Onion for Your Face Latest Ingredient Benefits and Why?

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Onion on Your Face

This question was on Quora. I suppose I shouldn’t be skeptical. But yes, apparently you can put onion on your face.

So I started looking for an answer and finding many articles on this subject. Loreal the big beauty company actually has researched this too. Onion has been another ingredient added to your skin care.

Disclaimer: This website is for informational purposes and not for diagnosis. More details.

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My parents always planted onion in their vegetable garden. This makes it available to add to dishes you may also do the same. However, did you ever think about putting it on your face?

What are Onions?

Well just encase you may not know everything about the onion. Aside from it being a tasty addition to flavor your dishes it has other uses. So let’s just explore this a bit.

The onion has been used for centuries as a folk remedy for a number of ailments. A theory is the use of onions began in China around 5000 B.C. Today they are cultivated and consumed around the world.

They fall into the Allium cepa family, allium meaning “smell”. This is along with garlic, shallots, chives and leeks.

Onions grow below the ground. Thus they are a root vegetable. The plant has bluish/green long leaves.

This veggie is so easy to include in your diet. The onion can be boiled, baked, grilled, fried, roasted, sautéed, powdered or eaten just like they are (raw). Its taste range goes from mild/sweet to sharp/spicy. Onion variety along with season make a difference.

You can also eat onions while they are immature. At this stage they are referred to as scallions, spring onions or summer onions. There is variety in size, shape and range of colors white, yellow and red.

Nutritional value:

  • Vitamin C
  • Folate
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorous
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Quercetin


Onions can fight bacteria like Eshcherichia coli (E coli), Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and Bacillus cereus.

Also onion extract has affected the growth of Vibrio cholera. This particular bacterium has become a serious health problem in the developing world.

The onion has quite impressive health benefits.  We will focus on its skin and hair benefits here. But as a supplement onions have been said to help diabetes, asthma and hypertension.


Skin Pigmentation

Unsightly skin pigmentation can be bothersome as well as embarrassing. Maybe it is visible to the public and the cause of unwanted stares. You may be looking for a way to remove it.

What is Skin Pigmentation?

Skin pigmentation is an area that appears a different color from your complexion. This can be patches, freckles or spots. Like I have this sun damage, seborrheic keratosis.

This usually occurs in patches on your skin. Rarely does it affect the entire body. Sometimes home remedies won’t work and a dermatologist should be seen for a diagnosis and treatment.

Types of Skin Pigmentation

Common form, like I mentioned before my SKs, some people may call these age spots. These are due to sun exposure.

Usually forms of hyperpigmentation are harmless. They are mainly what appears when there is an overproduction of melanin. However, they may be a sign of an underlying issue.

Pigmentation types:

  • Melasma
  • Freckles
  • Spots
  • Age spots (SKs)

Possible conditions causing pigmentation:

  • Direct trauma occurring after an accident or skin condition
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Insulin resistance
  • Endocrine system conditions (makes hormones)
  • Hormonal changes with pregnancy
  • Using chemotherapy drugs for cancer and cancer treatments

Red Onion

Red onion has been used as a skin whiting agent. The onion can be ground up then applied to skin. It has also been shown to destroy breast and colon cancer cells.

Onion Benefits in Skincare

Diminish Scar Tissue

According to the National Institute of Health onion extract gel has significantly diminished the look of scars. And this was just after four weeks of application.

Improve Stretch Marks

Furthermore, onion extract gel is commonly used topically in many scar creams and gels at your drugstore. This same research notes that onion extract can also improve the appearance of stretch marks if regularly used.

Prevent Osteoporosis

Helps prevent osteoporosis by improving bone mineral density. A compound called GPCS can reduce bone loss.

Gut Health

You’ve heard about the skin-gut axis. Well onions contain inulin acting as food to beneficial bacteria in the intestines.


Quercetin aids in preventing inflammation.


Onions stop cells from releasing histamine so helps with allergies.

Eye Diseases

Glutathione (protein) reduces risks for glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts.

Tooth Decay

Sulfur compounds may decrease bacteria that cause tooth decay.


During menopause onions can help in removing waste hormones because they support your liver.

Insect Stings and Bites

You can place an onion slice on stings and bites to soothe them. The anti-inflammatory qualities aid in relieving the burn, itchiness and swelling.

