Manuka Honey



Manuka Honey description

Manuka honey is a type of honey found in many skin care products. It’s primarily produced in New Zealand from bees that pollinate the country’s native Manuka shrub, Latin name _Leptospermum scoparium_. Since Manuka honey is only made from this specific plant, it’s categorise as a monofloral honey. Wild honey is considered multifloral because it’s made from nectar that bees consume from numerous flowering plants. Both types of honey are used in skin care, but when manuka is used, you’ll see its Latin name, _Leptospermum scoparium_ on the label. Chemically, manuka honey is like “regular” clover honey except it’s said to contain more of a chemical called methylglyoxal and does not contain or has low amounts of a compound known as defensin-1. The higher amount of methylglyoxal is believed to give manuka honey an advantage when it comes to healing wounds since it is better at preventing harmful biofilms on skin’s surface. These surface films contain substances that reduce skin’s ability to recover from damage. Some comparative research shows that manuka honey doesn’t necessarily have an edge over other varieties for general skin-calming properties; however, as with any natural ingredient, the quality and how it’s sourced can impact performance in skin care formulas and on skin itself.

Manuka Honey references

  • Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences, December 2019, pages 1,368-1,377
  • AIMS Microbiology, November 2018, pages 655-664
  • Journal of Functional Biomaterials, June 2018, ePublication
  • Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy, August 2017, pages 849-855
  • Wounds, June 2015, pages 141-151
  • 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

Peer-reviewed, substantiated scientific research is used to assess ingredients in this dictionary. Regulations regarding constraints, permitted concentration levels and availability vary by country and region.

Ingredient ratings


Proven and supported by independent studies. Outstanding active ingredient for most skin types or concerns.


Necessary to improve a formula's texture, stability, or penetration.


Generally non-irritating but may have aesthetic, stability, or other issues that limit its usefulness.


There is a likelihood of irritation. Risk increases when combined with other problematic ingredients.


May cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, etc. May offer benefit in some capability but overall, proven to do more harm than good.


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Not rated

We have not yet rated this ingredient because we have not had a chance to review the research on it.