The beauty industry spends billions each year on advertising the latest wonder products that promise to give customers the skin of their dreams - from anti-ageing saviours to the latest celebrity-endorsed acne treatments. But with so many products on the market, it can be hard to know which products are right for you and what you’re really putting on your skin. Venture away from the cosmetics counter and into the supermarket or health food shop and the answer you've been looking for could be staring you in the face: active honey.
Honey has been renowned for its powerful skin-healing properties for centuries. It is believed Cleopatra relied on honey to nourish her complexion, and indigenous communities here in Australia and in New Zealand have been using Manuka in traditional medicines for hundreds of years.
Nowadays scientists understand a great deal more about why active honey in particular has proven benefits for skin and health. Unlike regular honey, which can lose its antibacterial properties once it reaches consumers in a jar, Manuka honey is more stable and retains its effectiveness even when subjected to heat and light, making it an increasingly popular medical treatment for wounds, cuts and skin conditions.
But it’s not just doctors putting active honey to good use: the beauty community is also catching on. International beauty expert Michelle Phan, whose tutorials have attracted more than 1 billion views on YouTube, has revealed she regularly brushes warmed Manuka honey on her face to maintain her impeccable complexion. And she’s not alone: the popularity of using active honey straight from the jar as a skin care treatment is soaring. If you’ve never considered trying it before, we’ve got five great reasons why you should.
1) It can help treat skin prone to acne and breakouts
Nutritionist and natural beauty expert Emily Jensen, who regularly uses active honey in on her face, says it acts as a powerful antimicrobial and germ-fighting ingredient, which helps promote new skin growth. “Just the other day, I woke up with an angry red pimple on my face,” she explains. “I whipped up a face mask in my kitchen with active honey and avocado and let it sit for about 30 minutes. After I washed it off, that pimple wasn't even noticeable and my skin was so smooth and clear.”
2) It’s a superior skin hydrator
Got skin that’s in need of some TLC? Active honey not only softens the complexion, but it also replenishes dehydrated skin. “Active honey acts as a humectant, meaning that it helps to retain moisture in the skin,” says Jensen. “This is also a reason why it is perfect for wound healing as well as the prevention of scarring.”
3) It can help in the fight against ageing
Many anti-ageing products are now incorporating active honey into their formulations - and for good reason. While it’s great helping the skin retain moisture (making it plumper and less vulnerable to visible lines), it also boasts much higher levels of antioxidants than any other type of honey – and these antioxidants help fight free radical damage that can cause the signs of ageing.
4) It soothes and heals chapped lips, dry skin and other conditions
You don’t have to use active honey as a full face mask to reap the benefits, you can also use it smeared on lips, areas of dry skin or insect bites to help encourage healing. As well as nourishing the skin, active honey also possesses powerful anti-inflammatory properties that make it great for reducing redness and irritation.
5) It’s 100 per cent natural
When you look at the ingredients list on the back of some skin care creams it can read like a science textbook of chemicals you’ve never heard of. Look at a jar of active honey and you know exactly what you’re getting: a delicious, healthy elixir that tastes great and has the power to make your skin feel and look great, too.