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Friday, September 29, 2023

Will You Bee Mine? A Propolis Serum Comparability Evaluate – Fifty Shades of Snail

Ingredient traits come and go (anybody else keep in mind when starfish had a quick second within the solar?). That’s why I’m so grateful when a stylish ingredient that works nicely for me finally ends up getting standard sufficient to stay round. Like propolis, the featured ingredient within the serums I’m going to match right this moment. I really like propolis. I’m not the one one.

Produced by bees, propolis is a resinous substance used as a sealant to guard and insulate beehives. As with so many different substances present in nature, we people noticed one thing different animals had been making use of and determined to search out methods to utilize it ourselves. Propolis has been utilized in folks drugs throughout a variety of cultures; nowadays analysis into its topical use facilities extra on its antioxidant content material and its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and wound therapeutic properties, which can have functions for acne-prone pores and skin.

For me, the consequences of a great propolis product resemble these of my favourite snail merchandise: calmer pores and skin that bounces again quicker after a breakout or response. They’re not precisely the identical, although (which is without doubt one of the causes I like to incorporate each in my routines). Whereas snail mucin additionally gives a light-weight however tangible barrier towards irritation and moisture loss, the very best propolis merchandise give my pores and skin so distinctive that I consider it because the Propolis Glow™. My fully unscientific concept is that propolis achieves this by sealing and smoothing out the delicate irregularities in pores and skin texture in order that pores and skin displays gentle rather more evenly, however who is aware of? In any case, it’s one thing I look to propolis to ship.

Additionally, everyone knows how a lot I really like honey in skincare, and types usually pair propolis with honey of their formulation, so it’s win/win.

A few of the merchandise featured on this submit had been offered by the manufacturers for evaluate. This submit incorporates affiliate hyperlinks, which permit me to earn a small fee on purchases made by these hyperlinks. Affiliate hyperlinks are marked with an asterisk(*).

Final yr, as a part of their revival of the Miss Flower & Mr Honey line, Banila Co launched an up to date model of my beloved Miss Flower & Mr Honey Cream, in addition to a product known as Miss Flower & Mr Honey Rejuvenating Propolis Ampoule. Dreaming of a resurrection of the previous and really magical Miss Flower & Mr Honey Essence Oil, I positioned an order of the brand new ampoule and the up to date cream with Banila Co US and eagerly waited for them to reach.

At across the identical time, Glowie Co began carrying merchandise from Great thing about Joseon. Although a smaller model, Great thing about Joseon gained cult standing amongst followers of Asian cosmetics within the West because of a rave evaluate of the gorgeously packaged Dynasty Cream from OG Okay-beauty blogger (and my shut pal for all these years!) Cat of Snow White and the Asian Pear. Great thing about Joseon emphasizes hanbang skincare–that’s, skincare with formulation that incorporate components utilized in conventional natural drugs–however not simply any hanbang, “clear” hanbang.

“Clear” magnificence advertising and marketing doesn’t curiosity me, as a result of from the place I’m sitting, it’s primarily pushed by misinformation and chemophobic fearmongering, however whereas I don’t discover “clear magnificence” interesting in itself, I’m additionally not against making an attempt a “clear” skincare product if the product pursuits me by itself deserves. Great thing about Joseon’s Glow Serum, which options propolis and niacinamide, does. As a result of propolis and niacinamide. So Glowie Co despatched over the serum. For the subsequent a number of months, I examined each serums, with plans to match them in a evaluate. This one, truly.

My kitten Jumbo wasn’t round for the testing section, however she’s serving to with the writing and publishing levels.

It’s been some time since I did an in-depth comparability of two merchandise, and with these two, it was a pleasure. I examined every individually at first, including the Banila Co serum into my current routine for one month, then taking it out and giving my pores and skin a break for per week earlier than changing it with the Great thing about Joseon product, which I then used for a month as nicely.

For some context, I’m 41, and my pores and skin sort is regular, with some dry leanings as a result of age and heavy tretinoin use. It doesn’t actually wrestle until the climate is unusually dry or until one thing I’ve used has triggered one among my eczema-like flare-ups, which current as large dry, bumpy, scaly, extraordinarily delicate pink patches alongside my jawline and on the decrease half of my face (so, thank God for the face masks we’ve all grown accustomed to sporting in public). The flare-ups normally final for just a few days to per week relying on how rapidly I determine their set off and take away it from my routine and finish with the pores and skin on the affected areas violently peeling off in flakes that rival the sheets of pores and skin that come off my ft after a great foot peel. Fortunately(?), I bought to expertise each these misfortunes throughout my time testing the propolis serums.

