Manuka honey has gained a lot of positive attention in recent times in the natural skin care community.
Produced by bees that pollinate the manuka tree, a species found in New Zealand, it has risen to prominence after scientific studies have shown it to have a very high level of antibacterial activity, as well as being high in antioxidants that are beneficial for your skin and can protect it from aging.
In this 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 manuka honey brands for review:
How To Choose The Best Manuka Honey
There are a number of essential things to consider when you are looking for the best jar of honey:
Make Sure It’s Raw
It’s important to choose a raw and organic manuka honey for use on your face.
Pasteurized honey is often processed to such an extent that it’s lacking in the enzymes, antioxidants, and antibacterial agents that make the honey useful for acne and skin care.
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 when looking for the best manuka honey for acne, or for use on wounds and burns, as 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 actually 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 actually 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 due to the fact that it’s the real deal, and has greater antibacterial activity levels.
If using for acne treatment, it’s best to get a honey with a UMF of 15+ or above.
The Best Manuka Honey For Acne And Skin Reviews
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+, which makes it the strongest manuka honey that’s available on the market.
Steens proprietary process which involves processing their 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.
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 is 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 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+ 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.
Manuka honey is the premium honey that’s recommended for skin care.
It has the highest level of antibacterial activity of all honeys, and scientific research that supports its health benefits and uses.
All of the products listed above are high quality and are great to use on your skin.
But, if you’re looking for the best manuka honey for acne and skin care then our best rated brand is Steens.
For acne treatment it’s advised to have a UMF of at least 15+ so the following three products at different strengths fit the requirements. It’s for you to decide what strength of product you would prefer to use. You can see them on Amazon here: