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Review: Antipodes Manuka Honey Skin Brightening Light Day Cream

I’m a big fan of Antipodes skincare, even though I’m not an ‘all natural’ skincare devotee. Antipodes makes great skincare products however, and to me the natural ingredients are just a bonus! Their manuka honey inspired day cream is relatively new in their offering and because manuka (as with most honeys) is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, I thought I’d pick it up for my currently congested and acne prone skin. My skin is generally combination to normal, however I have returned to my teen acne days it seems (shakes fist) because I changed contraceptives and also recently changed anti-acne medication (from antibiotics to aldactone/spironolactone). My skin is finally starting to come out of the fog of an acne frenzy and while the cystic acne has subsided, my nose is still congested and I have a few healing spots about. Could the Antipodes day cream come to the rescue?

Restore a light and fresh visage with this bioactive day cream. Bee venom and mamaku black fern provide a gentle lifting effect. World-famous manuka honey, renowned for its health benefits, helps address any skin blemishes. Revolutionary Vinanza antioxidants from grape seeds and kiwi work with peony flower for the ultimate skin-bright finish. Vinanza Grape & Kiwi is clinically shown to improve skin cell membrane integrity by decreasing trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL) by 16%, improve skin elasticity by 16%, decrease skin redness by 7% (erythema), and lighten skin by 3.5% (melanin content).  Independent clinical study by AgResearch Ltd: The effect of grape seed and kiwifruit extracts on skin preparationDirections: Apply generously to your face, neck and décolletage at the day’s dawn and dusk. Suited to most skin conditions, especially oily.Elements of Beauty: Manuka honey * Bee venom * Vinanza Grape & KiwiPure Plant Fragrance: HoneyCertification: Recyclable glass jar. 100% biodegradable cardboard from sustainable forests.

The cream is most certainly a light cream and has surprisingly, a matte finish. Oily skins rejoice! It spreads and sinks into the skin quickly, leaving your skin smooth. I don’t know that it has reduced blemishes in my case, however, I do think it lessens redness, which is a good sign that inflammation is reduced. If it ‘deactivates’ blemishes even in the tiniest of ways (not noticeable to the human eye) that is great and at least I know it isn’t making my breakouts worse – which would be terrible! The description above, notes that skin should look brighter and that the ingredients reduce melanin production. Have my post acne marks disappeared more quickly thanks to this cream? Again, it’s hard to say. They are fading ‘relatively’ quickly (a few weeks) however sunscreen is also a must for this. The cream isn’t clearing up blackheads on my nose, but I didn’t expect it to do so (it doesn’t contain BHAs, which can ‘dissolve’ sebum and impurities). Antioxidants are a must in my morning skincare, so the vinanza and vinifera grapes, plus kiwi fruit seed oil are welcome antioxidants.

Another highlighted ingredient in this day cream is bee venom. This is the first bee venom ‘inspired’ product I have tried and I have to say that I think it does what it’s meant to – firming skin (albeit temporarily). It doesn’t ‘tingle’ on my skin, but as the cream sinks into the skin, it feels like it is ‘drying’ on the skin, pulling it ever so slightly tighter. It’s a funny sensation, because the cream sinks into the skin beautifully, it doesn’t leave a ‘crusty’ layer on top of the skin. I can see the appeal of the ingredient and this may explain the ‘bee venom’ frenzy at one stage (you know, the one before snail mucus or ‘filtrate’, as it’s scientifically known haha).

The cream smells pretty darn sweet. If you have ever smelt manuka honey before, it’s a little different to regular honey (manuka flowers are native to both New Zealand and Australia) it’s much more concentrated and ‘potent’ thanks to its highly active antibacterial properties (‘UMF’, unique manuka factor). It’s almost a bit herbal and floral, but it’s difficult to describe. It is strong, so if you are worried, definitely seek out a sample to sniff in Priceline. I got used to the scent after a while and it’s not the worse scent in the world.

I love traditional glass jars such as this one, even though I know a pump bottle would help keep the moisturiser fresh and potent for longer. It’s not overly big – you know when companies make the packaging extra large, just so it tricks you into thinking you are getting more for your money? That’s a pet peeve of mine! This one is ‘adequate’ size wise and I’ve even travelled with it, without any issues.

The only downer of this day cream is the fact that it is so ‘light’. This isn’t really the creams fault at all, because it is described as being light, but for this reason it’s become a little unsuited for my needs over time. Being light in hydrators makes it sink into the skin easily and leaves the skin without any shine, but because of my strong retinol acne treatments (Differin Gel) and chemical exfoliation, my skin is pretty dried out in the mornings.  On it’s own, it isn’t enough to keep my skin feeling comfortable throughout the day. Remember that even oily and acne prone skin needs the right hydration (humectants – ingredients which draw moisture into the skin, like glycerin and hyaluronic acid and emollients, to give skin that comfortable feeling and ‘slip’) because you don’t want additional texture issues, on top of bumps and breakouts. If this is sounding familiar to you, a hydrating serum below this moisturiser would help. I’m currently using a vitamin C serum underneath this moisturiser (not super moisturising) but also layer a hydrating primer over the top OR I use a hydrating serum on top of the vitamin C serum and before the moisturiser. I’m determined to use it up because a) it’s not breaking me out, and it’s helping with inflammation and post acne pigmentation, and b) because I don’t want it to go to waste – ‘natural’  and ‘green beauty’ products usually contains less preservatives and preservatives that don’t work as well as synthetic ones, so you need to use such products up more quickly (this one has a shelf life of 6 months once opened). I’m actually surprised this moisturiser doesn’t include the traditional and so commonly used hydrators, like glycerin. Oils are great – but they can sit on top of the skin and become occlusive if they are applied to liberally. I don’t think that’s a problem in this case (the cream isn’t oily whatsoever) but not every oil is as hydrating as another (each one has a different chemical structure).

In summation, this is a great moisturiser if you are looking for something light for the day time because you live in the tropics or have extremely oily skin, but perhaps not enough if your skin is drying out because of various acne treatments. It doesn’t contain ingredients that will break you out, which is a massive bonus and it is a great option is pigmentation is a major skincare concern of yours, but you are on a budget. The cream most certainly delivers on it’s promises!

You can pick the 50ml moisturiser from Priceline for $59.99 (though you can wait until the brand goes on a 20% sale at Priceline, it happens every couple of weeks!), Adore Beauty or via the official Antipodes website, which offers reasonable international shipping rates.

Are you a fan of Antipodes skincare Beauties? Have you used any skincare products containing bee venom or manuka honey before? Do you look for ‘natural actives’? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

Catch ya next time!

Beauty Bee~ 

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