Tuesday, February 2, 2016

January Skincare: Manuka Secrets Serum, Night Creme & Exfoliator Review

Disclaimer:  I purchased these.
There are two skincare ingredients I'm currently enamoured with, and Manuka honey is one of them.  Beyond honey's nutritional and immune boosting benefits, it also has antibacterial and skin soothing properties.  Manuka honey has all that on steroids, apparently, as honey from bees that feed on Manuka (or tea tree) bushes have much higher levels of enzymes than regular honey.  These enzymes help create a natural hydrogen peroxide, hence the antibacterial properties. Some strains of Manuka honey also contain methylglyoxal and dihydroxyacetone, making it extra special.
To that end, there is now something called the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) which is a global standard for identifying and measuring the antibacterial strength of Manuka.  To be considered beneficial, Manuka must have a UMF+10 of antibacterial activity in the honey, and Manuka Secrets has a UMF+18.

Genuine UMF Manuka Honey will have these four things:
  • A UMF trademark clearly labeled on the front of the container.
  • It will be from a New Zealand UMF licensed company and labelled in New Zealand.
  • It will have the UMF company’s name and license number on the label.
  • It will have a UMF rating number of 5-16+. If it is labeled without the UMF or without a number, then it is not the genuine article. (Source)
So, when I noticed Manuka Secrets on sale at ulta.com, I bought the serum, night creme, and exfoliant.  After using them for a month I thought I would share my impressions.
First of all, I'm loving that these contain a variety of skin loving ingredients.  Manuka honey is definitely high on the list and is UMF+18, which gives me confidence that it's the star and potent, but I'm happy to see things like CoQ10, aloe vera, rosehip seed, and hyaluronic acid as well.  
Night Creme ingredients
Second, I like that the serum and night creme come in pump containers.  However, I had a glitch with the serum pump, as it stopped working once I was about an inch down the bottle.  Turns out that the bottom is supposed to move up to compress the ingredients and that wasn't happening with the serum.  Turning the bottom upside down is working for now, but that's not optimal and hopefully mine's a fluke as opposed to faulty packaging.  The night creme is working fine.  But that's why you see the serum upside down in these pictures :-)
Based on a month's usage, I'd say the serum and night creme will last 3-4 months.  I use the exfoliant about twice a week so it should last considerably longer.  The serum says to use it 3-4 times a week but I use it daily, sometimes 2x's a day.
The consistency of the serum ($39.99) is thinner than the night creme ($20.99), but both feel relatively light and soak into my skin without leaving a greasy after feel.  I think it's perfect for oily skin in that respect, and I've had no issues with it clogging my pores or causing breakouts.  It also plays nice with my sunscreen and foundation. In fact, my skin likes all three of these a lot.
The exfoliant ($18.74) has very fine granules composed of two sizes of bamboo plus jojoba pearl and white clay to gently lift and remove dry flaking skin and assist new skin regeneration. To be honest I wasn't expecting much, but it leaves my skin so soft, no doubt also because of the moisturizing ingredients like coconut oil, cacao butter, glycerine, rice bran oil, flaxseed oil, and shea butter.  
Prices listed are what I paid at ulta.com and I got the exfoliant and night creme on sale, and I'm noticing that only the exfoliant is available now. I'll be sad if they've quit carrying this already, although it looks like drugstore.com and walgreens.com are also distributors, but I'm not seeing the full range there. Now I'm tempted to hoard this stuff, but I'm not going to. I am going to set it aside for a month or so while I test some other items with the second ingredient I'm fixating on (snail goo). Maybe I'll find another purchasing source by then.

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