Hello fellow Rosaceans! I’m doing a 5-part series on my usage and progress with the Honevo Red treatment.
HoneyLab is a company from New Zealand that does research on honey, bee venom and such. One of their lines is called Honevo (which specialises in medical grade Kanuka Honey for Rosacea, Acne and Nappy Rash.)
What causes Rosacea?
Till today, no one knows what is the cause of Rosacea. We only know antibiotics work for it (no reason why), which is why I took antibiotics for 2 years straight and wrecked my entire immune system. Gradually it stops working when your body gets used to it.
HoneyLab’s idea is that we all have Demodex Mites on our faces (Demodex folliculorum and Demodex brevis). The mites themselves don’t really cause the problem, but it’s theorised that when they die in our pores; bacteria that is released causes inflammation, papules and pustules, resulting in Rosacea.
Adult D. folliculorum mites are 0.3-0.4 mm in length and that of D. brevis are slightly shorter of 0.15-0.2 mm length, with females somewhat shorter and rounder than males. This makes them invisible to the naked eye, but, under the microscope, their structure is clearly visible. It has a semi-transparent, elongated body that consists of two fused segments. Eight short, segmented legs are attached to the first body segment. The eight legs of this mite move at a rate of 8-16 mm/h and this is mainly done during the night as bright light causes the mite to recede into its follicle. The body is covered with scales for anchoring itself in the hair follicle and the mite has pin-like mouth parts for eating skin cells, hormones, and oils (sebum) accumulating in the hair follicles.
Read this link for more info on Demodex mites:
People with Rosacea have also been tested to have 15-18 times more demodex mites than normal people.
I know, just imagining them crawling all over my face and reproducing gives me the creepers.
I believe in their theory. Why?
1) I often itch on my face AT NIGHT. I literally feel itchy crawling sensations all over my face and scalp.
2) My skin always have rash like breakouts, literally a never-ending cycle. I will have clear skin for a few days and breakout in rash like bumps, which goes away in a few days. Every single month. This is explained by relating to the mites dying off and causing a reaction, which eases in a few days. The mites continue to reproduce and die, thus the never-ending cycle.
3) My skin gets more red and blotchy when I am ill (immune down, resulting in more mites colonizing)
What does Kanuka Honey do?
Kanuka Honey is deemed to be highly anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, which can prove beneficial for Rosacea. It aims to control the mite population and the anti-inflammatory also provides relief to the skin which is undergoing inflammation.
A randomised controlled trial has been done on Honevo Rosacea.
Read the paper here: http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/6/e007651.abstract
The primary outcome measure was the proportion of participants who had a ≥2 improvement in the 7-point IGA-RSS at week 8 compared to baseline. Secondary outcomes included change in IGA-RSS and subject-rated visual analogue score of change in severity (VAS-CS) on a 100 mm scale (0 mm ‘much worse’, 100 mm ‘much improved’) at weeks 2 and 8.
Thoughts on the product
It’s a clear liquid form of honey (unlike raw or manuka honeys I’ve used before which is thicker and creamier). It is completely clean (no bee bits in it) and is easier to apply to skin as compared with other honeys I have tried.
Smells exactly like normal honey. Feels exactly like honey. It’s a dark yellow color, darker than the supermarket kind of honey.
Day 1 & 2
Feels quite nice on the skin, very soothing. It’s like I just put a cool blanket over my face. The suggested directions for use is 15 mins each time but I left it on for 3 hrs after reading through many forums. I do this twice a day (half hour in the morning, 3 hrs at night). Redness diminishes when mask is on, but stays equally red when washed off with lukewarm water.
Day 3 & 4
Started forming small itchy bumps on the skin (which is normal according to many who have tried honey on their face). Noticed that redness has diminished maybe about 10 – 20%.
Day 5 & 6
Skin broke out in even more small and itchy bumps. Not red kinda bumps / pimples, more of the colorless kind of skin colored bumps. They are super itchy till the point where I can’t even sleep till I took my anti-histamines. Seriously I was really scared people think I have some kind of disease.
Not much changes. Hopefully things will only get better from here. I think I was experiencing the dying off effects from the mites. Don’t think it’s an allergy to the honey. Whatever it is, I am damn lucky to have gone through this over the long weekend. Imagine how sad it’s gonna be if I have an itchy peeling face at work.
Other than that, I’ve cleaned my room and also boiled my face towel. Need to boil it every other day to kill mites that could be living in it. Have to be more zealous in changing my pillow cases too.