First, a history lesson. See, even just a couple of decades ago, ingredient education was infinitely less available to customers than it is now. In fact, before the turn of the millennium, cosmetic regulation was mostly about reactionary measures (does this roll-on deodorant make women break out in a rash?) rather than proactive safety requirements. As a result, cosmetics were not considered a public health concern, and a 1989 FDA report found that more than 5 percent of cosmetic samples from department stores were contaminated with mold, fungi and pathogenic organisms. All that changed in 1999, when the first Cosmetics Harmonization and International Cooperation (CHIC) meeting was held in Brussels with the goal of discussing basic safety measures and the exchange of data and information about what was being produced. This was bolstered in 2006, when the Personal Care Product Council (PCPC) developed the Consumer Commitment Code to enhance confidence and transparency for consumers and government regulators.
In other words, things are changing, and now that scientists are actually looking into the specifics of what goes into beauty products, a lot of discoveries (both gratifying and horrifying) have been made.
In short, we’ve gone natural, baby. Superior products made with good ingredients, once dubbed too hippie or too expensive, are now flooding the mainstream thanks to increasing demand for healthier options. In fact, 57 percent of all natural personal care sales comes from supermarkets and hypermarkets like Walmart.
And while vitamin C will always hold a place in our heart, this greater knowledge and transparency is making way for new ingredients with serious staying power. Top on our list is manuka honey, which keeps skin clear, clean, soft and hydrated. Read on to learn more about why it’s 2020’s answer to vitamin C.
What Is Manuka Honey Anyway?
Let’s start with the basics: Manuka honey is native to New Zealand, sourced from the nectar of the manuka bush flower, and contains more than 2,000 individual natural compounds. According to Erin Kelley, director of product at Comvita USA (an ingestible health solutions beekeeping company that has been honing manuka honey production since 1974), it’s these compounds that give manuka honey its range of health benefits. Not only that but “to obtain pure manuka honey is a specialized task for beekeepers as it is difficult to extract and has a limited harvest period of only two to six weeks per year, making it extremely rare,” says Kelley.