manuka Honey Benefits for Acne

Do you use manuka honey for your acne? You might think this probably is the next so called wonderful acne treatment that works miraculously. Well, no. That’s not what I want to say. But there’s something to it. Hear me out. It’s for your own good. Manuka honey, in fact,  has some properties that actually might be very useful in the struggle against acne.

There is a bit of evidence, although minimal, and some trustworthy reviews showing manuka may be effective in treating acne. So in case you were convinced never to cover your face with sticky honey you might want to read on.

The Secret of an Effective Acne Treatment

How certain acne treatments turn out to be effective for some people is not fully understood yet but in general getting rid of acne is thought to have to do with 4 criteria: (The best cures provide a combination of these effects)

* regulate shedding in the pore to prevent clogging
* destroy the ‘Propionibacterium acnes’ bacteria
* anti-inflammatory effects
* hormonal manipulation
source: Wikipedia


What Has Manuka Honey To Do With It?

Everyone who has heard a little bit about manuka honey probably knows about its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and dermal empowering abilities. Apart from conquering inflammation and bacteria, which are two major factors in acne, manuka honey also has shown to draw out impurities in, even in highly infested, problematic, wounds.

So it might have the same effect on acne pimples as well.

It also has proven to stimulate the growth of new skin cells and fasten wound closure which helps reduce acne scars.

What might be the most convincing argument for this cure is the fact that scientists doing research on Manuka honey have not found any type of harmful bacteria resistant to Manuka honey’s special antibacterial activity.

Researchers of the world renowned Waikato (University) Honey Research Unit show interest in this matter because one upcoming study is titled: “Trials of honey to treat acne”.

Did you know manuka honey is the most researched honey known today? It is clinically proven to cure various skin conditions and increasingly referred to as medicinal honey. In fact the special manuka honey based wound dressings manufactured by Medihoney are FDA approved, CE marked medical devices.
Well that’s nice, you might say, but I want to get rid of my acne. Yeah you’re right. Let’s get back to manuka honey’s benefits regarding acne treatment.


Let’s Keep It Honest, There’s No Real Research Proving Its Benefits (Yet) But….

In theory there are some substantial benefits to using manuka honey on acne. In practice however these benefits need to be proven before we can objectively determine its benefits.

Key manuka honey properties that might help cure (or relief) acne:

  • Independent research demonstrates manuka honey reduces inflammation
  • manuka honey has a strong hydrating effect on the skin, thus it creates an optimal, moist healing environment
  • doesn’t irritate sensitive skin, which is common among acne sufferers.
  • is an antimicrobial agent which means it may help prevent and treat acne breakouts because it prevents bacteria from growing.

Many acne sufferers have tried lots of products such as Clearasil, Clean & Clear, Neutrogena, and Proactiv. In some cases these products offer relief but in many cases they just don’t work very well.


A lot acne products contain chemical compounds such as benzoyl peroxide and salacylic acid. These tend to dry out skin. That’s why the combination of all natural manuka honey’s moisturizing abilities and it’s anti-inflammatory and anti bacterial properties is so promising.

People Who Tried It Are Very Positive..

It works for a lot of those who try it. There’s an increasing amount of testimonials of people using manuka honey masks to cure their acne. For some it doesn’t work but there seem to be more and more people who experience positive results.

Statements like; “my zits dried up”, “the red blotchiness is almost completely gone”, “and my skin tone has improved” are just a few of the positive results mentioned. Some people even report that their scars are fading as well. (some manuka honey researchers have indicated they suspect this honey may improve scar appearance.)

In conclusion
Although no clinical studies on the effects of manuka honey on acne vulgaris have been conducted, the first indications are promising. Both its properties as well as testimonials indicate this may be a valid solution. Whether to wait for clinical evidence or to try it out yourself is up to you.