Attracted by the sweet fragrance of the manuka bush's flowers, honeybees hurry to collect their precious nectar. The honey obtained from this frantic foraging is renowned for its antimicrobial and wound healing properties.
Manuka bushes (Leptospermum scoparium) are part of the Myrtle family, which is famous for its fragrant flowering trees. An evergreen, tall and wide plant, the manuka covers itself with a profusion of small flowers during the summer. Although native to New Zealand, it is widespread in Australia where sixty-three different subspecies can be found.
Bees collect the nectar and carry it to their hives where the worker bees convert it into honey. The benefits of honey on the skin and hair are vast as it contains lots of nutrients, is antimicrobial and antioxidant and has shown great wound healing properties over the centuries.
Honey is imperishable and is also a natural humectant, which means that it attracts and retains moisture. This is good news in cosmetics as it protects the skin and hair, keeps them moisturised and conditioned, while contributing to the preservation of products formulae.
What makes manuka honey so special is its high level of methylglyoxal (MGO), a molecule that exhibits exceptional antimicrobial properties. As this level can change from one honey pot to another, each batch is tested and given a grade. Lush source a MGO 56 honey from an Australian producer, which is the common grade used in cosmetics.
We work with this producer as their ethics on animal welfare align with Lush's perfectly in terms of feeding, hive movements and harvesting. They only work with B-QUAL certified beekeepers who harvest from around 3,000 hives, all located in national parks. Once the fragrant honey is collected, Lush’s batches are sent to Scotland for filtering and processing to obtain the proper consistency for use in our products.