Like many people, I love a good freebie. I recently came across free samples for, New Zealand based company, Manuka Doctor’s Purified Bee Venom and Manuka Honey Skincare on their website. The brand is sponsored by Kourtney Kardashian and although that’s not something that I care about, I appreciate its a good way to garner interest.
Bee Venom is a relatively new beauty craze, used in cosmetics to “trick” your face into feeling as if it has been stung with the toxin Melittin. It’s apparently extremely popular with celebrities such as Caroline Flack and Kylie Minogue. And while it doesn’t sound terribly appealing on paper, you have to wonder if it works.
I ordered the sampler and it arrived within 3 days, which was amazingly fast. As anyone who’s ever ordered a freebie from the internet knows, sometimes it can take months for the sucker to show up. The pack contains a trio of products designed to work together to make your skin flawless:
Apiclear Skin Serum Treatment
Apirefine Targeted Wrinkle Filler
Apinourish Rejuvenating Facial Mask.
I also received a promotional card offering me 25% off my next order. Considering their prices start from around £24, I was heavily skeptical that I would be buying anything.
The first one I tried was the Apinourish Rejuvenating Face Mask. The sachet, whilst small, was packed with the treatment and if I’d have been more careful about opening it, I probably could have gotten away with two uses. Instead, I tore it like some sort of savage and slapped it onto my face before I got into the bath. The mask itself has a thick, paste consistency that was easy to apply. It smelled sort of chemical-ish with an undertone of honey, which I found pretty insulting to the bees. It dried slowly, didn’t tighten my face, and was still very easy to remove.
For the first couple of minutes it stung a bit and it scared the life out of me as I’ve been pretty paranoid since my previous disaster with some Nu Skin Epoch Glacial Marine Mud Mask. As you can see, it literally burned my face. Luckily it went down overnight but I wasn’t pleased. Hence the suppressed tears of rage and/or fear of remaining red-faced for life. Word of advice, if you have Ginger’s skin too, Epoch may not be for you!
I washed off some on my jaw line and saw that there was no redness and the stinging went away quickly. I left it on for 20 minutes (the packet recommends no more than 30) and followed the instructions, removing it with a damp, soft cloth. I only realised then that I’d wiped it all over my eyebrows. Did you ever see that photo of the girl whose eyebrows came off with her face mask? If you haven’t and want to, click here. Well, since I saw that I’ve refused to let any product get on what’s left of my brows (I over plucked them when I was 14 and they’ve never grown back). You’ll be happy to know they remained on my face after washing the mask off and they are still surprisingly very soft. Like I gave them a conditioning treatment.
I honestly didn’t see any difference to my skin after washing it off. My face did feel incredibly soft and not at all tight, like it does with some masks but it was desperately in need of some hydration. As you can see from the photo, my skin is awful right now. The constant different types of weather makes me break out, as well as the continuous changing in pressure making me ill. Not to mention its pre-Shark Week so my face looks like a pepperoni pizza (the worst was cleverly hidden with excess mask for the photo!). As for the plumping effect, I really can’t tell. Is my face any fuller than usual? No. I’ve always had hamster cheeks.
With my face clean and dry, I decided to double up and use the Apiclear Skin Serum Treatment. Again, this was something that I could have gingerly opened and gotten another 4 or 5 uses out of it. There was so much product in that tiny packet. The serum was clear and smelled much nicer than the mask. I couldn’t say if it has any particular scents but to me it’s very clean and fresh. I definitely used too much, my hands were still covered in the product after I had used a generous amount on my face. Yet, it sank into my skin within seconds. Immediately my skin felt hydrated and supple.
In the few minutes following application, my spots had reduced a little in size and looked less angry. Sometimes with moisturisers, even if they are mattifying, my skin will become oily within a couple of minutes but my skin remained grease free for the rest of the evening. I didn’t take any photos of the application because its clear, not much to see! But I really, really liked the serum.
I didn’t use the Apirefine Targeted Wrinkle Filler as I’m only 27 and I don’t have any. I have the skin of a 13-year-old. I’m not bragging because it’s not fun. And I’m convinced I read somewhere that using this stuff preemptively is pointless. So I won’t.
Would I buy anything from Manuka Doctor?
I’m horribly skeptical about how they obtain the venom from the bees and I’m too worried to look it up on the internet. I didn’t occur to me to think about it at the time of ordering the sampler pack and only did someone brought it up when I mentioned the brand. By then, I’d already used it. I’m big on using products that aren’t tested on animals (also trying to phase out anything containing animal products) and I’m fairly certain they had to kill the bees to make this stuff. Considering the bees are reportedly dying out, this doesn’t seem like a smart move economically either. All that being said, it does work.