(For reference, the product that angered my pores and skin was Clinique Take the Day Off Cleaning Balm. The truth that out of all of the merchandise I’ve used for all these years, one as bland and boring as this one would set off a flare-up is sort of insulting. It’s like getting an upset abdomen from plain oatmeal.)

Moisturizing skincare and an lovable pet assist ease the ache immensely.

Though the Miss Flower & Mr Honey Propolis Rejuvenating Ampoule and the Glow Serum have quite a lot of components in frequent, Banila Co and Great thing about Joseon emphasize totally different claims of their product advertising and marketing. Banila Co describes the Miss Flower & Mr Honey ampoule as nourishing and claims it may “assist enhance pores and skin’s elasticity and total pores and skin well being.” Great thing about Joseon focuses on brightening to such an extent that niacinamide will get equal billing with propolis on the product’s packaging.

Elements Comparability

Someday final yr, I used to be speaking to a pal of mine who developed the Skincare Routine app (Android) about easy tech instruments I want I had for product opinions. One of many concepts I had was a solution to rapidly evaluate a number of merchandise’ components lists, to determine components they’ve in frequent. As a result of my pal truly is aware of the right way to make instruments like that, he did, and made it obtainable on the app web site. I plugged within the components for each the Banila Co propolis ampoule and the Great thing about Joseon serum.

Each merchandise share the next components: Water, glycerin, 1,2-hexanediol, niacinamide, carbomer, sodium hyaluronate, xanthan gum, melia azadirachta leaf extract, propolis extract, melia azadirachta flower extract, curcuma longa (turmeric) root extract, ocimum sanctum leaf extract, and corallina officinalis extract.

Niacinamide is a no brainer. It’s in a ton of merchandise and justifiably beloved for its nicely supported brightening results and skill to enhance pores and skin’s elasticity and barrier operate. What I discovered extra attention-grabbing had been the plant extracts that popped up in each merchandise’ formulations.

Melia azadirachta, or chinaberry, is a tree native to south and southeast Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands and utilized in Ayurvedic drugs. So far as its skincare advantages go, even the beautiful conservative Paula’s Selection Beautypedia components database offers it a “greatest” ranking and discusses its exceptional antioxidant properties. Turmeric, additionally utilized in Ayurvedic drugs, seems in skincare as a result of its claimed antibacterial and antioxidant properties, which make it helpful each for pimples and to delay seen pores and skin growing old. Ocimum sanctum is one other Ayurvedic herb; analysis is skinny on the bottom for it as a topical skincare ingredient, however it could have anti-aging advantages. Lastly, corallina officinalis is a sort of seaweed, and I really like seaweed in skincare–its humectant and emollient qualities could make pores and skin look firmer and really feel smoother and extra supple, and it, too, comes filled with helpful antioxidants.

Banila Co Miss Flower & Mr Honey Propolis Rejuvenating Ampoule components: Water, glycerin, 1,2-hexanediol, niacinamide, propanediol, betaine, glycosyl trehalose, hydrogenated starch hydrolysate, glycereth-25 PCA isostearate, arginine, carbomer, sodium hyaluronate, xanthan gum, melia azadirachta leaf extract, propolis extract, adenosine, melia azadirachta flower extract, curcuma longa (turmeric) root extract, perfume, ocimum sanctum leaf extract, corallina officinalis extract

CosDNA evaluation


components alone, I discovered the Miss Flower & Mr Honey Propolis Rejuvenating Ampoule disappointing. I favor propolis merchandise that use the ingredient in excessive concentrations, ideally excessive sufficient to place it throughout the prime three components on the record. Whereas the product packaging states that it incorporates 82% pink propolis extract, I checked with the model’s US workplace and confirmed that what they imply is the extract is 82% pure pink propolis (with the remaining 18% presumably being solvent and preservative). The propolis extract doesn’t even present up till the underside half of the components record, together with the remainder of these different intriguing extracts. There’s not a lot else of observe to see, both. It’s too unhealthy. An components record doesn’t inform the complete story, nevertheless, so regardless of my meh emotions about it, I nonetheless wished to get it on my face.

