shutterstock_163208750Kanuka honey from New Zealand may help eradicate acne, new research suggests.

Teens using Honevo, developed by New Zealand pharmaceutical company HoneyLab, had a reduction in acne severity, fewer acne lesions, and an improvement in their quality of life. There were 135 teens in the 12-week study; all washed with Protex, an antibacterial soap, twice a day, and half of the participants applied Honevo twice daily as a mask and then washed it off.

“Acne is caused by bacteria, and we know that kanuka honey is antibacterial. Honey also reduces inflammation and heals wounds . . . every acne spot is a small wound,” explains HoneyLabScience Director Shaun Holt, BPharm, MBChB, in a news release. Holt is also an adjunct professor at Victoria University in New Zealand.

The study was conducted by the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand (MRINZ). The results were presented at the New Zealand Dermatological Society meeting in Auckland.

Fully twice as many participants had an improvement in their acne after using Honevo, compared with their counterparts who did not use the product. Participants reported improvements in their acne after 2 weeks of treatment, with further improvements occurring during the following 6 to 10 weeks.

Is Honey the Cure for All That Ails?

The new acne results follow findings, published in the British Medical Journal, that Honevo offered a promising treatment for rosacea. Another study, also being run by MRINZ, pits Honevo against the antiviral drug acyclovir for cold sore treatment.