How to Avoid Side Effects of Applying Honey on Face?

Applying honey to your face (and skin) has several benefits. But, there can also be some side effects of using honey on your skin.

This article aims to help you avoid the potential adverse effects of honey as much as possible. 

Keep in mind that most of the “negative stuff” is rare, and it will mostly happen to people who are allergic to any (and all) natural ingredients that honey contains. If you do not have any allergies, you’ll be just fine if you choose to use honey for skin care.

Key Takeaways

  • You can use honey to treat pimples, acne, oily skin, dry skin, and treat inflammation.
  • While honey has natural healing and antioxidant properties, some people may experience side effects.
  • To keep your skin healthy and prevent side effects, make sure to patch test, use raw Australian honey, and wash it off before going to bed.

How to Avoid the Side Effects of Using Honey on Your Face?

Using honey as a skincare product is a great idea (as honey has anti-inflammatory properties) [1]. 

However, some people might experience negative side effects of applying honey on skin and face.

Most of the side effects are connected to people being allergic to one or more ingredients that can naturally be found in honey (bee pollen, for example).

If you have any allergies, you should seek medical advice before using honey as a beauty and skincare product (just to “bee” on the safe side!).

Now, with that out of the way, let me tell you how to properly use honey as a natural way to treat different skin conditions (like acne) and get all of the possible benefits without experiencing any of the negative side effects.  

1. Patch Test

Before you start putting honey on your face (to remove dead skin cells, for example), make sure you do a patch test first!

The reason behind it is to test how your skin will react to ingredients that honey contains. So, how do you do this patch test? 

All you have to do is put a little bit of honey on your skin and wait for around 15 minutes. If you don’t experience any negative side effects (like itchy skin, redness), you are probably good to go!

2. Use Freshly Prepared Masks

For keeping your skin healthy and acne-free, use face masks that are made exclusively from natural ingredients. Also, you need to keep one thing in mind: 

If you want to apply a honey face mask to your skin, make sure it’s freshly prepared. If it’s not freshly prepared, there is always a risk that your mix might have gotten contaminated.  

3. Use Real Honey

You are choosing to apply honey on your face because (most likely) you want a natural remedy to solve common skin problems.

The last thing you want to do is buy honey from a supermarket or an overseas producer that likely contains artificial ingredients such as sweeteners and syrup. Those artificial ingredients are not something you’d want to put on your face. So, what honey should you buy?  

You should buy honey from an Australian producer such as HoneyJoy. Look for raw honey because it does not go through the process of pasteurization [2]. This means it still contains all the natural ingredients that can benefit your skin.

Raw honey has more good enzymes, antioxidants and overall beneficial health properties than any other type of honey. And, on top of that, it does not contain any added sugars or chemicals!

Raw honey face masks, for example, have antibacterial as well as anti-inflammatory properties.

4. Don’t Use Soap

Research has shown that the normal pH of human skin is between 4,5 and 6 [3]. Using a soap that’s filled with chemicals may lead to worsening your skin condition. 

If you want to treat acne or clean your pores, it’s best to avoid your “average bar of soap” in general and that includes when washing honey off your face.

5. Make Sure You Remove the Honey Before Bed

Before going to bed, you should make sure you’ve removed the honey from your face! Honey can attract specks of dust, which in turn can potentially lead to the worsening of your skin condition. 

That’s why it’s essential to remove all of the honey from your face. Don’t leave it overnight! 

Just splash your face with warm water, and you should be fine!

6. Use It in Moderation

Like with most other things, you should use honey on your face in moderation.

What’s “in moderation” exactly? That depends on what you are trying to achieve, how much “work” your skin needs, and how your skin reacts to honey.

A good rule of thumb is to start using honey a couple of times a week and adjust based on results.

Benefits of Using Honey on Your Face

Honey has a lot of healing properties and is used as a natural treatment for different skin conditions (like pimples, oily skin, dry skin). 

The types of honey that are most used for treating skin conditions are natural raw honey and manuka honey.

Honey will open up your pores and remove any excess oil and water. Honey has antibacterial properties that can help you get rid of redness and acne on your face.

Honey is used as a spot treatment. Honey can also be used as a great (and natural) face wash and/or face mask.


Should You Leave Honey on Your Skin Overnight?

A simple answer is no. Don’t leave honey on your face overnight! 

Leaving honey on your face overnight may lead to specks of dust getting into your pores, which can, in turn, lead to the worsening of your skin condition. 

So, before going to bed, make sure you wash your face with lukewarm water (to remove honey from your face, duh).

How to Make a Honey-Lemon Face Mask?

This mix is possibly one of the best face masks that you can make in your own home (and it’s really easy to make!).

All you need is one tablespoon of honey and a couple of tablespoons of lemon. Mix lemon and honey in a bowl, and apply it to your skin using your hand.

Leave the mask on for around 20 minutes. Afterwards, rinse your skin with water (make sure you rinse well to remove lemon and honey altogether!).

Visit honey and lemon for face to learn more.

The Bottom Line

Research has shown that honey has a lot of health benefits (like anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties).

Honey can remove many types of bacteria from your skin. What’s so great about that? Well, bacteria can cause pimples, acne and many different types of skin conditions [4]. Getting rid of bacteria is one of the most important health benefits of honey.

As shown above, you can easily avoid and prevent the potential side effects of using honey on your face. All this makes honey an excellent addition to a natural skin care routine.

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Catherine Day


Catherine is a writer passionate about sustainability and bees. She loves to grow her food, cook, eat raw honey and write about her experiences. At the weekend, you will find Catherine exploring farmer's markets and enjoying the outdoors.

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