Product Review: Seven Days Using Honevo Rosacea

Honevo, a facial cleanser from HoneyLab, has been getting high praise from people who have rosacea. Kanuka honey contains strong antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties, making it an excellent choice to help treat the redness associated with the skin condition.

I’ve had rosacea for decades. It started when I was a teen, but it progressed rapidly in my 30s, and soon my skin was red with pustules, and in the winter months, even with use of moisturizers, it was cracking and peeling. My doctor and I found that dietary changes in the winter months was not enough, so I started using Metrogel to help control it.

Metrogel vs. Honevo Price

If you don’t know of Metrogel, it is a topical antibiotic gel that is applied twice a day to the areas where rosacea is the worst. By itself (using pricing from my local pharmacy), Metrogel costs more than $250 per tube. My insurance is pretty good, so I pay $10 per tube with a co-pay. My mother, who also has rosacea, isn’t as lucky, and she gets 50 percent off, so she is paying about $130 per tube.

Honevo is only available online. It costs approximately $20 USD per tube (per 2016 pricing). Plus, there is the shipping cost to get it from New Zealand to the United States or wherever you happen to reside. Shipping to my area in the United States (New England) is almost $10 USD (per 2016). That puts the total at around $30, which can be much cheaper than Metrogel.

2017 Pricing Update

Honevo Rosacea has been renamed Honevo Red. It's still only sold online through the New Zealand website or Cross Health for Life or Unichem pharamacies. A 50ml bottle of Honevo Red is almost $35 NZD. Shipping is another $14 NZD. Using December 2017 exchange rates, that's a little over $30 total in USD.

Metrogel now has an average retail price of $165 (December 2017) according to GoodRX. It's come down, but I still don't love that it stopped working for me after 18 months.

How Well Does It Work?

One thing I’ve found about rosacea is that what works for some will not work for others. From the start, I was pretty sure that Honevo would fit well into this. Per the studies, it does work for a high percentage of people, but there was also a percentage who found their skin got worse after using the honey facial cleanser.

The instructions vary. On the tube, it said to apply a thin layer to your face and leave it on for at least 10 minutes. The website said to leave it on for at least 15 minutes. The study I read said participants left it on their face for 30 minutes or longer. I followed the trial and left it on for 30 minutes. You do this twice a day, just like with Metrogel, so I would do it before a shower in the morning and before bed at night.
Before I even started, I stopped using Metrogel for three days. I figured this would clear out any residual effects of the antibiotic gel and start fresh with the Honevo Rosacea.

One thing I noticed within two days is that my skin was itchy. It wasn’t enjoyable, and I was afraid I was going to be one of those people who found Honevo Rosacea didn’t help. I kept going, however, hoping it would improve. Sadly, it didn’t. By day seven, the redness had not improved, though it didn’t really worsen. It does say to give it two weeks, but the itching is really bothering me, so I am stopping at seven days.

Have you had any luck with Honevo Red? Some say they've had great luck. I'd love to hear from others who found the rosacea cleanser worked for them.


Before

After 7 days

Effectiveness Update

I started back up after writing this review. I decided to give it an honest attempt and try it for a full month. The itching never stopped. I'm not sure what about it bugged my skin, but it did. After a month, I gave up and tried a product with Manuka honey instead. I had better luck with that.
Even with the new product, my redness comes and goes. Winter is the worst. My skin dries out, so I have to swap products and use a heavier moisturizer for rosacea.

In winter, the product I love is Eclos Moisture Therapy Regenerative Cream. It contains turmeric, which has anti-inflammatory properties. It is currently out of stock, which has me fearing it may have been discontinued. I have been using the Eclos Skin Renewal Clay Mask that contains turmeric and it helps, but I still need that heavy moisturizer, so when I run out of the tiny bit of moisturizer that remains, I'm not sure what I'll do.

Bottom Line

Here's what I had to say a year ago: “Bottom line is that I think there is huge merit in Honevo Rosacea. The studies show that it works for some. I have my suspicions on why it works for some and not others. Research has shown that some believe rosacea is linked to mites, while others believe it may be fungal or bacterial. The sugar from the honey might actually feed bacteria. As my rosacea responds well to antibiotic gel, I am betting mine is bacterial. If you have rosacea and are looking for a natural, cost-effective treatment, purchase a tube and give it a shot. If it works, the money will be well worth it!”

It's been a year. After a month, I found absolutely no difference with my skin. I stuck to my usual diet that avoided acidic foods, used the same CeraVe face wash I usually use, and my skin remained red. For me, the Honevo Rosacea topical never worked effectively. I found a product that's far more effective for me.

Try This Honey-Based Rosacea Product Instead

The product I've switched to using for the past year is Honeyskin Organics Aloe Vera and Manuka Honey Ultimate Face and Body Cream. It's cheaper, works well, and includes ingredients that help ease pain and inflammation. I find that my rosacea flare-ups often partner with a burning sensation, so I want that help with the uncomfortable flare-ups.