how to use Manuka Honey on your skin

Manuka honey is a popular remedy for skin ailments, ranging from everything from scarring to acne to treating wounds. The main thing that makes manuka honey unique is its antibacterial content.

Manuka honey gets these peroperties due to the high levels of methylglyoxal or MGO found in the honey, which is a result of the bees taking nectar specifically from the Manuka flower. 

A 2011 study found that the medicinal and antibacterial properties of manuka honey were significant, and could be used to help destroy bacteria in various forms of treatment.

In our article about the many benefits of Manuka Honey, we talked about these studies at length, as well as the many benefits manuka honey can provide in skincare routines - check it out here if you're interested in reading further.

How to use Manuka Honey on your skin

There are many ways to use manuka honey to help rejuvenate, heal and hydrate your skin. Aside from eating the honey (internal use) you can also use various things like cleansers and masks to help treat your skin from the outside (external use).

We believe a two-pronged approach of both internal and external use will get you the best results. These are some of the things you can add to your regular skincare routine to reap the benefits of manuka honey:


Most people have a daily cleanser they use to wash their face in the mornings and evenings. The good news is you can easily make a manuka honey face cleanser as well with just a few simple steps.

Get yourself a saucer or dish, and add a few tablespoons of warm water. Then, add a teaspoon of manuka honey. No need to go crazy - the stuff is expensive after all! Slowly mix the honey and water until it dilutes. If it doesn't dilute within a few minutes, it means the water isn't warm enough.

Once you have a diluted manuka honey and water mixture, gently apply it to your face. We recommend massaging it into your face for several minutes, using a circular motion.

Then, gently rinse your face and pat dry with a towel. 

Do this a few times a week and you should start to see that manuka glow!


For this, we like to use organic oats as our scrub. This is because oats are natural and free of chemicals, and are generally inexpensive. 

Grind up the oats the best you can, either using a regular mortar and pestle or just a regular utensil or spoon. You want to avoid getting it down to a powder, but just enough so it's rough and coarse.

Then in a separate dish, mix some warm water with a teaspoon of manuka honey. 

When the honey is diluted, combine the oats and the water and start to apply it to to your skin. You can use it anywhere on your body, but it's gentle enough to apply on your face which is what most people will do.

Rub the mixture on your face in circles so it scrubs off all the layers of dead skin. We recommend to scrub (gently) for around 3-4 minutes.

Then rinse off with warm water and dry.

manuka honey Mask

To apply a manuka honey mask, you don't need anything except the honey.

After washing your skin with fresh warm water, gently apply a very thin layer of manuka honey. You can use your fingers or an applicator. 

It's important to apply the honey mask when your skin is still a little bit damp. This allows the honey to work a little easier.

Leave on for 15 minutes, then wash off with warm water. Repeat once or twice a week.

Spot treatment

Spot treatment is great when trying to fade scars or treating stubborn pimples. 

To spot treat with manuka honey, simply apply a little bit to the affected area and leave it. There is no need to cover it, though if it's in an awkward place where it might drip or touch other surfaces, you can do so.

Spot treatment of pimples is very effective when using manuka honey.

Consuming it regularly

One of the best ways to get the benefits of manuka honey for your skin is to eat it! Remember we nourish the skin not only from the outside, but from the inside too.

One teaspoon a day, either naked or mixed in with a coffee or on toast is a great way to get your daily dosage of manuka honey. Consume it regularly and the antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties will work its magic.

As a cream or moisturizer

Many companies make ready-made creams and moisturizers with manuka honey in them.

One of our top recommended brands, Comvita (see full list here), makes several daily moisturizer creams that can replace your usual moisturizer. 

Other companies like Kiehls and Naturopathica also make manuka honey products, although they aren't UMF certified (check out our grading article to learn more about the importance of UMF certificates).

Adding manuka honey to your skincare routine with a ready-made cream is as easy as applying it like a simple moisturizing cream once or twice a day.


Is manuka honey good for your face?

Yes, manuka honey is very good for your face! The MGO content in manuka honey helps kill acne causing bacteria, and the anti inflammatory markers are great for blemishes and redness. It is also good for fading scars and spots. 

How often should you use manuka honey on your face?

We recommend using manuka honey on your face around 2-3 times per week, by way of a face mask, cleanser or exfoliator.

Can I put manuka honey on my face every day?

Yes, you can put manuka honey on your face every day. However, we don't necessarily recommend doing so, because 2-3 times per week is enough to see the benefits. It's also not recommended because manuka honey is expensive, so overdoing it can seem wasteful. If you really wish to though, it shouldn't be an issue. 

Is manuka honey good for skin wrinkles?

Yes, manuka honey is good for skin wrinkles as it naturally hydrates the skin and reduces inflammation. We recommend using it as a mask if you wish to see a reduction in wrinkles.


For skincare, we recommend using UMF20+ manuka honey. If you are simply using it as a cleanser and nothing else, UMF15 will also be sufficient. 

Since manuka honey is only used sparingly for skincare, a jar should last you quite a long time. Therefore, it shouldn't be an issue for most people to buy a UMF20 jar, even though it is more expensive than UMF15. 

If UMF 15 is all you can afford, that's fine! You should still see great results.


You can check out our Where To Buy page to see our top recommended brands of manuka honey and where to buy them.

Who are we?

I'm Erin, and my husband and I have been raising bees in Northern New Zealand for over 30 years. We no longer raise bees on Manuka flowers, but it remains one of our favorites, and we eat it daily, among other honeys like Kamahi and Rata. Since Manuka has grown in popularity overseas in recent years, we thought we should educate people on the true benefits of Manuka and how to find quality Manuka honey. Above is our guide, written by us and designed by our brilliant computer whiz of a son, Byron. We hope you find it helpful! Learn more about us here.