Our Rating: 5 stars

I am a cleanser-phile, firmly believing that a good cleanser is the foundation of good skin. I am a bee venom face mask fan to extent that I am now on my third pot of Royal Nectar’s Bee Venom Face Mask, so I was extremely jazzed when Royal Nectar told us that they had a new cream cleanser with bee venom.

Royal Nectar Cream Cleanser ($29) is a pleasure to use. A couple of small pumps are all that’s needed to smooth over face and neck. I tend to leave it on for a few moments while I clean my teeth to get the benefit of the ingredients. It rinses off easily and leaves the skin clean and soft.

As with all Royal Nectar products, Cream Cleanser has a distinct whiff of manuka honey, which in itself is distinctive. I find the smell a little medicinal, doubtless due to the fact that manuka honey comes from bees fed exclusively on the manuka bush, a relative of tea tree. Manuka honey is an effective cure for burns, irritated skin and even acne.

I am fighting a one-woman campaign to disabuse the blogosphere of the myth that bee venom in cosmetics simulates a bee sting and tightens the skin. It does nothing of the sort (although anyone who is allergic to bee stings should probably avoid bee venom products). Honey bee venom contains at least 18 active substances. These include the peptides melittin and apamin. Melittin is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Also the hyaluronidase from bee venom causes hyaluronic acid in the body to become acetylglucosamine, important to tissue functions.

Other ingredients include oils of sweet almond, jojoba, rosehip and avocado. Despite those ingredients Royal Nectar Cream Cleanser is not at all oily. I would imagine that most skin types will be as happy with this cleanser as my slightly oily skin is. I would certainly recommend it for all ages and those with breakout prone skin may actually benefit from the manuka honey. 

Optiphen, by the way, is the preservative phenoxyethanol. Apart from this there is nothing to dislike.

Ingredients in Royal Nectar Cream Cleanser: Distilled Water, Manuka Honey, Sweet Almond Oil, MedmulsB200 (cetearyl alcohol and PEG stearate), Jojoba Oil, Rosehip Oil, Avocado Oil, Beeswax, Nectar Ease with Bee Venom, Optiphen Plus, Natural Fragrance, Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol Oil.