Great thing about Joseon Glow Serum (Propolis + Niacinamide) components: Propolis extract, dipropylene glycol, glycerin, butylene glycol, water, niacinamide, 1,2-hexanediol, melia azadirachta flower extract, melia azadirachta leaf extract, sodium hyaluronate, curcuma longa (turmeric) root extract, ocimum sanctum leaf extract, theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed extract, melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) extract, centella asiatica extract, corallina officinalis extract, lotus corniculatus seed extract, calophyllum inophyllum seed oil, betaine salicylate, sodium polyacryloyldimethyl taurate, tromethamine, polyglyceryl-10 laurate, caprylyl glycol, ethylhexylglycerin, dextrin, pentylene glycol, octanediol, tocopherol, xanthan gum, carbomer

CosDNA evaluation

This one is off to a a lot stronger begin.

In distinction, Great thing about Joseon’s Glow Serum places propolis extract proper on the prime of the components record, indicating that propolis extract is current within the product in the next focus than every other ingredient. Different extracts additionally occupy the highest half of the components record.

Great thing about Joseon markets this serum as being 60% propolis. As we’ve seen from Banila Co’s clarification of their 82% propolis extract declare, nevertheless, the proportion alone tells lower than we’d anticipate. I reached out to Great thing about Joseon to search out out extra. It seems that in contrast to the Banila Co ampoule, the focus declare for the Glow Serum signifies that propolis extract makes up 60% of the product’s complete quantity.

Finally, this makes evaluating the 2 merchandise by their propolis content material sort of a wash. Banila Co offered readability on how a lot of their propolis extract is precise propolis however not how a lot of the product is propolis extract. Great thing about Joseon shares how a lot of the product is propolis extract however not how a lot of the propolis extract is propolis. It’s a great factor that focus ingredient concentrations aren’t the one solution to decide a product’s effectiveness (and customarily not the easiest way to find out it, both). What issues is how the product carry out.


At a really primary degree, the Great thing about Joseon Glow Serum and the Banila Co Miss Flower & Mr Honey Propolis Rejuvenating Ampoule are comparable. Each are water-based, gel-textured serums with good hydrating results. Their light-weight consistencies enable them to layer nicely over and beneath different merchandise in an extended routine, and their quick absorption makes them a pleasant addition to a faster routine after I need somewhat further moisture however can’t afford so as to add a lot further time. Neither product induced any pilling; each sat nicely beneath my sunscreen and make-up.

The primary level of differentiation for me is in total person expertise.

To my everlasting disappointment, the Miss Flower & Mr Honey Propolis Rejuvenating Ampoule bears no resemblance to the Miss Flower & Mr Honey Essence Oil that I miss so, a lot. On the plus aspect, Banila Co does nonetheless promote the “honey” ingredient story magnificently.

Even when it doesn’t comprise any precise honey.

With a weighty, generously sized (50ml) glass bottle the colour of honey and a hexagonal cap, paying homage to honeycomb, the Propolis Rejuvenating Ampoule’s presentation is designed to spark pleasure in anybody who loves honey and honey-themed skincare. The product itself smells so good that placing it on my face immediately lights up probably the most primal pleasure facilities in my mind. It’s that smooth, just-sweet-enough, floral-tinged honey scent that Banila Co has been deploying of their Miss Flower & Mr Honey merchandise for the reason that center of the final decade. To my nostril, it’s superbly female however refined, not cloying, and it’s simply noticeable sufficient to take pleasure in with out being overpowering. My level is that I discover the expertise of the product completely stellar. I used up the entire bottle fortunately, regardless that the precise results of the product aren’t a lot to jot down residence about.

As I discussed close to the start of this part, each merchandise on this evaluate have good hydrating results. The Miss Flower & Mr Honey Propolis Rejuvenating Ampoule left my pores and skin plump and refreshed, with the contemporary glow I affiliate with a great propolis product. Regardless of the perfume, it didn’t hassle my pores and skin after I was affected by that horrible Clinique cleaning balm-induced flare-up. That’s about all of the Propolis Rejuvenating Ampoule did, although. I can get that from plenty of different merchandise. Like, for instance, the Great thing about Joseon Glow Serum, subtitled “Propolis + Niacinamide.”

Talking of name storytelling, Great thing about Joseon’s tells a narrative extra compelling than most historic dramas.

