SKIN | What’s new, honey?

Manuka honey skincare products on yellow background

Blergh, what an awful title.

I’m partial to a bit of honey. It’s good on toast, it’s good as a hot drink with lemon and ginger, and it’s great in a stir-fry. It’s very, very good for your skin, too. 

Manuka honey is different to other honeys because it’s made with nectar only from the manuka tree—known everywhere else in the world as the tea tree, and you probably know that tea tree has great anti-bacterial properties. Those properties make manuka honey uniquely powerful as an anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and moisturising product. (This article from the Journal of Microbiology, Immunology and Infection is a really interesting read about how manuka honey is unique.)

In saying that, though… there’s also kanuka honey. The pollen comes from different (related) trees, but its effects are the same. It turns out it’s pretty damn hard to differentiate between the two, like, they might as well be the same dang thing, so keep this in mind when someone’s extolling the virtues of manuka or kanuka honey as rare and unique. 

Antipodes Manuka Honey Skin-Brightening Light Day Cream & Eye Cream*, $76 & $72

I attended the Wellington launch for these products the other week and, as an oily-skinned creature for whom the Rejoice Light Day Cream is a heavy night cream, I was excited to hear that this cream is the lightest in Antipodes’ line-up. The eye cream, while using manuka honey, also brings bee venom to the Antipodes range for the first time. I’m iffy on using bee venom around my eyes but the concentration is so low that I’m not at risk of swelling up.

Manuka Doctor apiNourish Repairing Skin Cream*, $54.95

If you’re into the idea of literally every single one of your skincare products containing manuka honey, this is the brand for you. Kourtney Kardashian has just joined Manuka Doctor as a brand ambassador which I presume just means that they give her inordinate amounts of money to lend her face to their campaigns. Their entire homepage is based around Kourtney at the moment so I guess it’s a huge coup for them. I’m not as stoked on Manuka Doctor as every other blogger on the planet, apparently, but this skin cream is decent (if a little heavy for me in the daytime, story of my life.)

Antipodes Aura Mask, $50

This one is an old favourite and I don’t use it every week or anything because I don’t use any mask every week but it’s great a) as a spot treatment and b) as an all-over hydrating treatment. It’s that good old honey that makes it equally good at both. I was gushing with praises for this at the Antipodes event, as not everyone there had tried it. One situation where this is a must-have is when you’re on a plane. It stops your skin’s moisture from leaching out into the dry af air, and you don’t have to look like a fool in a sheet mask.

Honevo Rosacea*, $29.90

Clinical studies show that topical application of pure honey is useful for a number of medical conditions, especially dermatological ones. Honevo products use medical-grade honey, so you know it’s pure and safe for the skin. They make topical treatments for Rosacea and acne, among other things. I don’t suffer from clinical rosacea or acne, so I can’t speak for these products’ effectiveness in those cases. The acne one is great for spot treatments and clinical trials have proven they make a difference. And the packaging is too much fun!

How do you feel about honey in skincare?

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