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Honey on Face: Benefits, Side Effects, and How to Use

By Laura
July 12, 2023
7 minutes

Honey is one of those ingredients that can be your 1 solution to 10 problems. Want to stay healthy? Use honey in your diet. Want a remedy for your cough? Try honey. It is not only good for consumption but is also very beneficial when applied to your skin.

Bees use plant matter with some bacterial and enzymatic activity to produce delicious honey. If used in raw form, it is most useful for your skin. But, it is also available in the market in the form of manuka honey which can also help you in a number of ways.

So, let’s discuss what these ways are. Moreover, we will also discuss some side effects of honey and different ways to apply it to your face. Stay with us till the end and know the right way to have a glowing, acne-free face naturally.

Benefits of Honey

Now let’s discuss how these nutrients can help you.

1. Exfoliation

When you are using any exfoliators with chemicals, you are.more.prone to skin damage and itching. Especially if you have sensitive skin, finding the right exfoliator for you is not going to be easy. So, instead of going for those artificial products, go for honey.

It acts as a natural exfoliator and removes all the dead cells from your skin. Thus, applying and rubbing honey on your face can help you get rid of all the dullness on your face

2. Cleanser

Other than exfoliation, honey also has cleansing properties. It is better than other face washes or cleansers because it does not use any artificial product.

When used in raw form, its enzymes and probiotics can help in cleansing all the dirt and impurities on your face. In this way, when you wash your face daily with honey, it opens your clogged pores and helps you prevent any pimples.

3. Antibacterial

Honey is antibacterial which means it saves your face that can harm it in any way. It is acidic in nature. Bacterias cannot grow in such an environment thus application of honey can ensure that no harmful bacteria remains on your face.

Another factor that makes it highly antibacterial is the high content of sugar in honey[1]. It increases the osmotic pressure of bacterial cells leading to cell shrinkage as water outflows the cell. Resultantly, their survival becomes difficult.

4. Anti-inflammatory

Another property that makes it good for your facial use is that it also aids in relieving any inflammation on your face. There are various inflammatory skin diseases like eczema, or psoriasis that can be treated using honey.

In eczema, small lesions are formed on your skin and involve your face as well. They can be reduced by using manuka honey [2]. Similarly, psoriasis is also an auto-immune inflammatory condition, in which mild lesions can be treated by using medical-grade kanuka honey.

5. Reduces Acne

If you are sick of acne and have tried thousands of ways but still can’t get rid of it, you can try using honey. Since it is antimicrobial, it can help get rid of germs that take part in the development of acne.

You must’ve read about benzoyl peroxide in anti-acne creams or lotions. Similar to this, honey has hydrogen peroxide that can reduce the inflammation and redness caused by acne.

6. Used as Wound Dressing

Honey can be used in the treatment of wounds and burns. Since 2000 BC, honey has been used as a wound dressing to aid healing and prevent infections [3]. Its antimicrobial properties prove that it is a hygienic agent to use on wounds. As it is viscous in nature, it acts as a protective barrier against any microbes.

Moreover, being anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and antioxidant makes it highly useful for healing and repair of the wound[4]. Other products might irritate your skin but it only gives a soothing effect when applied topically.

7. Reduces Black

eadsDo you have to apply different products for treating your acne, and pimples, and get rid of blackheads? We have already discussed the uses of honey for pimples and acne. Honey can also help in eradicating your blackheads by opening pores. This means only one product and you’ve got the solution to every problem

The gluconic acid and hydrogen peroxide present in honey makes sure that there are no impurities or bacteria while the osmotic effect of honey draws out moisture from clogged pores. As a result, bacteria can’t grow there and you are safe from blackheads and even whiteheads.

8. Moisturizer

You can also use honey as a moisturizer. It is humectant in nature which means the ability to retain moisture. Its enzymes allow deeper penetration of moisture into the skin ensuring that even deeper layers are evenly hydrated. In addition, it also balances the ratio of oil and moisture in your skin.

It is non-comedogenic so you don’t even have to worry about clogging of your pores.

You can’t keep hiney all the time with you on your trips so you can check out the 12 Best Moisturizers for All Skin Types to keep your face hydrated all the time.

9. Anti-aging

Another benefit that honey can give you, in the long run, is its action as an anti-aging agent. Antioxidants are very helpful in slowing down the aging process and decreasing wrinkles on your face. They are also helpful against premature aging.

