Everything you need to know about manuka honey

It’s more than just a condiment

Beauty Crew Beauty Editor / May 25 2017

You may drizzle honey over your toast or have a teaspoon of it into your tea, but did you know that manuka honey is hugely different to what’s sitting in your pantry? Not only does it have a different taste, but the golden elixir comes with lots of health benefits, particularly for your skin. We recently visited Christchurch with Swisse to discover how manuka honey is sourced and why it’s vital to add this ingredient to your skin care routine.

Manuka honey is extremely rare

Manuka honey is so special because it can only be made with the nectar of the manuka tree’s flowers, which only bloom in summer for four to six weeks at a time. Plus, bees can be super fussy; they only like collecting pollen at a particular temperature.

And because the honey is so hard to come by, each drop of it is accounted for. To prevent counterfeits, each beekeeper is audited twice a year in New Zealand and every drum and jar of it must have a matching batch number and NPA number (it’s used as a quality mark for manuka honey).

DID YOU KNOW: A drum of manuka honey could be worth up to $40,000, and something with an NPA24+ can be up to $145 a kilogram.

Manuka honey is antibacterial

Not only can it be used for your skin, it also carries antibacterial properties. In fact, it can be used to sterilise equipment in hospitals. Manuka honey that can be used medically should have an NPA of 25, whereas honey that’s used in skin care should have an NPA of 10 to 15.

Manuka honey is great for your skin

Manuka honey is proven to work topically, and is especially effective in hydrating, softening and calming skin. In particular, it’s great at treating burns; so next time you’ve accidentally clipped your ear with a straightener, apply a thin layer of it over the area to reverse the damage.


Ready to add it to your routine? Here are our favourites…

Swisse Manuka Honey Detoxifying Facial Mask brings together our favourite ingredients - there’s manuka honey to nourish, kaolin clay to detoxify, and charcoal to cleanse. 

Try Mount Somers Manuka Honey UMF20+ applied topically to heal wounds and bumps.

A spritz of Brauer Natural Medicine Manuka Honey Sore Throat Oral Spray may relieve inflammation in the area.

Swisse Manuka Honey Detoxifying Facial Mask

Mount Somers Manuka Honey UMF20+

Brauer Natural Medicine Manuka Honey Sore Throat Oral Spray

Iantha is BEAUTYcrew's Beauty Editor, and has been part of the team since the site launched in 2016. Besides pinky-nude nail polish and wispy false lashes, she has a healthy obsession with face masks and skin care ingredients. Her previous work can be found in Virgin Australia Voyeur, Women's Health, and SHOP Til You Drop.