Will honey lighten the color of my eyes?

Originally Published: February 1, 2013
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Dear Alice,

My eyes are light-brown, and when I've been crying or when it's bright outside they look greenish. I want my eyes to be that greenish all the time. I heard that putting honey in your eyes will lighten them. Are there any side effects? Is it bad for my eyes?

Dear Reader,

Outside of the kitchen, honey has quite a sweet reputation. In addition to what you've heard about honey lightening eye color, some say honey can improve skin texture, clear up dandruff, or reduce high cholesterol. More specifically, some believe that, when diluted with water, honey can cure pink eye, eye inflammation, and eye infections due to its antibacterial properties. But, before you run straight for the beehive, you should know that these medical uses of honey have not been tested thoroughly on humans — they’ve neither been proven safe nor effective. Still, when it comes to using honey in the eyes, there doesn’t appear to be any evidence that suggests it is unsafe. You may have more luck highlighting the color of your eyes with these alternate solutions:

  • You could play up your natural eye color by wearing colors that are contrasting. If you want to highlight the green in your eyes, try wearing reds, purples, or browns. If you wear it, you could also try doing this with eye shadow.
  • You could try color contacts. You’ll want to talk to an eye care professional before going this route — color contacts can irritate some people’s eyes. Because your eyes are light brown, most color contacts should appear true to color upon application. As another important precaution, make sure to buy your contacts from a reputable source, preferably one recommended by your eye care provider.

Here’s another thought: There’s a lot more to the eyes than color. What about the shape of your eyes, your eyelashes, how your eyes complement your other features? Embrace the fact that your eyes look differently depending on the brightness of the day or whether you’ve shed a tear or two. Brown eyes are warm, inviting, and beautiful in their own right. The fact that your eyes go from that to green is pretty amazing.

Whatever you decide to do, based on the lack of evidence, it may make more sense to keep the honey in your teacup and out of your eyes.

Alice