Manuka, honey and propolis are some of the buzziest topics in skincare right now, so I was very eager to try The Organic Pharmacy Manuka Face Cream ($76) for oily to combination skin.
Being in my late 20s, I have true combination skin which includes occasional blemishes, flakiness around my nose and cheeks, and oiliness in my t-zone that increases as the day progresses. The Manuka Face Cream claims to balance oil production, reduce flakiness, and have antiseptic and anti-blemish properties.
The first thing I liked about this product is the packaging: a heavy glass jar with a shiny silver top. There's something about applying a skincare product from a smart-looking container that always makes the process seem a bit more glamorous, like a 1940s starlet getting ready in her boudoir.
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The cream itself is very light and absorbs smoothly into the skin. I did notice a bit of an antiseptic or medicinal smell to it, but this faded shortly after application.
Manuka, the star ingredient, is a flowering plant native to New Zealand and southeast Australia. It has similar properties to the tea tree, but is reportedly a stronger antibacterial agent to fight blemishes. Cedarwood essential oil is another ingredient that has a balancing effect on the skin's sebaceous glands to control oil. To combat combination skin flakiness, this cream uses honey but, according to the ingredient list, not manuka honey per se [Editor's note: see what Marta has to say about manuka honey and acne]. The Manuka Face Cream also contains propolis cera, a sticky resin collected by bees that is both a cell regenerator and a collagen booster.
The first time I used The Organic Pharmacy Manuka Face Cream, someone I see on a regular basis commented that my skin looked fresh and bright; a good start to the day. Within about a week of use, I found my skin around my forehead to be less oily, and soft overall. As the weeks continued, my skin began to feel tight and dry in my cheeks and very flaky around my nose, though still less oily. I also did not notice a reduction in my occasional blemishes.
My overall opinion of The Organic Pharmacy Manuka Face Cream is a good one though. I like the ingredients and their oil- reduction capabilities, however I feel like it would be a better summer moisturizer for combination skin as it may be a bit too drying when the weather grows cold. But it’s a great product for oily skin types--I will purchase it again.
Ingredients in The Organic Pharmacy Manuka Face Cream: Aloe (Aloe Barbadensis), Rye Alcohol, Phospholipids , Rose Geranium (Perlagonium Graveolens) , Rose Hip (Rosa Canina) Oil, Shea Butter (Butyrospermum Parkii), St Johns Wort (Hypericum Perforatum), Tea Tree (Melaleuca Alternifolia) , Vitamin E (Tocopherol) , Aqua (Water) , Water Cress (Nasturtium Officinale), Xanthan Gum, Behenyl Alcohol , Sodium Lactate , Coconut Oil (Cocos Nucifera) , Soybean Sterols (Glycine Soya), Bergamot (Citrus bergamia), Bilberry (Vaccinum Myrtillus), Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica), Ceteryl Alcohol, Glycerin (vegetable), Glyceryl Stearate, Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica),Grapefruit Seed Extract (Citrus Grandis), Honey (Mel), Honeysuckle (Lonicera Japonica), Jojoba (Simmondsia Chinensis) Oil, Manuka (Leptospermum Scoparium), Marigold (Calendula Officinalis) Extract,Sesame Seed Oil (Sesamum Indicum)