Substance produced by bees from the nectar of flowering plants. Composed primarily of the sugars fructose and glucose and consumed as food, honey also has applications when it comes to skincare. This is due to its amino acid, peptide, antioxidant, antibacterial composition.
The primary research on honey and skin has to do with its multi-faceted role in soothing various concerns. Dark honeys have a stronger antioxidant effect than light honeys. Regular honey is also known as clarified honey or purified honey.
Honey’s primary use in skincare products is related to its potent antioxidant properties; however, it’s role in helping wounds heal has been shown to have some benefits in comparison to traditional medicines and procedures. Honey forms a barrier on skin that can help soothe and protect.
Manuka is a type of honey that shows up in many skincare products. Often hyped as a special kind of honey, it’s produced in New Zealand from bees that pollinate the country’s native Manuka shrub. Manuka honey is similar to “regular” clover honey except it’s said to contain more of a chemical called methylglyoxal, which might give manuka honey an advantage. Some research shows that it doesn’t necessarily have an edge over other varieties for calming properties and wound healing such as acacia and buckwheat honey.
References for this information:
Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy, August 2017, pages 849-855
The Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews, March 2015, ePublication
Foods, July 2014, pages 420-432
PeerJ., March 2014, eCollection, 2014
Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, December 2013, pages 306-313
Burns & Trauma, June 2013, pages 32-38
The Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, April 2011, pages 154-160
About the Experts
Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books about skincare and makeup. She is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula’s expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international radio, print, and television including:
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