Honey contains antioxidants which means its application can help your face look young and fresh. Moreover, it protects your face from damage by free radicals so you will be away from wrinkling for a long time.

10. Maintains pH

The pH of our skin is slightly on the acidic side [5]. It helps our skin to retain moisture and prevent the entry of bacteria into the skin. Maintenance of this pH is necessary for our skin’s flora to grow and stay healthy.

Honey helps in maintaining the pH in the normal range. So, applying honey can make your face not only look healthy, soft, and glowing but also keep your skin’s health in check.

Side Effects of Honey

Honey does not have that many side effects. It is safe to use in most cases but below are some possibilities that you can face after topical application of honey.


Honey can cause rashes, itchiness, and redness on your face if you are allergic to pollens or even the glandular proteins produced by bees. Therefore, you need to test the allergy first by applying honey in a small area and waiting for some time. If nothing happens, you are good to go.


Honey can also cause irritation on your face. It is rare and often associated with the allergic reaction. So, wash the honey off your face as soon as you feel an irritation or burning sensation on the face.

How to Use Honey on the Face

Face Mask

You can use honey in the form of different face masks. Some useful face masks are mentioned below.

  • Honey Mask: You can use only honey to moisturize your face and get a youthful look. All you need to do is to apply honey for 15-20 minutes and then wash your face with water. Make sure the layer you are applying is thin.
  • Honey and Lemon Mask: To get a glowing face, you can mix lemon in honey. Lemon contains Vitamin C. They combine together to remove dead cells, fight free radicals, and take away all the dullness from your face. Mix 1 tablespoon of honey with half a lemon. Apply it on your face and rinse with warm water after 20 minutes.
  • Honey, Turmeric, and Glycerin Mask : Another face mask you can try for a bright, beautiful, and moisturized face is a combination of 1 tablespoon of honey, 2 drops of glycerin, and a pinch of turmeric. Just mix them, apply for 10-15 minutes, and rinse the mixture with warm water.

Face Scrub

You can use honey and sugar to exfoliate the dead cells and dirt from your skin. Sugar acts as an exfoliator while honey provides you with hydration and anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial action.

What to do: Add 1 teaspoon of sugar to 1 tablespoon of honey. Mix well and apply on your face for 20 minutes. Now rinse it off.

Face Toner

You can use honey as a face toner to nourish your skin.

What to do: Take 10 tablespoons of warm water and mix 1 tablespoon of honey in it. Add 3 teaspoons of rosewater and 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar for oily skin and coconut oil for dry skin. Mix well, store it in a spray bottle, and use it anytime you want.

How Often Can You Use Honey?

The benefits of honey are eye-catching enough that you now want to use it daily for your skin, right? Let’s get to know whether you can do it or not.

Honey in its pure form is gentle and without any chemicals so applying it very often, even daily won’t be a problem. But, before applying, make sure you are not allergic to honey. Using honey daily can help in brightening your skin, clear clogged pores and reduce acne. So, add it to your daily skincare with no worries.


Honey is a great ingredient to use for cleansing, moisturizing, and getting smooth skin. It contains antioxidants, hydrogen peroxide, and some enzymes which can help in wound healing, clearing acne, pores, blackheads, and whiteheads. Applying honey can maintain the elasticity of your skin, and optimum pH, and even treat conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

You can apply the honey alone, or mix lemon, turmeric, or sugar to use as a moisturizer, scrub, toner, or mask. Using it daily or even twice a week will show you results. So, as long as you don’t have any allergies, a single ingredient can give you the perfect look.


[1] Najla A. Albaridi (2019). Antibacterial Potency of Honey, National Library of Medicine.


[2] Abdullah A. Alangari, Keith Morris, Bashir A. Lwaleed, Laurie Lau, Ken Jones, Rose Cooper, and Rowena Jenkins (2017). Honey is potentially effective in the treatment of atopic dermatitis: Clinical and mechanistic studies, National Library of Medicine.


[3] Pauline McLoone, Afolabi Oluwadun, Mary Warnock, and Lorna Fyfe (2016). Honey: A Therapeutic Agent for Disorders of Skin National Library of Medicine.


[4] Manisha Deb Mandal and Shyamapada Mandal (2011). Honey: its medicinal property and Antibacterial activity, National Library of Medicine.


[5] H Lambers, S Piessens, A Bloem, H Pronk, P Finkel (2006). Natural skin surface pH is on average below 5, which is beneficial for its resident flora, National Library of Medicine.


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