The Science Behind Mānuka Oil

The Science Behind Mānuka Oil

Studies have found that Leptospermum Scoparium, also known as mānuka, has potent chemotypes that…

Wait a second. Are we losing you? 

We know, science talk can sometimes be a bit over-the-top even though our deeper curiosities about the what, how and why are eating away at us. We’re not going to lie, there is a lot of amazing science behind what makes mānuka oil so incredible, but it shouldn’t take an incredible amount of brainpower to understand it! 

Mānuka oil, especially from the East Cape of New Zealand, has been proven to be one of the most effective antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial natural ingredients with an enormous amount of other amazing traits. But what gives this miracle oil its magic?

We are going to break down the science for you in an easily digestible guide to the science of exactly what makes mānuka oil one of the most powerful essential oils in nature. 

Let's begin!

What is mānuka exactly?

That fancy name in the beginning (Leptospermum Scoparium) is the scientific moniker for the mānuka plant, a native species of myrtle that grows in different forms across New Zealand. It is one of Aotearoa’s native mighty flora species, used for centuries by the Māori people for all sorts of ailments, injuries, and more. And for good reason.


The mānuka plant is known worldwide for the incredible benefits found in mānuka honey, yet when compared to mānuka honey, mānuka oil has up to 1,000 times more antibacterial effectiveness. Which brings us to our next bit of mānuka science…

What is mānuka oil and how is it made?

A little bit of mānuka oil is like liquid gold (for your skin) and even a small amount goes a long way for benefits. Mānuka oil production isn’t mad science, but it is a product of mānuka that has only been perfected over the last few decades. 


Mānuka oil is made by steam-distilling the leaves and twigs from the mānuka plant slowly for about 5 hours, so even the small amount of mānuka oil produced retains all of those incredible vitamins, beneficial chemotypes, and skincare benefits. Go into a deep dive of the process here!

What makes East Cape mānuka oil so unique?

Location, location, location. We love the sun here in New Zealand, but it can also cause a lot of harm to our skin. The unique positioning of the East Cape and its high level of UV exposure causes the plants in the region to armour up, much like how we have to pour on suncream to protect ourselves. 

This is one of the reasons behind the high amounts of triketones found in East Cape mānuka oil, which is what gives it the incredible antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties. Making it one of the best gifts from Mother Nature for our skin, and on the flip side, helps to protect and repair our skin from those harsh UV rays as well.

Why is mānuka oil so amazing for your skin?

The effectiveness from mānuka oil for the skin comes down to its marvelous medley of vitamins and chemical compounds. Basically, the stuff that gives it the magic! It shields the skin from bad bacteria while helping skin to stay hydrated, and even promotes white blood cell production to assist in skin repair. 

The beta-triketones in East Cape mānuka oil have been shown to kill off gram-positive bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus and its antibiotic resistant strain MRSA while leaving good bacteria intact. This means the nasty bacteria that causes infections, inflammation and acne that can lead to skin or health issues can be significantly reduced — allowing your skin to do its job unhindered. 

Though it is powerful, mānuka oil has no known allergies which is another reason why it's a dermal delight and the best ingredient for effective skincare.

What makes mānuka oil the perfect pairing for skincare of all types?

Synergy is a fancy word for playing nice with others, but not only that — helping the team to play better. Mānuka oil is synergistic, so when it is paired with other amazing essential oils and ingredients to tackle specific or unique skincare challenges, those ingredients work better.

That means it’s the perfect hero ingredient to use in a wide range of products for skin, allowing you to take advantage of those gentle but powerful anti-bacteria traits while addressing things like severe acne, anti-aging, scars and blemishes and more! 

See, science chat isn’t so bad!

Now that you know a bit of the science behind what makes mānuka oil such a miracle essential oil for skin, you can be prepped with the knowledge to tackle any skincare challenge that arises or take your skin health and vitality to the next level!

Why not try mānuka oil on your skin? Click here to shop our range of natural, East Cape mānuka oil skincare. 

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