Great thing about Joseon’s branding is gorgeous, little doubt. Elegant, evocative of court docket girls in historic Okay-dramas, and far more stylish (in my view) than Historical past of Whoo’s over-the-top Historical Korean Court docket Woman Magnificence Secrets and techniques branding, it hints on the inspiration for the model’s formulations: conventional Korean folks drugs, aka hanbang.

Although the natural theme is entrance and middle in Great thing about Joseon’s packaging, nevertheless, it’s the propolis that heads up the components record for the Glow Serum. And I truly really feel it with this product.

When it comes to ingredient storytelling, the Great thing about Joseon Glow Serum falls far behind the Banila Co Miss Flower & Mr Honey Propolis Rejuvenating Ampoule. It doesn’t odor like something, not to mention honey; I do know the shortage of scent is definitely a better option, making it friendlier for delicate pores and skin, however as a honey lover, I discovered it disappointing. There’s nothing specifically within the packaging to strengthen the propolis messaging–it appears identical to each different serum within the model’s roster, aside from the colour of the field and label and the phrases printed on the underside. However when my pores and skin was affected by its run-in with the Clinique Take the Day Off Cleaning Balm, this serum got here in clutch.

In actual fact, I mourned after I emptied the bottle.

Once I’m affected by a flare-up, I rely closely on hydrating layers to assist reduce the itching and flaking; in that sense, the Banila Co ampoule did assist. However the Great thing about Joseon serum did extra than simply hydrate. Once I utilized it rather than the Miss Flower & Mr Honey ampoule, it shaped a light-weight however extra noticeably current movie over the broken, irritated floor of my pores and skin. It’s virtually snail-like.

The movie carried out two features: it appeared to supply some further safety towards extra irritation, and it stuffed within the little cracks and smoothed out the bumps, briefly bettering my pores and skin texture so I may extra simply cowl up the redness with somewhat basis. In the meantime, after I switched to the Great thing about Joseon serum, the flare-up began therapeutic extra rapidly. I began to see enchancment by night after I used it within the morning, and once more within the morning after I’d used it within the night. It’s a much less enjoyable product than the Banila Co ampoule however did much more for my pores and skin when my pores and skin wanted it.

When my pores and skin is in its regular situation, in the meantime, the Great thing about Joseon Glow Serum delivers somewhat extra plumping and hydration than the Banila Co ampoule, and about the identical degree of added glow.

On space the place I felt dissatisfied with the Great thing about Joseon Glow Serum was the dimensions of the product. It’s 30ml. That’s a fairly customary dimension for a serum or ampoule product, however I ran by it quick. The graceful gel consistency simply begs to be slathered on generously, and I take my skincare all the best way from hairline right down to nips. It felt like I ran out far too quickly. The Banila Co ampoule, at 50ml, lasted a extra reasonable-feeling size of time.

This can be a fairly simple downside to resolve for many who favor the Great thing about Joseon serum, although: get extra. At $17 for 30ml, it’s $0.56/ml. That’s rather more economical than $1.04/ml, which is how a lot the $52 bottle of Banila Co Miss Flower & Mr Honey Propolis Rejuvenating Ampoule works out to, and a genuinely nice worth for such a nicely rounded product.

Gotta say I’m actually unhappy that I’m giving a decrease ranking to the Banila Co ampoule, however it’s what it’s.


Should you’re wanting primarily for a honey-themed product that may spark plenty of honey-themed pleasure and ship some hydration and glow too, the Banila Co Miss Flower & Mr Honey Propolis Rejuvenating Ampoule is it. However in the event you want extra critical advantages, like accelerated therapeutic and safety from irritation, I discover the Great thing about Joseon Glow Serum rather more definitely worth the cash (and also you’ll get rather more on your cash too). I give the Banila Co ampoule a few 3.5 out of 5 stars; I give the Great thing about Joseon Glow Serum a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

The place can I purchase Banila Co Miss Flower & Mr Honey Propolis Rejuvenating Ampoule and Great thing about Joseon Propolis + Niacinamide Glow Serum?


All will not be misplaced for the Banila Co Miss Flower & Mr Honey revival. I’m disillusioned that the ampoule wasn’t what I dreamed it might be, however I nonetheless love the cream with my total physique and soul. I’m additionally at present utilizing the toner and the lotion, and each of these are additionally understanding a lot better for me than the ampoule. Extra opinions to return!

The cream was at all times the anchor of the road for me, anyway.

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