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Though wrinkles are inevitable during the aging process, many people suffer from premature aging of the skin due to lifestyle choices. Heavy drinking, smoking and excessive UV exposure through sunbathing or outdoor jobs can cause you to develop wrinkles at a younger age than you otherwise would. The topical application of manuka honey may help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Manuka honey is made from the flowers of the manuka tree in New Zealand. According to DermNetNZ, every batch of manuka is put through a strict test to measure its medicinal properties and given a grade called the Unique Manuka Factor, UMF for short. Any honey with a UMF of 10 or above is thought to have enough antimicrobial and healing qualities to be considered medical grade by some New Zealand medical professionals.
According to the Bastyr Center for Natural Health, honey has several components to its beneficial effects on skin conditions. It uses its high sugar content in a process called osmosis to draw infections and impurities from the skin. It prevents bacterial growth through a hydrogen peroxide-producing enzyme and its acidic pH content. Bastyr Center also says honey can encourage the easy removal of dead tissue. Removing dead skin cells from the surface may help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Apply the manuka honey generously to your wrinkles and leave it on for at least 30 minutes. For less mess and the ability to leave on overnight, it can be applied inside a dressing. ''Reader's Digest: 1001 Home Remedies'' notes that honey can also be mixed with cooked oatmeal to give it a face mask-like texture that will dry quickly. Do not heat the manuka; this can destroy many of its beneficial properties.
DermNetNZ and Bastyr Center note honey's positive effects on wounds and burns of the skin when applied topically, but no direct link is made between manuka honey and its benefits to wrinkles. So the suggestion is rather speculative. The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate or test home remedies. More clinical evidence must be gathered to confirm manuka honey's effectiveness.
If you have wrinkles that you find bothersome, consult your doctor for advice on possible clinical treatments. Botox and soft tissue fillers are both injections that can improve the appearance of wrinkles such as crow's feet and frown lines. Laser resurfacing can be an effective treatment for wrinkles caused by sun damage in the delicate under-eye areas.
- Medical News Today: What Are Wrinkles?
- DermNet NZ: Honey
- Bastyr Center for Natural Health: Honey and Wound Healing
- Readers Digest: 1001 Home Remedies; Rachel Warren Chad
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Skin Wrinkles and Blemishes
- Monika Adamczyk/Hemera/Getty Images