Taking a little break from ciao as I have just started a new job and barely have time to breathe!! I will be back soon. Thank you so much to everyone who has rated my reviews and given me Es recently, really appreciate it!
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Take Action Against Bad Skin Days
Gets rid of spots and prevents/fades scars while moisturising and nourishing the skin
Weird consistency if applied heavily; only available online; results not instant
How easily is it absorbed?
Value for money
How does it affect your skin?It moisturises
Why did you buy it?No particular reason
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This review is based on a product I initially used almost eight years ago, but which I still remember well (and keep in my drawer for emergencies!).
When I was eighteen years old, I got a couple of spots for the first time in my life. As I had started to believe I was one of those fortunate people to escape from the curse of teenage skin, I was pretty annoyed and distressed by this. My case wasn't severe, but it was enough to bother me. Also, my skin tends to scar pretty easily, so I was worried about any marks that might be left on my skin.
Determined to get my nice, clear skin back, I headed off to the doctors, who prescribed me with antibiotics which I was on for almost six months, and which didn't do a thing to help! I kept returning and the doctor kept unhelpfully insisting, "Give them a month/three months/six months/a year and then they'll work!" They didn't, and eventually I got him to refer me to a dermatologist.
In the meantime, however, I began researching natural treatments to help clear my skin, as I worried about the damage all these antibiotics might be doing to my poor little body. When I was reading up on the subject of acne and natural remedies on the internet and in books, I found that I was reading a lot of stuff about this product called manuka honey...
WHAT IS MAKUKA HONEY?
Manuka honey is, well, honey; that famous sweet product manufactured by bees. Active Manuka honey is a special type of honey, however, which has been used throughout history, in many different cultures, as an internal and external health treatment and cure for many conditions.
Active Manuka honey can be used to treat many things, from skin conditions such as eczema to internal conditions such as IBS; however, in order to keep this review focused, I am only going to discuss its impact on acne.
There are many reasons why it is suggested that Active Manuka honey is effective at helping spot prone skin. First of all, it has natural antibiotic and antibacterial properties, meaning that it will help destroy bacteria on the skin and clear any infection. Secondly, it works as an inflammatory, meaning that it will help to calm down and soothe inflamed skin. Thirdly, manuka honey helps to fade and prevent scars, which are often left by acne.
To read more about Manuka honey, just google it and you will find many, many articles about its therapeutic effects. However, it is enough to say that I was intrigued enough about this product to start researching products that contained it, and it was then that I came across The Honey Collection; a natural range of skin care products developed in New Zealand which contain Manuka honey as their primary ingredient.
I found that they produced a cream called 'Active Clear', which was advertised as a natural acne treatment, so I immediately bought myself some of this product, which, in truth, sounded too good to be believed!
WHAT DOES THIS PRODUCT DO?
This cream is an all natural product which is designed to care for and nurture the skin, while getting rid of acne at the same time. Most acne products today work by drying out the skin, using a chemical called salicylic acid. The theory is that this will get rid of oil on the skin and dry out spots. The reality is that getting rid of oil on the skin simply means that the skin will produce more oil to compensate, exacerbating the problem. Consequently, these harsh products rarely do any long term good.
This cream, however, offers gentle healing and respects the skin. This is what the company have to say about it on their website:
"This cream has been specifically formulated to help those troubled by acne. Formualted with 30% UMF® 15+ Active Manuka Honey and carefully selected natural oils and herbal extracts. Due to the ability of honey to penetrate deeply into the epidermis, the natural antibiotic and antibacterial effects of UMF® Manuka Honey and the special beneficial effects of the selected herbal extracts are maximised to aid the restoration of a clear skin and help reduce scarring."
I was pretty impressed by these promises and couldn't wait to try the cream.
On opening the cream, I noticed that it had quite a strong, sweet smell. I suppose it smells like exactly what it is: honey but with added herbs. I actually quite like the smell and I found that once it was on my skin it quickly faded. At least, I couldn't smell it myself after a little while, nobody commented on it, and fortunately there were no hungry bees flying at my face while I was out and about!
The cream is a sort of beige/yellow colour and a thick liquid, similar in texture to most face creams. It comes in a squeezable tube so it is easy to get out as much or as little as you need. I would recommend using a very, very little bit though for the following reasons...
