The therapeutic and medical uses of New Zealand manuka honey are being extended to include new skin care applications as well.
French cosmetic company L'Oreal is exploring these in a collaboration with the country's largest manuka honey producer, Watson & Son, and Professor Peter Molan of Waikato University.
Watson & Son chief executive Denis Watson says research has shown the honey's potential as an anti-aging treatment for skin, through its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
He says his company has signed a heads of agreement with L'Oreal, which is now working on formulations.
Mr Watson is expecting a joint venture arrangement with L'Oreal after it completes its trials.
He says as well as skin care, the French company is also interested in wound care products.