For Treating Acne

As the onion is antimicrobial, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory it is a strong antiseptic. This protects your skin from bacteria that cause acne and other skin infections. Thus use of onion extract as one ingredient in creams for acne scars.

Finding Onion as an Ingredient

It is being utilized in some moisturizers and gels that are growing in popularity. Particularly K-beauty brands (trend setting) with moisturizers as well as other skincare products containing onion.

Onion on Your Face
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from pexels

Onion Benefits for Hair

Hair Growth

There has also been research on onion benefits toward hair growth. One group applying onion juice showed regrowth after two weeks. Clarifying, that onion juice may be a topical treatment for alopecia.

Because onions are rich with sulfur this promotes hair growth. Hair is made of keratin also rich with sulfur required for strong healthy hair. When onion juice is applied to your scalp this can encourage collagen production also needed for skin and hair.

Check out Lady Alopecia who has given this a try and seen results.

Dandruff and Scalp Infections

Since onion juice contains qualities to kill bacteria it makes a great dandruff treatment. So it also works well for treating scalp infections.

Remove Head Lice

Again sulfur helps with this. Grind 4 or 5 onions to form a paste and press juice out. Then you can massage juice onto your scalp and cover with a shower cap.

The juice and shower cap can be left on for around two hours. Use warm water to shampoo your hair then dry it. Take your nit comb to remove the head lice.

Onion use Concerns

There may be a few situations that may cause concerns.

Blood Sugar Drops

Diabetics should be careful and test their blood sugar levels before and after eating onions. Due to the fact that onions lower blood sugar levels. Be aware of this dropping too much.

Skin Irritation

Applying onion juice directly to your skin could cause irritation and rashes in some people. So use caution by testing a small area first.

Pregnant and Nursing Women

Because onions usually lead to heartburn during these times those pregnant and nursing should limit their consumption.

Onion Cons

Bad Breath

You don’t want to be accused of having onion breath. Be sure to brush your teeth or grab a mint to avoid this.

Body Odor

Like taking garlic supplements you may have unpleasant body odor after indulging.

Onion Allergy and Intolerance

Although it is quite rare to have an allergy, it is common to be intolerant to raw varieties.

The Difference Between Onion Allergy and Intolerance

Onion allergy symptoms:

  • Hives or rash on any area of body
  • Tingling or an itching inside mouth
  • Lips, tongue, face or throat swelling
  • Breathing problems (anaphylaxis)
  • Dizziness

A food allergy affects your immune system. Whether or not, you’re allergic to consuming onions it is possible to experience allergic reactions through touching them or even smelling. If symptoms are sever or continue for days it is time to visit your doctor.

Onion intolerance symptoms:

  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Nausea

Food intolerance (sensitivity) affects your digestive system. Those having IBS are usually intolerant to the ingredients and may want to avoid onions.

Cut Onions No Tears

Do your eyes tear and burn when cutting into an onion? Onions have this enzyme called synthase. While cutting your onion synthase combines with the sulfur making a chemical known as syn-Propanethial  S-oxide. This compound rises to meet your eyes triggering your lachrymal gland (produce tears).

Onion cutting suggestions:

  • Use cold water
  • Wear kitchen goggles avoid gas
  • Cut with sharp knife this releases less enzymes
  • Chill or freeze onions to reduce gas released
  • Throw onion in food processor versus a knife
  • Leave the root for last, it contains the most enzymes
  • Don’t touch your eyes without washing hands first

Eye tearing is not a serious or harmful condition. It eventually diminishes and goes away. No reason to miss out on the health benefits of onions.

Wrapping it up

So onions are more than a veggie in your garden. Even though, you continue to add them to salads along with other dishes. Onions have become the new trendy ingredient in your skincare products.

The veggie has shown to improve the appearance of scars in addition to stretch marks. Applying onion juice to the scalp encourages hair growth. Pay attention to any concerns causing allergies or intolerance as well as developing bad breath or body odor.

Mother Nature never ceases to amaze. It may have sounded strange with wondering about the smell. But the onion contains impressive benefits for your skin and hair.

What would you use the onion extract on?

Header Photo by Mali Maeder from pexels

Mary is the founder of All About Our Skin. Former esthetician and CPC. Enjoys researching skincare and has been studying our skin for the past fourteen years.
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