Can You Use Manuka Honey for Acne?

What is Acne?

Acne is one of the most common skin conditions that affects most people during teenage years but can extend into adult life.  It appears as different types of bumps on the skin including whiteheads, blackheads, pimples and cysts usually on the face, neck, back, chest and shoulders.  Although it is not a serious health thread, it can be a source of significant emotional distress.  Severe acne can lead to permanent scarring.

What Causes Acne?

Doctors believe acne results from several related factors but the exact cause is not fully understood.  Acne occurs when sebaceous (oil) glands are stimulated by male hormones that are produced in the adrenal glands of both boys and girls.  This increases the amount of sebum which can clog the pores causing whiteheads and blackheads.  Bacteria that live on the skin grow in these oils and produce waste products that cause inflammation.

How to Care for Skin with Acne

  • clean your skin - if you have acne, you should gently wash your face with a mild cleanser such as MANUKA CLEANSE each morning and before retiring in the evening;
  • avoid scrubbing or rubbing your skin - you can't scrub your acne away!  In fact, abrasive or frequent washing can lead to dry skin and irritated acne.  You could try our gentle Manuka Micro Face Scrub but do not scrub too much and wash thoroughly afterwards.  It would be best to test on your skin first before applying all over your face.  Our Manuka Micro Face Scrub is a very gentle exfoliator and can be used every day, but with Acne sufferers we suggest once per week;
  • if you exercise hard and sweat a lot, gently wash your face afterwards;
  • drink plenty of water during the day to flush the toxins out of your system;
  • avoid touching your face a lot during the day - our hands have oil and bacteria on them which can aggravate your acne;
  • Don't pop that pimple!  If you squeeze now, all you'll do is force the contents deeper into the skin that will make matters worse;
  • Use our MANUKA JOJOBA Daily Moisturiser with Jojoba Oil.  This is a very light moisturiser and will protect your skin against moisture loss.

Treating Acne takes time so be patient!  The goal of all acne treatments is to get rid of existing blemishes and to prevent new ones from forming.  Unfortunately, this doesn't happen overnight and you may find your skin gets worse before it gets better.  Results are usually seen in a few weeks but it may take up to 8 weeks or more. 


When your pores get blocked with oil, bacteria, dirt, and dead skin cells, it causes a skin condition called acne, which you often describe as pimples or zits or a breakout.

Acne usually occurs on your forehead, face, chest, shoulders, and upper back. While it is not life threatening, it can certainly cause emotional distress and pain if the acne is severe. Sometimes acne can lead to scarring of the skin.

You have probably experienced acne sometime in your life. It is quite common among teens and is often associated with hormonal fluctuations, but it can affect people of all ages.

Not all acne is the same. Acne can be inflammatory and non-inflammatory and include the following subtypes:


• Blackheads—open plugged pores
• Whiteheads—closed plugged pores
• Papules—small, red bumps
• Pustules (pimples)—small red bumps with pus
• Nodules—large, solid, and painful bumps under the skin
• Cysts—painful, pus-filled lumps under the skin

There are several treatment options for acne, such as medicated creams, cleansers, and prescribed medications.

However, self-care remedies and natural treatments also help ease acne. One natural treatment that seems to be effective for acne is Manuka honey.

Benefits of Manuka Honey for Acne

What sets Manuka honey apart from other types of honey is the higher levels of antioxidants. Manuka honey also contains an additional active ingredient called Methylglyoxal which likely makes it more beneficial for skin conditions, especially wound care.

While there is little research on Manuka honey and its effects on acne, Manuka honey can be beneficial when treating various skin conditions, making it a good option for acne treatment.

The following healing properties of Manuka honey may help treat acne:


Studies show that Manuka honey is an antimicrobial, which means that it can kill harmful pathogens, including antibiotic-resistant bacteria, because of hydrogen peroxide and compounds like methylglyoxal in it.

The higher sugar content in Manuka honey also prevents the growth of microbes. Manuka also draws moisture out of the bacteria, making it impossible for bacteria to survive.

Because bacteria can infect pores and cause acne, Manuka honey can be a useful treatment option in keeping bacteria away.


Antioxidants in honey, including Manuka honey, are responsible for its anti-inflammatory effects, making honey useful for reducing inflammation and pain caused by acne.

However, the anti-inflammatory properties of Manuka honey remain unmatched compared to other types of honey.

Wound healing

Manuka honey has been scientifically recognised for its wound healing properties. Studies show that Manuka activates cells called fibroblasts, which protect the body against oxidative stress and cell damage. Manuka thus improves antioxidant response and promotes wound healing.

It also speeds up the wound healing process because of its low pH, which lowers the pH of the wound.

Natural emollient

Manuka honey is a natural emollient, which keeps the skin moist by locking in the moisture. This protects the skin, keeping it soft and supple, which minimises scarring during the acne healing process.

Manuka can also relieve dryness and prevent scratching acne scars, which can be dry and itchy.

Manuka also contains a small amount of hydrogen peroxide which may help lighten acne scars.

How to Use Manuka for Acne?

Manuka honey can be used as a cleanser, a mask, or for spot treatment. In our experience, your acne can become worse when you use Manuka on the skin, before it clears and heals.


As a cleanser, you can apply a small amount of Manuka on your face and massage gently for a few minutes before rinsing it off. You can also dilute Manuka with a few drops of water before applying on your face.


You can also apply Manuka honey as a face mask, leaving it on for 30 minutes before rinsing or apply some honey on an emerging pimple to treat it.


Nature’s Gold Manuka Micro Face Scrub is another option. It is a gentle exfoliator that can be used once a week. However, we recommend spot testing the product first before applying on your face.


You can try our Manuka Jojoba Daily Moisturiser with Jojoba Oil to protect your skin against moisture loss. While most people are afraid of using Jojoba oil on oily skin, it is an excellent choice for oily skin as it suppresses oil production, besides being naturally antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, which can keep acne at bay.


If you are looking for high strength Manuka honey or Manuka honey therapeutic skincare, visit our online shop or look for Nature’s Gold products in the stores.