When you apply the cream to your skin, at first it sort of thickens up on your face. Not like a layer of cement or anything, but more like a gluey/paste consistency; like a sticky white smear on your face. This is no problem if you only apply a little bit, but if you apply too much it takes absolutely ages to rub in!
Once it is rubbed in, your skin will feel the same as if you had applied any moisturiser to it, unless you have used too much. I was worried, with using a honey cream, that my skin would feel really sticky and that it would leave a residue on my skin, so at first I only used the cream at night and another moisturiser in the day. However, I found that the cream only feels sticky if you use too much.
If you use quite a bit of cream, it doesn't sink perfectly into the skin, and you can indeed feel the moisturiser on your face, both if you touch it (it will feel a bit tacky) and if you move your face, by frowning or raising your eyebrows for example. It can also look a bit shiny. However, if you apply the small amount that is required, it should sink in like any moisturiser and leave the skin feeling soft and matte. Nobody will ever know you just smeared it in honey!
If you do find that it doesn't absorb well in to your skin, however, or that you do not like how it feels on your skin, it is fine to use it just before bed and use a different moisturiser in the day. This is what I did for a long time and it still worked.
Once you have applied the cream, it is best to leave it for twenty minutes or so before applying makeup. By now all the cream should have been absorbed and you should have no problems applying makeup as normal.
AFTER EFFECTS/ LONG TERM RESULTS
The best thing about this cream is not the immediate effects, but what it does to your skin long term! The thing I will say about this product is that it is not an instant cure, and it does take a while to start working. You may not notice any difference in your skin right away, but after a few months you should see a real improvement in acne and also in any scars that it may have left.
When I first went to the dermatologist she "hmmm"ed and frowned and looked at my skin under a microscope and took photographs and frowned some more and told me, "Yes, I can see there's a problem", and made me basically want to die right there. Or at least grab a big paper bag and spend the rest of my life with my head within it.
That was my first appointment.
In the period between my first appointment and my next scheduled date with humiliation, I was applying this cream - which arrived just after my first appointment - every day. I noticed after a few weeks that my skin was looking a bit better, then after a few months that it had really cleared. Also, the best news to me was that the red marks which had been on my skin for over a year were now rapidly fading.
When I went back to the dermatologist she "hmmm"ed and frowned and looked at my skin under a microscope... and then she told me that my skin was too good to be seeing a dermatologist and I shouldn't come any more! And that was that.
Now, I should state that I was taking other measures to improve my skin at this time. I was also taking the medication (a form of the pill) that the dermatologist had prescribed me, and I was following a healthy eating plan. However, while the medication did account for some of the improvement in my skin, it would have had no effect on the marks at all, so I know that they were helped by the cream. Also, since then I had long periods of using the cream while not on medication, and I still had good results, with spots occurring less often, healing more quickly and leaving fewer marks.
WHAT IS GOOD ABOUT THE CREAM?
To summarise, this cream greatly improved my acne and also eventually got rid of the scars/red marks left by it. Almost eight years later I still use this cream (as a precaution) sometimes just before bed, and my skin is still kept clear, moisturised and soft.
AND THE BAD?
One of the few bad things I have to say about this product is that it takes a little while to get working at first so you shouldn't expect any instant results, but this is true of most products. Also you have to be careful how much you use or it will make your skin slightly sticky! The only other downside is that you have to buy this online as it is not available on the high street. At least, not anywhere I have seen.
Active UMF® Manuka Honey
Tocopherol and Sesame Oils
WHO SHOULD BUY THIS PRODUCT
Anyone with scars on their face
Those against animal testing (none of The Honey Collection's products are tested on animals)
Those with sensitive skin
Health conscious individuals
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The Honey Collection's products are available from their own website, which is www.honeycollection.co.nz. I have bought this cream directly from here before, however I have found another website that is based in the UK which stocks their products. This website is www.thehoneydoctor.com, and the cream is available from here for £9.95 (or £12.90 including delivery). They offer a good, quick delivery service and the product should be with you within a week (but generally much less than that).
Summary: A great natural cream which promotes beautiful, clear, soft skin.