I originally thought propolis was like royal jelly but now that I’ve read a bit more about it I see its not quite the same thing. Go have a read here if you haven’t read my post about propolis yet. I was gifted the Ultra Bee™ with Propolis Hydrating Face Cream. We were chatting in the DMs of Instagram and they suggested I try some of their products. They were pretty cool and I accepted their gifts. They are fully aware that I will not be acting as an ambassador and all my opinions are honest and my own. You can check out my disclaimer about this here. Let’s get to it then.
The Company – Ultra Bee™
Firstly Ultra Bee™ is proudly South African, yay! Secondly, this is a review about one of their many many products incorporating honey, bees wax and propolis. They make products that span various categories from baby products to outdoor insect-repellent products. Their website is full of information including ingredients lists, which is always a good thing. I don’t agree that this ingredient is the be all and end all – it’s not going to cure your cancer but I do like that they link their sources.
Saying that, there isn’t much information regarding sustainability. Considering the active ingredients are bee products it would be nice to know (in visible ways) that these ingredients are harvested in an ethical way that protect out little stripey buddies. Obviously all these products wouldn’t be considered vegan either. It’s not a priority for me but if it is for you, you probably already know that. Ultra Bee™ are, however, registered as animal cruelty free and is marked with the Proudly South African mark.
The Ingredient List
Ingredients: 100% natural Cera Alba (Beeswax) containing; Bee Pollen Extract, Propolis Extract and Honey. Aqua (water), Hydrogenated Avocado (Butter) Oil and Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Seed Oil as carrier oils, Xanthan Gum, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Phenylpropanol, Propanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Tocopherol. Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil and Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil are the essential oils.Website and product label
The main focus on this list is the beeswax and the propolis. The beeswax provides a protective layer between you and the world, locking in moisture and keeping out unwanted uglies. The propolis, as I’ve explained in my previous post, has some nice properties linked with wound healing. This ingredient can provide a great repair function in a cream.
The oil ingredients like avocado oil, sunflower oil and jojoba oil, along with some of the other emollients, can help rebuild the skin barrier to keep in the moisture. They also assist in penetration of other ingredients as oils are lipophilic and interact well with the lipids in our skin. The ingredient list also includes the water-loving humectant glycerine that pulls and traps moisture close to your skin. So far, it looks promising as a hydrating cream.
There are no preservatives in this product and I’m not 100% comfortable with that. However, I’m not completely upset about it. Considering a large part of the product is wax and oil based and both propolis and honey both have antimicrobial properties, its fine.
Lastly, there are essential oils in this cream. Essential oils can be quite irritating, especially to the sensitive skinned folks. I haven’t done the research yet on the popular rosehip oil but when I do I will link it here. From a quick search, it contains tretinoin which is a form of Vitamin A known to have some great anti-aging effects. At this concentration though, I’m not sure it kicks quite the punch as it would in a serum with Rosehip as the focus active.
Using Ultra Bee™ with Propolis Hydrating Face Cream – my thoughts
It has quite a thick texture, almost like a butter, but it doesn’t feel overly heavy once applied and allowed to absorb. I have oily skin, so thick creams don’t always play nice with me. I found this cream was too thick for my daily use but I actually really liked it as a night cream. It worked well when I had particularly dehydrated skin like the day after chemical exfoliation or after a day in the sun. If you have resilient skin I would say you could even use it after a serum to lock it all in. I think the bees wax works well for that.
The smell is a little strong but if you are using a product with natural ingredients like this then its expected to have this botanical sort of smell. Especially when some essential oils are included.
The packaging is simple and effective. I get an almost L’Oreal feel because of the gold and white colour scheme. In South Africa, our recycling set-up isn’t that user friendly so a glass tub may be easier to recycle but that would most likely push the price up.
That bring me to the affordability. I was gifted this product but its priced at R171.99 on their website. Depending on your budget, that’s not overly expensive but it is a lot pricier if you buy it at Wellness Warehouse at R217.95.
All in all I like the Ultra Bee™ with Propolis Hydrating Face Cream but I am not sure I would use it every night as my skin type just wouldn’t handle it. That’s not to say others shouldn’t, you could love it. Give it a try if you’re looking for a heavier night cream with some natural healing properties.
Do you have any propolis containing favourites? Give me a shout below and maybe I can give it a try 🙂