Manuka honey is the most highly rated honey by the natural skin care community.
Its high level of antibacterial activity makes it great for treating acne.
And its packed full of antioxidants that are beneficial for your face and can protect it from aging.
In our short buying guide, we’ll show you the important things you need to know to select the best manuka honey for acne and skin care.
We’ve also selected our favorite products for review.
Our top-rated manuka honey brands for skin at a glance:
- Manukora Manuka Honey UMF 20+ – Top all-around choice. Great for acne and facial care. Good mix of value + high-quality + strength.
- Steens Raw Manuka Honey UMF 24+ – Strongest manuka available on the market. The most effective for acne.
- Tahi Manuka Honey UMF 15+ – Top organic and eco-friendly honey.
- Steens Manuka Honey UMF 15+ – Best quality honey, at the minimum recommended strength required for acne treatment.
- Happy Valley UMF 15+ Manuka Honey – Top economical choice.
*All links lead to Amazon
You can see our product reviews below the buying guide.
Buying Guide: How To Choose
There are a couple of essential things to consider when choosing a jar of manuka honey:
Make Sure The Manuka Honey Is Raw
It’s important to choose raw and organic manuka honey.
Unfortunately, pasteurized honey is often heavily processed.
So much so, that it can be lacking in the enzymes, antioxidants, and antibacterial agents that make the raw manuka honey so wonderful for your skin.
What Is The Manuka Honey UMF?
Not all manuka honey is created equal.
The ‘Unique Manuka Factor’ (UMF) is a grading system that confirms the presence of the unique compounds leptosperin, methylgloxal, and DHA (dihydroxyacetone), that are present in real manuka honey.
It comes with a number rating that indicates the level of antibacterial activity of the honey.
Producers of manuka honey can become members of the UMFHA and have their honey tested in order to confirm its quality.
This gives them a license to use the UMF trademark (1).
This is important to know if you intend on using it for acne or wounds/burns.
Because the higher its UMF the greater the chance that it will be effective at killing bacteria.
It’s also important to realize that there are many manuka honey brands that don’t have a UMF rating.
Instead, what you’ll often see are alternative rating systems that look very similar to UMF when they are printed on the front of the jar, such as ‘active’.
They have a similar numerical rating system, such as 15+ or 20+ etc. But they don’t mean the same thing as UMF, and are likely to have a much lower level of antibacterial activity.
In addition, the only way to be sure that the honey you are buying is real manuka honey is if it has a UMF grade.
Because there’s even concern that some of the honey that is being sold on the global market as manuka honey isn’t genuine (2).
UMF is the gold standard that guarantees the highest quality of natural, raw manuka honey.
But, you can usually expect this type of manuka honey to be at the pricier end of the market.
Because it’s the real deal and has greater antibacterial activity levels.
If using for acne treatment, it’s best to get manuka honey with a UMF of 15+ or above.
The Best Manuka Honey For Acne And Skin
The following manuka honey brands are our favorites.
Unlike many of the brands that are available on the market, they are all raw and organic.
With a UMF of at least 15+, the minimum recommended level for acne treatment.
The Best Manuka Honey Brands:
Steens Raw Manuka Honey UMF 24+
This unpasteurized, raw, cold-pressed manuka honey from Steens has been certified at UMF 24+. This makes it the strongest manuka honey that’s available on the market.
Steens proprietary process which involves processing their manuka honey at the same temperature as the hives (36C) makes sure that all of the important antioxidants, enzymes, and antibacterial compounds are retained in an active state.
Because of its high antibacterial activity this is the very best manuka honey for acne.
Manukora Manuka Honey UMF 20+
This manuka honey from Manukora has been certified as being UMF 20+, which means it’s one of the strongest manuka honey products that you can buy.
It’s sourced from isolated areas of manuka forest on the East Cape of New Zealand. And it’s an organic, natural, and pure honey.
After it’s extracted from the hive it undergoes a small amount of a process called ‘creaming’ to make it more appealing for those who want to eat it as well.
But, this process does not involve adding anything extra, or heating it above hive temperature.
And all the good natural ingredients in the manuka honey remain intact and active.
Tahi Manuka Honey UMF 18+
This manuka honey from Tahi has a certified UMF rating of 18+, which means it has a very high level of antibacterial activity.
It’s raw, organic, and eco-friendly. The bees have not been exposed to any pesticides, chemicals, or other toxins.
Steens Manuka Honey UMF 15+
Steens are well known for making some of the highest quality manuka honey on the market, so this is our second entry for their honey, only this one is at a lower UMF activity rating.
This manuka honey is UMF 15+, and has been made with the same care and standards as the UMF 24+ product above.
Steens also do a UMF 20+ manuka honey that sits between the 24+ and 15+ in strength, which you can see on Amazon here:
Happy Valley UMF 15+ Manuka Honey
This manuka honey from Happy Valley is UMF 15+. It’s a 100% pure, organic, raw honey.
Every batch of this honey is tested individually for laboratory certification to ensure that accurate, high standards are maintained.
It also comes in stronger UMF 18+ and 20+ versions that are even more effective for treating acne and pimples.
Manuka honey is the premium honey that’s recommended for skin care.
It has the highest level of antibacterial activity of all honey, and scientific research that supports its health benefits and uses.
All of the manuka honey brands listed above are high quality and are great to use on your face.
For acne treatment, it’s advised to have a UMF of at least 15+, the higher the better.
So all of our recommended products have at least this minimum of antibacterial potency.
It’s important to know that there are many brands of manuka honey displaying ratings that are made to look similar.
But they’re not. And if it isn’t UMF certified then there’s a decent chance that it’s not real manuka honey.
So, if you’re looking for the best manuka honey for acne and all your skincare needs then our top rated brand is Manukora.